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Case Number 02237: Small Claims Court

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The Mummy: Quest For The Lost Scrolls

Universal // 2001 // 65 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron (Retired) // September 25th, 2002

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All Rise...

The Charge

It smells like mummy meat in here.

The Case

Johnny Quest's spastic cousin, Alex O'Connell, stumbles upon one of the Pharaoh's golden sweatbands and slaps it on his wrist because he's an idiot. Apparently, the tacky trinket lets him control objects and levitate things (like his loafers). Meanwhile, Reggie Mantle's incredibly fey museum director brother awakens that skanky sarcophagus Imotep from his sand dune slumber. Why? Because the homo historian is looking for a suitable life partner and early 20th Century London is not well known for its leather bars. On his first day above ground, our resurrected wrap job shoots his entire supernatural wad and turns into a raging, purple people hater. He needs the kid's heathen handcuff and some ancient rolling papers to return his shape to its pre-shifted and sifted state. When he learns where the O'Connells have his favorite frilly bracelet, he organizes a series of accessory ambushes. There are several Zeppelin treks where nothing remotely Hindenburg happens (dammit!) and whenever he's at a loss for a diversion or a way home, the Sphinx's sphincter creates mega-sized desert dirt bunnies. When it's discovered that locating some spools of papyrus and speaking enchanted words is the only way to save Alex from a life of interior design and random moldering mummified stalkings, the audience itself will feel compelled to converse in tongues. However, their chant of choice will be one immortalized by the late, great George C. Scott in the film Hardcore: "Turn it off! TURN IT OFF!"

Nothing is more disheartening than having to sit through what passes for Saturday morning children's television in the year 2002. This is truly the worst era ever for animation artistry and ingenious story telling. You know its bad when The Adventures of Scooby Doo starts to look like Allegro Non Troppo, and any number of lower level borderline 1970s mongoloid mung like Inch High, Private Eye or The Funky Phantom seem downright Disney. It doesn't help that the source material from which this is drawn, i.e., the imbecilic blockbusters known as The Mummy and The Mummy Returns were cartoonish to begin with. Heck, 90% of the special effects were computer-generated junk. So what brainchild thought that creating a Korean knockoff of this camel crap would be good for anything except the bottom line. The Mummy: Quest for the Lost Scrolls takes a season's worth of episodes (from the Kids WB series) and crams them into 65 minutes of mind numbing nausea. You know you're in trouble when the introduction does a more coherent job of storytelling than the actual film. After 20 minutes, we jump several dozen adventures in advance, glossing over major battles, storylines, confrontations, and discoveries on our way to the obvious conclusion. Characters drop in an out randomly, a pet mongoose/ferret/rodent shows up out of nowhere, and every time a way of weaseling out of a thorny predicament between man and monster is needed, the rules of the cartoon adventure universe change and previously unknown prerequisites and rules come back to bite the bad guy in the bandages. Will the Mummy eventually lose? Is the Nile a river? Will little ignoid O'Connell be stuck with that tacky piece of Egyptian costume jewelry until he hits puberty? Is Steve Martin's "King Tut" irritating as all get out?

At least Universal is honest and understands that this is nothing more than an extended, dull as a dung beetle advertisement for its televised tetanus. The majority of the extras consist of ads for Gameboy, the latest new Mummy animated series, and additional VHS and DVD titles. As a minor concession to those who may feel slightly ripped off by all this Madison Avenue mania, a passing attempt at teaching your child about Egypt is made and a quiz/trivia challenge is offered that leads to another "hidden" episode of this awful offal. And to make matters worse, the secreted show involves the Pater O'Connell, his friendship with Babe Ruth (!), and the complete defilement of the Statue of Liberty (!!). As for the image, The Mummy: Quest for the Lost Scrolls looks horrendously cheap. There are far too many resolution flares from the absolutely atrocious animation marring the presentation. Comatose blocks of lead are move lively and articulated than this staid, stick figure stupidity. No attempt is made to interject any of the movie's CGI cheese into the mix, and even if it were, the hackneyed story telling would kill it. Akiva Goldsmith must be moonlighting as the series' primary story editor.

As another entry into the already dismal pool of puke passing for children's entertainment, The Mummy is no worse than enflamed gums or leprosy of the eyelids. Anyone thinking their children will be amused, thrilled, or humored by this bilious blob of scarab bile needs to rip out their internal organs, stuff onions up their nose, and apply liberal amounts of gauze to their vacuous person. Perhaps the next quest the O'Connell clan should go on is one for a suitable family plot or mausoleum. Immediate burial is all this stillborn stinker deserves.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 20

Perp Profile

Studio: Universal
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 65 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• All Ages
• Animation
• Bad
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Trivia Challenge
• Bonus Episode
• Egyptology
• Character Files
• The Mummy: Secrets of the Medji "A New Beginning" Trailer
• The Mummy Game Boy Advance Trailer
• Monster Force Game Trailer
• The Mummy Kids WB! Top Toons Tune
• Trailer


• IMDb

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