James Bond has been ripe for parody since his inception. Parody is the life blood of all great cartoons, with a few even owing their roots to Bond. But only one takes its cues, and even its title from Bond; James Bond Jr. Though he’s actually his nephew, not his son. It’s complicated.
James Bond Jr. featured relatives of Bond mainstays or the original characters, with each episode following the typical Bond arc. James Bond Jr. attends Warfield Academy, embarking on missions to fight the villainous vermin of virtue (sorry, I’ve been watching V), S.C.U.M. (Saboteurs and Criminals United in Mayhem). Acronyms were a thing at the time. Assisting James is I.Q. (I refuse to type out his full name), grandson of Q, Gordo Leiter, son of Felix Leiter, Phoebe Farragut, filling a Moneypenny role, and Tracy Milbanks, filling no archetype. Together, they’d skip out of school, going on adventures.
The villains of S.C.U.M. were an eclectic mix between classic and original creations, all modified for the cartoon and to sell toys. Of the classics, Jaws, Oddjob, Goldfinger, and Dr. No were present. Of all the changes, Dr. No was the most comical. Instead of looking like Joseph Wiseman, Dr. No instead resembled the Mandarin, replete with green skin, fu manchu mustache, and robot hands. As for original creations, never seen Scumlord, Dr. Derange, Walker D. Plank and Ms. Fortune were a few. I know Bond is all about the puns, but this stuff, sheesh.
Continuing the puns were the Bond Jr. girls. Most Bond names were overt sexual innuendos. This being a cartoon, they instead settled on, you guessed it, more puns; Marcie Beaucoup, Hayley Comet, and my favorite, Wendy Day. Even when I was a kid, I knew these were stupid. Think that’s bad? The episode titles were worse. There’s “Rubies Aren’t Forever,” “S.C.U.M. on the Water,” “Invaders from S.C.U.M.,” and my favorite “Pompeii and Circumstance.”
Airing the standard 65 episodes for syndication back in 1991, the show was never heard from again, despite the multimedia blitz. There was a push on every front with toys (I think I had a couple), comics, books. and even an SNES game. While I can’t speak to the others, I hear tell the later wasn’t too good.
Honestly, I hate Bond. Except Casino Royale, that’s just a good movie. And Goldeneye. Still, I watched the crap out of this when I was younger. While Bond has a lot problems, they took the essence to make a fun cartoon. Is this worth hunting down? Not unless you’re an omega level Bond fan. Otherwise, this is strictly kid fare. Even then, cartoons have evolved.
Curiously how a nephew can be a junior? Even remember this existed? Comment below!
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ‘em hi.