Jana of the Jungle is an American animated television series created by comic strip artist Doug Wildey and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions which aired on NBC from September 9 to December 2, 1978. It was originally broadcast as a half-hour segment of The Godzilla Power Hour (1978) and its later expanded form The Godzilla Super 90 (1978–79). Jana, Ghost, and Tico will both appear in the HBO Max original series Jellystone!.
|Jana of the Jungle|
|Created by||Doug Wildey|
|Directed by||Ray Patterson|
|Voices of||B.J. Ward|
|Theme music composer||Hoyt Curtin|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producers||William Hanna|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Original release||September 9 –|
December 2, 1978
|Related shows||The Godzilla Power Hour|
Jana (voiced by B.J. Ward) is essentially a female version of Tarzan who traveled to the rain forests of South America in search of her lost father (whom she never finds). Her father vanished in a boating accident when she was still a child, but the introduction shows that he survived. She has long blonde hair, wears a dress made of unspecified animal skin and a necklace which doubles as a throwable weapon and makes a high-pitched resonating sound when thrown (somewhat similar to the chakram that would be the weapon of choice for the later, live-action Xena, Warrior Princess) given to her by her father before the boating accident. She also has a yell that is a slightly altered version of Tarzan’s which she uses to call many types of animals.
Besides her animal friends (Ghost, a sleek white jaguar and Tico, a pesky water opossum), Jana has two human friends: Dr. Ben Cooper (voiced by Michael Bell), a young wildlife biologist who maintained the preserve started by Jana's father and helped in her continuing search for her father; and Montaro (voiced by Ted Cassidy), a descendant of a lost warrior tribe armed with a supernatural weapon known as the Staff of Power that can cause earthquake shockwaves when it strikes the ground. Montaro rescued Jana from the boating accident in which her father disappeared.
These are some of the jungle animals Jana called to, many for help:
|Nº||Episode Title & Synopsis||Airdate|
|1||"Countdown"||September 9, 1978|
|A military plane crashes in the jungle and its cargo, a powerful bomb, falls into the hands of an isolated tribe. Jana must deal with both the bomb, which is counting down, and an active volcano.|
|2||"The Golden Idol of the Gorgas"||September 16, 1978|
|Two people come to the jungle and ask Jana for help claiming their son is lost in dangerous territory.|
|3||"Katuchi Danger"||September 23, 1978|
|A plane carrying medical supplies crashes in the "valley of the lost" where legend says live the Katuchi, a dangerous tribe of ape-men.|
|4||"Race for Life"||September 30, 1978|
|Ben is forcibly captured by the Amazoni, a tribe of giant female warriors.|
|5||"The Cordillera Volcano"||October 7, 1978|
|When a volcano erupts, Jana has to lead endangered miners to safety.|
|6||"The Animal Snatchers"||October 14, 1978|
|A film crew arrives in the Amazon to make a movie about Jana and her friends, but they are actually poachers who want to capture her white jaguar, Ghost.|
|7||"The Renegade"||October 21, 1978|
|Jana suspects there may be another white jaguar loose in the jungle when Ghost is accused of attacking people and animals for no reason.|
|8||"Rogue Elephant"||October 28, 1978|
|A train wreck frees a zoo elephant into the jungle. Jana must protect the people of a local village from the frightened animal, and it from them.|
|9||"The Prisoner"||November 4, 1978|
|Jana enters a native village, and meets a man who just might be her missing father.|
|10||"The Invaders"||November 11, 1978|
|11||"Dangerous Cargo"||November 18, 1978|
|12||"The Sting of the Tarantula"||November 25, 1978|
|Montaro is stung by a tarantula and, delirious from his fever, he believes Jana and Ben are his enemies.|
|13||"Suspicion"||December 2, 1978|
|Ben is wrongfully accused by a tribe of stealing a black pearl, but it was actually an inside job committed by a fellow tribesman.|
Jana of the Jungle was originally broadcast in these following formats on NBC:
- The Godzilla Power Hour (September 9, 1978 – October 28, 1978, NBC Saturday 9:30-10:30 AM)
- The Godzilla Super 90 (November 4, 1978 – September 1, 1979, NBC Saturday 9:00-10:30 AM)
A total of 13 original episodes of Jana of the Jungle were produced in 1978, with the first eight broadcast as part of the second half of The Godzilla Power Hour from September 9 to October 28. In November 1978, when The Godzilla Power Hour was expanded to 90 minutes (with the addition of Jonny Quest reruns) and re-titled The Godzilla Super 90, the five remaining episodes of Jana of the Jungle continued on this new format until December 2. The Jana character also made a cameo appearance piloting a rocket-car in an episode of Yogi's Space Race in 1978.
Jana of the Jungle resurfaced in 1985 as part of USA Cartoon Express which is the last time any of the original 13 episodes were shown on television. This is one of the very few Hanna-Barbera series that has yet to be seen on either Cartoon Network or Boomerang; however, one of the episodes, "The Cordillera Volcano", was available for a limited time on WB's Hanna-Barbera online stream.
Jana in comic booksEdit
In January 2007, Dynamite Entertainment launched a comic book, with plot by Frank Cho and script by Doug Murray, called Jungle Girl, featuring a blond female character called Jana. She is a Tarzan-esque heroine that lives in some kind of "Lost World", a jungle inhabited by strange creatures including dinosaurs and cavemen. While bearing the same name and taking place in a jungle setting, the Cho/Murray comic character is not really connected with the TV series.
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 381. ISBN 978-1476665993.
- Sennett, Ted (1989). The Art of Hanna-Barbera: Fifty Years of Creativity. Studio. p. 185. ISBN 978-0670829781. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
- Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part I: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. p. 124. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 9 April 2020.