I’m glad I was able to review this. Being a fan of old time serials since I was a kid, I’ve loved serial pulp fodder from “Johnny Quest”, “Lone Ranger”, and “Indiana Jones” to “Sky Captain”, “The Shadow”, and my favorite—Zorro. And I pretty much enjoyed “Tim Tyler’s Luck”. Sure the title is not as catchy as “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”, but it pretty much gets its point across. It’s not often anymore that we see serials of the old days where our heroes had rambunctious animal sidekicks, and referred to black people as “Jungle Natives”. But in all seriousness, “Tim Tyler’s Luck” is a fun and wholesome series of serials from Universal that acts as a surefire precursor to the Johnny Quest series. Based on the long running comic strip of the same name created by Lyman Young, “Tim Tyler’s Luck” chronicles of the adventures of Tim Tyler, a young man whose adventurer father has disappear in to the jungles with the gorillas.
Tim stows away on a boat with a group of explorers and meets Lora Lacey who is also searching for safari man named “Spider” Webb. There’s really nothing else you can find with this sort of kitsch and utter entertainment value that you can watch with your children. Frankie Thomas is likable as the young Tim Tyler who is a mixture of Johnny Quest as this adventurous young man, and Lois Lane always getting in to trouble and getting kidnapped just to be saved by the local authorities on horseback; and who can forget “Spider” Webb’s super tank which he uses to outrun the authorities? “Tim Tyler’s Luck” is a wholesome and genuine action serial that has its share of chills, thrills, spills, and a black panther named Fang that comes to the aid of Tyler on many occasions.
All thirteen chapters begin with opening credits, and a long explanation on what happened last week through comic book panels. Tim’s adventures in to the jungle are surely perilous and he always manages to somehow find his way out of a bind, even at the hands of evil poacher’s intent on killing him before he can find his dad. And there’s always the trusty Fang who appears at just the right time to help out Tim. Beebe and Gittens’ direction is rather spectacular to watch as they mesh in animal stock footage, and some rather exciting sequences flawlessly, that work well even in today’s smug CGI infested film era. And I dare you not to get slightly enthused when you see a notification urging us to come back next week to the same theater to see what bind Tim Tyler gets himself in to at the end of every installment. I dare you.