Around the release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, artist and animator Patrick Schoenmaker was commissioned by Topps to create artwork for a special Indiana Jones trading card set. The imagery was then joined by more artwork he made for Acme Archives: two prints called “Escaping the Tomb” and “The Man in the Hat.”
While Lucasfilm never green lit an animated Indiana Jones series or film, these illustrations prompted Schoenmaker to make it his passion project. Now, all these years later, we can see the fruits of his labor.
The Adventures of Indiana Jones runs nearly two minutes in length and took about five years to make. The video sees the cinematic archaeologist raiding temples, fighting Nazis, dodging native tribes, and stopping a villainous plot involving a mystical skull. Schoenmaker wrote of the project on his blog in this past April:
Indiana Jones must have been my first true movie hero ever since I watched Raiders of the Lost Ark on a VCR way back when. Yes, some other heroes came and went, but Indy always held a special place. After Crystal Skull was released, my love for the character was once again fully ignited and with no new movies on the horizon back then, I decided to set up an Indiana Jones project of my own to keep the fire burning a little bit longer. So, that was back in 2011 and “a little bit longer” turned into 5 years of hard work.
Lucasfilm should probably take note. The future of the Indiana Jones franchise is somewhat unclear beyond Indiana Jones 5, which will reunite Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford. Short of passing the hat and whip to, say, a Shia LaBeouf, perhaps an animated series is just what they need to keep things going. Ford can’t do this forever, after all. Lucasfilm kept Star Wars alive with The Clone Wars and Rebels, and Sony is about to do the same with Ghostbusters.