Johnny Thunder and the Gift of the Nile is the animated sequel to Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo. It was released July 16, 2010 and features some details that were written in the never-made film Johnny Thunder and the Curse of the Mummy. The film is inspired by the 1998 LEGO Adventurers Egypt sets.
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
The film begins with Dr. Kilroy, who is giving a lecture on the story of Ramses III's reign. As the story comes to life, the collected tribes of the Aegean, known as the Sea Peoples, descend on Egypt. In Egypt, Ramses III gathers his forces and stages two advances: first on land, then at sea. The counterattacks prove successful, but turmoil then develops at home. Tiy, a secondary queen, plots to destroy the pharaoh with magic, but is caught along with her accomplices. They are all tried and executed. Growing concerned over his prized treasure, the Heart of Osiris, he has new rooms built into Abu Simbel to hide the gem.
In the present day, Johnny Thunder, along with his wife Pippin Reed Thunder and daughter Sarah Thunder, visit the museum when they get interrupted by James Digalot. He directs them to Jim Carew's office, who talks about a letter he received from famed Egyptologist Hiram Aziz. The letter is urgent and encourages Johnny and his friends to come at once. Not wanting to miss out on an adventure, he calls up Dr. Kilroy and Harry Cane to meet them at the airport.
Meanwhile, in Siberia, Lord Sam Sinister, Patrick, and Horatio Schmidt descend on a weapons shop, relieved after being chased by Mao Zedong III. There they meet Sally Schmidt, Horatio's long-lost sister, and the shop's owner Vladnichuk. After some fussing, they buy out all of the weapons and mercenaries and Sally agrees to join Lord Sinister's gang.
At the airport, the adventurers meet Dr. Kilroy in the terminal and Harry out on the air field. Harry suits up for flight, then takes off into some air pockets, causing a suitcase to fall and knock Dr. Kilroy out. Once in Cairo, they head to the Windsor Hotel, where they will be spending the night. As they settle in, though, Lord Sinister's men, who happen to be there as well, listen to them through the ventilation.
The next day, they head to the Egyptian Museum, where they meet Dr. Hiram Aziz. He tells them about what he has found: on the mummy of Ramses III, he found a map leading to the Heart of Osiris, along with a legend of its supposed power to resurrect the dead. However, as they get ready to leave, black market dealer Slyboots attacks the museum. He gets away with the map and hops into a jeep parked out front. Using a bus, the adventurers pursue the jeep, but it gets away. At Cairo Tower, the adventurers find out that Lord Sinister knows about the Heart of Osiris.
The next day, the adventurers get onto a cruise ship and begin sailing up the Nile River. Ahead of them, Lord Sinister and his men talk about their plans. In Luxor, the adventurers stop at the Mummification Museum, where a preserver talks about a tablet that was found near Abu Simbel. Knowing it to be a clue to the Heart, Johnny takes a rubbing and departs. However, the preserver is actually working for Lord Sinister.
As the adventurers wake up at the Winter Palace Hotel, Lord Sinister and his men drive into town with the preserver, who is now dressed as a pirate. The adventurers spot them and flee to the dock. However, Lord Sinister and his men, by using their car boat, chase the cruise ship and get on board. The adventurers fight off the villains as Slyboots looks for the rubbing. He finds only a joke note, then shoots the preserver, accusing her of lying. The villains quickly leave.
In Aswan, the cruise ship reaches its last port, so the adventurers go into town to rent a airship. They use the airship to fly over the Aswan High Dam and across the desert to Abu Simbel, which Dr. Kilroy talks about in a lecture. Meanwhile at the villains' camp, a rift develops between Lord Sinister and Slyboots.
Once at Abu Simbel, the adventurers are ambushed by the villains, who shoot Pippin dead. Johnny and Sarah mourn her, but Slyboots breaks up the scene by betraying Lord Sinister. As the bandits and mercenaries fight, Johnny, Sarah, Hiram, and Harry escape to the temple. However, Lord Sinister, Patrick, Horatio, and Sally follow them in a jeep.
Inside the temple, Johnny and his friends uses the rubbing and other clues to help them find the way into the treasure room. Using their knowledge of Egyptian mythology, they are able to find the treasure. However, Lord Sinister steps forward and grabs the treasure. The door closes and Sarah throws a spider in Patrick's face. The adventurers hijack the jeep and escape through another passage. In an arrow trap, Horatio is killed.
Back out in the main chamber, the adventurers drive around the statues, trying to grab the Heart. At last, Johnny grabs it, but is stopped by Sally, who has rigged the entrance with explosives. Sarah shoots a stick of dynamite, causing Sally to blow up. The jeep leaves the temple, with Lord Sinister and Patrick hiding.
Outside, the police have arrested the thieves, mercenaries, and Slyboots. They all feel sad about Pippin, but Sarah brings out the Heart of Osiris, hoping the legend is true. It does nothing, but Dr. Kilroy suggests wiping Pippin's blood on the heart. She does so, and Pippin is revived. She is well and whole, and the adventurers fly back to Cairo. Down on the river, Lord Sinister and Patrick sail away in a boat piloted by a mercenary.
Before Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo was even released, plans were already in the works for a "Johnny Thunder 2" that would follow the first film: the problem was deciding where it should be set. Then, on September 1, 2007, on the website www.adventurers.dk, survey results indicated that the most popular sub-theme of Adventurers is the original Egypt line, with 125 votes out of 289. With this fact in mind, the film was set in Egypt, with some changes to the concepts to avoid making the film cliched. Pharaoh Hotep was the first character to go, as director Andrew Bermudez did not want a living mummy in the film. However, as a tribute to the past, several ideas from the never-released Johnny Thunder and the Curse of the Mummy were added into the film, such as the falling suitcase.
Originally, the film was going to be called Johnny Thunder and the Keys to Power, in which the adventurers would be looking for an ancient super weapon. In this version, the Russians would have been their own faction, taking direct queues from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Early on, this concept was dropped when the story of Ramses III was found. The resulting script became Johnny Thunder and the Jewel of the Nile.
The film, re-titled as Johnny Thunder and the Gift of the Nile, was announced on June 7, 2009, which also saw the release of the film's first teaser. However, the story was far from polished. Originally, the Cairo Tower scene was going to feature a boxer who was going to beat up Johnny, but he was dropped for being too contrived. Various moments of banter between the characters was also chopped out to shorten the running time.
Filming started July 31, 2009 and ended on April 5, 2010 with few mishaps, the most notable being problems to the studio mainframe's hard drive. Editing also proceeded with few problems. To promote the film, the Christmas special A Very Patrick Christmas was released on December 9, 2009.
The film debuted on July 16, 2010 to mostly positive reviews. However, many viewers criticized the film for being too short and being too simple when compared to Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo. Regardless, it has received the strongest opening weekend of any Mustache Maniacs Film Co. film and continues to be popular.
This popularity, coupled with advances in technology, spurred a project to create a special edition for this film, released on July 16, 2020, the film's tenth anniversary. The re-release replaces all of the music with a new soundtrack, adds new special effects, and restores a deleted scene.
- Continuity Error: At the beginning of the chase in Cairo, Johnny faces off against some bandits inside the Egyptian Museum. He holds out his pistol when fighting them, but when he approaches one near some stairs, his pistol is holstered unexpectedly, which he pulls out again.
- Plot Hole: While flying up the Nile in a zeppelin, Dr. Kilroy tells Sarah the true story of how UNESCO worked in the late 1960's to move Abu Simbel up and away from Lake Nasser to preserve the historic site. However, that proves problematic: wouldn't the UNESCO workers have found the hidden chambers and the Heart of Osiris while they were moving the temple?
- The canonized story A Greater Cost fixes this plot hole.
- Continuity Error: During the battle on the cruise ship, Hiram Aziz throws Horatio's rifle into the river, which Horatio replaces with a knife. He carries this knife with him for the rest of the battle...except for inside the state room, when his rifle is mysteriously restored.
- Continuity Error: For almost the entire film, Sally Schmidt's pants are blue. However, when the villains ambush the adventurers, Sally's pants are black in one shot.
- Continuity Error: When the adventurers first approach the zeppelin at the Aswan scrap yard, there is "Adventurers" lettering on the side of the blimp. However, when the zeppelin takes off and soars through the sky, the lettering disappears.
- Continuity Error: When Harry looks at the pile of junk, he is standing up. But when the camera cuts back to him later on, he is sitting on the ground.
- The special edition fixes this continuity error.
- Johnny Thunder (Daniel Bermudez)
- Pippin Reed Thunder (Lauren Hoxie)
- Sarah Thunder (Alyssia Whitley)
- Dr. Charles Kilroy (Andrew Bermudez)
- Harry Cane (Andrew Bermudez)
- Dr. Jim Carew (Andrew Bermudez)
- Lord Samuel Rudolph Sinister (Andrew Bermudez)
- Patrick (Garrett Schelske)
- Horatio Schmidt (Erasmus Zavaleta)
- Sally Schmidt (Cathy Hoxie)
- Slyboots (Jason Ecks)
- Dr. Hiram Aziz (Steve Hoxie)
- Vladnichuk (Wes Rudnick)
- Prof. James Digalot (Demitrius Zavaleta)
- Jerry Digalot (Alex Hoxie)
- Said Ahma (Al Bermudez)
- Preserver (Teresa Bermudez)
- Pharaoh Ramses III (Daniel Bermudez)
- Adviser (Alvaro Bermudez Sr.)
- Museum Aid (Martha Bermudez)
- Travel Agent (Chloe Zavaleta)
- Bus Stop Lady (Eunice Rudnick)
- Boxer (cut from film)
- Tiy (n/a)
- Pebekkamen (n/a)
- Penhulibin (David Hoxie)
- Bad Bandanna Bandit (Jim Freeman)
- Sniper Bandit (Steve Hoxie)
- Eye Patch Henchman (David Hoxie)
- Warning Henchman (Alex Hoxie)
- LEGO City Museum
- Windsor Hotel
- Cairo, Egypt
- Egyptian Museum
- Nile River
- Luxor, Egypt
- Mummification Museum
- Aswan, Egypt
- Abu Simbel
- Andrew Bermudez - Director, Writer, Animator, Editor, Audio Mixer, Voice Acting
- Daniel Bermudez - Assistant Director, Adviser, Assistant Writer, Voice Acting
- Teresa Bermudez - Script Editor, Adviser, Voice Acting
- Al Bermudez - Voice Acting
- Alvaro Bermudez Sr. - Voice Acting
- Martha Bermudez - Voice Acting
- Garrett Schelske - Voice Acting
- Eunice Rudnick - Voice Acting
- Wes Rudnick - Voice Acting
- Cathy Hoxie - Voice Acting
- Steve Hoxie - Voice Acting
- Lauren Hoxie - Voice Acting
- David Hoxie - Voice Acting
- Alex Hoxie - Voice Acting
- Jason Ecks - Voice Acting
- Erasmus Zavaleta - Voice Acting
- Demitrius Zavaleta - Voice Acting
- Chloe Zavaleta - Voice Acting
- Alyssia Whitley - Voice Acting
- Best Sound Design (The First Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards; 2011)
- Best Special Effect (Cloning Two Extras to Form an Entire Army; The First Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards; 2011)
- Best Supporting Actress (Cathy Hoxie as Sally Schmidt; The First Mustache Maniacs Film Co. Fan Choice Awards; 2011)
"Stop it! Stop it! You're ruining everything!"
Johnny Thunder and the Gift of the Nile contains examples of the following tropes.
- Ace Pilot: The character of Harry Cane.
- Adaptation Expansion: This film is based on the 1998 LEGO Adventurers Egypt sets, but those sets' story was little more than Johnny and Co. racing against Lord Sinister and Slyboots for Re-Gou. Here, Russian Mercenaries, Johnny and Pippin's daughter, an Egyptologist, an river cruise, and a jeep chase inside of Abu Simbel were added in, among other things.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: All of the adventurers are this, naturally. Even Hiram Aziz gets in on the act, even though he is less than happy about it.
- Adventurer Outfit: A good number of the heroes and villains wear a varying degree of an explorers' attire/modern clothing hybrid, going from full explorers' attire (Johnny Thunder) to nearly all modern clothing (Hiram Aziz).
- Agent Scully: The character of Hiram Aziz. While he believes in the existence of the Heart of Osiris, he never believes that it is capable of raising the dead.
- All There in the Manual: For both before and after the events of this film. For before the film, the comic series Journey to Siberia explains how Lord Sinister, Patrick, and Horatio made their way from China to Russia (with a small detour on the way). It's only briefly mentioned in the film. For after the film, the beginning of Tales of the Adventurers shows not only how Lord Sinister and Patrick were found, but also how they made it back to civilization. It is also worth mentioning the story A Greater Cost, which explains why the Heart of Osiris was still in Abu Simbel even after the monument had been moved.
- Ancient Egypt: Considering that most of this film takes place in Egypt, an opening prologue set in Ancient Egypt was almost required, and is obviously included.
- Arms Dealer: The character of Vladnichuk.
- Artifact of Power: The Heart of Osiris is capable of reviving the recently deceased.
- Artistic License - Geography: A minor one, but many of the characters refer to the famed Abu Simbel facade as Abu Simbel, which is technically incorrect. Abu Simbel is rather the name of the entire area complex that the said facade and temple is a part, since Abu Simbel actually consists of several different monuments and temples. The characters should actually be calling the specific famous temple the Temple of Ramses II.
- Back from the Dead: The Heart of Osiris is able to resurrect Pippin, who had been killed just moments before.
- Butt-Monkey: The character of Patrick Hooligans.
- Captain Ersatz: Hiram Aziz is this to the real life Egyptologist Zahi Hawass. In fact, Hiram Aziz was going to be Zahi Hawass until a last-minute rewrite changed the name. The character design, however, stayed the same.
- Death is Not Permanent: Thanks to the Heart of Osiris, it wasn't for Pippin.
- Disproportionate Retribution: How does Sally plan on getting back at the Adventurers for the death of her brother (who wasn't really killed by the Adventurers)? By threatening to blow up Abu Simbel with a gigantic pile of explosives!
- Distant Prologue: The beginning of the film takes place in Ancient Egypt, telling the story of Ramses III.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: When the chamber holding the Heart of Osiris is opened, a wall revolves to reveal the Heart of Osiris.
- Fruit Cart: During the Cairo bus chase, the vehicles plow into one.
- George Lucas Altered Version: This film underwent several changes for its 2020 tenth anniversary re-release. The changes made to the film are:
- The opening logo was updated to match the current branding and the Drawn to Life Logo was added (even though this film was originally released three years before Drawn to Life Animation's founding).
- The dialogue was re-modulated in places to remove the film's original (and copyright-struck) soundtrack. It was easier said than done.
- Lord Sinister and Johnny Thunder each re-recorded one line, as they mention in the original cut that this story takes place six weeks after Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo. This is a direct contradiction to the canon (which separates the two films by two years), necessitating the change.
- The film's copyright-struck musical score was replaced more-or-less with a new score sourced from Kevin Macleod.
- While existing sounds were preserved where possible, new sound effects were added throughout, either to clean up any auditory errors that couldn't be eradicated, to replace the audio track completely, or to simply add life to empty-sounding scenes.
- The opening titles were shortened, meaning that this film is now 55 minutes (it was 57 minutes before).
- The map sequences were overhauled with new computer-generated effects, reminiscent of Johnny Thunder and the Wisdom of the Ancients.
- The film's picture quality was upgraded to HD, with sharpening and color correction applied throughout the film.
- The film's title treatment was updated in the spirit of the original.
- The Heart of Osiris was enhanced with additional special effects to accentuate the Heart's powers.
- The deleted scene of Harry falling onto the pile of junk was restored, in order to fix a continuity error.
- The scrolling end credits were scrapped and overhauled, leaving only the first half mostly intact.
- A stinger that re-uses Patrick's laugh was recycled from the end of the ship attack scene.
- Middle Eastern Terrorists: Slyboots' bandits are modeled after the infamous BrickArms custom minifigure "Mr. Gray," who was modeled after said Middle Eastern Terrorists. However, the bandits aren't actually terrorists per se, though they do cause a large amount of death and destruction.
- Mineral MacGuffin: The Heart of Osiris is this.
- The Mole: The character of the Preserver.
- Mummy: Uniquely averted. One is seen lying on a preservation cart in the Egyptian Museum (it's the mummy of Ramses III), but no living mummy is seen anywhere in this film.
- Orwellian Retcon: Sort of, if you consider the credits. In the original film, Lauren Hoxie and Alyssia Whitley are listed among the voice actors in the film, playing Pippin Reed Thunder and Sarah Thunder, receptively. However, since this film's release, both have been wed, which has changed their surnames. Therefore, in the tenth anniversary re-release, they are now credited as Lauren Adkins and Alyssia Derenski, respectively.
- However, this trope is played straight in correcting a continuity snarl. In the film's original run, Johnny and Lord Sinister mention that this film takes place six weeks after Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo, which was fine...until the canonized fan film A Greater Cost (and the official canon as a whole) explicitly places the events of that film two years prior. To fix this, the tenth anniversary re-release had the two lines re-recorded with the correct time frame stated.
- A Pirate 400 Years Too Late: The Preserver, after revealing her true allegiance, dresses up as a pirate.
- Plot Coupon: Both the map and the tablet serve this purpose, as they are needed to find the Heart of Osiris.
- Private Military Contractors: In this film, Lord Sinister hires a band of Russian mercenaries while in Siberia.
- Shout-Out: There are several references and homages to other works, some of which are listed below.
- The website displayed on the computer monitor in Dr. Jim Carew's office is Lego.com.
- In the Windsor Hotel, when the water in the fountain turns red, Sarah and Harry think that the water has turned to blood, referencing a moment from The Mummy.
- While inside Abu Simbel, Harry Cane pretends to read an inscription by saying, "Klaatu Barrada Niktoh!" This references a line from the science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still.
- When the Preserver is eaten by crocodiles, Slyboots says, "Groovy," a line commonly heard in the Evil Dead films.
- Pippin's death scene is entirely a shout-out to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as The Mummy Returns.
- The ending Abu Simbel chase recreates key moments from the dark ride Lost Kingdom Adventure. This includes the dart room, skulls falling out of jars, the jeep driving through the temple, and the piles of dynamite.
- The Preserver's dialogue about finding the tablet is a hurricane of references to the sitcom Seinfeld.
- Take Our Word for It: According to some dialogue, it is mentioned that Patrick Hooligans smashed the tablet that is needed to find the Heart of Osiris. However, because this line was added in a late re-write, the actual tablet smashing is never shown.
- Temple of Doom: The hidden chambers inside Abu Simbel are lined with booby traps.
- Walk Like an Egyptian: Parodied at the end of the Abu Simbel Chase. To escape from the Adventurers, Lord Sinister hides in a barrel (a shout-out to the dark ride Lost Kingdom Adventure). However, Patrick hides by running up to the wall and assuming a frontal-ism pose (the name of the art style of Ancient Egypt).
- Zeppelins from Another World: It's not a fantastic example, but a zeppelin does appear near the end of the film so that the Adventurers can travel the last leg of the journey to Abu Simbel.
- Special Prop: inside Jim Carew's Office, you can clearly see on his computer screen that he is logged on to Lego.com.
- Stagehand Visible: When we first see the LEGO City Airport, the assistant director can be seen lounging at the bottom of the frame.
- Hidden Character: At the very beginning of the shot where the bus pulls up to the Egyptian Museum, you can see Pepper Roni from LEGO Island standing in the background.
- Stagehand Visible: When we look at the impressive facade of the Egyptian Museum, you can see a production assistant in a ground level window.
- Special Prop: When the bandit is about to stab Johnny, you can see the Heart of the Magic Shield from LEGO Knight's Kingdom (2) in a display case.
- Special Prop: When Hiram Aziz presents his digital copy of the map, he is standing next to the Ark of the Covenant.
- Hidden Characters: When Lord Sinister and his men squeal away from the Egyptian Museum, a Power Miner and an A-Wing Pilot are standing across the street.
- Hidden Character: When Slyboots speeds off, a coast guard officer is standing behind the jeep.
- Hidden Character: After the bus speeds up and the two pursuing jeeps catch up, we see the bus speed down the road, with Pippin shooting at the bandits. During this shot, you can (briefly) see Mutt Williams.
- Stagehand Visible: Right after the shot described above is a tracking shot of the bus. During this tracking shot, you can see the lighting equipment in the background.
- Hidden Character: Standing next to the fruit stand that gets trashed is Legoman from The Adventures of Legoman.
- Special Prop: Attached to the bus stop for Cairo Tower is a poster for the classic brickfilm, Star Wars: the Great Disturbance.
- Special Prop: There are some posters in Cairo Port, including one for the ill-fated cruise ship company White Star Line, made famous by the Titanic and Lusitania.
- Stagehand Visible: Just before we see the villains camping for the first time, we see a sphinx. Next to this sphinx is a grip man handling a barrel.
- Hidden Characters: When we see a Luxor carriage pass by for the first time, we can also see an Indian eating an apple and Flex standing at the bottom of the screen.
- Stagehand Visible: After the bus passes in Luxor, you can see a wind machine sitting next to a wall for the Luxor Temple.
- Hidden Character: Right before Lord Sinister and his men show up in front of the Winter Palace Hotel in Luxor, you can see Billy Lugosi from Forest of Fear sniffing the flowers.
- Special Prop: When Said Ahma walks into the fight on the top deck, he is holding the Samuel Adams bottle from Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo.
- Stagehand Visible: When Pippin says "Good idea. Let's go there right now," the boom operator is standing on the stairs behind her.
- Hidden Character: When we see the establishing shot of Aswan, a Hoth Rebel Trooper can be seen standing on the street.
- Hidden Character: When we see the junkyard in Aswan for the first time, Alpha Team leader Dash is rummaging through a pile of trash.
- Special Props: Throughout the junkyard are random parts, including a crossbow, an Atlantis diving helmet, and an Aquazone Stingray helmet.
- Stagehand Visible: When all of the villains ambush Johnny and his friends, you can see a grip man behind Lord Sinister.
- The events in this film are appropriated from various sources, whether they be Johnny Thunder and the Curse of the Mummy, the puzzle book Curse of the Mummy, or various pop culture queues.
- The prologue was written from a translation of actual documents dating from Ancient Egypt.
- Vladnichuk is named after the character of the same name from the silent Russian film The Battleship Ptompkin.
- Said Ahma is named after Said, the main character from the foreign film Paradise Now.
- Sally Schmidt is named after the Sally Corporation, the ride manufacturer that created LEGOLAND California's Lost Kingdom Adventure ride.
- The original character of Sarah Thunder predates this film by around eight years, originally appearing in the short story The Big Easter Egg Hunt.
- Although Horatio Schmidt plays a large role in this film, he was actually introduced in Johnny Thunder and the Secret of Marco Polo as an extra.
- When Harry Cane pretends to read the writing, he says, "Klatu Barrada Niktoh!," a reference to the film The Day the Earth Stood Still.
- When the Preserver is eaten by crocodiles, Slyboots says, "Groovy," a reference to the cult film Evil Dead.
- Originally, there was a plot hole about moving Abu Smbel, with the reason saying that the Heart of Osiris would have been found when the temple was moved to higher ground between 1964 and 1968. However, a canon change brought about by the release and subsequent canonization of TLFScarheart's The Quest for Canonization entry, A Greater Cost, fixed the Heart of Osiris part of this plot hole.
- Official Web Page
- Teaser on YouTube
- Action Trailer on YouTube
- Story Trailer on YouTube
- Feature Film on YouTube
- Production Gallery on YouTube
- Deleted Animation on YouTube
- Concept Art Gallery on YouTube