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Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects is the second TV movie made for the Jonny Quest series, following hot on the heels of the earlier Jonny's Golden Quest. It aired on television in 1995, one year prior to the release of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, making it, to date, the final program using the classic 1960's character designs of the original series.
The basic plot has Jonny's father Dr. Benton Quest called in by a nebulous group called Intelligence One to investigate strange weather phenomenon that is affecting the entire planet. It turns out that the Quests' old enemy Dr. Zin is behind it all, using a stealth satellite to control the Earth's weather. Benton and his colleague Dr. Eve Belage end up as captives aboard Zin's asteroid fortress after Zin tractor-beams the entire space station into it, and Jonny, Hadji, Race and Jessie (Race's daughter, introduced in the previous film) must rescue them. But first, they need to find Zin's asteroid, which is concealed by a cloaking device.
Now, you may be wondering, where are the cyber insects in the movie called Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects? Oh, they're there, in a beside-the-point kind of way. Zin has a veritable army of genetically-engineered insect monsters, with which he plans to invade Earth after his weather machine is done softening it up. They serve the same role as basic thugs and actually aren't that threatening.
Throughout the film there is a running theme of Jonny needing to learn to cooperate with others, as he fails to heed others' advice and often charges headlong into dangerous situations without thinking.
- An Aesop: About working together as a team.
- Asteroids Monster: The Assassinoids. When shot or blown up, the bits of them regenerate into more and keep on coming. Only freezing or nuking them seems to work.
- Bad Boss: Zin has a few human henchmen in addition to his bugs. He routinely kills them off for various petty reasons until he has none left.
- Bald of Evil: Dr. Zin.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The titular cyber insects.
- Chekhov's Gun: Several, but especially the computer virus, the feed to Zin's freezing chamber and also the piece of frozen Assassinoid Mylana obtains.
- Computer Virus: 4-DAC gets infected with a Trojan horse program that brings him under Zin's control. It is later used against Zin's own computer.
- Da Chief: Commander Harris.
- Disney Death: Race. One exploding control panel and his heart stops. He then revives for no apparent reason, other than, y'know, he's Race freakin' Bannon.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: All the guns in the film are lasers. Oddly, though, the ones Race Bannon uses appear to be modeled on a Colt M1911 and a Steyr AUG.
- For Science!: Why Belage says she cloned so many giant prehistoric assassin bugs, who, unlike the other animals she clones, don't seem to be good for anything except death and destruction. Even Zin points this out to her.
- Fun with Acronyms: E.D.E.N. - Environmental Diversity Experimental Nucleus.
- Green Aesop: There's a little of this peppered into the story with the characters of Dr. Eve Belage and her assistant Mylana, who clone endangered and extinct species.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Jeffrey Tambor once more steals the show as Dr. Zin. Tim Matheson - Jonny from the original series - also provides the voice of 4-DAC and Hector Elizondo has a minor role as a native chief.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: For genetically-engineered super-bugs, the cyber insects sure can't aim well. They can't even hit each other properly. The Red Shirt Quest Station scientists are better shots!
- In Memoriam: The film is dedicated to Doug Wildey, who died the year before it was released.
- Jerkass: Jonny, surprisingly. He's actually quite mean here. He learns to be less confrontational as the movie progresses, though.
- Jonny Quest
- Kill It with Ice: Freezing the Assassinoids is the one way to stop them cold. Also the fate of 427.
- Literally Shattered Lives: What happens to 427 after he gets frozen.
- Made for TV Movie
- Magical Native American: Chief Atacama.
- Meaningful Name: Dr. Belage's first name is Eve, and her project to clone extinct wildlife is called E.D.E.N.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Russian ambassador looks an awful lot like Mikhail Gorbachev.
- Non-Indicative Name: There's not much that's "cyber" about the "cyber insects," except for maybe the Formicoids' arm-guns. And the Assassinoids are purely organic.
- Nuke'Em: This is one of the only other ways to kill an Assassinoid. Since they're on the asteroid with said Assassinoids at the time, though, they don't do it.
- Outrun the Fireball
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Your number is up."
- Post Mortem One Liner: "Your argument leaves me cold."
- Remember the New Guy?: Benton's old colleague Dr. Eve Belage is implied to have known him ever since childhood, but she wasn't mention in the previous film or the series.
- Rite of Passage: Jonny fails one at the beginning of the movie.
- Robot Buddy: 4-DAC. He is actually pretty smart and capable (and has some fun lines), but a bit of a liability given how easily he can be reprogrammed.
- Sequel Hook: Dr. Belage with the last Assassinoid fragment (shades of The Blob). And also Zin's escape ship drifting out in space.
- Shut UP, Hannibal: 4-DAC calls a lot of Zin's more inane villainous shenanigans out as being illogical and dangerous. While ostensibly under his control, no less.
- Space Base: The asteroid fortress.
- Spock Speak: 4-DAC:
4-DAC: [trying to capture two Platinoids] Elevate your appendages, immediately!
4-DAC: [running away] Turbo-ambulators, don't fail me now!
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Jonny and Race kill most of the bug army by opening the door of the asteroid hangar, sucking them all into space.
- Weather Control Machine: The stealth satellite, which uses reflected light from the sun to melt the polar ice caps and sent Earth's climate haywire.
- Yellow Peril: Dr. Zin, as usual.
- You Are Number Six: Zin's henchmen all have numbers instead of names - 425, 426 and 427.
- You Have Failed Me: Played with. Zin kills 425 and 427 for failing him, but it wasn't actually their fault.