Roughly translated as `Fearless John', this is a 100% Belgian production. Based on a wonderful book and turned into a rather well made and imaginative animated film in 1984. Around that time (and long afterwards) this local figure was more popular than international action heroes like Superman or Batman. I clearly remember the days when every kid in the schoolyard wanted to be Jan Zonder Vrees. He's a very strong and charismatic figure who lived in Antwerp, round the 15th Century. Jan Zonder Vrees is some sort of Robin Hood, only he doesn't steal from the rich. He protects the poor physically and he makes sure justice comes to the ones who deserve it. He fears nothing and accepts every challenge, no matter how dangerous and deadly it turns out to be. He's constantly looking for new thrills to live and mysteries to solve. The art and drawing skills in this film are surprisingly professional, seeing it's only is a `small' Belgian production. Yet, it contains a little too much lame sequences in which nothing really happens. But only the adult viewers will notice this through the eyes of the younger audience, all these sequences will look fascinating nevertheless. Jan speaks with the voice of Jan Declair. A famous and legendary Belgian cinema-icon who once turned down international success by declining the role of the villain in a James Bond movie.
Due to the new evolutions and a lot diversion in animated cinema, this premise got forgotten a little. It all looks less impressive nowadays and modern children are already used to seeing more terrific graphics. Nonetheless, I'd like to encourage as much parents as possible to watch this film along with their youngsters. They might still be enchanted by the fable of Jan
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