Before the world discovered Indiana, Indiana discovered the world in The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. And starting May 31st, new audiences around the world will discover the adventure when the television series debuts on Disney+ with the first four Indiana Jones films. (The prequel show originally aired as The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles in 1992 and 1993, but in 1999, series creator George Lucas re-edited the episodes into 22 feature-length chapters.) When Adventures lands on Disney+, it will be the first time since the 2008 DVD release that Young Indiana Jones is officially available from Lucasfilm.
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones chronicles the exploits of Indiana Jones as a young man, from world travels as a child (Corey Carrier) to teenage (Sean Patrick Flanery) adventures in the First World War and beyond. Each entry in the globe-trotting epic brings Indy to exciting locales and encounters with celebrated figures of history as varied as Theodore Roosevelt (Major League‘s James Gammon) to Leo Tolstoy (Batman‘s Michael Gough). George Hall book-ended episodes as the 93-year-old Indy, while franchise star Harrison Ford reprised his role as the middle-aged adventurer in the two-hour “Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues.”
Along with appearances by historical figures, the series featured an expansive cast of guest stars that included Max Von Sydow (as Sigmund Freud), Catherine Zeta-Jones (as Maya), Daniel Craig (as Schiller), and Christopher Lee (as Count Ottokar Graf Czerin).
“The films are like a fictionalization of a real person, but in the series, we’re doing the ‘real’ person,” series producer Rick McCallum, who would later reunite with Lucas on his Star Wars prequel trilogy, said in the 1992 book The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: On the Set and Behind the Scenes. “The films are completely action-oriented. They have a very, very small and minor plot — something happens and Indy has to do incredible things to save the world. What can we do for the next hour and a half to move this thing at lightning speed?”
He continued: “Chronicles is totally about character development. There is some action, but mostly it’s about a boy who learns about life, which is unusual for global television. Everything he learns about — from his relationship to food, women, ethics, morality, to the way he interrelates with people — he learns from the rest of the world, not America.”
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones is streaming May 31st on Disney+ alongside 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. See fan reactions to the news below and sign up for Disney+ here.