I love me some Short Round.
The first movie I ever saw in the delightful series concerning everybody’s favorite two-fisted archeologist was Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom. I happen to believe that the greatest Indiana Jones movie of all time is whichever one I happen to be watching (and yes, that most emphatically includes the underrated, misunderstood, nearly perfect Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull), but Temple Of Doom will always be special, largely because Indy’s wee sidekick is such an endearing little asskicker.
Child sidekicks are never a good idea, and pairing a kid sidekick with the shallow, perpetually screaming Willie Scott should by all rights have been a recipe for disaster, but while Marion Ravenwood remains Indy’s greatest love interest, saddling the gruff adventurer with a cowardly, self-serving singer in Temple Of Doom made for a unique dynamic. As for Shorty, young Jonathan Ke Quan’s performance boasts a degree of fun that transcends the limitations of the character.
Last summer, I bought a large lot of loose Indiana Jones figures on eBay… including the elusive Short Round figure.
Also included in the lot was the equally rare Temple Of Doom version of Indy himself, complete with battle-damaged clothes. Alas, I already have an excellent Indiana Jones figure:
I wanted to utilize the unique Temple Indy body sculpt, but there’s no way you can dress someone in Indy’s clothes and pretend he’s anyone but Indiana Jones… unless there happens to be someone who might choose to emulate Indy… someone who regards the good doctor as a hero of sorts. Happily, I happened to have a spare unmasked Rise Of Cobra Storm Shadow head, and so, with a simple head swap, I am able to lazily kitbash Wan Li circa 1956:
I realize that Storm Shadow is Japanese and Short Round is Chinese, but I like to think that the figure can pass for an adult version of Short Round. But then, I like to think that Short Round is more than Just An Accent, so perhaps one would be justified in cheerfully dismissing my opinion.
Illustration By Blain Hefner