‘Watch Out for the Boulder!’ Six ‘Indiana Jones’ Parodies That Will Keep You Running
Despite so-so reviews and memories of Harrison Ford bawling at the Cannes Film Festival, we could be talked into checking out Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny this weekend, provided it can conjure up scenes anywhere near as pulse-pounding as Indy’s escape from a runaway boulder in the original Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The boulder scene is such a classic that it’s been parodied several times over the years, albeit with varying degrees of hilarity. To that end, here are six times that movies and TV shows winked at Indy’s great escape…
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We’ll start with this one since it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it proposition. At around the 2:05 mark in the clip below, we find Boba Fett on the Death Star, closing in on the obnoxious Jar Jar Binks. The assassin has Binks dead to rights, but obstacles keep getting in his way. First, Han Solo chases a few stormtroopers down a hallway; second, a larger group of stormtroopers chases Solo down the same hallway; and finally, Indiana Jones flees a rolling boulder. After Indy runs to safety, the boulder crushes Boba Fett. Call it Harrison Ford’s Revenge.
More an homage than a parody, Woody decides the best way to get rid of new rival Buzz Lightyear is for the spaceman to “accidentally” fall behind the desk. When Buzz leaps out of the way of a Woody-controlled toy car, he sets a chain of events into motion that frees a giant globe. Buzz escapes the rolling orb, only to get knocked out of the bedroom window. Welcome to the neighborhood, pal.
This isn’t the first time Muppet Babies has parodied Indiana Jones, but it is the most recent. Baby Kermit (boy, I hate typing that) steps onto a secret panel that unleashes a booby trap in the form of a shot-by-shot remix of the Raiders of the Lost Ark boulder scene. The difference: Indy didn’t have L’il Animal to knock the rock into oblivion with a cavebaby club.
It won’t surprise you to learn that no one went harder on an Indiana Jones parody than Weird Al Yankovic. In 1989 when his UHF was released in theaters, it was actually a semi-fresh idea to satirize Indiana Jones. Weird Al was all in, recreating the statue steal (this time, it’s an Oscar) then running like hell from a boulder that chases him through caverns, past the Sphinx and across various global landscapes before squashing him flat like Wile E. Coyote on a Tuesday.
Consider this parody an Indiana Jones mash-up, combining the original movie’s hijinks with Young Indy from his failed 1992 television series. Start at the 2:20 mark if you want to skip straight to the boulder spoof, but the other Raiders stuff is pretty fun as well.
When people say the early seasons of The Simpsons are the best, they’re talking about love for sequences like these opening credits from Season Three’s “Bart’s Friend Falls in Love.” It’s an animation/comedy tour de force — and it’s just the opening credits. Nothing to do with the rest of the episode, mind you, just one standalone minute that exemplifies why the classic shows are so beloved. Bonus points for using a rolling Homer as the boulder stand-in.