I don’t remember actually liking The Jetsons tv show growing up. It was always sort of an enigma to me; never as memorable as Yogi Bear or the Flintstones. I remembered it being on the air, but I always figured they were reruns of a show that was made in the 60s. Turns out I was half right. It was a show made in the 60s, where it only ran from 1963-1964. It actually had a longer run in the 80s, where a revamped show ran from 1985-1987. So I was watching reruns in the late 80s/early 90s, but it was probably of the latter incarnation.
I was only 5 when the movie came out, and I don’t think we ever owned it. Honestly? It was probably one of those movies that was on all the time on TV in between all the other Hana-Barbera cartoons. Back then all I remember about it was that it was like the TV show, and it had these cute little bear things in it. That’s why when I saw it at target for $5.00, I figured I had to get it. If not for me, then for any future children I may someday have (I use that reasoning a lot to rationalize my love of kid movies…).
Upon watching it again I have to say, it’s… ok. Not great, not good even, but not harmful. It doesn’t teach any bad lessons. In fact, it doesn’t really teach any lessons, except maybe a small environmental thing in there. But they don’t even dig into that. To a kid, it’s probably fun. As an adult… not so much. In fact, it’s kinda boring, especially in the middle, and sadly, near the end. There’s not much build up.
The beginning starts off with the theme song, which I’m sure everyone knows. If there was one thing to warn me about what was coming up, it would be the fact that Tiffany is playing Judy Jetson. Maybe you don’t know about Tiffany. She was a singer in the late 80s that made her fortune playing in malls (it’s also who Robin Sparkles from How I Met Your Mother is based off of – you know… “Lets go to the mall!”). Yeah, apparently she didn’t have a last name? Because “Tiffany” is what she’s billed as. She is a sign of things to come: this is a VERY 80s style movie, for better and for worse (mostly worse).
I guess I shouldn’t be upset about that because the show was revamped and had a longer run in the 80s, but I feel like it went way too overboard. It’s like these two time periods mashed up in this odd way. The buildings, hovercrafts, and technology is from the 60s (or how the 60s thought the future would be like). Meanwhile, the clothes, songs, and some of the newer characters (I’m looking at you Apollo Blue) are 100% from the 80s. It’s just… weird. And for the record: If the future were like it is depicted with people walking on moving walkways all the time, everyone in the movie would be about 10x fatter. Just sayin’.
The story is harmless and easy enough for a child to follow. George gets a “promotion” to run Spacely’s sprocket factory on an asteroid, but the factory keeps getting sabotaged. Most of the story is the family adjusting to the new living arrangements and investigating who is sabotaging the factory and why. Turns out its these cute little bear-things (the Grungees) who are upset because they live in the asteroid and the drill is ruining their homes. Of course in the end all is saved, because it’s a kids movie. It’s scary to think that what I picked out of this movie as a kid are the bear-things, when in truth they’re only in the last 15 minutes or so.
There’s one more thing I want to say about this movie, and it’s strictly because it had me laughing and going “what??” the entire time. I’ve already mentioned how “Tiffany” is Judy Jetson. Her story line is RIDICULOUS. If I was like this as a teenager I would have wanted my parents to shoot me. She’s upset at the family moving (which makes sense) because she’s going to miss her date with super-hot musician/star Cosmic Cosmo. Once on the asteroid, she spends the next 30 minutes of the movie being upset at HIM because he moved on and obviously found another girl. She calls him her boyfriend when she meets another guy, and blames Cosmo for…. Something…?? Saying she’s never going to trust another man again. Yeah… tell me how that makes sense?
All in all, Jetsons: the movie is a harmless romp. If you have kids they’ll probably enjoy it at least once. It does move a bit slow, and there really is no major build up in the end. The characters are sort of one-dimensional, and I understand why they added some new characters, but others seriously seem completely unwarranted. The animation is typical early 90s, complete with some seriously dated CGI. You can tell they wanted to show off, and honestly for the time it doesn’t look that bad.
I give Jetsons: the movie 2.5 stars out of 5.
Up next: Charlotte’s Web (1972)