The Jetsons: The Movie Review

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Given the current popularity of both animation and TV/big screen crossover (in both directions), plus the fact that this show, which originated in the early '60s as a "space age flip side to The Flintstones", is enjoying its most popular TV run ever, The Jetsons: The Movie appears sound business sense. But what seems like a good idea on paper doesn't necessarily work on a cinema screen, and this film is a clear illustration of this point. Hanna-Barbera may make some of TV's most entertaining cartoons - Yogi, The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound and Scooby-Doo among them - but here seem to cop out and abandon the essential stupidity (throwaway jokes, violence and an accepted level of pointlessness) that makes those characters succeed, in favour of a twee morality: George Jetson's new job involves running an asteroid mining operation, which is destroying the homes of the unbearably cute creatures that live within. They are sabotaging the machinery, but the Jetson kids - with the aid of faithful mutt Astro - save the day by bringing both sides together whereby they strike an environmentally-friendy, non-exploitative, but still healthily profitable bargain. By concentrating on this hammered home message and real-life-type events, it ends up structured like a regular feature film, removing the essential dumbness necessary to a cartoon and wasting the opportunities for doing anything you like that the medium affords. Lovesick teenage mall-rat Judy Jetson, spoken and sung by teen pop star Tiffany (presumably to attract a wider audience than the TV series' very young fans), is a good example of where the project's emphasis has gone astray. She behaves far too much like a real person and not nearly enough like a cartoon. The result is, it's not nearly exciting enough and at an hour and twenty minutes is overlong for animation fans, yet by virtue of the fact it's a cartoon, it presents itself as too childish for older live action devotees.