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Jetsons: The Movie

Jetsons: The Movie is a 1990 animated feature film produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and released to theaters by Universal Pictures on the 6th of July 1990. Based upon Hanna-Barbera's popular 1960s/1980s cartoon series, The Jetsons, the film centers around George Jetson becoming vice president of Spacely Sprockets, and moving with his family to oversee work at Spacely's Orbiting Ore Asteroid. Although the film's credits state that the film was produced and directed by Jetsons creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the film was actually directed by Iwao Takamoto, and features the final film roles for both George O'Hanlon (the voice of George Jetson) and Mel Blanc (the voice of Mr. Spacely).

Plot

The basic storyline in this film is rather similar to the Star Trek episode "The Devil in the Dark," where Kirk and company discover that miners have been inadvertently killing the eggs of an alien creature. The episode ends with the miners and creature reaching an agreement to work together in a way that will make the mine more productive.

In the late 21st Century, Spacely Sprockets and Spindles has opened a new mining colony on an asteroid. The proposed project is meant to produce product at 1/10 the cost of making the items on Earth. However, the factory continues to be plagued with problems, and as Mr. Cosmo Spacely checks up on the 'Orbiting-Ore Asteroid' again, the latest head of the factory, Mr. Alexander Throttlebottom, has left his post, making it 4 managers of the new plant that Spacely's lost so far.

Fearing for his company (and profits), Mr. Spacely names George Jetson as Throttlebottom's successor and sends George and his family to the factory. While the family is thoroughly upset from having to have been thrown from their normal life style (and the plans that they had that day), they set up apartments on the adjoining apartment community to the Asteroid and its neighboring shopping complex. While it takes the family time to adjust, Elroy befriends a robot boy named Teddy-2, whose father, Rudy-2, shows George around the plant. Judy Jetson, meanwhile, is having a hard time adjusting, and accepting the fact that she lost her chance at a date with a rock star, but soon feels better meeting a teenage boy named Apollo Blue.

George soon figures he's ready to set the plant running again, and Mr. Spacely is all set to see the plant working full-throttle, and soon to churn out the 1,000,000th Spacely Sprocket. However, the opening day festivities give way to panic as the factory soon malfunctions once again. Over the next several days, George and Rudy-2 try to fix things, but the problems persist, to the point that Mr. Spacely heads on up to check on things.

Thinking he has to take charge, George stays overnight, only to be taken off by a furry alien race known as the Grungees. Elroy and Teddy-2 sneak into the factory, and meet a little Grungee named Squeak, who tells them that the factory is actually drilling into their community, which is based inside the asteroid. Soon, Judy, Apollo Blue, and Jane show up, and realize what is happening as well. George is found in the Grungee's colony, and soon realizes just what the factory is doing.

But Mr. Spacely doesn't. Seeing his factory at a stand-still, he starts it up, nearly burying Elroy and Squeak alive under rubble, and prompting everyone in the asteroid to get top-side, where George manages to shut-down the factory, and show his boss exactly what he's doing. After some talk, they come to an agreement: The Grungees will run the plant, and create new Spacely Sprockets through recycling old ones (thus stopping the further destruction of the Grungee's homeworld). Soon after, Spacely Sprockets reaches the 1,000,000th sprocket, and Mr. Spacely figures that George is no longer needed at the Asteroid.

And so, the Jetsons bid their new friends a tearful goodbye, and head back to their apartment on Earth. The Grungees arrange themselves on the outside of the asteroid to say "THANK YOU GEORGE" as a final grateful goodbye to George for saving their home.

Cast

Overview

Reception

Jetsons: The Movie received mostly negative reviews from critics. The film is often both criticized and praised for its messages about protecting the environment, and observing ethical practices when doing business in developing countries. Jetsons: The Movie is also noted for its early use of CGI; the technique had already been used in Disney's The Great Mouse Detective (1986). The animation artwork follows the lead of the series in its art direction and character designs, although additional flourishes such as full animation and form shadows on the characters were added for the film.

Voice actors

The film features roughly the same voice cast as the cartoon series except for Judy Jetson and Elroy. Daws Butler, the original voice of Elroy, had died in 1988. The voice was provided by Patric Zimmerman. Janet Waldo, the original voice of Judy Jetson, recorded the part for this film but her voice was later replaced by then-pop starlet Tiffany. Studio executives hoped that Tiffany would attract a younger audience. The main cast was reportedly very upset with the removal of Waldo as well as her fans. Waldo continued to voice the part in subsequent Jetsons productions. George O'Hanlon, the voice of George Jetson, and Mel Blanc, the voice of Mr. Spacely, died during production of the film, so Jeff Bergman filled in for both characters in some of scenes. The film was dedicated to the memory of both O'Hanlon and Blanc.

Tiffany sang three songs used in the film ("I Always Thought I'd See You Again", "You and Me", and "Home"), which are on the soundtrack album along with "Jetsons' Rap" by XXL and tracks by other artists.

Release

Jetsons: The Movie was originally slated for a 1989 release, but to avoid competition with Disney's The Little Mermaid, United Artists' All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Universal's own Back to the Future Part II, it was delayed and Universal released The Wizard in its place.

The film was finally released to theaters on July 6, 1990, and was not a box office success. It performed better on home video, and was routinely broadcast on television. Jetsons: The Movie has not been issued on DVD in North America, although it aired in widescreen HD (the first time the film was presented in its original aspect ratio for home audiences) on Universal HD on February 2, 2007. The film has been released on DVD in Region 4 and Region 2

Cartoon Network shows this film irregularly, even though the original series is no longer broadcast on the network. The series can instead be found on its sister channel, Boomerang.

Marketing tie-ins

The summer the film was released, Kool-Aid had a tie-in where Kool-Aid points could be redeemed for a red Jetsons car featuring the cast. However, the promotion was not carried by some theaters, and instead of a red Jetsons car, the points were redeemed for a miniature movie-poster.

Wendy's restaurant chain had a Jetsons kids' meal tie-in. When clips from the film were shown on TV, scenes with George had re-dubbed lines from an unnamed voice actor. The commercials showed Wendy's founder Dave Thomas either in a theater watching the film, or at his restaurant promoting the film.

In 1991 in video game a Jetsons video game was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that involved elements of both the television show and film

A tie-in simulator ride titled The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera opened with Universal Studios Florida shortly prior to the films release. In it, Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna state that Elroy Jetson will star in their next project (presuming the film), which angers Dick Dastardly and Muttley and causes them to kidnap Elroy, and Yogi Bear must save him. Merchandise based on the film was sold at the ride's gift shop.

See also

External links

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