Jetsons: The Movie
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Jetsons: The Movie is a 1990 American animated musical comic science fiction film produced by Hanna-Barbera and released by Universal Pictures on July 6, 1990, and based on the television series The Jetsons. The film stars George O'Hanlon, Penny Singleton, Don Messick and Mel Blanc, all veterans of the television show. It grossed $20.3 million during its theatrical run.
|Jetsons: The Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Written by||Dennis Marks|
|Based on||The Jetsons|
|Music by||John Debney|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$20.3 million|
O'Hanlon and Blanc died during production of the film, which was dedicated to both their memories. It was the last official Jetsons production until 2017's The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!.
In the late 21st century, Spacely Sprockets and Spindles has opened a new mining colony on an asteroid. The proposed project is meant to increase productivity at 1/10 the cost of making the items on Earth. However, the factory continues to be sabotaged by someone or something. As Cosmo Spacely checks up on the "Orbiting-Ore Asteroid" again, he learns from the plant engineer, Rudy-2, that the latest head of the factory, Alexander Throttlebottom, has run off, making four vice presidents of the new plant that Spacely has lost so far. Fearing for his company (and profits), Spacely names George Jetson (voiced by O'Hanlon and Bergman) as Throttlebottom's successor and sends George and his family to the plant. While the family is thoroughly upset at being thrown from their normal lifestyle (and the plans that they had coming up that week), 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.
Rudy-2 shows George around the plant as they prepare for the grand re-opening of the plant. Meanwhile, Judy Jetson is having a hard time adjusting, and accepting the fact that she lost her chance at a date with rock star Cosmic Cosmo (which a friend of hers later takes), but soon feels better after meeting a teenaged boy named Apollo Blue. Elroy Jetson meets Rudy-2's son, Teddy-2 with whom he first is at odds, but eventually befriends. George soon figures that he is 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 one millionth Spacely sprocket. However, the opening-day festivities give way to panic as the factory is sabotaged once again. Over the next several days, George and Rudy-2 try to fix things, but the problems persist to the point that, fed up with the problems and thinking George is responsible, Mr. Spacely heads on up to check on things personally. Thinking he has to take charge, George stays overnight hoping to catch the saboteurs in the act, only to fall asleep and be taken off by the mysterious creatures. Elroy, Teddy-2, and their neighbor Fergie Furbelow sneak into the plant and meet Squeep, a member of a furry alien race known as Grungees.
Squeep tells them (with Teddy-2 translating) that the factory is actually drilling into his people's community, which is based inside the asteroid. Soon, Jane, Judy, Apollo, Rudy-2, and Astro show up and realize what is happening as well. George is found hog-tied in the Grungees' colony, and although he soon realizes just what the factory is doing, Spacely does not. Seeing his factory at a stand-still, he starts it up (despite that it is the night and after disconnecting Rudy-2, who tries to stop him), nearly burying Elroy and Squeep 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 is doing. After some talk, when George finally stands up to his boss, telling him that all he cares about is money, 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 Grungees' homes inside the asteroid).
Spacely Sprockets reaches the millionth sprocket at long last, and when George asks about being vice president, Spacely retorts, stating, "he's lucky that he'll be getting his old job back". Only when pressured by everyone else does he reluctantly promote him to vice president (without a raise). However, George knows that with the Grungees now running the plant, he is no longer needed as head of the asteroid. With heavy hearts, the Jetsons then bid their new friends goodbye, including Fergie, who attempted to stow away aboard the Jetsons' car. They then return home to Earth. As the family passes over the factory, the Grungees arrange themselves to form the words: "THANKS GEORGE", as a friendly goodbye to him for saving their home.
- George O'Hanlon as George Jetson
- Mel Blanc as Mr. Cosmo Spacely
- Jeff Bergman as George Jetson, Mr. Cosmo Spacely, Basketball Coach
- Penny Singleton as Jane Jetson
- Tiffany as Judy Jetson
- Patric Zimmerman as Elroy Jetson
- Don Messick as Astro the Space Mutt
- Jean Vander Pyl as Rosie the Robot
- Ronnie Schell as Rudy-2
- Patti Deutsch as Lucy-2
- Dana Hill as Teddy-2
- Paul Kreppel as Apollo Blue
- Russi Taylor as Fergie Furbelow
- Brad Garrett (in his film debut) as Bertie Furbelow
- B.J. Ward as Gertie Furbelow
- Steve McClintock as Cosmic Cosmo
- Rick Dees as Rocket Rick Ragnarok
- Frank Welker as Squeep / Grungees
- Janet Waldo as Robot secretary
- Susan Silo as Gertrude
- Jim Ward as Mac
- Brian Cummings as Movie Announcer
- Michael Bell, Jeff Bergman and Rob Paulsen as Board members
- Michael Bell and Frank Welker as basketball coaches.
A problem that arose during production of the movie was the advanced age and poor health of many of the voice actors from the series; all of the major cast members except Don Messick (himself in his early 60s) were over 65 years old by this point. Daws Butler, the voice of Elroy, was the first to die; Butler did not live long enough to record any lines for the film due to dying of a sudden heart attack on May 18, 1988. To replace Butler, voice coordinator Kris Zimmerman brought in her then-husband Patric, then a relative unknown, to fill the role of Elroy. George O'Hanlon died of a stroke on February 11, 1989 after he finished recording; Romano later recalled that he could record only an hour at a time due to ill health and had his final stroke while at the studio. Mel Blanc also died during production of the film on July 10, 1989, voice actor Jeff Bergman would later step in and fill in for both O'Hanlon and Blanc as George Jetson and Mr. Cosmo Spacely to complete their dialogue in the film.
Janet Waldo, the original voice of Judy Jetson, recorded the role for the film but her voice was later replaced by singer Tiffany (though Waldo still provided the voice of a robot secretary). Studio executives hoped that Tiffany's involvement would result in a stronger box office performance. Displeased with the casting change, voice director Andrea Romano had her name removed from the finished film. Tiffany said her singing voice was what initially drew the attention of Barbera. 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. Tiffany did not write any of the songs, but she cited "I Always Thought I’d See You Again" as one of her favorites to sing.
Home media releasesEdit
The film was first released on VHS, Betamax, and Laserdisc on October 25, 1990. On April 28, 2009, it was released on DVD - in the United States and re-released to DVD (in new packaging art) on September 8, 2015 and was aired in its original aspect ratio on Universal HD on February 2, 2007. The film is also available via digital download on the Sony Entertainment Network and the iTunes Store. A Region B Blu-ray was released on June 6, 2016 in the United Kingdom.
Jetsons: The Movie received a 27% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 15 reviews; the average rating is 4.4/10. It also earned a 46 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 17 reviews indicating "mixed or average reviews" .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. The movie is also noted for its early use of CGI including inked-and-painted; the technique had already been used in Disney's The Black Cauldron (1985), The Great Mouse Detective (1986), Oliver & Company (1988) and The Little Mermaid (1989), as well as some of Hanna-Barbera's own 1980s television productions. 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. Siskel & Ebert gave this film two thumbs down, citing both the story and the animation as having "no imagination whatsoever". Ebert later named the film as one of the ten worst films of 1990.
The film opened at #4, behind Die Hard 2, Days of Thunder and Dick Tracy, with a weekend gross of $5 million, for an average of $3,220 from 1,562 theaters. The film then lost 43% of its audience in its second weekend, falling to #10 with a second weekend gross of $2.9 million, averaging $1,820 from 1,566 theaters, and bringing its ten-day gross to $10.9 million. It ended up grossing just $20.3 million in the United States.
During the summer of the film's release, 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 film poster. Wendy's restaurants had a Jetsons kids' meal tie-in. When clips were shown on television, 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 movie or at his restaurant promoting the film. A tie-in simulator ride titled "The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera" opened at Universal Studios Florida, one month before the movie's release. In the attraction, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera state that the Jetsons will star in their next project (presuming the film), which angers Dick Dastardly and Muttley and causes them to kidnap Elroy, and Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo Bear must save him by riding through the worlds of The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, and The Jetsons, and Dastardly and Muttley are arrested. Merchandise based on the film and other Hanna-Barbera-related stuff was sold at the ride's gift shop. Also in 1990, Ralston released an apple and cinnamon–flavored Jetsons Cereal.
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- "Jetsons: The Movie (1990)". Box Office Mojo.
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- "Jetsons Cereal". MrBreakfast.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- The rights to the individual characters are presently owned by Warner Bros.