Daws Butler's sons helped him become Elroy Jetson
The actor's four sons were integral in his journey playing the youngest Jetson.
Often, people use their time at home to escape their work lives. But Daws Butler used his time away as an opportunity to gather inspiration for his work.
In an interview with The Wichita Eagle, Butler's four sons — David, Don, Paul, and Charles — are referred to as Butler's "technical consultants" and were an integral part of Butler's artistic journey to become Elroy Jetson in The Jetsons. The four boys apparently regularly offered up ideas about Elroy's portrayal to their father whenever Butler worked at his home studio.
Apparently, this helped Butler achieve a more realistic characterization of a child-like Elroy. He explained, "Part of the unrealism of TV children is that they listen thoughtfully to their elders, and pay attention when an adult is speaking. Actually, children's minds are flitty. If I tell one of our younger ones that I want to speak to him, he usually comes up with something like, 'Wait a minute. I have to get the football.'"
Butler's sons helped him to better understand the mind of a child, and just as any good actor, he learned what motivates a child. Butler reasoned, "Children aren't dishonest, but if there's a chance to weasel out, they will, because what is important to us is not to them."
Of Elroy's characterizations, Butler said, "Typical of Elroy Jetson's sophistication is the fact that when his father tells him to do something he asks, 'Why?' or 'Why do I have to do it your way?'"