Jetsons: The Movie couldn't live up to the original
Don't fuss with the classics!
Occasionally, a piece of classic media is so beloved that any attempt to revisit it is met with anger and failure. For example, despite Gus Van Sant's best efforts, the viewing public decided Psycho was too good for a mere remake. In the land of TV, Samantha and Darren delighted generations in Bewitched, but Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman were unable to recapture the (ahem) magic with 2005's Bewitched movie.
Luckily, though, some properties are so well-loved that not even a lousy reiteration can tarnish their merits. This is the case with The Jetsons and the 1990 movie it inspired. When it comes to the space age, the old stuff is better.
"America's favorite family delivers few surprises in their first feature-length film." Thus began the Tampa Tribune's review of Jetsons: The Movie. The Floridian film critics weren't alone; today, the movie sits at a dismal 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. While that review aggregator isn't the end-all in cinematic opinions, the collected writing about Jetsons: The Movie provides insight into some of the film's failings.
In his review for The Washington Post, critic Hal Hinson wrote of the movie's "bland, one-dimensional animation style," a sentiment echoed by many of his peers.
A through-line in all the reviews points toward Jetsons: The Movie's biggest failure: It was unable to justify its own existence. Rather than elevate and expand what we already know about the family of the future, the animated feature "plays like a 75-minute version of its familiar sitcom source," said Tampa Tribune writer Bob Ross. While fans of the original might leap at the equivalent of three episodes back-to-back with no commercial break, the story at its center just didn't captivate.
"You can't fault Jetsons: The Movie for being what it is—a big-screen replica of a beloved old TV show," Ross wrote. "But neither can you get excited about a routinely animated, badly scripted long version of such a familiar product."
What are your memories of Jetsons: The Movie? Did it meet your expectations? Or did its one-time future slip away into the recesses of your past? Let us know in the comments section below!