Jetsons: The Movie couldn't live up to the original

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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!

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12 Comments

MaryMorgan 6 months ago
One last thought. Regarding movies made from the programmes we enjoyed, that reminds me of the two movie reboots of
The Brady Bunch. I didn't see them until it aired on Cable, but both films I didn't get through ten minutes of it. Both were gosh awful.
MaryMorgan 6 months ago
The Flinstones, and the Jetsons were two of my many favourite cartoons growing up, and many decades later still are. There's something though I feel was an inconsistency with the Flintstones.(actually didn't pay any mind to it when I was younger. In 2[and I think it was that number.] episodes Wilma's surname before she married Fred was Pebble. Then later on, her Maiden Name was mentioned as Slaghoople, so it has me wondering which one is it really?
Spaceseed 6 months ago
Jetsons and Flintstones movies (also Popeye) were awful. The actors were as bad as the scripts.
top_cat_james_1 7 months ago
The heavy-handed "environmental" theme of the film sure didn't help.
Snickers 7 months ago
Wow! The Jetsons movie came out 33 years ago? I remember taking my niece to se that movie.
Runeshaper 7 months ago
I don't remember if I knew there even was a movie! lol
justjeff 7 months ago
There was a time when remaking a film was to improve it, not simply to capitalize on a reboot.

Take for instance "The Maltese Falcon". The original iteration failed miserably, and it's remake "Satan Was a Lady" didn't fare much better. On the third attempt (the 1941 release), Warner Brothers struck gold with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Elisha Cook, Jr., Ward Bond, Barton MacLaine, John Hamilton, William Hopper and a ton of strong supporting actors.

On the other hand, when studios do a "remake" for a new generation's money such as Steve Martin in "The Pink Panther" (yawn) or Steve Martin or Adam Sandler (ugh!) in "Father of the Bride", you lack the wit, charm and talent of a Peter Sellers in one and the charisma of a Spencer Tracy and the elegance of an Elizabeth Taylor in the other...

Now remember, this is just my own point of view, but I find less that 1% of the current crop of Hollywood actors as being really talented (or even likable). To me, most of them are just "flavors of the week" and are there more for their eye-candy appeal than acting ability. Add to this the horribly "updated" story lines with worn-out jokes, unnecessary violence or meandering plots... and in my world, most of those remakes are better flushed away than seen...

I decided to watch the Three Stooges movie - and the scenes with the sexy nun in a bikini or the babies used for "pee guns" were so far removed from a Three Stooges comedy as to be incredulous... or having Larry suffer a lobster pinch to his groin... all part of the dumbed-down, sophomoric approach to what they refer to as comedy nowadays.

I stopped going to the movies years ago when comedies grew stupider, and dramas became 98% special effects and 2% plot. I prefer watching films from the 30s through the 50s... they had plot, meaning and actors who could *really* act.

I know there are exceptions to my comments like "LIfe is Beautiful", "'Round Midnight", "The Red Violin", "The King's Speech", etc. - but they are in the minority when compared to the junk being turned out today... so for me and reboots... "Meh!"

However... should you happen to disagree with my take on this... please feel free to continue watching that kind of film fare. As long as *you* enjoy it, and if it makes *you* happy, then it's all good...
Snickers justjeff 7 months ago
Couldn't agree more about the junk coming out of Hollywood right now. And how about " The Little Rascals" reboot?
KawiVulc justjeff 7 months ago
So many great stories out there to tell but it's easy for them to take someone else's work and play around with it. The Stooges movie... well, the only time I remember laughing was when the lion got wacked in the sack...
Spaceseed justjeff 6 months ago
I agree. Slap stick and crudeness are not the same.
daDoctah 7 months ago
For me the worst example of trying to remake a classic and failing miserably is the 2000 "Shaft". As much as I adore Samuel L Jackson in just about everything he does, this reboot should never have happened. John Shaft belongs to 1970s and updating to any other era is as egregious as bringing Sherlock Holmes out of Victorian London and into 1940s Washington to have him take on the Nazis.

(Which the studio *also* did.)
Spaceseed daDoctah 6 months ago
Putting the shoe on the other Hollywood foot, Shaft should have been played by Arnold Swartzeneger.
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