A futuristic 1956 industrial cartoon is incredibly similar to one Jetsons episode

The short even featured the voice of George Jetson himself, George O’Hanlon!

In The Jetsons episode "The Space Car," George and Judy decide to get a new flying vehicle. They head to Molecular Motors and are swept up in an elaborate sales pitch complete with a short video presentation on the "million-millimeter color blabascope." It shows the new ways cars can fold down into the size of a makeup compact and zap away other vehicles to make space to park. It even features a red car with a "mother-in-law seat" extended out from the back. The gag is reminiscent of one used in a 1951 Tex Avery MGM cartoon called "Car of Tomorrow," seen on the right in the picture below.

But "Car of Tomorrow" isn’t the only Fifties animated short with similarities to The Jetsons — and "The Space Car" in particular. The Automobile Manufacturers Association, an alliance of America's biggest car makers, produced an informational cartoon in 1956 called "Your Safety First." It was about a man looking to buy a new car and was set in the far-off future year of… 2000!

The short contains many traits familiar to Jetsons fans, like wall-mounted computers that spit out information and jokes about comically short workdays. There's also a much more concrete connection between the two. The man, a husband and father to a boy and a girl, is voiced by George O'Hanlon, who would voice George Jetson six years later!

Though the cars in "Your Safety First" don’t fly, they can hop over other vehicles instead of passing to the side. The dinner table transforms into a large flat-screen TV and shows a 3D presentation all about the history of the automobile and the safety features put in place between the turn of the century and the 1950s. It was a clever way for the Automobile Manufacturers Association to toot their own horn, so to speak.

Not only did George O'Hanlon voice two futuristic family men, but both cartoons also featured similar gags and, at least in the Jetsons episode "The Space Car," giant video screens playing instructional vehicular videos. 

Watch The Jetsons on MeTV!

Sundays at 11:30 AM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


GregLemieux 39 months ago
Does anyone know how do you submit a fan-based quiz? I e-mailed one for THE TIME TUNNEL to ME-TV and never heard back. I asked on their Facebook page, and some wise guy told me they don't take fan-based quizzes. I'd print it out and mail it to them if I could find an address. Thank you for any help.
Did you check to see if they already have a similar Time Tunnel quiz?
Andybandit 39 months ago
Interesting story. I never seen those shorts in 1956.
LittleMissNoName 39 months ago
When I have time, will probably head over to YouTube to see if I can find the animated short. Speaking of classic Sci-Fi animation, you should add a Fleischer Superman cartoon to the Saturday morning Popeye and Friends block.
That's just what I was thinking of doing! I used to love watching those futuristic cartoons.
Barry22 LittleMissNoName 39 months ago
Those Fleischer Superman cartoons from the 40s were really good.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?