When Tiffany was Judy Jetson
The pop singer replaced Janet Waldo in Jetsons: The Movie.
In 1990, Universal Pictures released the Hanna-Barbera-produced Jetsons: The Movie. The film was a commercial failure, opening fourth at the box office behind Die Hard 2, Days of Thunder, and Dick Tracy. The feature-length animated adaptation was also a critical disappointment, failing to remind many viewers of what they loved about the original program. The story was unimaginative and was clearly the result of a committee rather than a strong, singular voice. The whole thing stunk of studio interference.
One famous example of tinkering from the powers-that-be was the decision to cast pop singer Tiffany as Judy Jetson. This is despite the fact that Janet Waldo, Judy's original voice, had already recorded all the character's lines. The decision proved to be very controversial, as fans of the original series voiced their displeasure at the replacement. Waldo, too, was publicly critical of the casting and spoke at lengths about how badly her feelings were hurt.
Caught in the crosshairs of controversy was Tiffany, then a 19-year-old pop idol. Executives were hoping her popularity with younger audiences might attract that demographic to their movie. Tiffany was specifically cast because the studio planned a few musical numbers for the elder Jetson child, and Tiffany had the perfect voice and pop appeal to make the scenes more memorable (or so they hoped).
Despite all the commotion her casting would later cause, Tiffany, for her part, was just doing a job, like any other. It's unfortunate that her presence drew the ire of so many, as it wasn't even her decision to oust Waldo. She just did as she was asked, and in interviews, comes across as a young person trying her best to do a great job.
"I didn't know if I should try to imitate how I thought Judy always sounded or if I should make it 'Tiffany does Judy,'" the singer told Gannett News Service. "They decided they wanted her to sound a little older, and now she has a more breathy voice."
"It was nice having patient people working with me," she said. "It was hard doing the lines with the right expressions, but slowly but surely they brought it out of me."
Tiffany anticipated that the movie would bring both parents and kids to her music. However, she did not volunteer to put any of Judy's three musical numbers on her then-upcoming album.