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George Jetson (George O'Hanlon) is forced to uproot his family when Mr. Spacely (Mel Blanc) promotes him to take charge of a new factory on a distant planet

 Jetsons: The Movie
The Jetsons Movie takes a second tier TV show (behind the upper tier of the always superior Flintstones) and makes it a sadly forgettable  animated movie in a period where animation was in a pretty flat place (beside the anime coming out of Japan obviously, which was arguable in a bit of a renaissance in the late 80s / early 90s).

Disney were struggling to land a genuine classic (unless you count Ducktales The Movie...anyone? Come on, anyone? Just me then) leaving the field open for other animation studios to begin to play. Spielberg had had success with An Amercian Tail, proving this wasn't just Disney's game anymore and with the rise of the TV shows to feature length movie adaptions about to explode into theatres, the stars aligned for The Jetsons and the family from the future (or y'know, more The Flintstones but set in the future) had a shot at the big time.

 Jetsons: The Movie
Unfortunately for George Jetson and his family, their movie outing isn't really a big enough of a shot and feels more akin to a straight to video feature length episode as opposed to a theatrical adventure that might widen the playing field a bit more. The film isn't terrible, in fact Hannah and Barbera, who directed this feature keep it relatively true to the tone of the original show,  it just plays it a little too safe for its own good, only taking chances with adding pop songs to spread the running time. The rest of the time it's just the usual small scale Jetsons stuff with no real drive to it or sense of grandness that a feature length production sort of demands, especially for a show well past its original air date and out to find a next generation of audience.

 Jetsons: The Movie

Video


The opening credits aside, which look all sorts of grubby, flat and dated, this hand drawn (with CGI assistance) animated film looks relatively okay. It's not exactly the cleanest of images and there's a strangely high level of grain for a relatively modern production but colours generally pop, with reds and blues really leaping off of the screen.

The dancing grain comes with a distinct flicker to the image at times, I noticed it in corners more than within the core animation but it also highlighted a fair bit of dirt within the cell animation as well.

The computer generated elements of the film provide an unevenly odd style to the film. It's usually for larger structures, detailed technology or dramatic lighting and it's thankfully minimally used (beside an entirely ill fitting music video for the big Tiffany song in the middle of the film which is so stylistically different to the rest of the film it's baffling) but it makes the film feel dated in a whole other way to its already retro style celebrating the original TV show, especially how flat and drab it looks compared to modern CGI productions.

 Jetsons: The Movie

Audio


The sound design here is quite basic with clean dialogue and a background incidental score to make the largely dull plot about corporate corruption a little more lively.

There's a nice bit of strength to the score at times and it widens the overall audio experience but the entire track feels distinctly central and small most of the time and not at all dynamic beyond the odd squeal or squeak from the wacky future tech on show that pops up from time to time.

The electronic and 90s pop cheese that is the film's soundtrack (there are three Tiffany songs on here, THREE!) breaks the Jetsons nostalgia and drops us square in the thick of the early 90s. These songs go for on on nauseas and that comes with that cliché of including pop songs that sort of reflect the story but usually rely more heavily on a catchy single line in the chorus and the rest of the song is flat and uninteresting. Persona preferences aside, all of the tracks are clean and crisp and usually hold most of the track's focus when they play with very little to fault outside the cheesy style of the songs.

 Jetsons: The Movie

Extras


In the late 21st Century extra features are made extinct, they began to die out in the early 2000s when most studios concluded, "why bother, less than half the audience bothers watching then anyway". So, yeah, The Jetsons Movie comes with no extra features.

 Jetsons: The Movie

Overall


So all these years later (the film was released in 1990), I still came away feeling the wasted opportunity this film delivers but taking my enjoyment of the original show out of the mix my new to Jetsons three year old sat in front of it from start to finish enjoying every time Judy cried about a teen problem, or George got into whatever hijinks the world of the future threw at him, so the film's target audience certainly seems happy with it still. The Jetsons Movie still ends up charmingly nostalgic fluff. The characters are there, the silly future tech is as silly as ever and the through line message of being a good father for your family remains strong.

Disc wise, the picture quality is bright and colourful but extremely dated and grainy. The audio track is basic but does its job well enough but the total lack of extras is the biggest disappointment. Not even one Tiffany music video?? Cosmic disappointment.

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the true quality of the source.


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