Review: ‘The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones’
On the one hand, you have to wonder what took so long for Hanna-Barbera to get around to having their two most famous franchises meet. On the other, maybe they should have waited for inspiration. Today, Warner Archive is releasing The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones and the 96 minutes went by at a glacial pace.
This 1987 television production features just about every significant character from both shows with the possible exception of the Great Gazoo. The simple premise has Elroy building a time machine for a class project and the hilarity begins when the entire Jetson family is accidentally transported to the past.
By the time the story ends, both families have had a chance to experience how the other half lives with parallel issues of both bread-winners having their jobs on the line. In the future, Spacely Sprockets has been on a losing streak with Mr., Spacely believing George Jetson was responsible for industrial espionage. Meantime, Mr. Slate is fighting to keep from losing his company to arch rival Turk Tarpit.
Writers Don Nelson and Arthur Alsberg should have spent some time watching reruns of It’s About Time, the 1960s sitcom about astronauts accidentally catapulted back to the days of the caveman. The “fish out of water” motif would have been more interesting to watch than the ease with which the two families adjusted to their alien surroundings. Instead, they pad out the script with an odd subplot showing George earning fabulous wealth thanks to a flying demonstration. He and Jane then essentially buy up Bedrock and the plot goes nowhere and ends with a thud.
Everyone has a moment to shine or be the butt of the joke, with Mr. Spacely particularly stupid as he sees Fred in the Jetson apartment and somehow concludes its his employee in disguise. Jane, Wilma, and Betty prove to be the sensible ones while the men folk remain idealistic fools. The one character to experience some real drama is Judy, who falls for rock star Iggy Sandstone (whose band plays an original song clearly patterned after “Monster Mash”), and is conflicted about whether to stay with him or return home. Even Dino and Astro get their moments as the two animals see one another more as rivals than friends.
I’m not sure what message is being sent by having Rosie, the beloved robot servant, repeatedly wind up saving the day.
I do miss Alan Reed as Fred’s voice but Henry Corden does a fine job and it’s nice to have George O’Hearn, Jean Vader Pyl, Mel Blanc, Daws, Butler, and Don Messick back in their familiar places. The only voice that sounds off is Julie McWhirter’s Betty.
The video transfer is more than acceptable and this is for H-B afficianados.