Friday, April 12, 2013

The Jetsons: Saturday Morning Cartoons

I came from a rather large family and every Saturday morning my sisters, brother and I would wrestle for the couch so we could watch our favorite cartoons. From The Flintstones to The Archies, we loved them all, but tonight we'll discuss one of our favorites, the futuristic family, The Jetsons

The Jetsons were one of my favorite space-age families! 

The Jetsons were actually on the air twice, from 1962-1963 and 1985 to 1987. I think part of what made The Jetsons so special was their cool lifestyle. The Jetsons lived in Orbit City in 2062. They lived in homes, worked in businesses and shopped in stores that were all raised high above the ground on columns. The Jetson family lived in an apartment building, the Skypad Apartments. They seemed like a typical American family, but their lifestyle was awesome! 

Meet the Jetsons

George Jetson (George O'Hanlon) is the head of the family. He's 40 years old and a loving, gentle family man who is also a bit of a goof. He makes a lot of mistakes. He works for Spacely's Sprockets. His job is to turn the Referential Universal Digital Indexer on and off--a challenging job, sure, but in 2062 everything is mechanized, so there really isn't much for humans to do! George loves and adores his wife, children, and dog, Astro. 

George and Jane Jetson

Jane Jetson (Penny Singleton) is 33 and a housewife. She is the mother of two children. She is also obsessed with the latest space-age fashions and household devices. She loves to shop at Mooning Dales. She is a dedicated wife who works hard to make life pleasant for her family, but she is also a social butterfly. She belongs to the Galaxy Women Historical Society. 

Judy Jetson (Janet Waldo) is a 15 year old typical teenager and student at Orbit High School. Her primary interests include shopping for clothes like her mother, hanging out with her friends like her mother, and discussing her secret life with her digital diary--apparently times changed faster than the producers thought they would when they wrote the show! 

The Jetson's youngest child is 6 1/2 (that 1/2 is important) Elroy Jetson (Daws Butler). He is exceptionally intelligent and a space science expert, one of those children who makes his parents feel intellectually stunted. He is polite and behaves himself. He attends Little Dipper School and studies space history, astrophysics, star geometry and basic math. 

Astro (Don Messick) is the family dog. He had a former owner, Mr. Gottrockets, who called him Tralfas. He is now George Jetson's best friend. He speaks in ruff English that resembles the grumbles of another famous and favorite cartoon character Scooby Doo.

The final member of the family is Rosie, who is the household robot. She is considered to be a bit outdated, but she is a member of the family. She does all housework, some of the parenting chores, and is a bit bossy. There really isn't much for Rosie to do, but boss the family around since everything is mechanized. 

Futuristic Utopia

The daily life of the Jetsons is surprisingly boring. In fact, I think the reason we were so obsessed with this show was because of the space age devices. It didn't have much of a plot. There was little excitement. George Jetson leaves for work every day in his flying saucer with the bubble top and his family uses their time-saving leisure devices. 

The Jetsons--I always wanted a car like that one, but in red!

I guess we enjoyed the Jetsons so much because they sparked our imaginations, and many of the devices that seemed so cool back then are in homes now! They were also a loving family and good role models. I think the message behind The Jetsons is: Futuristic utopia can be boring. If you don't ever do anything, well, you don't ever do anything! 

  • The Jetsons. Dir. Joseph Barbera, William Hanna. Perf. George O'Hanlon, Penny Singleton, Daws Butler, Janet Waldo, Don Messick. Hanna-Barbera Productions. Running Time: 30 min.    


JoJo said...

While I always watched the show, I had no idea of the ages of the characters or their backstories.

Misha Gerrick said...

I used to love the Jetsons! Them and the Flintstones were my favorite cartoons. Probably because I just loved seeing all the "mechanisms" they used. :-)

Darla Sue Dollman said...

Hi JoJo! The information about the characters in cartoons and sitcoms comes gradually throughout the seasons, or they explain it all in the pilot. In this case, I believe it was explained in the pilot show, as an introduction. I like reminders once in awhile throughout the show. If you miss the pilot and all of the background information is in that first show, then you're a bit lost.
Misha, I loved The Jetsons, too, and I agree, it was the technology that kept me watching the show. I liked the idea of all those high-tech gadgets. Thank you for reading!

Stephsco said...

Wow, mama Jetson sure had her babies young. Sounds like a little bit of scandal in that backstory... lol

I watched this as a kid in the '80s.

Darla Sue Dollman said...

Well, she was 18, and in the 1960s, the era of "free love," that probably was a fairly average age. Ten years earlier? Oh yes, that would have been a scandal! Lol!