The Jetsons: Season 2 Volume 1 (1985)

Genre(s): Animation / Comedy
Warner Brothers || NR - 462 minutes - $34.99 || June 2, 2009
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2009-06-17


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Stereo)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

“The Jetsons” is one of those cartoons you watch when you were little that turns out to be more important to you in retrospect than when you first saw it.

“The Jetsons” was Hanna Barbera's attempt at duplicating the success of their stone age, primetime animated hit “The Flintstones”. This time, it was about a space aged family named the Jetsons. Instead of jokes about dinosaurs, you had jokes about moons and rockets and such.

The family consisted of George, the father and employee of Spacely Sprockets, Jane the homemaker and mother, Judy the stereotypical teenager, their boy genius son Elroy, Astro the talking dog and their robot maid, Rosie.

The show ran one season from 1962-1963 and was repeated in syndicated reruns for the next two decades. It was such a success in syndication that Hanna Barbera brought the show back with new episodes from 1985-1987 with the same voice actors as the 60's episodes. There were a few minor differences though. Rosie (who only appeared twice during the first season) was now in almost every episode, in addition to Astro the family had a cute little pet alien named Orbity and instead of the show referencing 60's ideas and current events, it referenced ones from the 80's.

As a child, I had no idea that I was watching episodes from two seperate eras(thinking the 60's ones were just a "little" older, when I was a child) and really there's still not that much difference watching them now. Sure, they look a little brighter, but it's essentially the same show.

This box set collects the first half of the re-launched 80's season 2 and for the most part, you get some quality stuff. My favorite episodes were "Jetson's Millions" (where the family wins the Venusian lottery), "Family Fallout"(where the Jetsons face George's boss Spacely and his family in an Family Feud type of game show) and "The Costmic Courtship of George and Jane"(where George forgets the couple's wedding anniversary, the two discover they're not married legally at all and have to remarry and we get some nice Simpsons-esque flashbacks to when the pair were in high school).

Overall, the episodes are quite enjoyable but there are a couple of duds. ‘Fantasy Planet’ was a good idea in theory (the gang lands on a planet that's like the show complete with the actual voice of Ricardo Montalban) but it quickly devolves into very 80's silly cartoon dreck that's really only appealing to children and therein lies the set's big and only real weakness. Unlike the 60's show which was sold to families just like the Flintstones was, the Jepson’s 80's show was sold more to children and as a result for every 2 funny ones you get, you get 1 other one that's a little too goofy for its own good.

Still a good sack of episodes though.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Jetsons Return to the Future Featurette is quite great as it details (through interviews with folks like Janet Waldo who played Judy as well as voiceover director Andrea Romano) exactly how the show was brought back and how the show differed from the 60's version. I had no idea that George O' Hanlon (who played George) had such bad eyes by the time they did the 80's shows that his lines had to be read to him and he'd repeat them back! Wow! Fun facts abound.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The audio for the DVD sounds lovely as the voices come through quite nicely and the soundtrack appears to have been tinkered with to positive effect.

The video is not as consistent though. While it looks good overall, there was absolutely no restoration of any kind done to the opening credits as it's quite grainy and a couple of the overall episodes themselves have a smaller grain problem. Also, though not a problem, to see the end credits of the episodes, one has to actually select "see end credits" on the episode selection screen which is not really bothersome but unusual.



.::OVERALL::.

“The Jetsons” is one of Hanna Barbara’s best shows and season 2 is (at times) better than season 1. As a DVD set, it's weaker than the first set though. The featurette here is great but it's only about 9 minutes long and when you look at the first season's set(which even contains a few Janet Waldo commentaries) this one is a bit lacking. Still if you're a Jetsons fan, you can't go wrong here and it is also great if you've got kids or just like classic animation.