Jetsons: The Movie is a 1990 animated musical comic science fiction film produced by Hanna-Barbera and released on July 6, 1990, by Universal Pictures based on the hit cartoon series, The Jetsons (the 1980s revival, in particular). The film features the final voice roles of George O'Hanlon and Mel Blanc who both died during production of the film. It was dedicated to both their memories and was also the film debut of Brad Garrett.
In the late 21st century, Spacely Sprockets and Spindles has opened a new mining colony on an asteroid. The proposed project is meant to produce product at 1/10 the cost of making the items on Earth. However, the factory continues to be sabotaged by someone or something. As Cosmo Spacely (voiced by Mel Blanc and Jeff Bergman) checks up on the "Orbiting-Ore Asteroid" again, the latest head of the factory, Alexander Throttlebottom, has run off, making it four managers of the new plant that Spacely has lost so far.
Fearing for his company (and profits), Spacely names George Jetson (voiced by George O'Hanlon and Jeff Bergman) as Throttlebottom's successor and sends George and his family to the plant. While the family is thoroughly upset from having to have been thrown from their normal life style (and the plans that they had that day), they set up apartments on the adjoining apartment community to the Asteroid and its neighboring shopping complex.
While it takes the family time to adjust, Elroy Jetson (voiced by Patric Zimmerman) meets a robot boy named Teddy-2 (voiced by Dana Hill), whom he first is at odds with, but eventually befriends. Teddy-2's father, Rudy-2 (voiced by Ronnie Schell), is the plant engineer and shows George around. Judy Jetson (voiced by Tiffany), meanwhile, is having a hard time adjusting, and accepting the fact that she lost her chance at a date with rock star Cosmic Cosmo (voiced by Steve McClintock) (which a friend of hers later takes), but soon feels better after meeting a teenage boy named Apollo Blue (voiced by Paul Kreppel).
George soon figures he's ready to set the plant running again, and Mr. Spacely is all set to see the plant working full-throttle, and soon to churn out the 1,000,000th Spacely Sprocket. However, the opening day festivities give way to panic as the factory is sabotaged once again.
Over the next several days, George and Rudy-2 try to fix things, but the problems persist, to the point that Mr. Spacely heads on up to check on things. Thinking he has to take charge, George stays overnight, only to fall asleep and be taken off by the mysterious saboteurs. Elroy, Teddy-2, and their neighbor Fergie Furbelow (voiced by Russi Taylor) sneak into the plant, and meet Squeep (voiced by Frank Welker), a member of an adorable-looking alien race known as Grungees.
Squeep tells them (with Teddy-2 translating) that the factory is actually drilling into his people's community, which is based inside the asteroid. Soon, Jane, Judy, Apollo, Rudy-2, and Astro show up, and realize what is happening as well. George is found hog-tied in the Grungee's colony, and soon realizes just what the factory is doing.
But Spacely doesn't. Seeing his factory at a stand-still, he starts it up (after disconnecting Rudy-2, who tries to stop him), nearly burying Elroy and Squeep alive under rubble, and prompting everyone in the asteroid to get top-side, where George manages to shut down the factory and show his boss exactly what he's doing.
After some talk, when George finally stands up to his boss, telling him that all he cares about is money, they come to an agreement: the Grungees will run the plant, and create new Spacely Sprockets through recycling old ones (thus stopping the further destruction of the Grungee's homeworld). Spacely Sprockets reaches the 1,000,000th sprocket, and when George asks about being vice president, Spacely retorts, stating that "he's lucky that he'll be getting his old job back". Only when pressured by everyone else does he reluctantly promote him to vice president (without a raise). George however knows that with the Grungees now running the plant, he is no longer needed as head of the Asteroid and will have to return home.
The Jetsons then bid their new friends a tearful goodbye, including Fergie who attempted to stow away aboard the Jetson's ship. They then head back to their apartment on Earth. As the family passes over the factory, the Grungees arrange themselves to form the words: "THANKS GEORGE", as a final grateful goodbye to George for saving their home.
- George O'Hanlon (his last film) as George Jetson
- Penny Singleton (her last film) as Jane Jetson
- Tiffany as Judy Jetson
- Patric Zimmerman as Elroy Jetson
- Don Messick as Astro
- Jean Vander Pyl as Rosie the Robot
- Mel Blanc (his last film) as Mr. Cosmo Spacely
- Ronnie Schell as Rudy-2
- Patti Deutsch as Lucy-2
- Dana Hill as Teddy-2
- Paul Kreppel as Apollo Blue
- Russi Taylor as Fergie Furbelow
- Brad Garrett (In his film debut) as Bertie Furbelow
- Susan Silo as Gertie Furbelow
- Rick Dees as Rocket Rick Ragnarok
- Steve McClintock as Cosmic Cosmo
- Frank Welker as Squeep / Grungees
- Janet Waldo as Robot secretary
- B.J. Ward as Gertrude
- Michael Bell as Board member #1
- Jeff Bergman as George Jetson / Mr. Cosmo Spacely (additional scenes) / Basketball Coach
- Rob Paulsen as (additional voices)
- Brian Cummings as Movie Announcer
The film features roughly the same voice cast as the television series except for Judy and Elroy. Daws Butler, the original voice of Elroy, had died in 1988. The voice was provided by Patric Zimmerman. Janet Waldo, the original voice of Judy Jetson, recorded the part for this film but her voice was later replaced by then-pop starlet Tiffany. Studio executives hoped that Tiffany would attract a younger audience. Waldo continued to voice the part in subsequent Jetsons productions. Displeased with the casting change, voice director Andrea Romano had her name removed from the finished film.
Because George O'Hanlon, the voice of George Jetson, and Mel Blanc, the voice of Mr. Spacely, both died during production of the film in 1989 (O'Hanlon died in February, while Blanc died five months later), Jeff Bergman filled in for both characters in some scenes. The film was dedicated to the memories of both men. Tiffany sang three songs used in the film ("I Always Thought I'd See You Again", "You and Me" and "Home"), which are on the soundtrack album along with "Jetsons' Rap" by XXL and tracks by other artists.
Jetsons: The Movie was originally slated for a 1989 release, but was delayed to avoid competition with Disney's The Little Mermaid, United Artists' All Dogs Go to Heaven (which were both released on the same day), and Universal's own Back to the Future Part II. Universal released The Wizard in its place, which was responsible for introducing Super Mario Bros. 3 to the USA.
The film was first released on VHS and Laserdisc on October 25, 1990. On April 28, 2009, it was released on DVD in the United States and was aired in its original aspect ratio on Universal HD on February 2, 2007.
The film is also available via digital download on the Sony Entertainment Network.
Jetsons: The Movie received mainly negative reviews from critics, resulting in a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is often both criticized and praised for its messages about protecting the environment, and observing ethical practices when doing business in developing countries. Jetsons: The Movie is also noted for its early use of CGI; the technique had already been used in Disney's The Great Mouse Detective. The animation artwork follows the lead of the series in its art direction and character designs, although additional flourishes such as full animation and form shadows on the characters were added for the film. Siskel & Ebert gave this film two thumbs down. Critics have also criticized the performance of Tiffany as Judy Jetson.
Along with the negative critical response, the film was also a box office disappointment, mainly because of opening in fewer theaters. It opened at #4, behind Die Hard 2, Days of Thunder, and Dick Tracy, with a weekend gross of $5,029,640, for an average of $3,220 from 1,562 theaters. The film then lost 43% of its audience in its second weekend, falling to #10 with a second weekend gross of $2,850,120, averaging $1,820 from 1,566 theaters, and bringing its 10-day gross to $10,855,895. It ended up grossing only $20,305,841 in the United States. However, the film performed much better on home video and was routinely seen on television.
The soundtrack was released by MCA Records on May 25, 1990. The film's score, composed by John Debney, was left off the commercial release but was later issued as a promotional album with his score for the TV film Jonny's Golden Quest. "I Always Thought I'd See You Again" by Tiffany was released as a single. Famed Hollywood composer Mark Mancina helped on writing the songs for the film.
- "We're the Jetsons" (Jetsons' Rap) – XXL
- "With You All the Way" – Shane Sutton
- "You and Me" – Tiffany
- "I Always Thought I'd See You Again" – Tiffany
- "Maybe Love" – Steven McClintock
- "Stayin' Together" – Shane Sutton
- "Through the Blue" – Gayle Rose
- "Mall Theme" – John Duarte
- "Home" – Tiffany
- "Jetsons Main Title" – The Stunners
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