Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Jetsons was an animated prime-time television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions from 1962 to 1963. After being re-run on Saturday morning for decades, new episodes were produced in 1984, 1985, and 1987 for syndication. The show is essentially the futuristic counterpart of The Flintstones; both cartoon series, created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, were family sitcoms projecting contemporary American situations into the far-flung past, or as in this case, the future.
George Jetson worked for a short, tyrannical boss named Cosmo G. Spacely, owner of the company Spacely Sprockets. Mr. Spacely had a competitor, W.C. Cogswell, owner of the rival company Cogswell Cogs. All homes and businesses were raised high above the ground on narrow poles, and George commuted to work in a flying saucer with a transparent top.
In the original closing credits, George came home and tried to walk Astro, the Jetsons' family dog, but when Astro noticed a cat by the electronic dog walk, Astro began to chase it and George got caught into the dog-walk. Astro and the cat both looked on as George cried "Jane, stop this crazy thing!" This was obviously a counterpart to the Flintstones' closing credits in which the saber-toothed cat put Fred Flintstone out for the night. When new episodes were made in 1984, 1985 and 1987, the credits were static picture captions entirely of static captions (like most of H-B's shows of the time). This sequence also replaced the original credit sequence for the 1960s episodes.
Again, like the Flintstones, much of the show's humor came from the way the cartoon parodied everyday 20th Century living. While the Flintstones lived in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons lived in a universe of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions.
Other Jetson family members included Jane Jetson, the wife and homemaker; teenage daughter Judy and preteen son Elroy. Housekeeping was seen to by a robot maid, Rosie; she only appeared in two episodes of the original 1960s show, excluding her appearence in the closing credits, but made many appearences on the 1980s show.
The family dog Astro could mumble, just as Scooby-Doo later on could. This is not surprising as the voice actor for both characters was Don Messick. Astro's best known line indicates impending trouble: "Ruh-ro!"
On the 1980s incarnation of the show, new characters were introduced, including Orbitty, the Jetsons family alien pet, Spacely's inventive brother named Orwell and George's work computer, R.U.D.I. (which stands for Refferencial Universal Digital Indexer, although he had one appearence in the '60s episode, "The Good Little Scouts", but that appearence changed when he became a more supporting character on the '80s show).
The second episode, "A Date With Jet Screamer," featured a catchy tune called "Eep, Opp, Ork Ah-ah!"
The original series of 24 episodes was made between 1962 and 1963, but its continuing popularity led to a further 51 episodes being produced in the 1980s (42 made between 1984 and 1985, and nine more in 1987). Jetsons: The Movie was released by Universal Pictures in 1990. The 24 1960s episodes were released on DVD in 2004.
- The Jetsons' phone number is VENUS-1234.
- George and Jane's wedding anniversary is June 2.
- If one does not pay the parking meter, a hand comes out and bangs the faulty parked space car.
- An episode of another Hanna-Barbera show, The Flintstones, in which the Flintstones and the Rubbles use a time machine at the Worlds' Fair to travel to the future (episode 4.18 "Time Machine," 15 January 1965) features a distinctly Jetson-esque 21st century.
- Astro does not appear until episode 1.5 "The Coming of Astro" (October 21 1962), in which he is found by Elroy.
- The host of the "Love Rocket", a popular show, is named Gamey McGameGame.
- The character 'George Jetson' was ranked #4 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends" (1 August 2004 issue).
- Based on the "Blondie" comic strip and series. Penny Singleton, who played Blondie in the 1940s series, was the voice of Jane Jetson.
- George Jetson - George O'Hanlon
- Jane Jetson - Penny Singleton
- Elroy Jetson - Daws Butler
- Judy Jetson - Janet Waldo
- Astro the Dog - Don Messick
- Rosie the Robot Maid - Jean Vanderpyl
- Henry Orbit - Daws Butler (Howard Morris in a few of the original episodes)
- Orbity - Frank Welker ('80s version)
- Uniblab - Don Messick ('60s version)
- Mr. Spacely - Mel Blanc
- Mrs. Spacely - Jean Vanderpyl
- RUDI - Don Messick ('80s version)
- W.C. Cogswell - Daws Butler
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