The Jetsons - Season 2, Volume 1
Following the success of The Flintstones, Hanna Barbera took the same basic premise of transporting a traditional sitcom in time but sent it into the future by 100 years, creating The Jetsons, who resembled the typical American family. George Jetson and Jane, his wife, had two kids (“his boy Elroy/ daughter Judy”) and a dog named Astro.
After airing in prime time from 1962 to 1963, the 24 episodes ran on Saturday mornings for years. Two decades later, the series’ on-going popularity spawned new episodes for syndication, first airing in the fall of 1985. This three-disc set presents 21 episodes from throughout the second season, though not ordered by airdate.
This new production finds the premise of the show more directed towards an audience of children. The science-fiction aspect was played up more in the stories and computers are much more prominent. The Jetsons family also had a new addition in the form of an alien named Orbitty, a small gremlin-type creature with springs for legs that changed colors to reflect its mood. While decent enough for kids, as an adult I didn’t find the stories to be particularly funny or memorable.
The entire cast is reunited for this new round of production, including legendary voice talents Mel Blanc (George’s boss, Mr. Spacely) and Hanna Barbera regulars Daws Butler (Elroy) and Don Messick (Astro), which is great for continuity.
The Jetsons' original opening credits were used with a slightly different arrangement of the theme song. A difference in the animation can be seen, particularly in the brightness of the colors. I was disappointed that the closing credits were changed from the original series where George takes Astro out for a walk on the sidewalk treadmill
On disc 2 there is the lone Special Feature of the set: “The Jetsons Return to the Future” a much-too-short, eight-minute documentary about the new series with people who worked on the show and animation historians. For an animation fan, it is the most interesting item of the set.