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The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987) [DVD review]

In 1987, Hanna-Barbera took an ambitious gamble by crossing over their iconic futuristic and prehistoric animated families – The Jetsons and The Flintstones – in one wacky time-travel adventure. While The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones didn’t entirely stick the landing, this flawed but charming flick still manages to delight with its nostalgic novelty and boundless animated anarchy.

The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987) [DVD review] 1

This was such a big deal when I was a young kid

At its core, “The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones” weaves a tale of unexpected time-travel, initiated by Elroy Jetson’s science project gone awry, catapulting the Jetson family into the distant past to meet the Flintstone family. The plot intricately balances comedy and adventure, juxtaposing the futuristic lifestyle and gadgets of the Jetsons with the Stone Age setting and improvised technologies of the Flintstones. This temporal collision course sets the stage for a series of humorous and enlightening misadventures that highlight the differences and similarities between the two families.

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However, The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones run thin.

The brilliance of the movie lies in its ability to maintain the integrity and beloved traits of each character while placing them in entirely new contexts. George Jetson’s bewilderment at the Flintstones’ rudimentary lifestyle contrasts sharply with Fred Flintstone’s fascination and eventual frustration with the Jetsons’ futuristic gadgets. The dynamics between the two families unfold with warmth and humor, showcasing how the essence of family life remains constant despite the trappings of their respective eras.

Wilma Flintstone and Jane Jetson’s interactions, characterized by mutual support and understanding, offer a poignant commentary on the universality of maternal concerns and domestic challenges. Similarly, the camaraderie between Elroy Jetson and Pebbles Flintstone, along with Astro and Dino’s antics, provides a delightful exploration of friendship that transcends time.

The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987) [DVD review] 5

The peak in 80s animation voice acting

The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones voice cast mixes original stars like the spry Mel Blanc alongside uneven impersonators. But their committed goofiness captivates, making the iconic character reunions a nostalgic delight despite some dodgy vocals.

Is it a certified classic? No – the wackadoo premise eventually bogs it down, lacking the simple brilliance and satirical bite of the originals. But The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones has an amiable, scrappy ambition and animated anarchy that embodies the smart silliness of its source material.

For Hanna-Barbera kids, it’s one last wacky romp with beloved childhood friends before entering the cynical future. Sure, it’s an erratic, aggressively silly detour. But don’t we all need a goofy nostalgic pit stop on the highway of growing up? Why not spend it with TV’s most iconic animated families crashing into the cosmic time-warp?

The animation style of “The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones” successfully merges the distinct visual aesthetics of both universes, maintaining the iconic designs and color palettes that fans associate with each family. The directors’ skillful navigation through different time periods, showcasing contrasting technologies and landscapes, underscores the creativity and thoughtfulness behind the film. The animation not only serves the narrative but also enriches the visual humor and cultural juxtapositions inherent in the story.

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Why the film holds up

The Jetsons’ astonishment at the Flintstones’ ability to live harmoniously with nature, and the Flintstones’ bewilderment at the Jetsons’ reliance on technology, offer subtle critiques of each era’s societal norms and challenges.

Moreover, the movie subtly addresses the concept of progress, questioning whether advancements in technology truly equate to improvements in quality of life and societal well-being. This theme is woven throughout the narrative, encouraging viewers to reflect on the impact of technology on human relationships and the environment.

“The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones” transcends its status as a crossover special, becoming a cultural artifact that reflects the societal sentiments and technological fascinations of the late 20th century. It captures the imagination of viewers by presenting a unique dialogue between the past and the future, serving as a reminder of the enduring appeal of both the Jetson and Flintstone families.

The film’s ability to resonate with audiences across generations speaks to its timeless humor, heartfelt storytelling, and insightful commentary on human nature and societal evolution. It stands as a testament to the creative potential of bringing together disparate worlds to explore common themes and shared experiences.

The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones is a big part of the Hanna Barbera’s Superstars 10

The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones doesn’t get any particular special features. However, this is the best the movie is ever going to look. What’s funny is this film is how I first discovered Warner Archive in the DVD era. Mainly because I hadn’t seen the movie in over a decade and wanted to remember what it was like. It’s fascinating how baseline nostalgia can influence your behavior.

The Jetsons Meet The Flinstones doesn’t have a ton of people that could contribute to a special look at the movie or special features. So, most of your enjoyment is going to come from your personal history with the characters or a desire to revisit something you haven’t seen in ages.

We’ve got 8 more movies to go, we’ll include the bonus films on their respective discs.

The Jetsons Meet The Flintsones and Hanna Barbera’s Superstars 10 is now available to buy at MovieZyng!

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