The first family of the future: The Jetsons (1962)

Television in review: The Jetsons

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Rick Du Brow is on vacation. Today, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, creators of “The Flintstones” and other notable animated characters on television, tell about their new series, “The Jetsons.”)

By Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera

This year, when World War II comes charging onto your television tubes during a season which will also find more unemployed actors suddenly working as M.J.’s, a quiet but significant milestone will turn over here at Hanna-Barbera.

No private eye, no Anzio landing, no brain surgery, no, none of that, Instead, as a sequel to our animated series about a stone-age family, “The Flintstones,” we will modestly present the first family of the future, ABC-TV’s “The Jetsons.” In ultra-dynamic spectoramic, everlovin’, living color, yet.

>> Also see Yabba dabba doo! The Flintstones opening credits

We learned several important lessons last season: 1) clever and witty dialogue cannot alone carry a show — there has to be action, and 2) there have to be strong points of identification between the audience and the characters in the show.

Product of research

“The Jetsons” is the product of over 16 months of extensive research and planning by our talented staff of artists and writers. The feeling around our shop was that the public was intensely interested in what the future held for them in terms of space exploration, better things for better living, etc.

Voila! The birth of the family of the future.

“The Jetsons” live in the sky pads apartments (high-level adjustable living). George Jetson is a hard-working, honest, lovable husband who is devoted to his family, which consists of wife Jane, teenage daughter Judy, 9-year-old son Elroy, and their dog Astro.

George works for Spacely Sprockets Co., which supplies materials to such futuristic corporations as General Rotors. He is the digital control operator — sort of 21st Century office foreman of the completely automated factory.

Jane Jetson, his attractive and spirited wife, solves the everyday problems of cooking and cleaning with a variety of time-saving appliances. These include a seeing eye vacuum cleaner, a machine with two electronic eyes which seeks out dust, dirt and debris and consumes it. Many times, however, when Jane isn’t looking, the vacuum will lift up the rug and sweep it under same.

>> Space age: Amazing retro futuristic homes of the ’60s

There is also the foodarackacycle, a dandy gadget to end all dandy gadgets it stores, processes, prepares and serves food to the Jetson household. Just insert the meal ticket into the machine and out comes your desired meal. Beef Venus, sauteed with onions and mushrooms, cherries galaxy for dessert.

We hope that viewers will join us as we take a peek into the future. We promise them no two headed monsters, no violence, just an honest glimpse of what lies ahead mixed with humor and fantasy.

Watch The Jetsons right now on Amazon video, or get the series on DVD here!


The Jetsons TV show theme/intro/opening credits