Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Year Two. Day Eleven: "A Jetson Christmas Carol" (1985)

Last year I reviewed the highly enjoyable "Flintstone's Christmas Carol" so this year, it seemed only right to watch their futuristic counterparts attempt to do the same.

The Jetsons was a moderately popular animated sitcom from the Hanna-Barbera studio responsible for hits such as Yogi Bear, Scooby-doo and the aforementioned Flintstones. In fact, it was the huge sucess of the Flintstones that encouraged the company to invest in another time shifted family sitcom that could be broadcast in the prime time slot, although this time, rather than existing in the past, The Jestons lived in the future.

At only 21 minutes running time, this adaptation has little time as it is to speed through the story, however, it has to use at least ten minutes setting up the story's b-plot, concerning the family's dog, Astro, who is feeling mortally ill. In many ways, this was a necessary failing, as otherwise the Jetsons themselves may not have appeared in their own Christmas special.

Meanwhile, the father of the family is working late on Christmas Eve and is informed by his boss, Mr. Spacely, that he must work Christmas Day as well.

What follows is a somewhat rushed but clear retelling of the classic tale, with Spacely visited by the the three ghosts who whip him through his past, present and future exploits in an attempt to redeem the miser.

This is a light, mostly entertaining skip through Dickens' tale that manages to fit a surprisingly large amount of plot into its miniscule running time (The Flintstones were given twice as long for their version!) However, it manages to hit neither highs nor lows in an attempt to appeal to the masses, with cheap jokes and even cheaper looking animation that conspire to ruin what could have been an adventurous, touching retelling of the story that was completely in keeping with the spirit of the original.

As quick as Santa's sleigh.

"A Jetson Christmas Carol." (1985)  2/5

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