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A Fun Show! A Fun DVD Set! A Great-Looking Package!,
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This review is from: The Jetsons - The Complete First Season (DVD)
The animated TV series, "The Jetsons", represented a space-dwelling "flip side" to the popular cartoon "The Flintstones". Fred and Wilma Flintstone's antics were set in the Stone Age, with no modern conveniences (like, say, brakes on their bottomless automobile ... LOL!). While life with George Jetson and family is just the opposite -- taking place in the future, with a myriad of handy futuristic-looking gadgets and toys and flying cars.
I love the Jetson's "food-a-rac-a-cycle", which is a cool device that instantly dispenses about any type of food you could imagine. Just press one button, and you've got an instant steak dinner. Now THERE'S one modern convenience I'm sure every 21st-century housewife wouldn't mind having in their kitchens today! Of course, the darn thing was always breaking down, or spitting out the wrong meals, or something of the sort, to drive George crazy! But that was part of the fun -- seeing George in a frantic or stressed-out state.
There are 24 episodes of "The Jetsons" included in this deluxe and very attractive 4-Disc DVD boxed set from Warner Home Video. These episodes are all from the 1962-1963 debut season of the animated series. Which, in my view, is actually the ONLY season from what could be termed the "Original" series of "The Jetsons". The series was revived more than two decades later, in 1984, with another 42 episodes produced and aired during the 1984-1985 TV season. And the show was resurrected yet again two years later, with an additional 9 "Jetsons" episodes airing in September and October of 1987.
These two later versions of the series did a good job (IMO) of re-establishing the link with the original '62 shows and format. The character drawings and voices changed very little (if I remember correctly) from the original version to its subsequent 1980s sequels -- unlike the "Jonny Quest" cartoon series, which was almost totally changed (in style, voices, and appearance of the characters), and for the worse IMO, when it was revived in 1987, after 22 years off the air.
But I still favor these first-season (1962-'63) "Jetsons" programs over the '80s episodes. This "original" series had a unique "flavor" and style all its own, and some great music and sound effects to accompany the stories.
This classy-looking DVD set gives us first-rate digital transfers for these 24 TV episodes, with very clear and colorful Full-Frame (1.33:1) video, and solid sound -- derived via the four disc's very ample 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono soundtracks (English only). The episodes are presented in full, uncut, unedited form (as far as I can tell), with each show sporting a healthy running time of a little more than 25:30!
The DVD Menus are fun and lively. We're greeted by the Jetsons' rousing opening theme music once a disc is loaded up into the player. From the Main Menu, there's access to the various Sub-Menus -- Episode Selections, Special Features, Languages/Subtitles, and a "Play All Episodes" option. These discs contain three different subtitle choices: English, French, and Spanish.
The packaging is colorful and very attractive, and replicates the same box style that also adorns other products in this same line of "Hanna-Barbera Golden Collection" DVD boxed sets. The front cover offers a classic "Jetsons" image that is actually a "two-sectioned" (semi "3-D") picture -- with the inner section of the case providing the uncolored "pencil" drawings. When the innards of the case are slid into the "color" outer cover, the full, luminous effect of the image is completed. Nice design.
In lieu of a multi-page booklet for this release, Warner Home Video has (in essence) placed the contents of any such paper enclosure directly onto the "panels" of the inner cardboard "Digipak", with each panel of the case displaying info for one of the discs. There are episode titles, trivia, and many nice pictures included on these inner fold-out sections of the packaging. These episodes don't have any "Chapter" stops, however.
BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE ....................
>> Two episode Commentary Tracks by Janet Waldo (the voice of "Judy Jetson") -- For the episodes "Rosey the Robot" and "A Date With Jet Screamer".
>> "The Jetsons: The Family of the Future" -- This short featurette takes a nostalgic look back at the series, and includes interview clips with show creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Length -- 8:42.
>> "Nuclear Family Album" -- This text-based bonus offers up five character bios from the famous 21st-century cartoon family (including one for dog Astro). You can access these short bios one at a time, or all at once via the "Play All" selector. Total run time = 2:42.
>> "Space Age Gadgets" -- Featurette focusing on all the high-tech gadgets used by The Jetsons. Running time of 4:49.
>> "Rosey, The Robotic Maid" -- Featurette highlighting (you guessed it) .... Rosey the maid. This bonus lasts 3:32.
>> "Family Favorites" -- DVD Trailer Ads for four other cartoon sets.
If you fondly remember this classic cartoon series, then you'll be wanting to pick up a copy of this smart-looking DVD set of the complete first season of "The Jetsons" from the "Hanna-Barbera Golden Collection".