"The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones": Rock Solid!
The Jetsons and The Flintstones are arguably the two best-known Hanna-Barbara television series after Scooby-Doo. And with vitamins, cereal, and the upcoming prime-time television series still keeping The Flintstones in the public eye, one doesn’t have to be an Albert Einstone to guess that a Flintstone/Jetsons crossover movie would sell well on DVD. Yet, for some odd reason Warner Bros. has decided to release The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones only through their burn-on-demand Warner Archive program.
It’s a hour-and-a-half long TV movie from 1987, part of the Hanna-Barbara Superstars 10 series. The plot has young Elroy Jetson building a time machine and going with his family back in time to the “modern stone age,” where the they meet the Flintstones and the Rubbles. This meeting, though, doesn’t even take place until a third of the way into the film; up until that point it just feels like someone is changing the channels between a typical Jetsons episode and an equally typical Flintstones episode. In the former, George Jetson is accused of leaking Spacely Sprocket secrets to Mr. Spacely’s competitor and is fired even though Mr. Spacely has no proof that George is responsible. (Apparently they don’t have HR departments in the future.) Meanwhile (if you can use that word when talking about a time-travel story), Fred has come up with yet another get-rich-quick scheme, this time by disguising Barney in drag and himself as some rich southern man in an attempt to bilk his boss out of money by cheating at cards. (They want to do this so they can take the girls to Honolurock. No, really.) Of course, everything goes wrong, and Fred and Barney get fired but don’t tell the girls about it.
Back in the future, George Jetson discovers that his best friend, Rudy, is responsible for the leak. Only after he heads home does Elroy test out his time machine with the whole family, sending them to the past. The families meet each other, hilarity ensues, the Flintstones get sent back to the future instead of the Jetsons, hilarity ensues yet again, and that’s pretty much all you need to know. By the end of the movie the Jetsons make it back home, George gets his job back as Spacely Sprockets’ newest product, a replica of Fred Flinstone’s car, sells like hot cakes due to the nostalgia value, and through a deus ex machina, Fred and his friends make it back to Bedrock and he gets his job back too. Happy endings all around.
This is far from a perfect film. At times it drags; Pebbles and Bam-Bam feel oddly absent; many of the jokes are corny; Fred comes off as downright selfishly manipulative (more so than usual); and there are plot holes galore. Yet I really enjoyed it, probably for the same reason people with flying jet-packs, moving sidewalks, and no roads to speak of would want a car that’s foot-powered: nostalgia. It’s just great to see the characters you know and love doing what they do. And having them crossover in a way that still feels entirely natural? Well, that’s even better. It’s a double-pack of average Jetsons/Flintstones hijinks, but mixed together and heavily expanded. If you’re a nostalgia junkie or just love either of these two shows, you’ll really enjoy yourself here. It’s nothing special, but it sure is nice.
I find it especially puzzling that this didn’t get a regular release, and I can see this film getting a standard retail release at some point in the future. If you’re unsure whether or not to get this, go watch an episode or two of The Jetsons or The Flintstones on Boomerang before making a decision. This film isn’t all that different. And that’s it’s strong suit.