The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1988)

That’s Grass.  I Read About it in Ancient History.

Friendboss Josh requests the darndest things.  He requested today’s movie a while ago, but it felt like it was the most inappropriate time to review it immediately after I reviewed Magic Mike.  Today’s movie is a kids movie that answers a question I’m sure someone must’ve asked about what would happen if two of the most famous families in children’s cartoon history met, so suffice to say the movie won’t be banging it’s cock against my head as I write the review.  I don’t recall being that big of a fan of either of these two cartoons in my youth, nor do I really remember having seen this movie before today, so I get to go in fresh for my review of The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, written by Don Nelson and Arthur Alsberg, directed by Don Lusk, and starring the voices of George O’Hanlon, Henry Corden, Mel Blanc, Penny Singleton, Jean Vander Pyl, Julie McWhirter, Daws Butler, Janet Waldo, Jon Bauman, Hamilton Camp, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Brenda Vaccaro, and Frank Welker.

George Jetson (George O’Hanlon) is having trouble at work as his boss, Mr. Spacely (Mel Blanc), is finding all of his business ideas are being preempted by his rival, Cogswell (Daws Butler), but he finds it easier to blame George.  When George investigates, he finds out that his trusted computer R.U.D.I. (Don Messick) has been seduced by Cogswell’s computer, S.A.R.A. (Janet Waldo).  Thousands of years in the past, Wilma Flintstone (Jean Vander Pyl) and Betty Rubble (Julie McWhirter) are trying to convince their husbands, Fred (Henry Corden) and Barney (Mel Blanc), to take them on a nice vacation, but Fred gets it in his head to gamble his savings to make more money to take them on a nicer vacation, succeeding only to get him and Barney fired when their boss, Mr. Slate (John Stephenson), finds out that they skipped work.  Fred and Barney try to take their wives on a much cheaper camping trip instead, but they’re none too pleased.  It’s not made much better by the fact that George Jetson’s son, Elroy (Daws Butler), accidentally used his time machine to take his family back in time to the Flintstone’s era.  After a couple of mix ups, the Flintstones wind up in the future and the Jetsons are stuck in the past.  Then hilarity ensues.  Also, George’s daughter, Judy (Janet Waldo), spends most of the movie being a whiny bitch.

This movie was not fun times for me.  It felt like it was way too long even though it was only an hour and a half.  It just seemed like it was an easy idea, hastily thrown together.  I’m sure some people probably thought it would be an interesting idea to see what would happen if the two biggest families in Hanna-Barbera came together.  They were wrong.  They just took the idea and put in every possible combination, got the last drops of their ideas out, and ended it when they were spent.  First the Jetsons and the Flintstones meet in Bedrock.  Let’s have Fred try to use George’s futuristic stuff to help with Fred’s cornball idea to get his job back.  Out of ideas?  Alright, the Flintstones are in the future and the Jetsons are in the past.  Then they get famous and enjoy it for a bit, but then they don’t like it anymore.  Now we put both families in the future.  Gold!  Out of ideas.  Wrap it up quickly and put a price tag on this mamma jamma.  I don’t know if even kids would still find interest in this movie.  It’s mostly slapstick humor that I’m sure they’d be okay with, like people falling down and running into things, but I can’t imagine very many adults still finding this interesting.  What?  The Flintstones want to vacation to Honolurock?  Okay, you’ve won me over.  That’s just good writing right there.  They do have a couple of attempts at some funny wordplay, in their defense, that some parents might have liked.  They’re not funny, but they’re present.  There’s also a pretty good deal of humor in the movie that was even over my head, as I was only 4 when this movie originally came out, making some of their references fly right past me, so much so that I might not even have been aware they were trying.  I would say the biggest problem I had with the movie was that they shouldn’t have done it in the first place.  Putting the Jetsons and the Flintstones together only really serves to cement the idea that they were basically the same stories, just set thousands of years apart, and showing that there was not a lot of creativity in either one.  Another problem I had was with Judy’s whole story.  All she did in the entire movie was bitch and moan about how her rock star boyfriend left her for groupies.  Then she goes back in time and falls in love with his prehistoric equivalent, who then does the same thing to her.  If the prehistoric rocker was truly interested in you on a deeper level, he would’ve clubbed you over the head and raped you, as was their custom.  The time machine also became a source of irritation for me.  It would break whenever the plot needed it to.  I get that.  You need some reason for them to stick around when they don’t like it anymore so you can mine those comedy nuggets out of the situation, but it seriously broke like 20 times in the movie.  The worst one was the last time, when it broke just as the Jetsons had returned to the future and the Flintstones were ready to return to the past.  It was extra annoying because it broke and the Flintstones were talking about what they would do in the future, and then it just turned out their car had absorbed the time-travel juice (or whatever) so they went back anyway.  Why even bother having the machine break again if you were just going to make up some stupid solution a minute later?

I suppose I didn’t have any real problem with any of the voices in this movie.  They didn’t write it, so it’s not their fault.  They just came in and said the words that were written.  I would say that viewing the families through my adult eyes shows me that Fred Flintstone is a douchebag.  This mother fucker is always looking for a way to swindle someone, or use someone, or whatever it takes to be an asshole.  He’s about five minutes into meeting the oblivious George Jetson before he’s laughing to Barney about how he’s going to use George’s future technology, while acting like he’s his friend to get access to it.  Dick.  Also, Judy was a whiny bitch.  I would’ve asked that she be escorted out of the movie if I didn’t want to bang her so bad.  Was she over 18?  I’ll just believe that she was.  Also, why does Mr. Spacely have a Hitler moustache?  Seems like bad form to me.

The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones does not hold up as far as I’m concerned but, having never really been a fan, I also don’t know that I would have ever enjoyed the movie.  I’m sure kids will find it interesting enough as plenty of people fall down, but once you’re old enough to say the words, “To Hell with this crap,” I’m sure you’ve outgrown it.  After that time it’s just got a few sparse attempts at wordplay and some references I’ll have to run past my mom to understand.  The movie just wound up being a boring movie that enlightened me only to the fact that the Jetsons and the Flintstones are basically the same thing.  With as difficult as I’m sure this movie is to find, it’s not worth your time.  The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones gets “Yabba Dabba Don’t” out of “And they can’t kaputt it back together again!”

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Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992)

Gee, Plucky, I Guess You Didn’t Get Your Wish

When I reviewed A Goofy Movie, my interest was sparked to watch another movie with a similar concept that I enjoyed in my youth.  Both are animated movies revolving around how the characters spent their summer vacation.  Both are also based on younger versions of famous animated characters, with A Goofy Movie coming from famous Disney characters and today’s movie from famous Warner Brothers characters.  And both movie have me going in fearing the destruction of a fond childhood memory.  But when I went to find this one, I found a DVD of it to be extremely difficult to come across … mainly because an official DVD doesn’t exist.  Well, I found a copy of it anyway, so let’s get into my review of Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, a direct-to-video movie written by Paul Dini, Nicholas Hollander, Tom Ruegger, and Sherri Stoner, directed by Rich Arons, and starring the vocal talents of Charlie Adler, Tress MacNeille, Joe Alaskey, Don Messick, Cree Summer, Kath Soucie, Gail Matthius, Rob Paulsen, Maurice LaMarche, Candi Milo, Jonathan Winters, Edie McClurg, Sorrell Booke, and Frank Welker.

All of the once famous Tiny Toon kids have just been released from Acme University and allowed to set off on their (mostly) separate adventures.  Buster (Charlie Adler) and Babs (Tress MacNeille) Bunny (no relation, so it’s okay if they fuck) engage in a water pistol war that eventually escalates to them flooding the town of Acme Acres and leaving themselves to float downstream on a boat with a dog named Byron Basset (Frank Welker).  They come across opossums that try to eat them, a family of alligators that want to marry Buster … and then eat them, and a river boat that wants them to entertain the guests … before they eat them.  Plucky Duck (Joe Alaskey) manages to hitch a ride with his friend Hampton J. Pig (Don Messick) and his family – Wade (Jonathan Winters), Winnie (Edie McClurg), and Uncle Stinky – on their trip to HappyWorldLand.  Fowlmouth (Rob Paulsen) finally gets Shirley the Loon (Gail Matthius) to agree to go to a movie with him, but he’s promptly kicked out for being a jerk.  Fifi Le Fume (Kath Soucie) is obsessed with a movie star named Johnny Pew and is trying to get his autograph.  Dizzy Devil (Maurice LaMarche) is sad because he can’t spin because he’s shedding and would be naked if he did.  Just live free, man!  Also, Elmyra Duff (Cree Summer) is trying to find a “kitty”.

I could not bring myself to type that this movie “holds up” to the memory I had of it in my childhood.  I didn’t hate it, but the movie was clearly made for someone to enjoy at a much younger age … mostly.  I’ll come back to that.  The humor of this movie is pretty much all the slapstick stuff that you should’ve stopped thinking was funny at about 13.  I actually saw a review on Rotten Tomatoes that called this movie “laugh-out-loud” and, best I could tell, the writer was not 9 years old and pounding his review out on his very first LeapPad.  I only read what was readily available on the screen for fear that pressing ‘more’ and reading it in it’s entirety might turn my brain to mush and have it leak out my ears.  It wasn’t a real critic, however.  None of them actually reviewed this movie.  And that is exactly why you should never listen to the reviews of the masses: they tend to be really stupid.  Getting back to what a professional reviewer thought, the movie was still pretty charming, but nowhere near funny.  One part in the movie was able to inspire me to laugh.  It was when Elmyra was driving with her parents through a zoo safari and decided she wanted to jump out of the car to get a “kitty”, herein referred to as a Cheetah.  The part that made me laugh was the person over the loudspeaker saying “May I repeat (so that Warner Brothers won’t get sued if anyone actually does this): Do not get out of the car.”  The rest of the comedy was mainly just slapstick.  They had a few moments that seemed to be meant for adults, like the parts with celebrity appearances that the children watching this would not recognize (such as Jay Leno, David Letterman, Johnny Carson, Rosanne Barr, etc.)  The problem with this was that it was also not funny.  They were just kind of there, as if you were watching the bastard child of Looney Tunes and The Critic that had a birth defect that destroyed it’s sense of humor.  There’s even a joke where Buster compares Babs to Maury Amsterdam.  This joke is so not meant for children that I’m 28 and I have no idea who that is.  At one point, Elmyra actually uses the word “capricious”.  I know ADULTS who don’t know what that word means!  They do a couple of fourth wall breaking jokes that I found cute, like when Babs shot the screen with her water pistol and the hand of the “cameraman” came up to wipe it off, but I certainly wouldn’t call that funny.  There were a couple of songs in the movie as well, but none of them nearly as good as A Goofy Movie’s songs were.  I enjoyed the song that opened it, but mainly because it was a setup exposition that reminded you of the one or two personality traits that were awarded to each character, which was a necessary refresher for me, 20 years removed from my affections for Tiny Toons. They also have a song, once they arrive at HappyWorldLand, that seems to be a “Fuck You” to Disneyland as it basically paints the Disney-esque park to be run by greedy, money hungry jerks, which is weird because this would’ve been right around the time that Warner Brothers jumped on board to Magic Mountain.  But they probably did it for much more wholesome reasons.

Can you call characters a ripoff if the company making the cartoon is the owner of the ripped off characters?  Probably.  The entire premise of these Tiny Toons is confusing to my mind, now so bitter and beaten down by life that I would actually analyze them.  They’re like children versions of the Warner Brothers cartoons, but not really because those ‘toons are still in the show.  They’re not their children either, so I don’t really know what they are.  When I was 13, I wrote a book about the children of the X-Men that I sent to Marvel, got rejected (because the book was probably pretty shitty), and later changed the characters I created just enough to turn them into my own comic book … that was also pretty shitty.  So, basically, this show’s premise is as creative as something I came up with when I was 13.  Buster was kind of a dick, but he was the cool lazy bad boy type that I probably wanted to be like when I was a kid, except for one part: his relationship with Babs.  Babs seemed pretty intent on getting after Buster’s dick for most of the movie, but he was having none of it.  I don’t know how old these characters were supposed to be, but that relationship is probably something I don’t want to see too much of.  I felt kind of bad for Plucky in this movie, but mainly because his side of the story was basically a 30 minute “Fuck You” to him.  All he wants to do is go to HappyWorldLand, but the movie does everything it can to ruin that for him.  First, his dick anus of a friend, Hampton, sees him basically begging to go along with his family on this trip and doesn’t think to ask.  I thought, at first, that Plucky’s parents might have taken issue with it, but they’re never seen and seem unconcerned with their child going missing for a few months so one can assume his parents can go to Hell.  I don’t know why he was so intent on going along with Hampton in the first place because his numerous attempts to get his family to stop on their road trip meant that he (on foot) had to get out ahead of them and set up some elaborate “Stop Here” setup to try to get into their car.  If you can run faster than their car, you should just go on foot.  Plus, the trip was horrible for Plucky, since Hampton’s family was as neglecting to Plucky as his own family probably is.  He didn’t get to eat, they didn’t let him get a drink of water from a fountain, they picked up a murderous hitchhiker and sat him down next to Plucky.  When they finally got to HappyWorldLand, Hampton’s stupid family was content in going around the perimeter of the park once in the monorail before heading home, further shitting on Plucky’s head.  I also found a few annoyances with the Fifi La Fume character, and not just because she was just a female version of Pepe Le Pew with no other differences in character than their genitalia.  It’s obvious to me (as someone who speaks French … kinda) that this character has no concept whatsoever of the French language.  I can’t really remember any examples right now, but I put it in my notes so it must be true.  Also, the introduction to the character shows pretty clearly that she (as a skunk) stinks, but later (in a crowded movie theater) they completely forget that character trait because they don’t presently have a “joke” about it.

Do you think there’s a chance I’ve written more about this movie than any other “critic” has?  I realize that I said a lot of things about the movie that would lead almost anyone to believe that I hated it, but that’s not really the case.  It’s flawed, to be sure, but it’s still somewhat charming, and I imagine kids will probably love it.  It just doesn’t hold a lot for adults.  Making fun of it does, however, so I decided to do that instead.  It’s not funny, but the story is interesting enough and I doubt any parents forced to sit down with their kids and watch it will hate life for doing so.  I recently had to sit through a few episodes of Barney with the child of my friend, and I will watch this movie over that any day of the week.  Plus, I don’t know how your kids would get you to sit down and watch this movie as it’s incredibly hard to find, so you’re probably safe from having to find out if you can take it.  Either way it’s a cute movie and I’d probably buy it if it ever comes out on DVD.  Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation gets “I think the left front tire is a little low” out of “I’m gonna go on every ride ’til I barf twice!”

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