Movie Article

Jetsons & Jonny

Jonny Quest ; The Jetsons

Ignore the inherent future sales pitch in the label ''First Season,'' since neither of these inspired Hanna-Barbera TV cartoon shows, debuting on DVD from Warner, lasted beyond its original season -- 24 episodes for The Jetsons (10 hrs., 29 mins., 1962-63), 26 for Jonny Quest (11 hrs., 16 mins., 1964-65) -- and phooey on extra episodes churned out for syndication decades later. The Jetson clan, headed by working stiff George, trots through surprisingly dated sitcom plots about blustery bosses, bad lady drivers, and Elvis Presleyesque teen idols, all greeted with laugh tracks. It's the appeal of the retro-prescient gadgets (recliner massagers, big-screen TVs, two-way monitors) that still carries the show.

But there's arguably more collectible appeal in the accomplished comic-book-style animation on Quest, built around the globe-trotting adventures of motherless Jonny, his scientist dad, Indian pal Hadji (portrayed with notably little condescension), bodyguard/tutor Race Bannon, and pup Bandit. Gaysubtext alert: The Quests live on a private island near Key West and the guys take their shirts off a lot. EXTRAS Nothing notable on Jetsons, but for Quest, The Iron Giant director Brad Bird spearheads some endearingly geeky odes to the show's graphic sophistication. Jetsons: B+ Quest: A-

Originally posted May 14, 2004 Published in issue #765 May 14, 2004 Order article reprints
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