In The Jetsons Movie (such a vague, early 90s title, too!) we discover that Spacely’s Sprockets are being manufactured at a very heavy cost—the life and habitat of a local species known as the Grunyans. These people are a cross between a Furby and an Eewok, making them something I want to put in my pocket immediately. They even wear Princess Leia-esque headbands. As Spacely drills into their habitat to get his sprockets, the Grunyans experience loss of life, and in protest they sabotage his plant nightly—rendering it an unfortunate place to work, and the last choice of any Sprocket employee. Hence, the always clueless Jetson proudly takes the job, not knowing what he is in for.
The movie involves the whole Jetson family eventually standing up for these creatures, even against Spacely in the end—resulting in the loss of George’s future raise. That message is a good one, despite the banal stereotypes about women—and lazy, stupid men, in the case of George—and one of the earliest examples of environmentalism in a cartoon that I can recall seeing as a child. But there is also plenty of other cheesy awesomeness, such as Tiffany’s singing being used on the soundtrack (including the track “You and Me,” which I used to sing with the same passion as I did Belinda Carlisle hits), and the goofy predictions for what the future might be like. Forget the iPad, folks; we’ve got sprockets and conveyer belts at the mall!
It’s a fun film to watch with your kids with a decent enough message to make it a teaching moment. It’s available for streaming on Netflix right now if you’re interested in seeing it.