- Commentary on two episodes by Janet Waldo, the voice of Judy Jetson
- "The Jetsons: The Family of the Future" chronicles the history of the series
- "Space Age Gadgets" zooms in on the futuristic inventions of the Jetsons' world
- "Family Album" character bios
- "Rosie the Robotic Maid" tribute
- Closed Captioned
The Jetsons: The Complete First Season is a delightful four-disc set that pays full and loving tribute to the William Hanna-Joseph Barbera prime-time ABC animated series about a middle-class space-age family. Ideally, the producers might have gotten a real animation expert to discuss the production of the show, but Janet Waldo -- the voice of Judy Jetson, among other characters -- is so beguiling in her enthusiasm that it's impossible to criticize her shortcomings; she knows a great deal about the other voice actors and what the two producers were like, but nothing about the artists or writers. Waldo does commentary over two episodes, "Rosie the Robot" and "A Date With Jet Screamer." One of the most delightful characteristics she recalls about Joseph Barbera was his ability to do all of the voices while pitching and presenting a script, and he even once showed Paul Lynde what a Paul Lynde voice should sound like. Barbera also tried to pattern the relationship between George Jetson and his wife, Jane, after Dagwood Bumstead and his wife, Blondie, from the "Blondie" movies starring Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake, which was one reason he got Singleton to voice Jane Jetson. Waldo's thoughts are sometimes a bit disorganized, but viewers will come away knowing a good deal about the personalities behind the voices and the production. She speaks in loving admiration of Singleton, Jean van der Pyl, Daws Butler, George O'Hanlon, Don Messick, and Howard Morris, all of whom contributed mightily to the voices here (and on numerous other Hanna-Barbera series).
The major bonus features beyond Waldo's commentary are on disc four, principally in the form of featurettes on the series and its producers. "The Jetsons: The Family of the Future" is a modern documentary using old and new interview clips. Waldo appears on-camera (looking beautiful) and her recollections are intercut with clips from the series and interviews with the producers. It's all a lot of fun, the two of them quietly delighting in their mix of 1950s Americana and futuristic technology, especially where they anticipated some development in modern living that has come to pass. The "Nuclear Family Album" is a series of video portraits of the characters from The Jetsons, and "Space Age Gadgets" demonstrates some of the devices in the world of the Jetsons, including a bed that functions like a pop-up toaster in getting its occupant up for work. Rosie the Robotic Maid gets her own supplementary section of the same name all to herself.
The transfers of the episodes themselves are delightful in their detail and richness of color -- the star-field that opens the credits looks almost 3-D, and the images, both in the foreground and background, look brighter and richer than they ever did on broadcast television. There are seven half-hour shows on the first three discs and three on the fourth disc, which is filled out by the special features. Each opens automatically to a simple menu that is easy to use and maneuver around (and which plays the Jetsons theme music). The audio is mastered a little low, even compared to the menus' theme music, but has a lot of body when given a boost in volume on the playback end. Each episode gets a single chapter, which is not a problem given the standard 25-minute running time and the relatively simple story structures and gag layouts. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
Cast & Crew
George O'Hanlon - George Jetson
Penny Singleton - Jane Jetson
Janet Waldo - Judy Jetson
Daws Butler - Elroy Jetson
Don Messick - Astro