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October 4, 2015

So how accurate was The Jetsons?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 28th 2009 12:03PM
The Jetsons

I got the Flintstones complete series DVD set for Christmas, and I've been thinking about getting the complete set for The Jetsons too. The two shows are compatible. Not only were they made by the same people (Hanna-Barbera), but The Jetsons always seemed like a space age version of The Flintstones. The Jetsons had video telephones, The Flintstones had washing machines run by elephants.

FailOften.net has a fun piece about the technology of The Jetsons and how it predicted (or in some cases didn't) predict the world of 2009. One thing they got right was that video phone/video chat. The above pic shows a screen which is probably bigger than the computer screen you have in your home, but it's basically accurate. I particularly like that the animators remembered to include a camera on top of the screen. That could have easily been a bit of detail that could have been overlooked.

The article also mentions TV watches, massage chairs, and food pills. Some of it is stretching it a little (and these things were part of sci-fi before The Jetsons), but it's funny how many of these things don't seem as crazy as they once seemed. The stuff that hasn't come true yet are things you can now easily see happening some day. Though we're probably a long way away from a gambling mecca in space called Las Venus.

[via Paleo-Future]

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The Jetsons predicted video calling, but one thing that stands out *big time* (if you watch Jetsons episodes on youtube) is that the Jetsons entirely missed touch-screen.

The "cooking machine" that they have in their kitchen (you just push buttons, and the machine instantly gives you whatever you want) still requires physical buttons. And it's a very archaic-looking thing, with old-fashioned round buttons, instead of a touch-screen menu that you can choose your meals from. They didn't even come up with a voice-recognition cooking device, that you could talk to and order your meal. Of course, in retrospect, such a cooking device looks silly when you can just buy frozen meals and pop them in your microwave (for those who don't care about eating quality, healthy meals).

This is just one of *several* misses from the Jetsons. I also don't remember ever seeing mobile phones on the Jetsons. Everyone just always happened to be in the vicinity of a giant video-calling screen.

November 11 2011 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jet packs would be a very difficult thing to do. Sure, we have them, but they aren't practical for anything but short-term spins in the air. First you need enough propulsion to get you and that jet pack (together) off the ground. Okay, good enough. But longer trips need more fuel, which adds weight to what has to be lifted, which in turn will need MORE fuel to get that weight propelled off the ground, which means you and the pack just get heavier. Well, at some point, even if the jet pack could left a person off the ground, what person would be strong enough to lift the jet pack? I think we and jet packs are just victims of the law of gravity. And no matter how futuristic things get, good ol' Mother Nature brings us right back down to earth, literally.

January 28 2009 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They seemed alike because The Jetsons -was- a space-age retooling of The Flintstones. They gave the format another shot in '72 with The Roman Holidays, which was set in, you guessed it, ancient Rome.

January 28 2009 at 8:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Um, you said - twice - "video televisions". I think, and let me go out on a limb here, you meant "video telephones", because, uh, "video televisions" is kind of redundant.

Anyhow, I particularly thought the large screen TV he had (that featured True-3D) while watching the Miss Universe contest was particularly prescient given today's supersized HDTVs, some with 3D - although not like that - capability. I still watch The Jetsons on Boomerang, the theme music and artwork is so addictive.

January 28 2009 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GerryofNorVA's comment

What about CNN? The had the 3D hologram thingie during election night.

January 29 2009 at 2:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The best spin on the whole Flintstones/Jetsons thing was in an episode of the Ralph Bakshi-produced Mighty Mouse series in the late 80's. Mighty Mouse somehow got sucked into his TV set and jumped from show to show (all parodies of Saturday morning cartoon series). One of the shows being "The Jetstones" which was a bizarre amalgam of the The Flintstones and the Jetsons. They had all the Jetsons' tech (flying cars, houses built on top of poles, robots), the caveat being it was all made out of wood, rope, skins and rocks.

January 28 2009 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mdk's comment

I remember that ep of Mighty Mouse! Classic. Why don't they show those on Cartoon Network.

January 28 2009 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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