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The Cartoon Intro Examination Thread (60s Edition) - Hanna the Barberian

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Flintstones

Oh, I missed something… the ending for season one. I’m generally doing the intros but the endings are actually AS notable and iconic and I feel like I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t cover them too. And they are pretty good, for all the grief I give them.


We see Fred turning off the set in the dead of night and wandering out of the room, where Dino takes his place on the armchair (arm rock? Rock chair? Rock rock?)

Fred then walks into his room where a mouthless Wilma is sleeping. Fred then goes to a bird in the corner of the room and zips a cloth up over his head. I’m… not sure what this is. Is it just that they have a pet bird that isn’t an appliance and its like how we cover bird cages so they don’t make noises at sun up? Is it an alarm clock? If it’s a lamp, it provides no illumination. If anyone can help me out here, I’d appreciate it, maybe I’d know if I’d seen season one.

We see all the lights going out one by one in Bedrock as people go to bed. But then one set of lights turns back on. Fred puts out two rock bottles of milk for the milkman and goes back in and the lights go out. Then they come back on immediately and Fred puts the sabretooth tiger out for the night. Did you remember that they had another pet? I didn’t.* And I remembered that the Rubbles eventually get a dinosaur kangaroo thing.

And like Dino in later seasons, the tiger dives back in the house * before Fred can and he ends up getting locked out and does his iconic bellow for Wilma despite open windows that Fred could fit through being, like, right there. Right fucking there, Fred. They are huge.

In terms of jokes, there’s not much there but I do like it in terms of mood as the show gives us a “turning in for the night” section that sets a nice atmosphere. I feel like it flows well from the intro's "getting home from work to watch TV" element and makes it feel like part of a larger piece.

* EDIT: The cat, whose name I seriously cannot remember, is actually there for the whole thing and plays the same role in the outro that I misremembered Dino taking over. He's always been there and I don't even know it's name.
 
Last edited:

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
The Flintstones did spawn the best comic book of the last decade. I will never miss a chance to recommend that people read The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Flintstones

And here we move into season three with the more iconic theme! I talk smack a lot about Hanna Barbera and the Flintstones but there’s no getting around it: this is a killer theme song. There’s even a myth (not proven) that its an “eraser” song to combat earworms. There’s no evidence this works save that it works MAYBE more as a distraction. However, “Meet the Flintstones” might be the single best 60s theme song. I’m not counting themes that aren’t songs, in which I would put Doctor Who as number one. Meet the Flintstones even has its own Wikipedia page, that’s how big its shadow looms.

But enough talk, lets see the theme song proper.


Note that for season three, there are two openings. I suspect it will not be difficult for you to guess why.

From moment one, this is already a much stronger opening. Not that the first one is awful but this one starts with a stronger musical blast as we hear the more iconic music as Fred is using a dinosaur to lift some rocks. The foreman nearby then pulls the tail of the bird who yells, making the sound of a end of work whistle… sort of. Fred doesn’t hesitate. “Yabba Dabba Doo!” he explains, which doesn’t mean anything. I really don’t get what that means. Is it supposed to be caveman talk, maybe?

But anyway, he yells and slides down the tail of the dinosaur, sending him sailing straight into his car.

Again, the visuals this time are better. Its not that the animation is, simply what the show now knows what will get our attention. I should also point out both are smart in how they start their show: they are both “end of a work day, time to relax” vibes, which is perfect for a prime time shows family’s will make time for. But this one is a lot more fun and smart enough to show the end of a hard day of work and the immediate joy of breaking free while the season one intro is… a bunch of errands.

“Flintstones
Meet the Flintstones
They’re the modern stone age family
From the town of Bedrock
They’re a page right out of history.”

Again, much better. A jaunty and memorable tune that sets the tone and explains the premise. A good intro gets us into the world or at least an aspect of the world and this does a much smoother job singing the concept and showing us what is happening.

Anyway, Fred punches out of work with a dinosaur biting his time into a slab of rock. And no errands, he is home almost immediately (though we can tell time as past thanks to the evening sky). And this time, it isn’t a night in, it’s a night out as Wilma rushes to the car with the pets in tow.

“Let’s ride with the family down the street
Through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet.”

Fred Flintstone then takes the family to a drive in theatre, a reference that is relevant again, so see a showing of “The Tar Monster”.

“When you’re with the Flintstones
Have a yabba dabba doo time
A dabba doo time.
You’ll have a gay old time.”

Fred pulls up to his place and puts the speaker on the car. Dino pops his head out of the canvas roof of the car while Fred gives an “Oh, you” look and then the camera pans over the blackness of the silver screen.

The song is great, the visuals, while not “funny”, make the audience understand the nature of the show and it works much better as a great package as the previous one. And then there’s the ending…


I won’t recite the full lyrics save for the additional lyric

“One day, maybe Fred will win the fight
Then that cat will stay out for the night.”


Again, I completely forgot the cat was even in the lyrics.

Visually we start with everyone leaving the theatre, including the Flintstones. They drive in to a fast food place to get a meal. Giving the waitress an order, she comes back with the show’s most famous visual gag: a huge rack of bronto ribs, that tips over the car when the tray is placed on the car. The Flintstones then drive home and everyone goes in the house. Fred puts out the milk bottle and the cat but the cat is not having it. It jumps in the Window, carries Fred out of the house, leaving Fred to bellow for Wilma despite the open window being, like, RIGHT THERE. ITS RIGHT THERE FRED! THAT’S HOW THE CAT DID IT THIS TIME!

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Again, I know too much about it. But the intro is perfect in representing the show in the best possible way.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

The opening and closing credits theme during the first two seasons was called "Rise and Shine", a lively instrumental underscore accompanying Fred on his drive home from work. The tune resembled "The Bugs Bunny Overture (This Is It!)", the theme song of The Bugs Bunny Show, also airing on ABC at the time, and may have been the reason the theme was changed in the third season.[3]

Prior to being adopted as the TV theme, "Meet the Flintstones" was first released on the Golden Records 78 rpm children's record release Songs of the Flintstones (Golden R680, released 1961), as the A-side to a version of "Rise and Shine" with lyrics. It includes verses related to Barney and Betty Rubble and to Dino that are not heard in the later TV version. The melody of "Meet the Flintstones" can also be heard as incidental music in some episodes of the first two seasons.

Starting in Season 3, Episode 3 ("Barney the Invisible"), "Meet the Flintstones" became the opening and closing credits theme. This version was recorded with a 22-piece big band conducted by composer Hoyt Curtin and performed by the Randy Van Horne Singers. The melody is believed to have been inspired from part of the 'B' section of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 17 (The "Tempest"), Movement 2, composed in 1801/02, and reharmonized.[4] The "Meet the Flintstones" opening was later added to the first two seasons for syndication, with "Rise and Shine" restored when the series was re-released to syndication and, later, home video in the 1990s. The musical underscores were also credited to Curtin for the show's first five seasons; Ted Nichols took over in 1965 for the final season.[3] During the show's final season, "Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In)", performed by Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, in a clip from that season's first episode, was used as alternate close music.

Fan Art


Even more







This pterodactyl is over this sexy Margaret Keane’s Wilma’s shit.



Best one I’ve seen so far, I think. Not a big reimagining but also slightly different and fun.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Flintstones

Now the opening from season three ended up changing midway through the season. Why? Because Pebbles, the baby Flintstone, was introduced! So basically, here’s almost the same intro but with Pebbles.


I won’t go into detail for the first half of the intro, which remains the same until the 20 second mark. Instead of Wilma exiting, Fred rushes in. There, we see Pebbles playing with “building boulders”. Fred picks her up and they rush out to the car with Wilma and the pets. They get to the drive in, as before, but this time after Dino’s head pops through the canvas roof, Fred puts Pebbles on his head, presumably so she can get a good view. And like before, we pan to the black screen.

Note I cannot find any evidence of a similarly adapted end credits sequence to include Pebbles. It probably exists but I can’t find it. I think this particular intro took place in a weird spot towards the end of season 3 and before season 4, which we’ll get to next time.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Nope. Sorry cave-baby.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Barbera and Hanna experimented with hillbillies (a hillbilly theme was later incorporated into two Flintstones episodes, "The Bedrock Hillbillies" and "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes"), Romans (Hanna-Barbera eventually created The Roman Holidays), pilgrims, and Indians as the settings for the two families before deciding on the Stone Age. According to Barbera, they settled on that because "you could take anything that was current, and convert it to stone-age".[19] Under the working title The Flagstones, the family originally consisted of Fred, Wilma, and their son, Fred, Jr. A brief demonstration film was also created to sell the idea of a "modern stone-age family" to sponsors and the network.[20]:3 It was a difficult sell, and required eight weeks of daily presentations to networks and ad agencies.[7] Animator Kenneth Muse, who worked on the Tom and Jerry cartoons, also worked on the early seasons of The Flintstones.

Fan Art


Dino is too Xtreme.


Ugh, this Dino is even worse.



Stop making bad Dinos.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
The only face in that last fanart that doesn't creep me all the way out is Vulcan Betty's, but even then...

Fred's is tickling my memory something FIERCE but I can't quite figure out who he reminds me of. Young Ben Affleck?

I also want to say that there's a version of the intro that has both sets of parents, and therefore has both Pebbles and Bam-Bam getting placed on top of the pets' heads, but I may have imagined it.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Definitely. Bam Bam hasn't been adopted yet. Tomorrow is that one (if I can get to it) and I think that's the last one. I don't know if the Great Gazoo ever got into an intro.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Flintstones

This is, as far as I can tell, the very last intro of the original series.


OK, once again, the beginning is as normal until 16 seconds in. Then Wilma comes out of the house with her purse and Pebbles and the pets in tow. They begin driving but they stop to pick up the Rubbles on the way to the drive in. It is crowd AF in their but everyone seems pretty happy. And once again, Dino sticks his head through the roof, only this time both Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, the Rubbles adopted son, is placed on Dino’s head.


Now the ending is where things get a little weird. I feel like it kind of has the ending I assumed season 3 had at the half-way mark but also doesn’t. We start with the Flintstones and the Rubbles on their way home from the theatre. But stopping at the burger shack, the Rubbles straight up disappear. Gonesville. And they way it is edited makes it feel like they drove straight there. Maybe they just tucked and rolled out. “See you tomorrow, Fred…” But Pebbles is still in the car. So I feel like there MUST have been a credits sequence that’s all Pebbles, no Rubbles.

Anyway, the only other difference is we get to see Wilma bring in Pebbles.

BUT this is not the only ending theme in the later seasons. See there was an episode where Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, who are like, two at this point, sing a hit song.


Its really the kind of song a serial killer sings to himself while stalking his next victim.

We start at the Hollyrock Palace where Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are on the marquee. Or should I say… rocquee? This is a serious question, please give me an answer.

Anyway, in the theatre, the children are singing and playing instruments while the nearly two-year-old I’m looking after can’t even play the harmonica and is therefore terrible.

“She says he causes trouble when you let him in the room
He will never ever leave you if your heart is filled with gloom.”

There’s so many people I could say this song is about but I’ve decided today this is a song about Max Landis.

“So let the sun shine in
Face it with a grin
Open up your heart and let the sun shine in.
Let the sun shine in.”

It looks wholesome but knowing show business, once the kids go back stage they are just doing all the blow they can get their hands on.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

No.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Despite the animation and fantasy setting, the series was initially aimed at adult audiences, which was reflected in the comedy writing, that as noted, resembled the average primetime sitcoms of the era, with the usual family issues resolved with a laugh at the end of each episode, as well as the inclusion of a laugh track. Hanna and Barbera hired many writers from the world of live-action, including two of Jackie Gleason's writers, Herbert Finn and Sydney Zelinka, as well as relative newcomer Joanna Lee, while still using traditional animation story men such as Warren Foster and Michael Maltese.

Fan Art


Pebbles super dilated eyes are freaking me out.


Finally, the Flinstones Meet Chubb Limited


After so many angry Freds, this one is easily the most terrifying.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Jetsons

The Jetsons was the follow up to the Flintstones, save taking place in the distant future. For my complaints about the Flintstones, I remember it being worse. Fred is kind of a jerk but I find George just dull as dishwater. I like the super tall sky buildings with resulted in the assumption that something terrible happened below (and the fan theory that it takes place in the same era as the Flintstones, save that the Flintstones are the underclass). But it does have an iconic opening.


We move through space until we finally close in on the Earth. We hear bright, fun music that gets a little jazzy when we cut to weird shapes that explode into confetti triangles. It… kind of feels like a visual that means nothing except it looks a little neat. Anyway, we then see the city of the future, buildings on pillars that kind of look like a somewhat less homogenous version of Bomb Man’s stage.



We see a flying future car flying around with a pretty iconic sound effect. As much as I complain about Hanna Barbera using the same sounds all the time, I do like this one a lot. They fly onto the center of the screen and the show’s title appears above them. Then we hear the show’s iconic musical sting.

We then get a closer look at the inhabitants of the car.

“Meet George Jetson.”

Note that everything is sort of sung without it actually being a song. George gives his son a lunch box and a future hat. The boy’s chair turns into a bubble and is shot through the bottom of the ship.

“His boy Elroy.”

Elroy’s bubble flies towards “Little Dipper School”, presumably for a day of computerized learning, virtual recess and an augmented reality cafeteria where eating broccoli has been gamified.

“Daughter Judy.”

Judy hugs her dad and George sends her daughter to “Orbit High School”. I feel like the use of space-age words in the show is somehow lazier and less clever than in the Flintstones. At least there Elroy would have gone to Sedimentary School.

“Jane, his wife.”

George offers her, like, a fucking twenty but Jane takes the whole wallet. I know this is supposed to make Jane look low key… not bad but unreasonable financially but I am totally on George’s side. I suspect despite being in the distant future, this is a show of conventional gender roles and Jane will need actual real money to buy shit, George.

Anyway, she bubbles off to the Shopping Center which doesn’t even get a name like “The Coma Berenices Mall”. They just gave up, though that’s probably for the best at this point.

George arrives at his work, Spacely Sprockets, where his car turns into a briefcase. He then gets on a conveyor belt, where he gets to his desk and takes a Homer Simpson-style nap.

And like the Flintstones, this one gets an outro that isn’t just credits.


The Jetsons family car flies home. George enters via conveyor belt and Rosie the robot takes his briefcar. A chair emerges from his floor and knocks him out of his shoes. The chair takes him to Elroy who has a pair of slippers waiting for him and places them on his daddy. George’s char glides past his daughter, who has a pipe waiting for him. It is not a future pipe that smokes lasers for some reason. He is then lead to the room with his wife with a beautiful smile and a dog on a leash waiting for him. It drags him out where he takes him for a walk on a treadmill.

A cat walks by and onto the treadmill, causing the dog to chase it and the treadmill to speed up. It starts going faster than George can run and he finds himself dragged under it and is forced to run very hard. “Jane” he cries “Stop this crazy thing!”

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

No. I’m not sure why but I found the Jetsons setting fun while finding the Jetsons themselves boring. The intro itself is iconic and is memorable, particularly the character introductions, so it isn’t a bad opening but its not nearly as great as the Flintstones post-season 1.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

The show premiered in 1962 and had three seasons… but the last two didn’t happen until over 20 years later! The show also initially bombed in primetime but did very well in the Saturday morning slot.

Fan Art



He looks creepily plastic, which kind of works in a way.

And here are a couple of very good but very different Judys.








 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Gonna be honest, as soon as the page loaded and the Monsteropolis gif loaded, I laughed out loud. :D

Now that you've made me aware of it, it's interesting to contrast how the Flintstones OPs are centered around coming together to "watch" the upcoming episode, whereas the Jetsons OP is the start of the day instead. Fred toils away at the quarry, looking forward to evenings of entertainment with the family, while George begins his day getting rid of everyone and napping.

Curse those rich bourgeois and their magical sky castles!
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I feel like most of us are more familiar with The Jetsons' 80s revival than the 60s debut. 60s Jetsons was just kinda there, but 80s Jetsons felt more like an event. I mean, they had a made-for-TV crossover with The Flintstones! They had a theatrical movie release in 1990!

Somebody at Hanna-Barbera must've really loved The Jetsons to go to the trouble of reviving it like that.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Now that you've made me aware of it, it's interesting to contrast how the Flintstones OPs are centered around coming together to "watch" the upcoming episode, whereas the Jetsons OP is the start of the day instead. Fred toils away at the quarry, looking forward to evenings of entertainment with the family, while George begins his day getting rid of everyone and napping.

Curse those rich bourgeois and their magical sky castles!

The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (dir. Don Lusk, Ray Patterson, 1987)
 
The jetstons/flintstones crossover sticks out as a childhood memory but I think I was always more into Flintstones and it’s also remained more relevant. Present in the culture? Something.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Hattytown Tales

Oh, man, I’ve been trying to do this alphabetically and then I forgot to check out cartoons on the other side of the pond. And this one has a very British name that it sounds super-made up. But it isn’t.


We begin with a title while chintzy music plays in the background. We then pan over to see hat shaped houses that look like a sea captain’s hat, a… pirate hat maybe? Then a bishop’s hat (maybe. I don’t know my religious headwear) and a bobby’s hat (ABAB).

We then see a…


…another captain’s hat? A trumpeteer’s cap? Forceps salesman topper? @madhair, can you identify this hat? I feel like my sister’s partner is the only other person who might know offhand and he’s at work.

Next we have a mortarboard, where presumably some insufferable nerd lives and a deerstalker where either a hunter or a Sherlock Holmes lives. Then another shot of the police house (defund hats). We then get a panning shot of the houses we’ve seen. The narrator says “This is Hattytown, where all the people live in hats” in what is probably the most “no duh” comment of 1969. Now if it was Bootsford-upon-Ascotshire, then I would be surprised.

“This little boy with the great big hat on is Sancho.” We then see a boy wearing a full body sombrero and considering the era, I’m getting worried.

We then see a burrito (little donkey, not food). “And this is carrots, Sancho’s very special friend.” Is this a romantic thing? This feels like 1960s style coded language before everyone in the next couple decades just straight up traded “confirmed bachelor” for slurs.

Today’s story is called “Mr. Whimple’s Breakfast Runs.”

Gross.

It doesn’t help that the next hat we see is holding his own butt, either.

But now I’m worried. See the next hat we see, that I assumed is a pirate hat looks very, very black in a very specific way. This is a shitty race thing, isn’t it? This feels like a thing 60s Europe would do.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

I mean, I could be very wrong about the last hat. I hope I am. But its putting a no in my mouth, despite finding most of the shows like this to be chill enough to let wash over me.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Very little. Mostly, it describes one episode for some reason.

Fan Art

I couldn’t find any BUT I got a better look at the pirate’s hands and now I don’t THINK it’s a black stereotype character… I think. I hope.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Herbs

Here’s another gentle British stop motion show.


We start with a title card. Then we see a little tag with the title card on it sticking to a stone cherub’s groin. The tag flies off and swirls in front of a 1980s comedy club brick wall before hitting the ground.

“Do you know what a herb is?” asks the narrator? “Parsley is a herb. Basil is a herb, too. So is Rosemary.” OK, I guess I was expecting an definition rather than examples but this is helpful, all the same.

Anyway, we see the herbs grow from the ground with appropriate signs.

“There are hundreds, hundreds of different kinds. Big ones, small ones, nice ones, ones which are not quite so nice.” Appropriate herbs come up with the example but frankly I do not care for this slam against cacti. Without them we’d be missing some great video game characters.




“Sage is a herb. And so is bayleaf.” Wait, I thought you moved on from specific ones. This is some real off the dome stuff for you, isn’t this narrator. Like you are trying to hide the fact that you don’t actually know. I’m pretty sure it’s a leaf thing. Herbs are leaves, right?

“Long ago, people believed herbs had some sort of magic power.”

Didn’t see this coming.

“Some people believe it still. I know a secret herb garden behind that door where all sorts of strange things happen.” This is going to get freaky, isn’t it.

Anyway, we see a door. “I have to say a magic word: Herbidacious!” The door opens and we see a garden.

“There, its very quiet and peaceful. But it isn’t always like this…”

We then start the episode proper.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

This seems something I could chill to. Also, I can’t think of a more weed friendly kids show if you just need to unwind.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Hey, this is from the creator of Paddington Bear. The show also aired during a programming block called “Watch With Mother”. It also was considered to have sophisticated writing for the audience and had lots of droll humour for older audiences. Its not funny but it may allow you to smirk knowingly.

Fan Art

Nope. But there is herbs as cute anime boys.

 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Johnny Cypher in Dimension Zero

Wait, why did I never choose this as my screen name? Nothing could possibly live up to this title, so lets watch in disappointment.


We begin in a star field where a symbol spins onto the screen.

“In the future,
Out of nowhere,
On the wings,
A Chinese Spaceman.”

I’m positive I’m hearing this wrong but I cannot parse this sentence. Though I should be thankful considering how the Chinese were represented at the time.

The screen explodes and we are told the series is brought to us by “Seven Arts”, likely called that because that’s the total number of character designs and backgrounds.

“There is science and adventure.”

OK, parsing the way I hear “science”, I realized that they called him a “science age spaceman.” I think. Man, I wish I lived in the science age because while you could argue most ages of humanity are science ages, boy do we have some resistance to it.

We then see a spaceship fly towards us with space sounds and when it passes we see our hero in a classic space guy suit (or the Sci-fi variety rather than the realistic kind).

“Meet tomorrow’s (I can’t parse this) brand new fleet!

“Then there’s Johnny.
Johnny Cypher.
He’s a bored adventure hero.”

Johnny begins punching at space so hard the nothingness explode into the title. And yes, I know the show is trying to call him “bold” but I calls it like I hears it. For example…

“Johnny’s lipstick
And terrific.”

Johnny the punches hard and turns into a tornado man. I’ll say, I don’t have faith in this being a good show but they are working hard to sell Cypher as a dynamic fighter. As he flies by we get the rest of the title.

“Johnny Cypher is a magic hero.”

Another thing I’m pretty sure I misheard but I can’t be bothered to listen to it 8 more times.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Kinda yeah. I don’t have faith it will be good but the warbling song and the badassness of Cypher kind of has me into this.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Not much. Apparently, he’s like Doctor Who, travelling in space and time. Though it looks like there’s more beating up people to solve problems than cleverness and faith in humanity.

Oh, and one of the episodes is called “The Space Party”. Either sounds fun or political.

Fan Art

No. But I found this…




I already hate Johnny’s sidekick.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
LTTP comments on the Flintstones and Jetsons!

Flintstones was one of many 60s-eras pop culture objects that I experienced as a kid and kind of hated, but watched it anyway, if it was around. It was better than doing nothing. Nearly every sitcom ever made between the advent of television and the late 1990s had the special ability to bore me to tears. Flintstones had the mild advantage of being animated and sometimes having something more interesting to see than staircases and sweaters.

The theme of the Jetsons was way more appealing to me both then and now, but in practice it had the same effect on me. Boring! BUT: I was today years old when I learned the show had a 1980s revival, and I don't think I realized the crossover movie(s) came from the same era. I did, however, absolutely love the Jetsons Movie, which I had on VHS. It was notable for being in development hell for a number of years, and several of the original cast members died between the time they recorded the lines and the movie came out. It's worth watching entirely for this musical number:

 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
This is what happens when you condense the totality of the 80s aesthetic into a single two minutes. Not a complaint.

Yeah, I also never really cared for the Flintstones. Fred is kind of an unlikable lead and using sitcom writers for an animated series is a novel idea that seemed to result in some dull as dust plotting. Not that I'd trust the standard Hanna Barbera plotters for something original...
 
No impulse to revisit but I wanted to live in the world of the Flintstones when I was a child. Going to see the live-action Flintstones is my first memory of going to the movies. Never had any problems with the cartoon. I'd go as far as to say I loved it. I simply wanted to hang out with dinosaurs. (also loved the sitcom Dinosaurs) Jetsons never had a hold on me, though.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Jonny Quest

Here is one of the most famous cartoons of the era and one of the most iconic openings.


We start out with some South American tribesmen on boat in a rainforest chasing a man on foot. This is one of those “aged poorly” signifiers of the time. Then we see a pterodactyl. Always a plus. Then a panther. Then an alligator. Then the pterodactyl because if you have one, sure you are going to use it again.

And things get better from there. Next we have G.I.s firing on something… which turns out to be a walking eye robot. A tank fires on it and it seems to explode, despite the fact that having scene every cartoon ever, I know its going to be OK. Then a mummy stomps around and smashes through a cellar door. So, I think someone owes someone a new door, MUMMY!

We then see some Marvel Comics-styled costumed Henchmen firing their rifles. Then a mummy lifting a dude. Then Race Bannon firing a gun because before people cracked down on guns in cartoons, a show like this could go hog wild apparently. Race fires his gun, which crushes the mummy and his hostage. WTF, Race. Not cool. I love how cavalierly violent this makes race look, like he’s a dude who doesn’t care for collateral damage.

Things get even better: more and different costumed henchmen floating around on hover thingies. An eagle attacking the pet sidekick. Snakes! Someone taking their Komodo dragons for a walk. Race Bannon swinging from a line to knock yet another flavor of henchman off Johnny. Then one of the henchmen fires a laser at a sargasso trapped boat and… I doesn’t really do anything. Then Dr. Quest fires an even bigger “fuck you” electro gun and blows up the boat. Don’t know the story but I like to assume that they were having a death ray contest and the henchman just shit the bet while Quest won the fuck out of it.

Things then calm down a bit and we see “A Hanna Barbera Production” over the shot of a space age airplane. We then see a group shot of the cast inside the plane.

“Starring Jonny Quest” Sleepy eyed Johnny gives a quick glance at us then looks back out the window. Its almost a shame after everything he is our lead.

“Dr. Benton Quest” He kind of looks around as if he’s suspicious of everything.

“’Race’ Bannon” The music smooths out as if to remind us this is the REAL star of the show as he flies the plane.

“Hadji” Hadji looks to the left with a sly smile as if looking at his SO.

“Bandit” Who might be this dog. And frankly, good choice.

We get one more group shot, a shot of the plane, then the title to a musical sting (and promise of products bringing us this show.)


As for our end credits, we see the heroes floating around on a futuristic platform followed by FUCKING NOPE! NOPE! Yeah, no. Fucking African tribesmen of the NOPE variety. They… throw… spears at a plane, which flies away from this unfortunately very standard scene for globetrotting heroes of the era.

We then see Race on a speed boat make a jump on an improvised ramp and FUCKING CRUSH TWO BADDIES! Race does not fuck around.

We then see a panning shot of the rain forest and cut to Johnny and Hadji diving in the river. A monkey looks concerned as they check out Dr. Quest in a diving bell.

Then we have Hadji snake and rope charming while Jonny surfs on a camel. Then, guess who is back. THE FUCKING PTERADACTYL. At this point, I feel like he’s a recurring friend to the characters. We then end on Dr. Quest and Race wearing jetpacks and wielding a pistol and a bazooka, respectively. I am positive this is the episode kids ALWAYS missed when the show was on.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Like, mostly. But also, racism. Is that what that is short for? Racism Bannon? Like Steve?! Anyway, usually I complain about shows using a lot of footage from the show rather than original material but this one does everything right in that respect. Tightly edited to the music, which is great. Lots of cool, dynamic footage. Implying a wide range of different adventures. This is definitely one of the strongest intros of the era. But also… tribesmen. *sigh*

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

The characters were designed by veteran comics artist Doug Wildley, who I confess a lack of familiarity with, and was designed to be an adaptation of the radio series Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy, which people are far less familiar with than Jonny Quest. I feel like this necessitates some research. On a future date.

Fan Art

As you might imagine, there is a lot.



SO BADASS!



I’m sure they are being attacked at multiple angles but it looks like Race is a REALLY bad shot.



This one is the best one. Would read this crossover.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
My father-in-law watches Jonny Quest as a comfort show from time to time. I like the bold colors and character designs, but basically nothing of the boys' adventure / super spy genres of the era has aged well at all. It can be prrreeeeettty cringe-inducing to watch, just like your experience was above.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I love how utterly bored everyone looks in that cockpit shot. "Exciting Adventures! Racism! Hours-long commutes!"
 
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