Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Jetsons: A Jetson Christmas Carol: Review by William Mortensen Vaughan

Title:   "The Jetsons":  
"A Jetson Christmas Carol"

My Rating*****
Adaptation:  Featuring the voice of Mel Blanc as Cosmo S. Spacely

Date of Release:  Friday, December 13, 1985

Format:  VHS, animated television comedy episode

Is this adaptation reverent?  This adaptation is not particularly reverent.  It both mocks and glamorizes commercialized apsects of Christmas.

Does it include the phrase "God bless us...?"  [TBC]

Does it mention "God" or "Christ"?  [TBC]

What does my wife think of it?  She thinks the Jetsons are "OK."

How closely does this adaptation follow the original novel, by Charles Dickens?  This adaptation of A Christmas Carol does not follow the original novel by Charles Dickens very closely.  In this version, Tiny Tim is replaced by the Jetsons' family dog, Astro, who, upon chasing and catching a robotic cat, accidently swallows one of Spacely's sprockets.  Cosmo S. Spacely is the Scrooge, who makes George Jetson work late on Christmas Eve, at his sprocket factory.  After four ghostly visitors show him his past, present, and future, he decides to have his personal veterinarian help Astro on Christmas Day.  He decides to do this because the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows him how wealthy George Jetson becomes after suing him for the demise of his dog, Astro, since the sprocket which Astro swallowed is a Spacely Sprocket.  After George sues him, Mr. Spacely is left on "skid row."

Another key difference in this adaptation is that Cosmo "the Scrooge" S. Spacely marries and remains married inspite of loving money more than his wife.

What dialect is used?  Plain English.

When and where does this adaptation take place?   This adaptation is intended to take place in "the future," where Mars has Yellow Pages and "laser Christmas trees" are considered "traditional."  Released in 1985, however, nothing in it seems particularly futuristic nearly two decades into the Twenty-Second Century Anno Domini.  Audiovisual communications, lasers, and robots are considered commonplace now-a-days.  What does seem unusual is that Astro the dog speaks English with the mentality and intellect of a human child.  Yellow Pages are "so last millennium"!  If they can be found at all, they are only worth the paper they're printed on, for wrapping glassware for storage, or as toilet paper, et cetera.

Is this adaptation a prequel or a sequel?   No.

Is this adaptation supernatural?  Yes, because Mr. Spacely is visited by the ghost of Marsley, one of his former business partners, and three Mystery Spirits, who show Mr. Spacely the past, present, and future.

Is this adaptation "framed"?  No.

How many original musical numbers and/or dance routines are included?  The emphasis of this adaptation is not on the music.

How attractive is the visual art?  I find the art well done and nostalgic.

How creative and instense are the transitions?  The transitions are adequate.  The Mystery Spirit who shows Mr. Spacely his past zaps him with a teleportation beam, and transports him through  kaleidoscopes to traverse time.  Mystery Spirit 2 turns from a large, gift-wrapped, Christmas present box into a rocket and blasts off with him.  The Mystery Spirit who shows him the future zaps him, as does the first Mystery Spirit.

What is the most remarkable thing about this adaptation?  The most remarkable thing about this adaptation is perhaps its outdated futurism.

Test your knowledge of this film by taking this quiz!  

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