A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Jetsons &WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania brings back The Jetsons, the Hanna-Barbera space-age family classic, a popular cartoon franchise that began in the 1960s and remained in the public eye with reruns and Saturday-morning cartoons for decades. George and Jane Jetson; their kids, Judy and Elroy; and their dog, Astro live in Orbit City, a futuristic city where everyone tools around in spaceships and lives high above the ground. In its heyday, the show was set in a world filled with robots and new age inventions, and yet, like the distinctive, modern-day Simpsons and the prehistoric Flintstones, characters contended with the trials and tribulations of a being an "every-family." Warner Bros. makes this introductory Jetsons film a joint production with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (as it has with other WB brands, such as Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones). Wrestling and cartoon violence take center stage, and, in addition to the Jetson family, the movie includes many famous WWE stars, voicing themselves. More action is in play here -- less futuristic whimsy than on the earlier Jetson shows. Expect plenty of body slams, throws, tackles, chases, robot battles, blasters, and explosions, all courtesy of the roaring, cackling, central villain the Big Show, who menaces the future even more than he menaces his opponents in wrestling bouts on earth in the present. As The Jetsons return to the burgeoning commercial toy and media world, with this entry it's important for kids to be old enough for and comfortable with pretend action as opposed to real violence.
What's the story?
In the prelude to THE JETSONS & WWE: ROBO-WRESTLEMANIA, WWE wrestler the Big Show (voiced by WWE's Big Show/Paul Wight) is a no-show on the night of his world championship title bout. Unknown to his colleagues, he has been buried deep in the snow during a terrible storm. One hundred years later -- to the day! -- George Jetson, on an excavation assignment from his crotchety boss Mr. Spacely (both voiced by Jeff Bergman), unearths the frozen giant who has been preserved in a deep crevasse. At first, all is well. That is, until the Big Show discovers that his monumental size and outrageous demeanor could give him control of Orbit City. The thought of such unlimited power goes right to his enormously bald head. George, his wife, Jane (Grey Griffin), his son, Elroy (Trey Devall), his daughter, Judy (Danica McKellar), and Rosie (Tress MacNeille), their robot "maid," all feel responsible. It's all their George's fault for digging him up. So when Elroy suggests they use the time machine he's developed in his science class to try to get help from someone from Mr. Show's past on Planet Earth, they're all on board (their spaceship). After some prime negotiations with WWE, the Jetsons return to Orbit City, now armed with some of the greatest legends in wrestling history (all voiced by the WWE stars) to help their cause. It's an all-out battle. Mr. Show has taken over Orbit City, and his dominant robotic minions are now everywhere. But, somehow, some way, Sheamus, Seth Rollins, Alicia Fox, and the entire company of worthy battlers join forces with the Jetson family to save Orbit City and send all the larger-than-life contenders back to Earth in the 21st century where they belong.
Is it any good?
Too bad the Jetsons had to team up with WWE to make it back into the showbiz ring -- the fab futuristic family is caught up in wrestling action instead of the old-school comedy of the past. The amusing characters are there, of course -- just not enough of the amusing Jetson family characters. They're overshadowed by the growling, swaggering personalities of Vince McMahon and his clan. Almost no one, parent or kid, alive in the latter part of the last century can't sing or hum the iconic Jetson theme song. Though the initial run had a limited number of episodes, the show was a major hit for Hanna-Barbera and was an entrenched part of the era's media culture. It will be interesting to see if The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania gives the Jetsons new life -- and fun to see how much the creative team anticipated more than a half century ago. Battles, wrestling action, and the exaggerated behavior of the WWE stars make this suitable only for kids who are clear about real vs. fantastical violence.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the continuing list of cartoons that are produced in conjunction with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. How do movies like such as The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlemania help promote both franchises?
Having so many of their chores and activities done for them by robots or inventions seems to have made the Jetson family lazy. How has this proven true over the last 50 years? List some of the inventions and conveniences that have made us less active or engaged in day-to-day life.
Find out about the two distinct forms of wrestling practiced today. WWE represents wrestling as entertainment, whereas the sport of wrestling is found in schools, colleges, private programs, and the Olympics. What are the differences between the two types of events? Why do you think makes the WWE so appealing to its fans?
Because The Jetsons was a popular TV show, its producers anticipated far-into-the-future concepts and inventions. They kept some of their creations in this movie. Which turned out to be concepts and inventions that are in use, or something like those in use, today? Do you think such developments as the robotic maid and the "slidewalks" may actually be in your future?
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