Thursday, May 25, 2017
In Orbit: Animated 'Jetsons' Movie Lands Director
With the recent pushback of Warner Animation Group's all-animated movie adaptation of Scooby-Doo, it appears another Hanna-Barbera movie adaptation has gotten some traction...
A while back, Warner Bros. announced that they were doing animated takes on The Flintstones and The Jetsons to go alongside their long-gestating animated Scooby-Doo movie. The animated Scooby-Doo movie, previously titled S.C.O.O.B., was once set for the autumn of 2018. Earlier this month, Warner Bros. pushed the movie all the way back to spring 2020, and changed the title to Scooby. For a while, it was thought that S.C.O.O.B./Scooby would start a Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe.
The Jetsons movie has landed DreamWorks veteran and Sausage Party co-director Conrad Vernon, but no screenwriter has been attached. Vernon co-directed Madagascar 3 at DreamWorks, one of the better cartoony animated comedies made in the last five or so years, so I think he's a perfect fit for a Hanna-Barbera movie adaptation. The reports on this development have not mentioned the Hanna-Barbera shared universe, so I'm almost convinced that the project in general is kind of a no-go at this point.
Whether the shared universe goes through or not, what really matters is this... The resulting movie adaptations themselves are very fun cartoony adventures that respect the source material... But I did kind of feel that a H-B shared universe actually made sense, considering that Hanna-Barbera cartoons frequently crossed over in the days before crossovers became cool: The Flintstones Meet the Jetsons, that Johnny Bravo episode where he meets the Mystery Gang, Scooby's All Star Laff-a-Lympics, etc. The Hanna-Barbera cartoons are just that... Cartoons. I feel that you can do whatever with cartoon logic on your side, and make a lot of fun pokes at Hollywood's post-Avengers shared universe fetish, but hey.
At least Warner Animation Group is getting to do these projects, because I think live-action didn't do The Flintstones or Scooby-Doo any favors. The Jetsons and its idealistic early 60s future world - an aesthetic that I myself personally love - is built for animation.
I'm a stiff board when it comes to this kind of thing, I say keep cartoons as cartoons, stop trying to live-actionize every animated thing. That goes for you, too, Disney... So yes, I think this could work out. Jetsons: The Movie came and went 27 years ago, and outside of that, all we have is a direct-to-video WWE movie. (Seriously, what is it with the WWE and Hanna-Barbera properties?) Compare that to Scooby-Doo, that series has like a million direct-to-video movies. Hopefully the CG will be much more 2D-like, a la The Peanuts Movie.
Overall, Vernon is a good fit for a Jetsons movie, and I hope it ends up being a lot of fun and something worth seeing again. What say you?