This is not “The Flintstones.”
This, of course, is from “The Pebbles and Bamm Bamm Show,” which was one of the nails of the proverbial coffin for me when it came to Hanna-Barbera cartoons. As a viewer, I decided the studio had completely run out of ideas. It had already tried regurgitating “The Flintstones” as football players in the sorry “Where’s Huddles?” (1970). Now, it regurgitated “The Flintstones” again and added it to a regurgitation of the comedy teenager concept (“Archie” anyone?) and a funny animal sidekick (the original “Jetsons”, among others). On top of that, I wasn’t interested in Pebbles or Bamm Bamm as toddlers and was less interested them in klutzy high schoolers. And Ted Nichols or someone at the studio became enamoured with blowing a whistle in theme songs around this time, and it was enough to make you, well, regurgitate.
How little did I realise then how much the studio into reusing ideas. Recently, my attention was brought to one of H-B’s numerous proposed series.
This is “The Jetsons.”
This is not “The Jetsons.”
This is Hanna-Barbera out of ideas.
Apparently, the studio decided if it could age Pebbles and Bamm Bamm and hand them their own show, it could do the same thing with Judy and Elroy Jetson. It seems in 1973, the studio came up with the concept but it didn’t sell. Writer-designer-director Scott Shaw comments about the above drawing thusly:
Grown-up Judy here was intended to be working as a journalist; like Lois Lane, I guess that was to propel her into "adventures".Please read Scott’s insight in the comments section about the genesis and background of the idea. I appreciate his knowledge on this.
One of the on-line animation auction has some sketches of the characters, including a kid version of Astro. About all I can say is it’s better than Orbitty from the later Jetsons incarnation.
You’ll notice Willie Ito has signed one of the drawings. Willie had been Ken Harris’ assistant animator at Warner Bros., then headed to Bob Clampett’s Snowball studio to work on Beany and Cecil before winding up at Hanna-Barbera around 1961. He worked on layouts on the original Jetsons series. I don’t know whether this is one of his drawings but it’s pretty neat.
It’s probably just as well that the Judy and Elroy show didn’t sell. The best thing about “The Jetsons” was the futuristic gadgets and I suspect they wouldn’t have been given a lot of priority on new show, just as the Stone Age gadgets took a back seat to contrived teenaged antics on “Pebbles and Bamm Bamm.” Judy’s character would have to have been changed; she was boy-crazy and not much more in the original show. Who knows what would have happened to Elroy’s persona, who inherited a bit of Augie Doggie’s boy genius personality on the original show. After all, the only distinguishing thing Bamm Bamm had as a little tyke was his strength, but it inexplicably evaporated when he morphed into a teen on his own show (as least on the shows I watched before I lost interest in the series). And because there were no takers on the show, we were likely spared theme song lyrics such as:
You’ll see Jane and George, too.
(O’Hanlon, speaking): Ooba-dooba-doo!
On the Judy and Elroy Showwwww.
(long, insufferable whistle screech).
Still, it could have been worse. Let’s hope the old Hanna-Barbera files don’t have a proposal to make George, Jane, Spacely and Cogswell into seven-year-olds.