We all know and love The Flintstones and The Jetsons as the family cartoons of our childhood. Both originally aired in the '60s and have continued to live on for decades since. But, is it possible that there has been more depth to these lovable families than meets the eye?
For those who lived under a rock, here's a recap:
The Flintstones is set in the stone-age era town of Bedrock. It features Fred Flintstone, his family, and their neighbors and best friends the Rubbles. The classic theme song describes the Flintstones as "a modern stone-age family," and they certainly are. They posses all sorts of modern inventions, but made with primitive-style equipment. They live alongside dinosaurs and woolly mammoths in harmony, though these animals are usually put to work for the humans, such as using a bird as a home-based alarm clock.
The Jetsons is set in a futuristic utopia, Orbit City, which is based entirely up in the clouds — the buildings stand on columns and rise far above the surface of the planet. The Jetsons are a normal, all-American family, aside from the advanced technology that assists their day-to-day life. Robots are used in all aspects of their life, such as their robot maid, Rosie. Mr. Jetson works only a few days a week because the majority of the labor has been assigned to robots. Despite their leisurely lifestyle, there is a continuous theme of the family complaining about having to do hard work and daily inconveniences.
There are several theories on both The Jetsons and The Flintstones, with many of them linking the two together in one way or another. It's only when those theories are combined that a full, dark picture is painted, casting a shadow over the once-loved cartoons.
The theory goes that The Jetsons predates The Flintstones, despite their obvious gaps in technology. Fred Flintstone and his family seem to live in the stone-age era and are stereotypical cavemen, while George Jetson and his family seem to live in a time far in the future from where we are now. I propose to you the idea that The Flintstones is instead set in a post-apocalyptic world that came around after the catastrophic downfall of the society in which The Jetsons live.
First, we have to explain how Orbit City and the rest of their world ended up in the sky instead of living on Earth like we do now. The most obvious reasons would be pollution and destruction. It's not too hard to imagine a time when our pollution levels get too high, we start to run out of space to live, and the Earth down here becomes inhabitable (WALL-E, anyone?). How do we solve that problem? With the invention of hover-cars and the normalization of journey's to outer space, us and the Jetsons could simply move our world up to exist among the clouds.
The Jetsons Meet The Flinstones Movie
In The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones movie, Elroy Jetson has crafted a time machine. The family plan to use it to head forward to the 25th century, but instead end up in what they believe to be the past, where they meet the Flintstone family. What if, however, they're simply mistaken in believing what they see is the past, because they wouldn't imagine history repeating itself. Easily done, after all, we've done it for 50 years. To make it even clearer, The Flintstones were accidentally sent back to Orbit City in the time machine, and if you watch closely you'll see the leaver set to "past."
In this film, we learn that Elroy Jetson has never seen grass. When asked what it is upon landing in Bedrock, George Jetson informs his son that it is grass, and he knows this because he remembers reading about it in ancient history. This suggests that nature, and the Earth's surface as we know it now, is long gone. Not only do they never visit the home planet, but clearly it doesn't even look the same from their view in the sky. In The Jetson's Movie, Roise the maid raises their entire apartment complex above a thick layer of smog from the planet below:
The Time Gap Between The Two Families
Now, for the part between the Jetsons era and the Flintstones era, we're going to have to get a little imaginative. In most societies, there will always be a group who believe in starting again, doing something different without the influence of modern creations. I mean, you can't deny that if we found that another planet was hospitable there would be a whole group of people desperate to start fresh on the new world. The theory would suggest that this is exactly what happened in the Jetsons society, only backwards.
You see, the people of Orbit City live a life of major luxury. Technology and robots do all the hard work for them, so much so that the people complain about every small amount of effort they have to put into any activity. Eventually, a part of this society would break off, complaining that in the past people had to do all sorts of labor with their bare hands (like your grandparents do). So finally, when the pollution eventually cleared and the Earth became safe to live on again, a group of people re-colonized the planet. Slowly but surely, like every overly lazy and gluttonous society of the past, the Jetson era began to die out, because of its lack of sustainability.
That brings us to the newly established, stone-age-esque town of Bedrock. Years of uninterrupted evolution on the planet's surface were able to take place while the humans enjoyed their life of luxury up in the clouds. This is clearly a conclusive explanation for the return of dinosaurs and woolly-mammoths, right?. After all, if we were able to domesticate cats and dogs then what's to say that thousands of years from now they aren't able to domesticate all the animals they wish? These animals speak and show intelligence far beyond what we know of now, it just has to be in the future.
In the Flinstone era, the economy is weak. It's a newly established society, and so they live as the cavemen did, making modern technology out of primitive supplies. The one major giveaway that the Flintstones don't exist in an ancient time is that they have all the modern appliances and conveniences of a modern-day Earth. For starters, they have a car. It may be made of stone and wood and run by human power, but it emulates all the modern ideas of today's cars. Other modern inventions they have include a camera, where a bird simply pecks the picture into slate. They also have TV and real, modern money. Final dead giveaway — they celebrate Christmas. They celebrate the birth of Christ, which definitely shouldn't take place in a BC era.
So there you go, a pretty solid theory which proves that the luxurious lifestyle of the Jetsons lead to the beginning of the Flintstones era rather than the typical "past-future" situation we're first presented with.
Albert Einstein once famously said, in an interview in 1949:
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
Check out the two families' first meeting in the clip below:
What do you think of this theory?