10 Lessons Kids Can Learn From Astro
As the beloved pooch of the iconic Jetson family, Astro is a pop-culture powerhouse in his own right. His popularity was great enough to land an eponymous spin-off of his own, endless merchandising and more than one commercial endorsement. For modern kids watching The Jetsons for the first time, here are a few lessons that can be learned from Astro.
- Man’s Best Friend Will Never Go Out of Style – Many things in our present-day world have been replaced or rendered obsolete in the futuristic realm of The Jetsons. Astro and his role as a beloved member of the Jetson family serve to show kids that having a four-legged best friend will never be passe.
- Rescue Pets Are the Best! – Rather than picking up a dog from a pet store or potentially unscrupulous breeder, the Jetson family acquired their much-loved Astro through the rescue efforts of son Elroy. This important lesson about ethical pet procurement is not lost on kids.
- Technology Can Only Go So Far – In Astro’s debut episode, the whole family wants to keep him except for George, who feels that a Skypad apartment is no place for a dog. Seeing that his family has a desire for a dog, he suggests Electronimo, a robotic device that mimics a dog. After a series of spectacular failures, George (and the young viewers) learn that there are some things that technology can’t improve upon.
- Money Can’t Buy Happiness – One memorable episode is based upon the premise that Astro is really Tralfaz, the highly-sought missing dog of a billionaire. When the family learns that Astro has other owners, they opt to do the right thing and take him home; however, his unhappiness upon separation is so great that the well-heeled original pet parent relents, allowing him to return to middle-class bliss with the Jetsons.
- Loyalty Covers a Multitude of Shortcomings – Astro isn’t particularly brave, graceful or smart. Still, he is a fiercely loyal companion, which makes him irreplaceable in the eyes of his adoring family. Kids can absorb the power of loyalty by watching Astro in action.
- You Can Be Anything You Want to Be – Despite beginning life as a homeless stray, Astro eventually found such popularity that he was awarded with a role on Astro and the Space Mutts, a spin-off that saw him fighting crime in his own show.
- Dogs Are More than Protectors – Watching the Electronimo episode not only teaches kids about the boundaries that technology is unable to cross; it also shows them that having a good dog is more important than having a guard dog.
- Inadvertent Success Still Counts – When Astro triumphs, it’s almost always through a series of fortunate missteps, rather than the result of his own concerted efforts and well-laid plans. Kids can observe these narrow misses with disaster and see that a near-loss is still a win, but it’s best to have a plan.
- The Canine Condition is a Constant – In the Jetson’s version of the future, many things are greatly changed. Children watching the show unfold can learn by watching Astro that some things will simply never change: his ending-credits penchant for chasing a cat is a great reminder.
- Be Careful With Your Toys – In A Jetsons Christmas Carol, Astro makes himself deathly ill by carelessly swallowing a piece of his toy. While the usually-mean Mr. Spacely comes to the rescue, Astro and his pint-sized viewers still learn a lesson about being careful, even with toys they think are safe.
Yes, even in the futuristic world of the Jetsons, man’s best friend cannot be fully replaced and continues to teach us humans a few lessons we need to learn.
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