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    Warner Brings Back Animated Stone-Age Family

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    Renegades of Animation: Pat Sullivan

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Yabba Dabba Doo! Welcome To Bedrock!

Discussion in 'Hanna-Barbera' started by emeraldisle, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    The year was 1960. Hanna-Barbera, having left an indelible mark with their many funny animals, decided to produce a half-hour show with human characters. That show was "The Flintstones."

    H-B created the modern stone age family as a prehistoric version of "The Honeymooners." They weren't the first to create an animated parody of the classic--Warner Bros had previously taken that route with their "Honeymousers" shorts. But people clearly wanted to see cave dwellers instead of mice.

    Like many other fans, I never saw the original opening and closing and short pilot film until many years later. Up till then, it had always been the "Meet The Flintstones" opening and closing, which I preferred.

    I did like many of the early episodes, but I was really into the ones of the last two seasons, which were more adventurous in nature. Of course, the show spoofed many other TV shows and movies, but by 1964, there were stories that were more thrilling, like those devoted to time travel, and supervillains like Dr. Sinister and Stonefinger. Recurring characters like Arnold, Mrs. Slaghoople(Wilma's mother), and Mr. Slate, also made the show worthwhile. The only character who should have had more screen time was Baby Puss, the saber-toothed tiger. It seemed to me that he was only there to be chased by Dino, and of course, to put Fred outside the house. The show improved with the arrivals of Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm, and Hoppy. In fact, it was a Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm episode, "No Biz Like Show Biz," that got me hooked. I loved their version of "Let The Sun Shine In," especially when a clip of them performing the song live became the closing of the last season. All that, plus the fact that the theatrical film, "The Man Called Flintstone" was shown on TV many times in the early '70's.

    And then there was the Great Gazoo. Some say he ruined the show, but I disagree. He, like E. T,, was stranded on Earth, and even found a way to "phone home" by using the Flintstones' TV set.

    There were gags like animals who despised being used as appliances and tools. But I learned a great deal from the show, like the do's and dont's of the workplace, the crime of buying votes, and the fact that the boss has a boss. I found that to be true in real life when I got my first job. The Flintstones mentioned other real-life things like Christmas Club accounts, and donating clothes to the missions.

    There were many animated iterations of this series, including more TV shows, specials, and movies both theatrical and made-for-TV. So I salute the Flintstones, who were truly a page right out of history. :)

    Now I'll truly and honestly open up about the spinoffs:

    "The Pebbles And Bamm-Bamm Show." I liked seeing Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm as teenagers, interacting with both friends like Wiggy, Penny, and Moonrock, and frenemies like Cindy Curbstone, her guy, Fabian, the Bronto Bunch, and Bad Luck Schleprock. But I never understood why Dino and Hoppy were replaced by Woolly and Snoots.

    "The Flintstones Comedy Hour/Flintstones Show." I liked these shorts, and the songs by the Bedrock Rockers.

    "The New Fred And Barney Show." Nice, even when the show became "Fred And Barney Meet The Thing/Shmoo."

    "The Flintstones Comedy Show." New additions like the Frankenstones and Cavemouse were great. So were the episodes with "Captain Caveman," plus the other segments.

    "The Flintstone Kids." Didn't see enough of it, but I did like the handful of episodes that I did see.

    And of course, I eagerly saw all the animated movies, including those about Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm becoming man and wife, and eventually parents. And the animated specials, too, including "Flintstones On The Rocks." Loved the Cartoon Cartoon "Dino: Stay Out!" But I never got into "Cave Kids."

    And I'm glad Seth McFarlane's new version was never greenlit. I can't stand anything by him.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
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  2. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    The late, great Joe Barbera mentions early in his book My Life In Toons that the Flintstones was the fledgling Hanna-Barbera studio's make-or-break concept, which up until that time had only made some commercial animation and a few short cartoons. It took a lot of work and a lot of selling, but ultimately, The Flintstones found a sponsor, and television pre-history was made.
  3. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    The first tv animated show with a half hour-length storyline for each episode. The first tv animated series with a character getting pregnant and giving birth in a storyline lasting several episodes (Wilma and Pebbles). The first animated tv series to use celebrity guest stars to voice the animated caricatures of themselves.

    I'm not sure if "The Flintstones" was the first tv cartoon series to use a laugh track...Jay Ward's "Rocky and Bullwinkle" series used a laugh track for its first couple of episodes before it was abandoned.

    I enjoyed the show in reruns on weekday afternoons in the 1970s. Polished, funny, excellent voice work...and holding up well under repeated viewings.

    The original pilot was titled "The Flagstones" and featured Fred and Wilma and their son. King Features Syndicate objected to the name because their "Hi and Lois" comic strip (created by Mort Walker and Dik Browne) featured a family named "Flagston." The name was changed to "The Flintstones" and making Fred and Wilma childless for the first season before Pebbles was the new addition.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  4. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Actually Pebbles was born halfway through Season 3.
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  5. Minotaur714

    Minotaur714 Intern Forum Member New Member

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    So many great moments during the Flintstones. Scenes I got a kick out of include Barney and the cops singing "Happy Anniversary" and the dancing girls coming out of Pebbles' birthday cake. One scene that scared me as a kid was Dr. Sinister throwing the guy into the bottomless pit.
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  6. Yowp

    Yowp Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    That wacky Joe. Always telling stories.

    Hanna-Barbera was not making "a few short cartoons." By September 1959, it was churning out 39 hours a year worth of animation, an amount never before duplicated anywhere. The studio had a lucrative deal with Kellogg's/Leo Burnett and was marketing its characters all over the place, earning more money than the cartoon deals did. It was not a "make-or-break" time.

    At the time, both Daily Variety and even Barbera himself explained getting sponsorship for The Flintstones was not all that difficult (it had two sponsors at the outset, Miles Labs and R.J.R. Reynolds). Variety explained one reason was H-B was hot and sponsors wanted a piece. And Barbera wanted the public to know what an "instant success" story his studio was. In later years, he decided the "animation underdog" story sounded a lot better, so that's the one he told.

    Yowp
  7. Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead

    Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead Intern Forum Member New Member

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    I may take heat from some heat but "No Biz like Show Biz" is one of the few later Pebbles/bamm Bmm episodes of theoriginal show that I actually enjoy (though I can see why it's not exactly a favorite of others, and equititablly n either the Bewitched or earlier Ann Margarock ones did much but the babies sunshine one had a great build up till the surprise ending..) I didn't care for the Pebbles/Bamm Bamm series largely, due to the Scooby/Josie like gang chases (and YES, I AM talking about the 1971 show, not the later uses like the 1980 series.) No doubt the best of course, were the much earlier first two seasons.Back then Fred REALLY looked (even more so than Barney or Mr.Slate) like a caveman!!!!
  8. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    I'm going to reflect on the original first, and will come back if there aren't threads for the others since i can do two others (i'm not commenting on any that at least haven't been started on dvd yet)

    The original Flintstones was a hallmark of my youth. As one of the last standers on CN, i watched it all the time. It and the Scooby Doo show usually had a time spot at either 10pm or 11pm my childhood bedtime, so watching those two shows was like one of the most repeated memories of my childhood. The most shocking part to me is that while i was always watching it had you asked me about favorites, i probably wouldn't have said it. And now older I realize my younger self was wrong in that respect. The Flintstones is one of my favorites.

    In truth though some of the earlier episodes kind of wear more on me now than originally but they're still fun. I put Season 2 and Season 5 as my favorite seasons of Flintstones but there are so many memories there that to recount them all would have me typing for hours. But some of the ones that have always driven cords for me are the Pebbles birth episode, the gags with the cop still have me rolling. The Gravelberry pie king episode is another fave. Maybe it was the young me realizing my calling to be an entrepreneur? And one of my all time favorite Dino Goes Hollyrock. Not afraid to say the end makes me tear up often.

    I also enjoyed all the cast additions as the show went on. I enjoyed Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm, Hoppy and Gazoo each. I do think sometimes the kids weighed the main four down in plots but they still had episodes where they got away from them for a bit, so i feel like that problem wasn't that much of a problem when they did a few episodes to deal with that. Babypuss though is an interesting issue, always wanted to see more of him.

    When it came time for DVDs i was always game. Each of the six times gathering the fun of Bedrock to enjoy again and again. Fred tickles my funny bone to this day. And i'm proud to say it has earned it's place as a true favorite of mine.
  9. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Matt, I included all the spinoffs, movies, and specials about the Flintstones in this thread. It was easier to be all inclusive than focus on them individually.
  10. Yowp

    Yowp Apprentice Forum Member New Member

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    Matt, it seems to me the writers really had no idea what to do with Baby Puss. The Flintstones already had a funny pet; they didn't really need two of them. I presume Baby Puss was in the series to begin with because it was felt a Stone Age show should have a sabre-tooth tiger.
    "Dino Goes Hollyrock" is probably my favourite. Warren Foster's satire about the phoniness of Hollywood is well put-together and he inserts a nice little sympathetic scene for Dino which sets up the ending. And some of George Nicholas' expressions are great, like when the director talks about cutting off Dino's tail.

    Yowp
    Yowp
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  11. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Yowp, I enjoyed that episode. I remember when my little sis, a friend, and I watched it together, we all agreed that the real Lassie(whom Sassy was modeled on) would never wear a wig and false eyelashes.

    This was also the episode that inspired me to post all these threads. See, I originally thought of posting my thoughts about individual episodes of H-B's many series. Then I thought better of it, and decided the threads should be about the shows themselves. :)
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  12. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    More Flintstones insights from later life, i'll be filling in more of these for the long runners. I want to give them each a chance to run through my brain for reflection but not overburn it with too much at once.

    So gonna tackle Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, the Man called Flintstone, and christmas carol in this post next
    ---

    Looking back catching most of the Flintstone spinoffs in my youth was harder. When i had originally purchased the Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm dvd, i thought i had never seen a episode of it, but it turns out i had. I had wrongly assumed one segment of the episode was apart of another series, but that being said that one episode was all i recall ever seeing prior. It was put on in the early mornings on weekdays i recall. Not sure which block it may have been on (circa 5-7 am)

    That being said I was pretty fresh to dive into the show on DVD. At first i admit i was a little bit of getting used to it. Teenage Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm did grow on me as i went through the episodes but in a way the idea it wasn't as much a favorite as the original was very much running through my mind. However i did dig a bunch of little things in the show. the throwback to Bamm-Bamm having his Dad's singing when bathing was a nice episode gimmick. Pebbles and BB getting into similar situations that their fathers did was a nice parallel that i feel helped the show. Also Bad Luck Schleprock is also a great side character. (for the record for many years i now realized my Dad asked me if i had seen the episodes with Schleprock, even though at the time i clearly had no idea he existed, so apparently liking Shleprock is a second generation thing for me)

    Overall another fun series i was happy to pick up

    ---
    I recall the Man Called Flintstone airing plenty of times on Cartoon Network in my childhood, but either do to me not remembering or not caring, i really didn't have a lasting impression of it. I did recall the Green Goose as a character an that there was a reveal scene, but that practically made up my entire memory of this film. So the DVD was a near fresh view after not seeing it in years.

    I found myself pleased quite a bit more than i expected. The film plays up some past Flintstone storylines and the fun of the spy genre. To be honest i'm not really sure why i didn't dig it earlier in life, but hey i was younger. One thing i did really dig in full was the badguys. Pretty fun. Maybe not as fun as Dr Sinister and Madame Yes incarnations from the original show, but a pretty entertaining band for the film. Although the early write out of Dino and Hoppy was a little disappointing but i guess you couldn't take prehistoric pets on that adventure.

    Either way the Man Called Flintstone now hits the spot to me as a fun movie

    ---
    In comparison to the above, I have a lot clearer memories of the Flintstone Christmas Carol. I recall it mostly from the christmas season, but sometimes just on theater run on CN. Either way my opinion of it hasn't changed from youth. A Christmas Carol happens to be my favorite literary work of any time, and sometimes i get flustered on changes but like other family friendly versions i feel this one did enough to hit the spot. I think in a way it was quite helpful the play is only a device within the film itself. So the parallels between Fred's act and real life make the movie a bit better than it probably would have been if they just did it as a straight version with the characters in the roles.

    One of the more surprising and fun notes to me is the grown up Philo Quartz appearing. A Flintstone kids original showing up grown up? Yep sure didn't expect that. But i do have to note, i admired the later productions keeping characters alive but the slowly loss of more and more of the original cast does show it's signs here. While again while i consider it notable, i don't feel it was enough to tarnish the effort. So yes despite the bedrock bug going on, i feel this later Flintstone effort was fun enough to be remembered.

    More Flintstone reflections at a later time
  13. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Trivia Question 67: What was the first official sci-fi episode of "The Flintstones?"
  14. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    I'll posulate that it was "The Great Gazoo" in the final season of the original The Flintstones series, which introduced the diminutive alien from planet Zetox, Gazoo. This episode debuted on Friday 29 October 1965.
  15. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Close, but no cigar. The correct answer is "Ten Little Flintstones," in which a never-seen alien villain creates clones of Fred to conquer Earth. He was voiced by Don Messick, who does one heck of an alien voice.
  16. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    Drat. But, hey, Don Messick. Alongside the equally awesome Charles "Daws" Butler, these two were absolute stalwarts in Hanna-Barbera's early years. Bill Hanna roundly praised them in his biography A Cast Of Friends.
  17. Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead

    Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead Intern Forum Member New Member

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    It is one of my favorites, too; Fred Flintstone dropping a tear on his candle; and then the scene mentioned with the guys talking to each about a possible Sassie/Dino show..
  18. Thinice

    Thinice Intern Forum Member New Member

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    Two of my favorite Flintstones episodes were Fred racing in the Flint 500, lol Goggles, the other was staying in the mansion of Fred's Uncle Giggles. " I'm a bit of a kook myself." There were many classics from the original but those two stand out for me.

    I recall watching the others, some on the network stations but mostly later on the USA network.

    The Flintstone Kids would be my favorite of the series, all thanks to Captain Caveman and the Dino Dilemma shorts.
  19. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    In 1961, during the Flintstones network run, Mel Blanc who played Barney Rubble was involved in a serious car accident in Dead Man's Curve in Los Angeles. A UCLA student in a full sized 1950s sedan had crashed into Blanc's Aston Martin head-on at high speed. The student survived without serious injury but Blanc was in grave condition and was in a coma in the hospital for weeks and his Aston Martin was totalled. After getting no reaction from Blanc for a period, the doctor addressed Blanc as Bugs Bunny and Blanc snapped out of his coma and weakly responded "I'm okay, Doc." Blanc recovered from his injuries to resume performing as Barney Rubble after Daws Butler filled in for several episodes in the role. A special bedroom recording studio was constructed at Blanc's home and Blanc, lying on his back in traction, recorded his Barney role with the other Flintstones cast members. Blanc recovered fully and resumed his cartoon voice acting until his death in 1989. Frank Welker played Barney in "The Flintstones Kids".

    Bea Benederet played Betty for the first three seasons of "The Flintstones". She was also co-starring on "The Beverly Hillbillies" in Season 1 as Jethro's mother Pearl Bodine. Benederet was cast in the lead role of Shady Rest Hotel proprietor Kate Bradley in the series "Petticoat Junction" in 1964 from the same producers of "Hillbillies" and had to leave "The Flintstones" cast. Gerry Johnson replaced Benederet as Betty's voice until the end of the series run in 1966. Benederet stayed with "Petticoat Junction" until her cancer death in 1968...June Lockhart replaced Benederet in the lead role until the show's cancellation in 1970. Gay Hartwig/Autterson played Betty in the 1970s and 1980s Flintstones shows and BJ (as in Betty Jean) Ward played Betty in the 1990s.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017

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