Few cartoons are as fondly remembered or as widely recognized as
“The Flintstones.” Hanna-Barbara took the formula of
the classic sitcom “The Honeymooners” and applied it to
a prehistoric setting. In 1960, the show revolutionized the field
of animation. With the release of the first season on DVD, the
episodes finally reappear in their original order.
Focusing heavily on the marital conflicts between Fred and Wilma
Flintstone as well as neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble, the first
season may not be exactly what fans are expecting. The show often
satirizes ’60s culture, which makes many of the jokes and
episode concepts seem outdated. However, the city of Bedrock and
all of its caveman technology still elicit smiles after all these
Unbeknownst to most fans of the series, “Meet the
Flintstones” didn’t accompany the intro until the third
season. While hearing the original theme with the original opening
is entertaining at first (as well as historically accurate),
syndicated reruns of the show have so imbedded the latter opening
into pop culture that it feels as though something is missing.
For a 45-year-old series, the transfers are relatively clean.
However, the sound — as expected from a TV series of this age
— leaves much to be desired. The audio comes through much
softer than most DVDs and is centered on a single microphone.
Another failure of the collection is the lack of quality extras.
“Flintstones” advertisements highlight the set of
features, but these short and uninformative featurettes are
meaningless. Episode commentaries or a look at the historical
significance of the first primetime cartoon would have made
“The Flintstones” seem more complete.
The show changed drastically from its roots, yet the foundations
for future greatness are evident. The animation is somewhat crude,
the character models slightly different and Pebbles just a glimmer
in her parents’ eyes, but “The Flintstones” still
manages to provide quality laughs. Fans of the series or of the
history of animation would be remiss to overlook this
Show: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Picture/Sound: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Features: 1 out of stars