50 Years of Journey of “The Flintstones”
This article is a tribute to “The Flintstones” on its 50th Birthday
From the, town of Bedrock, They’re a page right out of history.
Let’s ride, with the family down the street, Through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet.
When you’re, with the Flintstones, Have a yabba dabba doo time, A dabba doo time, You’ll have a gay old time!
The Flintstones is an animated American television sitcom that ran from 1960 to 1966 on ABC. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions (H-B) and celebrating 50 years on the air in 2010, The Flintstones is about a working class Stone Age man’s life with his family and his next door neighbor and best friend. It has since been re-released on both DVD and VHS.
This show played like a prehistoric Honeymooners and its popularity rested heavily on its juxtaposition of modern-day concerns in the Stone Age setting.
Meet The Flintstones
Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their best friends, Barney and Betty Rubble, live in the prehistoric city of Bedrock but faces the problems of contemporary working-class life. After a day at the rock quarry, Fred and Barney arrive home in a stone-age vehicle with stone wheels and a fringe on top. Their lives revolve around their home, friends, and leisure activities: a world of drive-ins, bowling, and their “Water Buffalo” lodge. They have a baby dinosaur and a saber tooth tiger as the family dog and cat. In 1962 and 1963, Pebbles and Bamm Bamm appears as the daughter and adopted son of the Flintstones and Rubbles respectively.
“The Flintstones” was a Hanna-Barbera Production that originally aired on ABC-TV in prime time from 1960-1966. It was network television’s first animated series to which there were 166 original episodes.
The original name of the series in which a pilot was even made, was “The Flagstones”. When it was realized that the “Hi and Lois” characters’ surname was Flagstone, the name was changed. The name “Gladstones” was considered and actually appeared on a number of sketches before the final change to “Flintstones”.
Living in the stone-age didn’t keep The Flintstones from enjoying the best of modern conveniences. From a ram’s horn telephone (a must for Wilma’s gossip sessions) to a skin-topped convertable with stone wheels, the series was constantly showing today’s nifty gadgets with a stone-age twist. Even something as simple as the paperboy throwing Fred his Sunday edition was a major hoot — especially when the oversized stone tablet nailed him in the head.
The original opening sequence features Fred driving home from work, racing through the streets of Bedrock. Upon arriving home he runs his car into the garage, then goes in the house to sit down and watch TV (Not too dissimilar than the opening of “the Simpsons”).
In the original closing sequence, Fred turns off the TV set, covers the bird cage, and attempts to put the cat out, which puts Fred out instead. These sequences were only used for the first two seasons and many people have never seen them, because the later, more familiar opening and closing themes were usually used for all episodes during syndication.
It wasn’t until the third season when the opening and closing sequences had the “Meet the Flintstones” theme song. This opening shows Fred sliding down the tail of his dino-crane at the quarry, then Wilma, Dino and the cat pile in the car where they drive to the movies. The closing sequence shows them driving from the movies to a drive-in restaurant where Fred orders ribs which tip over the car, and then drive home, and Fred still attempts to put the cat out.
These sequences were changed slightly throughout the seasons to include the Rubbles and then again to include Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm.
The very first episode aired on September 30, 1960. Titled “The Flintstone Flyer” (P-2), it was actually the second Flintstones episode produced (after The Swimming Pool, P-1), but the first to air. Fred and Barney want to go bowling instead of being dragged to the opera by Wilma and Betty. Fred fakes being sick and Barney flies them to the bowling alley in his hand-cranked helicopter!!!!!
Wilma Pebble Slaghoople Flintstone – Fred’s wife. She is somewhat more intelligent and level-headed than her husband.
Barney Rubble – Fred’s best friend and next door neighbor. He and Fred are both members of the fictional “Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes” (Lodge No. 26), a men-only club paralleling real-life fraternities such as the Freemasons.
Betty Rubble – Barney’s wife and best friend of Wilma.
Pebbles Flintstone – The Flintstones’ infant daughter.
Bamm-Bamm Rubble – the Rubbles’ abnormally strong adopted son. His name comes from the only words he ever speaks: “Bamm” and “Bamm”.
Dino – The Flintstones’ pet dinosaur, who barks like a puppy.
Baby Puss – The Flintstones’ pet saber toothed cat.
Mr. Slate – Fred Flintstone’s hot tempered boss at the stone quarry.
Films and subsequent TV series
Following the show’s cancellation in 1966, a film based upon the series was created. The Man Called Flintstone was a musical spy caper that parodied James Bond and other secret agents. The movie was released to theaters on August 3, 1966 by Columbia Pictures. It was released on DVD in Canada in March 2005 and in United States in December 2008.
The show was revived in the early 1970s with Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm having grown into teenagers, and several different series and made-for-TV movies (broadcast mainly on Saturday mornings, with a few shown in prime time); including a series depicting Fred and Barney as police officers, another depicting the characters as children, and yet others featuring Fred and Barney encountering Marvel Comics superhero The Thing and comic strip character The Shmoo — have appeared over the years. The original show also was adapted into a live-action film in 1994, and a prequel, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, which followed in 2000.
* The Flintstones (1960–66)
* The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971–72)
* The Flintstone Comedy Hour (1972–73)
* Fred Flintstone and Friends (1977–78)
* The New Fred and Barney Show (1979)
* Fred and Barney Meet the Thing (1979)
* Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo (1979–80)
* The Flintstone Comedy Show (1980–82)
* The Flintstone Funnies (1982–84)
* The Flintstone Kids (1986–88)
* Dino: World Premiere Toons – featuring “Stay Out!” (1995) and “The Great Egg-Scape” (1997)
* Cave Kids: Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm (2000)
Theatrical animated feature
* The Man Called Flintstone (1966, released by Columbia Pictures)
* A Flintstone Christmas (1977)
* The Flintstones: Little Big League (1978)
* The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone (1979)
* The Flintstones’ New Neighbors (1980)
* The Flintstones: Fred’s Final Fling (1980)
* The Flintstones: Wind-Up Wilma (1981)
* The Flintstones: Jogging Fever (1981)
* The Flintstones’ 25th Anniversary Celebration (1986)
* The Flintstone Kids’ “Just Say No” Special (1988)
* A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration: 50 years of Hanna-Barbera (1989)
* A Flintstone Family Christmas (1993)
* The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987)
* I Yabba-Dabba Do! (1993)
* Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby (1993)
* A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)
* The Flintstones: On the Rocks (2001)
Live action films
* The Flintstones (1994)
* The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
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