Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Television Families: The Flintstones:

This is an old article pending revision.

"The Flintstones" (yes, "FLINTstones", there is in fact a letter "T" in there) is a series obviously named after a family called The Flintstones. Their name by itself suggests that the story is set in the Stone Age, since Flintstone is one example of a rock. They live in a town called Bedrock, in Cobblestone Lane, and Fred and usually Barney work at a rock quarry, and there are several other examples.

Fred Flintstone was voiced by Alan Reed and performed in live action by John Goodman. Both of these people slightly resemble Fred Flintstone.

Wilma Flintstone becomes Fred's wife and her usually staying at home gives everybody the opportunity of seeing what stone-age characters use for their appliances. This involves a live animal as a garbage disposal, a beehive and mammoths and other things just outside each bathroom window for water with the mammoth's trunk used as a hose for a shower stall. Another mammoth would be used for vacuums, and sometimes they would be used as air pumps. When an animal is not used as an appliance, there would simply be the same thing that we have today, only made of wood, rocks, and shells. Wilma has dark red hair, but is usually orange, and she wears a white necklace and a white dress. Her mother is named Pearl. Wilma was at first voiced by Jean Vander Pyl, who was also the voice of Rosie and Ma Rugg.

Barney Rubble has blonde hair and in some episodes sounds completely different than how he usually did. His eyes are also different. Sometimes they were small black circles, and the rest of the time they were black dots. He wears brown clothing and is often unemployed for the purpose of the story lines in some episodes, but otherwise works with Fred at the Quarry. Even when Fred is not that smart, he is said to be more intelligent compared to Barney, or at least Barney is not as good of a test taker. Barney has an enormous sense of humor especially compared to Fred, who is usually grumpy. Mel Blanc Provided his voice most of the time. Afterwards it was usually Jeff Bergman and Frank Welker. Mel Blanc was hospitalized during the original broadcast of The Flintstones and upon recovery a portable studio was set up around his hospital bed. Rick Moranis portrayed Barney in Live Action in 1994.

Betty Rubble has black hair and was portrayed by Bea Benaderet, the voice of "Granny", a lady who cared for pets that chased each other. Her replacement was not June Foray, although she probably would have been able to do this based on how she sounds portraying other female characters. Gerry Johnson did the voice for Betty afterwards in animation, and Rosie O'Donnell in 1994 live action motion picture.

Dino is their pet "dog". He is sometimes called a dogasaurus, (but that is not the name of his species) and his name is pronounced "Dean Oh", which Dean is probably what his name would have been if he weren't a stone age character. His mumbles and vocal effects are voiced by Mel Blanc and Frank Welker. He is capable of speaking in alternative reality segments such as dream sequences. He was blue for a short time at first but later became the more familiar shades of pink and/or purple.

Baby Puss is a giant kitten that was created for the purpose of fighting either with Dino or with Fred. Baby Puss would physically pick up Fred and throw him outside whenever Fred tried to do this with him.

Hoppy is a hopping dinosaur pet for The Rubbles that was added after the 4th season.

Pebbles is the daughter of Fred and Wilma who doesn't say much and usually crawls instead of walks. She was born on the 3rd season.

Bamm Bamm is the Rubble's adopted son, and is capable of extreme strength. He also swings a club and says BAMM!! Over and over again. In an episode of "Family Guy", he does the same thing, and then says "You want to take it from here, Emeril?" With Emeril Lagasse appearing and saying his version of "BAMM!!".

Both Pebbles and Bamm Bamm are young for the original series. In other spin offs and movies, they are sometimes shown in different ages. The Pebbles And Bamm Bamm Show focuses on their teenage years.

Mr. Rockhead: Mr. Rockhead is Fred's Boss at the Quarry, where the cranes of course are large talking dinosaurs. He is tall and bald and wears thick glasses and one of his business partners, Mr. Slate, a short man with black hair is also Fred's Boss. One of the many continuity errors resulted in these two people with their names reversed, which explains why Mr. Slate is known today as the tall bald man character. The original Mr. Slate inspired the idea of Mr. Cosmo Spaceley in "The Jetsons", who is another short man with black hair. But this character is bald, which is probably a combination of the two bosses at the quarry. Also, Mr. Cogswell looks very much like the original Mr. Rockhead. The original Mr. Slate character was phased out (he probably retired or left the company to start his own company. If so, that would also explain how the Spaceley Sprockets vs. Cosmo Cogs was created into "The Jetsons"). It seems that the short character with black hair and mustache and the name "Mr. Rockhead" was later replaced by another "Joe Rockhead" with a different role that was one of Fred's friends, not one of his bosses. One of the voice actors is John Stevenson, who also did voice acting for Famous Classic Tales such as The King Of Brobdignab in Gulliver's Travels.

Opening and Closing segments:

The theme music is:

"Flintstones: Meet The Flintstones. They're the modern Stone Age family.

From the

Town of Bedrock

They're a page right out of history."

"When you're with The Flintstones

You'll have a ‘yabba-dabba-doo' time

A ‘dabba-doo' time

You'll have a gay old time!"

Added lyrics for the opening segments are:

"Let's ride

with the family down the street

Through the

courtesy of Fred's two feet"

Added lyrics for the closing segments are:


maybe Fred will win the fight

and that

cat will stay out for the night."

With a second "You'll have a gay old time!" followed by Fred shouting "WILMA!!".

Both theme music is Jazz but was the type of Jazz that was around right before the popular Jazz/Disco Space Age Pop Music from 1965-1989. "The Jetsons" theme song was the same type of music, with a slightly modified music for the opening and closing segments. "Top Cat" is another example of this Jazz music that reflected early jazz music of programs that aired in the early 1960s.

But that isn't all.

There is a completely different (and in my opinion, better) set of opening and closing segments. The theme is called "Rise And Shine" and shows Fred leaving work, doing errands, and coming home to Wilma, and turning on the television. Dino is blue in this opening. The closing segment shows a neighborhood in Bedrock turning out their lights for the night. Fred putting the empty milk cartons outside to be refilled and then puts the "cat" outside. Instead of crawling through the open window, it darts after Fred and throws him outside and locks him out. One by one the lights start turning back on because Fred is banging on the locked door saying "Wilma?? Wilma!! Come On Wilma, Open This Door!! WIL-MA!!" The text of the credits are of a different font and at the end of each of these segments there is "A Screen Gems Film Presentation" at the very end. Perhaps the reason why this set of opening and closing segments actually looks newer than the rest is because it was edited and remastered during its second run syndication. This originally ran during the first 2 seasons of The Flintstones. The next two seasons featured the theme that had lyrics in them and the bird squawking and Just the Flintstones were featured. After that there was the same opening segment but the bird sounds more like a whistle instead of squawking. The chorus sounded like they were singing through a fan. (and they probably were). The Flintstones go to The Rubbles and get them and bring them to the Movies. Dino and Hoppy are there and Pebbles and Bamm Bamm are put on Dino's head.

There are just about as many related series of "The Flintstones" as there are with "Scooby-Doo".

Some of them are a motion picture made after the end of the run of "The Flintstones" called "The Man Called Flintstone".

The Pebbles And Bamm-Bamm Show for 2 years (one season)

The Flintstone Comedy Hour for 2 years (one season)

The Flintstone Comedy Show for 5 years (3 seasons)

The Flintstone Kids (one of several 80s "kids" series where HB has popular characters as children). Captain Caveman is their favorite TV series (this makes sense; He is after all "Captain <i> Caveman"). Captain Caveman makes several guest appearances in this series but The Teen Angels do not. This is probably because The Teen Angels are not stone age characters.

There were two live action motion pictures as of 2008.

One of the specials was called "Wacky Inventions".

The Flinstones characters (usually Fred and Barney and sometimes Pebbles) are in commercials for cereals made by Post. They of course are called Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles. This was decades after promoting cigarettes, and these commercials are instead usually about Barney stealing the cereal which apparently belongs to Fred, who responds "Bonnie!! My Pebbles!!"

There were a few Christmas specials. "A Flintstone Christmas" in 1977, "A Flintstone Family Christmas" in 1993, and "A Flintstone Christmas Carol" in 1994.

They co-starred in a crossover movie called "The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones".

In 2001, The Flintstones appeared in an oddly-drawn cartoon called "The Flintstones On The Rocks". It was slightly more adult themed (but that was its original intention anyways being a 1960s prime time family situation comedy, only animated...but on the other hand it is adult themed compared to any other Flintstones cartoon). It stars Jeff Bergman as Fred, Tress MacNeille as Wilma, Grey Delisle as Betty, Kevin Michael Richardson as Barney, with Tom Kenney and Frank Welker.

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