Review: The Flintstones

Blu-ray: The Flintstones (1994)

When Fred Flintstone (John Goodman) becomes disillusioned with his position as Bronto-crane operator at Slate Rock and Gravel Company, he takes a written test with the rest of the workforce for a one-off opportunity to be promoted onto the company board. Unaware that this is part of an embezzlement masterplan by Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan) who is looking for a scapegoat, Fred’s best friend Barney Rubble repays an old debt to Fred (Rick Moranis) by swapping completed test papers so that Fred can get the high score. Unaware of his involvement in the cash swindling plan of Cliff, Fred becomes obsessed with his own self importance and alienates himself from all of his old friends. Upon discovering the true reason for his promotion, Fred attempts to make amends for his recent pompous behaviour and stop Cliff’s plan while also righting the wrongs of his previous actions against his old friends.

Based on the popular animated comedy that originally aired between 1960-66, The Flintstones movie ticks all the relevant boxes for fans of the cartoon: Dino attacking Fred when he arrives home (✓), a scene in the bowling alley (✓) cars powered by the passengers feet (✓) and of course the now famous cry of “YABBADABBADOO” (✓). These iconic elements and much more are included in The Flintstones movie. Which is not surprising seeing as director Brian Levant was already a huge fan of the show before he was even brought onto the movie. His story is superbly covered in both the Discovering Bedrock documentary and his audio commentary,which are among the special features on the Blu-ray.

The Flintstones movie took some flak when it was released in 1994, as many people found the transition from the 2D animated world to 3 dimensional live action a little jarring to say the least. This, combined with a generic and shallow script turned off a lot of the cartoons original fans. However, that didn’t stop it from grossing over $341M from a $46M budget.

I’ve always found The Flintstones to be a fantastic family film that everyone can enjoy, with the added bonus of some life lessons for the younger members of the family thrown in for good measure too. The set design is amazing and is also showcased in the aforementioned Discovering Bedrock documentary. The level of detail brought in from the original animated series is astounding and new things are spotted on each subsequent viewing.

The Flintstones is silly, funny, heartwarming and a damn fine way for all the family to spend 90 minutes in front of the television.

  • Discovering Bedrock: An original documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with director Brian Levant, cast members John Goodman, Rick Moraines, Elizabeth Perkins, Rosie O’Donnell, producer Bruce Cohen and key production crew members.
  • Feature commentary with director Brian Levant
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Photographs
  • Art Department Concept Sketches
  • Opening Sequence Comparisons (Cartoon vs. Movie)

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a Blu-ray kindly supplied by Fabulous Films.