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The FlintstonesThe Flintstones, an American animated television series created by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, is one of the most successful animated television series of all time, originally running in American prime time for six seasons, from 1960 to 1966, on the ABC network.
The show is set in a town called Bedrock in the Stone Age era, but with a society identical to that of the United States in the mid-to-late 20th century; in the Flintstones' fantasy version of the prehistoric past, dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths, and other long extinct animals coexist with cavemen, who use technology equivalent to that of the 20th century, largely through the use of various animals. The characters drive automobiles made out of stone or wood and animal skins and powered by gasoline, although foot power is required to start the vehicles. Although the characters were set in the Stone Age, that never stopped the show's creators from producing a Christmas episode during the original series' run as well as several more Christmas specials in the decades that followed.
One source of the show's humor was the ways animals were used for technology. For example, when the characters took photographs with an instant camera, the inside of the camera box would be shown to contain a bird carving the picture on a stone tablet with its bill. In a running gag, the animals powering such technology would look directly into the camera at the audience, shrug, and remark, "It's a living," or some similar phrase. Another commonly seen gadget in the series was a baby woolly mammoth being used as a vacuum cleaner.
Being set in the Stone Age allowed for endless gags and puns that involved rocks in one way or another, including the names of the various characters being "rock" puns; some such names included celebrities such as "Cary Granite", "Stony Curtis", and "Ann-Margrock."
The series directly drew from The Honeymooners for its main quartet of characters: the blustering Fred Flintstone and his ever-patient wife Wilma Flintstone (née Slaghoople, though Pebble was also given on occasion) modeled after the Kramdens, and their friendly neighbors Barney Rubble and wife Betty Rubble (née Betty Jean McBricker) modeled after the Nortons. Later additions to the cast included the Flintstones' infant daughter Pebbles Flintstone and the Rubbles' abnormally strong adopted son Bamm Bamm Rubble. The Flintstones had a pet dinosaur named Dino (pronounced DEE-no, and which barked like a dog), and the Rubbles had a kangaroo-like animal named Hoppy. Fred Flintstone worked at a stone quarry and worked for several different bosses, the best known of which was the bald Mr. Slate.
In later seasons, the Flintstones cast expanded to include The Gruesomes, their strange next-door neighbors (inspired by the then-popular monster sitcoms The Addams Family and The Munsters), and The Great Gazoo, an alien exiled to Earth who helps Fred and Barney, usually against their will.
It has been noted that Fred Flintstone physically resembled voice actor Alan Reed. The voice of Barney was provided by legendary voice actor Mel Blanc, though five episodes in the second season used actor Daws Butler while Blanc was recovering from a near-fatal car accident. The similarities with The Honeymooners included the fact that Reed based Fred's voice upon Jackie Gleason's interpretation of Ralph Kramden, while Blanc, after a season of using a nasal, high-pitched voice for Barney, eventually adopted a style of voice similar to that used by Art Carney in his portrayal of Ed Norton.
In the show's closing credits, Fred tries to "put the cat out for the night" but winds up getting locked out and yelling for his wife to come open the door: "Wilma! Come on, Wilma, open this door! Willllll-ma!" By the time the theme song "Meet the Flintstones" was used, Fred cut the yelling to: "Willllll-ma!" Although the cat, Baby Puss, was seen in the closing credits of every episode, it was rarely actually seen in any of the storylines. This running gag of having the lead character of the series ending up being helpless during the end credits in every episode due to the hijinks of a family pet would later be repeated by Hanna-Barbera in the series The Jetsons in which George Jetson ends up being caught on a treadmill that ends up spinning out of control. He also (as does Fred in this series) cries out for his wife, by asking her to stop the mechanism with the line, "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"
The Man Called FlintstoneThe Man Called Flintstone is an American animated musical motion picture produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and released in 1966 by Columbia Pictures.
The film is a theatrical spin-off of the 1960-1966 television series, The Flintstones, and is considered the official swan song of the classic TV show as it was made immediately following the end of production on the series.
The Man Called Flintstone is a spoof of the James Bond films, and also borrows elements from several episodes of the Flintstone TV series.
In the film, Fred Flintstone (voiced by Alan Reed) is recruited by a secret organization to take the place of an injured agent who happens to be Fred's doppelgänger. His mission: to travel to Europe (under the guise of a family vacation) and catch the evil Green Goose (voiced by Harvey Korman). The catch is Fred is unable to tell his family or friends about the mission. Mel Blanc once again provides the voice of Fred's sidekick, Barney Rubble. The movie includes numerous musical interludes, including one song performed by Louis Prima.
The Man Called Flintstone was a minor success upon its original release, but in the succeeding years became more popular at cinema matinees, and on television. In 2005, a North American DVD version was released, however due to licensing complications only a Canadian release occurred; a United States release was cancelled and has not yet been rescheduled.
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