STUDIO: Warner Brothers
MSRP: $14.98
RUNNING TIME: 69 minutes
• Christmas Flintstone

The Pitch

The Flintstones do Dickens.

The Humans

Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, Pebbles, and Bamm-Bamm.

The Nutshell

Fred’s role as Scrooge in the community theater’s production of A Christmas Carol consumes his every waking moment. He’s so distracted that he hasn’t done a lick of his Christmas shopping. Not only that, but Wilma’s on his back for forgetting to pick up Pebbles from daycare. Fred’s got to get his shopping done, get on Wilma’s good side, act in the play, and learn his lesson all in one night! What is a caveman to do?

Kenneth’s mammoth was always going limp at the most inopportune times.

The Lowdown

When I popped A Flintstones Christmas Carol into my DVD player, I wasn’t expecting to have such a mind-boggling experience. How did a copy of Dickens’ 1843 novel ended up in prehistoric Bedrock? The Jetsons? Not only that, but how can you celebrate Christmas before the birth of Christ? Following this crazy timeline, did Joseph come home from a hard day of carpentering and have Mary say to him, “Your present’s in the manger. It’s The Savior. Merry Christmas.” Do the household appliances get gifts? Does Betty get the can opener a sweater? A whetstone perhaps? If you’re going to go to the trouble of wearing earmuffs and gloves, why not some boots? When confronted with such questions, I usually turn to drink. Alas my cabinet was dry. So I sat back and watched the Christmas special cold sober.

Choking the chicken(‘s ancestor).

I wasn’t completely sold on the play-within-a-cartoon idea. I just wanted a straight-up Christmas Carol with Flintstones characters sprinkled throughout to provide the essential nutrients. None of that other hogwash for me thanks. But I admit the falsity of my thinking. It provides an opportunity for all of the signature bits: the geological puns, the asides from the “machinery”, and the conflict between Fred and Wilma. Plus it shows that some effort went into the project. Instead of just taking the easy route (as I was expecting/hoping) and plugging the characters into the story, the writers actually made it all tie together. By having Fred go all method and become a real-life Scrooge, the lesson Scrooge learns can also be learned by Fred.

When you toss in John Rhys-Davies narrating for his supper, you end up with a decent way to kill an hour.

Warning: Heath Ledger’s autobiography may contain explicit imagery.

The Package

The sole special feature is a Christmas-themed episode from the original series, Christmas Flintstone. Fred gets a job as a department store Santa, which he takes to like John Rhys-Davies to a Porterhouse. When a cold grounds the real Santa, he brings Fred in to pinch-deliver. I actually liked this more than the feature, which is the greatest compliment a special feature can receive.

There are also a few trailers: Chill Out, Scooby Doo, a Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale/A Flintstones Christmas Carol combo, and A Dennis the Menace Christmas, featuring a mustachioed Robert Wagner as Mr. Wilson. Wait. Robert Wagner as Mr. Wilson? Couldn’t they have found a more curmudgeonly actor? Hell, a Google search for "curmudgeon actor" gave me the perfect casting: Wilford Brimley. I’d pay good money to see Blair go mano y mano with the towheaded terror.

See? Earmuffs. Gloves. No boots. What would their mothers say?

6.5 out of 10