STUDIO: Warner Bros.
MSRP: $44.98
RUNNING TIME: 675 Minutes
A Stone Age Parenting Guide featurette – child rearing in the Stone Age
The Gruesomes’ Road to Bedrock featurette – the journey of a famous Flintstones episode
Gemstones – Flintstones rarities unearthed

The Pitch

The modern Stone Age Family returns for Season 5 of prehistoric hijinks.

The Humans

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

"Goddamn, Barn, can that Paris Hiltrock suck the polish off a doorknob or what?"
"You said it, Fred…"

The Dinos

Dino and Hoppy.

The Nutshell

The Flintstones and Rubbles are back again, with Fred and Barney still getting into the same predicaments and Wilma and Betty trying to keep them in line. The Flintstones was one of Hanna-Barbera’s flagship productions, and generally the first to hold a primetime slot. Fred Flintstone was an average working Joe who constantly dreamed of bigger things for himself and his family, and Barney was his next door neighbor and best bud who followed him on his many misadventures. Fred’s family consisted of his wife, Wilma and daughter, Pebbles, who was introduced in Season 3, which was a first in having a cartoon character (Wilma) be pregnant. Barney’s wife was the giggly Betty and together they adopted the muscular baby boy, Bamm-Bamm after he mysteriously showed up on their doorstep one day.

"So Bamm-Bamm, you ever seen a grown man naked…"

The loveable dogasaurus, Dino, rounded out the cast as the Flintstones’ pet. To keep the stories moving along in Season 5, a hopparoo, Hoppy, was added as a pet for the Rubbles, and several guest stars, including the eerie Gruesome family, who moved in next door to the Flintstones, kept things interesting. This was the next to last season and the last before the shitty little Gazoo appeared on the scene to officially commemorate the jumping of the shark and eventual winding down of the show.

Unfortunately, Fred and Barney had to discover the hard way how they keep it gangsta in Compstone…

The Lowdown

Season 5 still had a lot of good stories to tell for the Flintstones and Rubbles, with a wide variety of themes, but still maintaining the central theme of the shenanigans that Fred and company usually found themselves in, usually via Fred’s hair-brained attempts to strike it big. A perfect example of this is the episode, Itty Bitty Freddy, where Fred invents a weight loss formula that ends up shrinking him instead. If that weren’t bad enough, Fred and Barney take the screw up one step further by going on the Ed Sullystone as a ventriloquist act with Fred playing the dummy. Unfortunately, the formula wears off in the middle of the show, Fred returns to normal size, and the jig is up. Another instance of this is when Fred impersonates the King of Stonesylvania in King for a Knight after the real king, a look-alike of Fred, decides to take an impromptu powder while visiting Bedrock. In Indianrockolis 500, Fred assumes the guise of race car driver, Googles Pisanno, to drive Barney’s home-built race car.

"You can beg all you want, Fred, but we’re not going to swing with the Herculoids…"

In other misadventures, Fred enters a rodeo when he’s jealous of Wilma’s old boyfriend and rodeo champion, Bony Hurdle, in Bedrock Rodeo Round-Up; he spends the night in his uncle’s haunted house to collect his inheritance in A Haunted House is Not a Home; and takes over for a sick Santa in Christmas Flintstone. Dr. Sinister saw Fred and Barney get mixed up in international intrigue after they get passed a secret envelope. The Most Beautiful Baby in Bedrock caused a rare rift between the Flintstones and Rubbles as they both put up their kids in a baby beauty contest. But when Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm run away, the contest and the hart feelings are quickly fogotten. Dino also got the occasional storyline, as in Dino and Juliet when Dino falls in love with the dog of Fred’s loudmouth neighbor, Loudrock. Finally, in the most way out adventure of the season, Time Machine, the Flintstones and Rubbles visit important periods in history when they step into a time machine thinking that it won’t work, and are shocked to find out that it does.

"Hey neighbor, I was wondering if I could borrow a cup of your wife…"

The Flintstones weren’t so different than successful live action shows in that it was occasionally used to set up or spin-offs, including introducing the Gruesomes, a gothic and creepy family comprised of Weirdly and wife Creepela and their goth brood. However, despite a couple of appearances in Season 5, no show was ever developed for them. On another track, the addition of Hoppy was a fairly inconsequential move to keep the show fresh. In fact, Hoppy generally reminded me of Looney Toons’ Baby Kangaroo that Sylvester always used to mistake for a mouse, only nowhere near as interesting nor funny.

"You know, Pebbles, Mommy likes to ride Daddy like this too…"

The episodes still hold up very well forty years later and I’ve said before that
The Flintstones were one of my favorite Hanna-Barbera creations growing up, with only Scooby Doo and one or two other shows ahead of it. It hasn’t held the appeal that Scooby’s shows have over the years for me – The Simpsons and Family Guy have pretty much ruined wholesome animated family animated for me, thankfully – but it’s still a solid cartoon and definitely a good buy if you have kids (I don’t but I’m taking a wild guess here…I liked it when I was a kid).

It’s not so much that seeing Judy Jetson at the Hanna-Barbera company picnic that was so shocking, nor that she was naked at the Hanna-Barbera company picnic that was so shocking, nor that she was getting serviced while naked at the Hanna-Barbera company picnic that was so shocking, but the fact that she was getting serviced by Yogi Bear while naked at the Hanna-Barbera company picnic that was so shocking…

The Package

I’ve said before that these full season Hanna-Barbera sets are just great all around. The packaging is nice with colorful artwork that the kids (of all ages) are sure to love. There’s the usual Dolby Digital as, well, and the episodes themselves look great. There’s three special featurettes: A Stone Age Parenting Guide, a forgettable four-minute piece on Pebbles an Bamm-Bamm; The Gruesomes’ Road to Bedrock, an eight minute piece on the history of Weirdly and Creepela Gruesome and their family (otherwise known as a bunch of Addams Family rip-offs; and Gemstones, a couple of clips of some old Flintstones commercials for Welch’s products like their grape drink and grape jelly. Gemstones also features some quickie interviews with ole’ Bill and Joe themselves. Overall, the features pretty much blew, but the real draw of the set is the episodes themselves.

"Creepela, where is Cousin Itt? I haven’t seen him in years."
"Weirdly, you’re mistaking us for The Addams Family again."
"Damnit, I hate when I do that."

8.0 out of 10