Thursday, January 7, 2021

Yabba Dabba Do! The Flintstones: The Complete Series on Blu Ray! Review!

The Flintstones: The Complete Series (1960-2015) Warner Brothers 10/27/2020

Created By: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna 

Starring: Alan Reed, Jean Vander Pyl, Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet 

Disclaimer: Warner Brothers Entertainment has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections. 

   Fan's of classic animation rejoice, Warner Bros has opened their vaults and restored one of the most influential animated series The Flintstones (1960-1966). The series has made a crater like impact on not only the land scape of television and animation but also pop culture as a whole. I mean who hasn't ate their body weight in Fruity Peebles or taken a Flintstone vitamin?  And, of course it was the longest running prime-time animated series until it was de-throned by The Simpsons in 1997. What's so interesting about The Flintstones was it was really geared to both adults and children. In fact, the show is largely inspired by The Honeymooners an early sitcom that was firmly for grown up's. This idea of animated shows that could be enjoyed by both kids and adults was something done before our beloved prehistoric family aired but I`d argue that no series firmly ingrained this idea than The Flintstones. While re-watching the series I was struck by just how sharp and witty the writing was especially in the first couple seasons. This idea of taking a classic '50's era sitcom and melding it into a cartoon is genius all by itself, yet the amazing sight gags geared towards the primitive setting takes it to a whole other level.  I will say the series starts off 'rocky' and it takes a little while for the showrunners to truly find their groove. Once they do this brightly animated sardonic look at family life is really a wonder to behold. Even the latter seasons that clearly seem to run out of steam still has a charm that makes it endearing despite the drop in quality. You also cannot help but love just how amazing the hand drawn animation looks. That alone I think gives this series a quality that is still unmatched by modern digital animation. The legacy of The Flintstones can still be felt in shows both animated and live action which will probably out last us all. It was really a pleasure to go back and re-visit this series. This set includes all 167 episodes and two feature length movies The Man Called Flintstone (1966) and the newer Flintstone film The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown (2015). 

Picture: Wow! When I popped this disc in I was totally blown away by the fantastic job that was done with the restoration. The colors are vivid and really pop out on 1080p. Grain is smooth and consistent throughout. Honestly, this was everything I was hoping for when this release was announced. 

Sound: So, you might have heard this release had an audio issue with an episode missing music from its soundtrack. This appears to be only an issue with one episode and though not confirmed there has been talks of a replacement program. Outside of this the sound is not mind blowing, but I think its serviceable.  

Extras: Disc 1: The Flagstones: the rare Lost Pilot 
How to Draw Fred Flintstone

Disc 2: Carved in Stone: The Flintstones Phenomenon 

Disc 3: Songs of the Flintstones Album

Disc 4:All About the Flintstones, Whacky Inventions

Disc 5: Bedrock Collectables: Collecting All Things Flintstones, The Flintstones: One Million Years Ahead of Its Time

Disc 6: First Families of the Stone Age, Hanna-Barbera's Legendary Music Director Hoyt Curtin

Disc 10: Feature Films: The Man Called Flintstone, The Flintstones and WWE Stone Age Smackdown!
Bonus: The Flintstones Meets Pop Culture, The Great Gazoo: From A to Zetox

Fina Thoughts: It's really hard to overstate just how incredibly groundbreaking The Flintstones was on not only animation but pop-culture as a whole. In my opinion, this set is worth every penny. Not only do you get the entire landmark series but WB provides a lot of great extras and, as always the studio prides itself on offering great restorations. Is it perfect? No. But I feel like the transfers alone are miles ahead of the previous DVD's and the addition of two Flintstone features only sweetens the deal. As an animation fan Warners has been really crushing it with their recent releases, especially when it comes to truly celebrating their rich cartoon history. For example, I recently covered their 80th Bugs Bunny collection which curates 60 shorts in stunning HD and loaded with extras. If you are on the fence about The Flintstones consider that this includes a whooping 166 episodes 2 feature films and a ton of bonus features. Yabba Dabba Do Yourself a favor a add to to your collection! 

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