THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE (1966)
Article 3104 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-22-1009
Posting Date: 2-12-2010
Directed by Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
Featuring the voices of Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl
What it is: Prehistoric Animated TV show converted to feature film as a James Bond parody
Due to his resemblance to a spy called Rock Slag, Fred Flintstone is hired by the government to help them capture a super-criminal known as the Green Ghost.
At the outset, I think it’s necessary to establish how I feel about the “The Flintstones” to begin with. Though I watched it as a kid, it never really became a favorite; I watched it because it was a cartoon and it was on. In retrospect, about the only element I remember fondly was the creative ways they would come up with stone-age appliances (baby elephant vacuum cleaner, anyone?). So, the concept of a full-length feature version of the series doesn’t really excite me, and the added aspect of a James Bond parody doesn’t seem clever as much as obvious.
Having now seen the movie, I can report that the movie is pretty much just what I thought it would be; a rehash of the usual antics of the series with a contrived spy storyline. On the plus side, the extra money helped them jazz up the animation, if only slightly. For the most part, it’s watchable but uninspired. My biggest complaint is the songs. To begin with, I never quite understood why those who made children’s animated features felt it necessary to always throw in songs (the TV show didn’t bother adding them). The best things about the songs is it occasionally inspired the animators to show more creativity than they did in the more predictable sections of the movie, but the songs themselves are very poor and very unnecessary; every one brings the plot (such as it is) to a screeching halt.
In the final analysis, this movie is for fans of the show; if you liked the show, you’ll like the movie just fine. The rest of us can pass.