The Film of the Series
of The Flintstones
, distributed by Univershell Pictures
in 1994 and presented by Steven Spielrock
. Notably the first Live-Action Adaptation
of a Hanna-Barbera
cartoon, it was directed by Brian Levant and stars John Goodman
as Fred Flintstone, Rick Moranis
as Barney Rubble, Elizabeth Perkins
as Wilma Flintstone, and Rosie O'Donnell as Betty Rubble
Fred loans some money from his and Wilma's bank account to Barney so that he and Betty can adopt a child. After the Rubbles adopt a cave boy named Bamm-Bamm, Barney decides to pay Fred back. Later, Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan), an executive vice-president at the Slate & Co. quarry, has the workers take an exam, offering vice-presidency to whoever gets the highest score. When Barney sees that Fred got the lowest score on the exam, he trades scores with him as payback, and Fred ends up becoming a vice-president because Barney's was the highest score. Unfortunately, Fred's first duty as vice-president is to fire Barney because he (or rather, Fred) got the lowest score. With Barney unable to get a new steady job, the Rubbles have to move in with the Flintstones, causing tension to mount between the families. As if that isn't enough, Cliff plans to embezzle the company out of billions of dollars and frame Fred for it...
The movie received generally negative reviews, but did very well financially at the box office. However, it would be six years before a sequel was released - a prequel titled The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
, in which none of the cast from the first film reprised the roles.
Still as adaptations go, this is probably one of the most faithful you can find of a source material. Of course, it also helped that the creators were
supervising the whole project as executive producers.
The film contains examples of:
- Ability Over Appearance: Rosie O'Donnell, though not the immediate choice for Betty, mastered her laugh and other mannerisms in her audition.
- Jane Krakowski's Betty in the prequel was slightly more well-received.
- Alternate Continuity: The story of Bamm-Bamm's adoption is different here than it was in the original series.
- Likewise the prequel which re-tells how Fred and Barney met Wilma and Betty. Even throwing in the Great Gazoo for good measure.
- And I Must Scream: Cliff Vandercave's ultimate fate—being encased in concrete.
- In other words his fate has been sealed—literally!
- Big Damn Movie
- Big "NO!"
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
I should've signed up with Disney
. They never would've allowed this sort of thing to happen!
- The Cameo: The first movie has several:
- Jay Leno appears as the host of a nightly news program.
- Jonathan Winters plays one of the workers who gets fired from the quarry and tries to lynch Fred.
- Jean Vander Pyl, who provided Wilma's voice in the cartoon, has a (non-speaking) cameo as a party guest.
- Casting Gag: The Dictabird is voiced by Harvey Korman, who voiced the Great Gazoo in the original cartoon.
- He was also in the second movie as Colonel Slaghoople.
- John Stephenson, who voiced Mr. Slate in the cartoon, appears as the minister who marries Fred and Wilma at the end of Viva Rock Vegas.
- Rosie O'Donnell, who plays Betty in the original film, makes a cameo as the voice of a masseuse octopus in Viva Rock Vegas.
- Chekhov's Gun: The dicta bird.
- They also made Fred's bowling skills a Checkov for the climax. As Cliff tries to run away from Fred, Fred picks up a round small boulder and then uses his tippy-toe technique and rolls the boulder and hits Cliff like a bowling pin, knocking him to the ground.
- Comic Book Adaptation: Harvey Comics published a notable one for this movie. The comic contained the film's story drawn in both the live-action style (printed in red ink) and the original cartoon's style (printed in blue ink), and it came with a pair of "Doublevision" glasses. The reader would have to look through one lens of the glasses to read the story drawn in one of the two styles (the red lens for the cartoon style and the blue lens for the live-action style).
- Creator Cameo: Both Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera show up, as a board member of Slate and Company ("STEAM power? HE'S A MADMAN!") and a man in a fancy car, respectively.
- Credits Gag / Incredibly Lame Pun: The end credits contain several "rock" and "stone" jokes ("Stone Age Sound Editing: Solange Of Hollyrock").
- Does Not Like Shoes: The entire cast, as usual with the Flintstones franchise.
- End of an Age: After the climax, when Mr. Slate sees the cement-covered Cliff Vandercave, he exclaims that he loves it, deciding to name it after his daughter Concretia, and declares the Stone Age over with its creation.
- Slate then offers Fred the presidency of a new division in the company, but Fred turns it down in exchange for his old job back, Slate rehiring all the workers, and adding a few other improvements to the workplace he had originally desired as an executive.
- Eureka Moment: Wilma finds a way to prove Fred's innocence.
Wilma: Mother, Fred may be a lot of things, but he isn't a criminal.
Pearl Slaghoople: Can you prove it?
Fred actor on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
Actor dictabird on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
Wilma: Maybe I can.
- Fridge Logic: In-Universe
Barney: The only reason you got that job is 'cause I switched tests with you.
Fred: Oh-ho-ho, that's rich! What good would it do me to switch tests with the guy that got the lowest score?
Barney: Think about it Fred!
(Fred contemplates this)
- Why did Vandercave think it was a good idea to have the smartest employee be brought in as a lackey?
- He didn't. Vandercave figured out Fred couldn't be the smartest one.
- How did Vandercave manage to capture Bamm-Bamm and why didn't Bamm-Bamm just break out of the vines?
- Funny Background Event: While Betty and Wilma aren't looking, Bamm Bamm pushes Pebbles into two full revolutions on a swing.
- Heel-Face Turn: Sharon Stone, who realizes that Fred is a genuinely nice guy and devoted husband halfway through the first movie, and tells him to get away before the police arrive once Fred catches onto her and Cliff's scheme. Later, when she finds that Cliff only bought a single plane ticket to "Rockapulco," she correctly guesses that he plans to double-cross her, and later saves the day during the quarry battle by knocking Cliff out with a bag full of cash. She's arrested, but Fred promises to tell the officers about her good deeds as she's led away.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: "Please mark all test answers with a well sharpened #2 chisel ."
- "He's as drunk as a skunkosaurus."
- Kirk's Rock: The entire town of Bedrock was built here. After filming, the studio left it up for a few days and allowed tourists in to visit the set.
- Laser-Guided Karma: at the end, Cliff tries to escape the cops...only to look up and see a huge amount of molten concrete as it buries him alive, turning him into a solid statue
- Licensed Pinball Table: Released by Williams Electronics in 1994. Click here for tropes.
- Logo Joke: The Univershell Pictures logo, in both films. In the first movie, where it is seen after the family arrives at the drive-in in the opening credits, a re-orchestration of the 1958-1975 Revue/Universal Television theme is heard as a Mythology Gag (this being, after all, a show from The Sixties).
- Manipulative Bastard: Cliff Vandercave: He makes Fred do whatever he says whether it's by tricking him or threatening him. He forces Fred to fire Barney for his exam score (Of course, Barney switched with Fred, but Cliff is completely unaware of that.). Then Cliff tricks Fred into signing firing notices for all the workers in the quarry, and frames Fred for embezzlement, making Fred's life miserable
- Once the Dictabird reveals Cliff's plan to the workers Cliff then crosses the line by kidnapping Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and trapping them on a giant mining machine. Then Cliff tries to shoot Fred, but not before Miss Stone knocks him out with a money bag.
- Mythology Gag: Mr. Slate addresses Fred as "Mr. Flagstone" at one point, and Fred mistakenly introduces Wilma as "Mrs. Flagstone". The pilot for the original cartoon was titled The Flagstones.
- Parrot Exposition:
Fred: You're fired, Barney.
Record-playing bird: (abruptly stops) Fired?!
- Prequel: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000).
- Powersuit Monkey: One of Fred's co-workers.
- Read the Fine Print: Fred signs a bunch of forms without reading them, and they turn out to be firing notices for all his friends. The dictabird even tells him, "Only an idiot signs something before reading it."
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During the argument, Betty tells the Flintstones they're a bunch of snobs whose done nothing to help the Rubbles.
- Sexy Secretary: Halle Berry's character
- Shout-Out: Barney drives an ice cream truck that's playing the theme from The Jetsons.
- Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain.
- World of Ham: Everyone acts appropriatedly cartoonish.