Follow TV Tropes

Following

Film / The Flintstones

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/flintstonesmoviebig_4205.jpg

"Yabba-dabba-doo!"
Fred Flintstone
Advertisement:

The Film of the Series of The Flintstones directed by Brian Levant, produced by Amblin Entertainment and Hanna-Barbera, and distributed by Universal. It was the first Live-Action Adaptation of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

Fred Flintstone (John Goodman) gives some money from his and Wilma's (Elizabeth Perkins) bank account to Barney Rubble (Rick Moranis) so that he and Betty (Rosie O'Donnell) can adopt a child. After the Rubbles adopt a cave boy named Bamm-Bamm, Barney resolves to pay Fred back someday. 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...

Advertisement:

The film also stars Halle Berry as Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Taylor as Pearl Slaghoople.

The film was released on May 27, 1994. A prequel titled The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas was released six years later. As adaptations go, this is probably one of the most faithful to source material you can find. Of course, it also helped that series creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were supervising the whole project as executive producers.


Advertisement:

The film contains examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Fred's promotion and executive perks quickly go to his head.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • In the cartoon, Wilma's mother was a heavyset version of her. In the film, she's played by Elizabeth Taylor, who is most decidedly not heavy-set.
    • Fred himself is also an example of this. While not exactly a handsome man, he's played by the towering and muscular John Goodman, as opposed to his short and overweight animated counterpart.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: While slightly plus-sized Rosie O'Donnell isn't exactly ugly, she was chosen to play slender and beautiful Betty Rubble because she was able to imitate Betty's trademark laugh during her casting audition.
  • Animals Fear Neutering: Fred suggests Dino might calm down once he gets fixed. Dino yells out a Big "WHAT?!" and runs away.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A non-criminal example: After Fred fires Barney, he asks why he's being fired after so many years of loyal service; Fred tries to console him by saying he's a good friend, a wonderful husband, a loving father, a hard worker, and especially one heck of a bowler, but unfortunately, none of this counts for an aptitude exam.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Aside from Wilma, Fred also deeply cares about his friend Barney enough to help him adopt Bamm-Bamm. There's also Fred untying Dino first before and instead of Pearl, despite earlier threatening to have him fixed if he didn't stop hassling him.
  • Alternate Continuity: The story of Bamm-Bamm's adoption is different here than it was in the original series.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Cliff wanted the machine to go bust. He got his wish. He just got way more than he bargained for, seeing how its destruction ultimately led to his own.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Wilma and Betty help stop Fred and Barney's lynching by ramming their car into the tree they're about to be hung from.
    • Miss Stone knocks out Cliff when the latter threatens to kill the dictabird.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Betty yells "No!" when Bamm-Bamm destroys the plates in Marshy Fields, the store that Betty and Wilma were shopping in, complete with slow-mo.
    • Cliff, when the concrete begins to fall upon him.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Wilma says "You what?" when Fred reveals that he took money from their savings account and gave it to Barney and Betty, in order to help them qualify to adopt a child.
    • Also said by Dino twice.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: Wilma and Betty's shopping spree is spoiled by emergency sirens going off and everyone having to evacuate before a pterodactyl poops on the mall.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Dictabird addresses the audience directly just before an apparent risk to his life.
    The Dictabird: I should've signed up with Disney. They never would've allowed this sort of thing to happen!
  • Brick Joke: Fred's last name is consistently mispronounced by Mr. Slate, but at the end of the movie, when Slate sees what has happened...
    Mr. Slate: FLINTSTOOOOOOONE!
    Fred: Sure, now he gets my name right.
  • The Cameo: Quite a few people make guest appearances in the film.
    • Jay Leno appears as the host of a nightly news program, while Sam Raimi appears as a look-alike for Cliff in the 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.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Wilma and Betty lead the police to the quarry, but they don't arrive until immediately after the climax, leaving it up to Fred and Barney to be the heroes.
  • Casting Gag:
    • The Dictabird is voiced by Harvey Korman, who voiced The Great Gazoo in the original cartoon. He was also in the prequel as Colonel Slaghoople.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Dictabird. Cliff didn't consider his presence important, and when he fires Fred, Cliff neglects to do anything about the bird. It's only when Wilma and Betty steal the Dictabird that Cliff realizes what it could mean.
    • Fred's bowling skills. As Cliff tries to run away from Fred, Fred picks up a round small boulder and then uses his tippy-toe technique, hitting Cliff like a bowling pin and knocking him to the ground.
    Fred: STRIIIIKE!!!
  • Cincinnatus: Fred Flintstone when offered an executive position again during the denouement of the movie by Mr. Slate himself. After a self-interrupted moment of exclamation, he remembers the kind of man he became when he got promoted before he brings himself back down and politely declined the offer, but not before getting some more perks of Mr. Slate on behalf of his fellow laborers in the company.
  • 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).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Cliff Vandercave, who has a plan to steal Mr. Slate's company from under his nose and blame some "ignorant stooge" for all of it.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Both Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera show up, as a board member of Slate and Company ("Steam?! He's a madman!") and a man in a fancy car, respectively.
    • Dean Cundey, the director of photography, also makes an appearance as a technician.
  • Credit Rock Destruction: When the wives go out shopping, Mica tells Betty that her credit card is no good and smashes it with a hammer.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Had Cliff presented his ideas in a legitimate fashion, he could have made the company millions, but he just had to be a jerk about it.
  • Credits Gag: The end credits contain several "rock" and "stone" jokes ("Stone Age Sound Editing: Solange Of Hollyrock").
  • Delayed Reaction:
    Cliff: I want you to fire Barney!
    Fred: Fire Barney, you got it! Wait- Fire Barney?! Why?
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The angry mob attempting to lynch Fred was already extremely harsh, but then they decide to hang Barney as well, just because he admitted that it was because of him that Fred was promoted to the job. Wilma and Betty manage to arrive just in time to save their husbands and clear everything up.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The entire cast, as usual with the Flintstones franchise. This was actually rather rough on the cast members since they had to move around the sets a good chunk of the time without shoes.
  • 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 said he would make as an executive.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The revelation that Fred gave his and Wilma's savings to the Rubbles just prior to the events of the movie so the latter could qualify to adopt shows the kind of man he is before wealth goes to his head later on.
  • 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: Can you prove it?
    Fred actor on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
    Actor dictabird on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
    Wilma: Maybe I can.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mrs Stone, Vandercave's accomplice, shows concern for Fred's safety after he's been framed and even suggests him to escape before the police come. Also, after Vandercave kidnaps Pebbles and Bamm Bamm she totally switches sides and decides to help Fred.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    Cliff: Who are they?
    Sharon: That's Flintstone and Rubble's wives.
    Cliff: What would they want with a smelly, old dicta- Son of a brachiosaurus!
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Fred inadvertently destroys the model of Cliff's machine, and towards the end of the film, this accident would later provide inspiration on how to destroy the actual machine and stop Cliff.
    • Fred signs pink slips from Cliff before the former goes out to dinner with Wilma. At the restaurant, they and Betty run into Barney, who reveals not only that he's working there, but that Fred terminated the quarry workers when he signed those forms.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Cliff is buried alive by the concrete from the machine he invented.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs:
    • "Please mark all test answers with a well sharpened #2 chisel."
    • "He's as drunk as a skunkosaurus."
    • "Son of a brachiosaurus" crosses this with Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Honorary Uncle: Pebbles addresses Barney as such during the climax.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: When he is promoted as a vice-president, it never occurs to Fred that it was actually a set-up by Cliff so that the latter can embezzle the quarry, until it's almost too late.
  • Improvised Catapult: At the end of the film, Barney uses the catapult from Cliff's machine to rescue Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles and Fred does the same with a rock to destroy it.
  • Jerkass Realization: After Fred Took a Level in Jerkass, it only took Cliff tricking him into laying off Mr. Slate's workers, as well as the Rubbles and Wilma moving out, for Fred to have a "My God, What Have I Done?" reaction and atone for his misdeeds. He even admits to Barney that he's a "big jerk" as they are about to be lynched.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Cliff Vandercave darkens the tone of a family oriented movie, having no funny moments and being a straight up greedy sociopath willing to ruin other peoples' lifes to cover his dark plans. His most hated move is kidnapping Pebbles and Bamm Bamm in order to blackmail Fred and Barney and trying to get rid of them anyway once his demands are satisfied.
  • 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. Ironically, it's the only pinball table based on anything Flintstones. 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 '60s).
  • Low Clearance: When Barney manages to reach the kids on the conveyor belt in the climax. Bamm-Bamm finally calls him "Dada". This makes him happy enough that he stands up and gets beaned by one of the machine structures, which briefly knocks him out.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Cliff Vandercave. He forces Fred to fire Barney for getting the lowest exam score (Barney switched with Fred, but both Cliff and Fred didn't know 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. After Cliff's schemes are exposed, the guy crosses the line by kidnapping Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and trapping them on a giant mining machine. Even turning it on when Fred surrenders the Dictabird to him. Finally, Cliff resorts to trying to shoot Fred, but not before Miss Stone knocks him out with a money bag.
  • Mangled Catchphrase: An actor playing Fred's role on a dramatization of Fred's alleged crimes gets his iconic "Yabba-dabba-doo!" completely wrong. To add insult to the injury, the avian actor playing the Dictabird does so as well.
    Fred actor on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
    Actor dictabird on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
  • Megaton Punch: Barney decides to "punch out" from work by punching out Fred after their argument.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Miss Stone helps out Fred in the climax after realizing Cliff plans on betraying her and taking all the money for himself.
  • Mundane Solution: In a scene that parodies classic detergent commercials Betty asks Wilma how she got rid of ring around the collar. Wilma responds that she started washing Fred's neck.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mrs Stone. Nothing better than Halle Berry in a prehistoric revealing outfit.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Fred regrets his actions when he realizes that he laid off all of his friends, and he's been tricked.
    • And later, Wilma has one when she realizes that she shouldn't have abandoned her husband after a TV portrayal of him suddenly gives her an idea about how Fred could have been framed.
  • 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.
    • "The Bedrock Twitch" at the beginning of the movie is lifted straight from a Flintstones episode. Fred and Barney even look delighted as the song comes on the radio. The song is later played by a band at the restaurant, the lead singer is presumably Rock Roll from the cartoon.
  • Office Golf: Cliff Vandercave plays office basketball as he plots manipulating Fred further. Fred accidentally destroying Cliff's construction machine model can count as office basketball gone horribly wrong.
  • Oh, Crap!: A lot of them.
    • Wilma when Fred reveals that he gave their savings to Barney and Betty.
    • The Flintstones and the Rubbles when Bamm-Bamm attacks Barney.
    • Fred when he sees Pearl after coming home from his bowling game.
    • Betty when Bamm-Bamm destroys the plates in Marshy Fields.
    • Betty and Wilma when they see the pterodactyl hovering above the park where Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are playing at.
    • Fred when he inadvertently destroys the model of Cliff's machine.
    • Barney when he realizes that Fred has fired all of his workers.
    • The Rubbles when they realize that the eggs they were cooking belonged to a neighbor dinosaur.
    • Fred when he realizes that he was tricked by Cliff and later when he gets chased down and cornered by his workers to be hanged.
    • Wilma when she realizes that Fred and Barney are going to be hanged.
    • The Flintstones and the Rubbles when they discover that Fred's house has been ransacked and Cliff has kidnapped Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm.
    • Barney before he lands face first on a cliff while trying to rescue the children.
    • Fred when he discovers that the machine is overheating.
    • The Dictabird when Cliff's about to shoot him.
    • Barney when sees the grinder in front of him after Pebbles' scream wakes him up.
    • Cliff when he is cornered by Fred and when he sees the concrete falling upon him.
  • Ordered Apology: When Wilma shows up with the Dictabird just as the angry co-workers are about to lynch Fred and Barney. The Dictabird agrees to tell everyone the real truth so long as Fred apologizes for not listening to him. Fred tries to mutter a back-handed one, but Barney elbows him, which gets him to finally shout it out for everyone to hear.
  • Palm-Fist Tap: During the climax, Fred bowls Cliff over, then steps on his foot before he can retrieve his gun. he looks down at Cliff laying on the ground, says "it's time for [them] to interface", and gives him the palm-fist tap, Cliff's kidnapping Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm having made Fred only too eager to beat Cliff up.
  • Papa Wolf: Fred and Barney, though the former moreso, after they discover their kids have been abducted. Shown when, after Fred read's Cliff's ransom tablet, he crushes it with his bare hands. Fred is also prepared to beat Cliff up for endangering his and Barney’s children.
  • Parent Service: Miss Stone, portrayed by Halle Berry.
  • Parrot Exposition:
    Fred: *to Barney* You're fired!
    Record-playing bird: [abruptly stops] Fired?!
  • Pride: On at least three occasions, Fred hides his fear of looking like a failure by putting on a front.
    • When Barney realizes that Fred is afraid to tell Wilma that he gave Barney and Betty money so they can adopt a child.
    • When Barney asks Fred how he did on the aptitude test, Fred refuses to admit that he struggled, even though Barney could tell as much.
    • When Fred sees Wilma leave him, he refuses to admit that he was wrong and treated everyone badly until it's too late.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Betty's Marshy Fields card is declined by Mica, the store's manager, she asks what's wrong and he bellows at her "It's no damn good!" before he destroys it.
  • Product Placement: McDonald's paid a truly exorbitant sum to be featured in the film as "RocDonalds", seven figures by some reports. This is remarkable, considering AOL paid a similar amount to permeate You've Got Mail four years later and "RocDonalds" only gets relatively brief Sight Gag appearances in The Flintstones.
  • Promoted to Scapegoat: The real reason for Cliff's test was to find someone to be the fall guy for his schemes. When Fred gets the job, Miss Stone convinces Cliff to take Fred on anyways, because he's so dense that it'll make Cliff's plan even easier.
  • Powersuit Monkey: One of Fred's co-workers is a monkey wearing a tie.
  • Read the Fine Print: Fred signs a bunch of forms without reading them, and they turn out to be termination notices for all his colleagues who dig in the quarry. The dictabird even tells him "only an idiot signs something before reading it."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During their argument, Betty says The Flintstones used to be nice people, but became a couple of rich snobs.
  • Recycled Premise: The idea of Fred getting an undeserved promotion and the Flintstones and Rubbles falling out over it is borrowed from the episode "Fred's New Boss", only in that episode it was Barney who got the undeserved promotion due to being related to Mr. Slate.
  • Ripping Off the String of Pearls: When Wilma confronts Fred over how his behavior has cost him his friendship with Barney, Fred haughtily claims that they don't need the Rubbles because they can buy whatever they want. Wilma tells him the Rubbles are worth more than anything Fred could buy, and drives her point home by tearing off the pearl necklace Fred had purchased for her.
  • Running Gag: Fred asking Barney for lunch money.
    • It becomes a Running Gagged at the end when Barney says "Not this time!" and chases after him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once the Rubbles move out, Wilma decides enough is enough and leaves Fred behind for Pearl's house. She comes to regret this later on.
  • Sexophone: Sharon Stone's Leitmotif is a saxophone-based cue, which emphasizes the character's seductive nature.
  • Sexy Secretary: Miss Stone, Cliff Vandercave's girlfriend and henchwoman. When Fred Flintstone is chosen to be the scapegoat, Cliff has Miss Stone serve as Fred's secretary, knowing that she will be able to seduce him into doing whatever she wants.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Barney drives an ice cream truck that's playing the theme from The Jetsons.
    • One of the things Wilma breaks is the "leg lamp" from A Christmas Story.
    • The little playground is called Jurassic Park.
    • The drive-in is showing Tar Wars, directed by Gorge Lucas.
    • Halle Berry's character is named Sharon Stone (the role was originally meant for actress Sharon Stone, but she turned it down due to scheduling conflicts).
  • Something Else Also Rises: Fred's tie flips up after he and Miss Stone are introduced.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Aside from the stock Hanna-Barbera and Hollywood Edge sound effect libraries used in the film, a Wilhelm scream can be heard when Betty and Wilma arrive to stop the Fred and Barney's lynching.
  • Taken for Granite: Cliff Vandercave's ultimate fate is being encased in concrete. In other words, his fate has been sealed—literally!
  • Tempting Fate: While shopping with Wilma and the kids, Betty decides to spend less until Barney can get a new job. But then, Bamm-Bamm gets loose...
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like: Fred is shown a scale model of Slate's planned pre-fab homes, leading to this knuckleheaded but priceless observation:
    Fred: "I hate to bust your bubble, fellas, but if you build houses this small, who's gonna live in 'em?"
  • Toilet-Drinking Dog Gag: One scene has Dino, the Flintstones' pet snorkasaurus, drinking from a stone toilet.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold to begin with, Fred becomes even more of a jerk when he is made an executive by Cliff.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: It comes from Fred working for years in the quarry. When Cliff first sees Fred in the offices, he even notes Fred is looking around in awe.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Cliff, who outright tries to kill Pebbles and Bam-Bam in the climax.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After taking the Dictabird, Cliff tries to escape but the Dictabird escapes his grasp. Seconds later, Cliff attempts to escape again only for Fred to use his bowling ball to stop him.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Most of the quarry workers other than Fred and Barney are shirtless throughout the movie.
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Invoked by the Dictabird when Wilma and Betty ram their car into a tree to stop Fred and Barney from being lynched.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Wilma scolds Fred for allowing the family to become greedy and done nothing to help the financially-troubled Rubbles, and for letting them leave. So she leaves Fred, taking Pebbles and Dino with her to her mother's, which she eventually regrets.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Cliff Vandercave, at the end kidnaps Pebble and Bamm Bamm to force Freddy and Barney to give him the Dictabird. But even after obtaining what he wants he decides to kill the kids anyway.



Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report