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The Flintstones (30th stoniversary revisit)

May 27, 1994

THE FLINTSTONES was undeniably one of the big movie events of the summer of ’94. Sure, it got poor reviews, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone who thought it was anything more than fine, but people definitely went to see it – it made almost $300 million over its budget, the #5 grossing movie of the year. Since we all agree that box office is important because movies are a business etc. etc., this figure proves that THE FLINTSTONES made a bigger mark than SCHINDLER’S LIST, PULP FICTION, THE CROW, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, SHORT CUTS, ED WOOD, and CLERKS that year. Only THE LION KING, FORREST GUMP, TRUE LIES and THE SANTA CLAUSE were more impactful. Sorry, that’s just science. There are fossils to prove it.

So I thought it was important to include in this series, and also I wanted my sainted wife, who had never seen it, to watch it with me. (Don’t worry, it was fine, she didn’t hate it.) But when I did that and then I re-read my review of the movie from the Summer Flings series in 2017, I realized that oh jesus, I covered this very thoroughly at that time. Didn’t leave much more to write about.

That’s your tip off that if you want a straight review of the movie, read that one, it’s pretty good. I go into the McDonalds tie-ins and the ridiculous merchandising, and I try to explain how cool it is now to see a movie with so much work put into building this cartoon world in live action with sets, props, costumes and Jim Henson puppets. I think it’s in a category with POPEYE, BARBIE and SPEED RACER in that respect, and even though it’s easily my least favorite on that list, it’s a notable list to be on.

But you can read all that over there, so this one will be more theoretical. Given the generational shift I’ve been trying to explore in this series, I’m mostly gonna use this piece to look at why THE FLINTSTONES could exist in 1994, what it says about American and/or Hollywood values at the time, and how things are different now.

Just like MAVERICK the week before, THE FLINTSTONES was based on an old TV show that boomers might’ve grown up on in its original run from 1960-1966. But I don’t think it’s that familiar kind of “hey, remember this?” nostalgia trip, because much like Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones had remained omnipresent for children for decades. The original series was designed to appeal to the whole family, but when I was a kid in the ‘80s we had more kiddy oriented spin-offs like The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show and The Flintstone Kids on Saturday mornings, in addition to reruns of the original show on weekday afternoons. I think I found the original show a little more appealing, and I doubt I knew what decade it was left over from. Even kids who weren’t watching any of those knew the characters from ads for Flintstsones children’s vitamins, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles cereal, and Push Up ice cream pops. If the show disappeared entirely I’m sure Fred and Barney could’ve continued being product mascots, they became so well known for that.

So in 1994 it wasn’t that weird that they’d make a movie of The Flintstones. Seemed like kind of a no-brainer. It was a pop culture touchstone for all age groups, and various producers had been trying to make live action Flintstones and Jetsons movies for almost a decade. Steven E. DIE HARD de Souza received final credit because he wrote the first version in 1987 for producer Joel Silver and director Richard Donner, though from the sounds of it they started over from scratch multiple times.

A major difference with those other movies I mentioned is that they don’t seem to consider straight adaptation to be enough. POPEYE, SPEED RACER and BARBIE meld the stylized worlds of their inspirations with live action, but they use that as a jumping off point for larger emotions or ideas. THE FLINTSTONES doesn’t really do that, it just tries to stay faithful to the source material, and maybe that’s not enough. What’s a novel enough gimmick to fill a show feels a little shallow poured into a feature film. Maybe they should’ve stuck with the 1990 script by Mitch Markowitz (GOOD MORNING VIETNAM) that was supposedly inspired by The Grapes of Wrath. That sounds a little more ambitious.

When you try to just make the show in the shape of a movie the problem you run into is the perfect simplicity of the show. By design it’s just generic half hour sitcom type plots – for example, the first episode was about Fred and Barney trying to get out of going to the opera because it’s at the same time as their bowling match. The novelty and humor is in this joke that in the stone age they live just like we do, it’s just that their cars and TVs and record players and garbage disposals and things are based in the old technologies of stone, wood and talking dinosaurs. I guess it would be called “world building” now. Come to think of it, the approach isn’t all that different from some of the Pixar movies (think ONWARD re-creating the modern world with fantasy creatures). But Pixar takes a premise like that and tries to give it a movie plot, while THE FLINTSTONES is attempting the more delicate balance of seeming enough like a sitcom plot to resemble the show and enough like a movie plot to feel worth of your 90 minutes. To me the sitcom part ends up feeling a little empty but the movie part feels like a little too much.

Newspapers and magazines at the time were quick to note the trend of movies-based-on-old-TV-shows, and to be fair most of them didn’t try to justify themselves with ideas – they did it with casting. A 1993 LA Times article credited Angelica Huston’s role in THE ADDAMS FAMILY for making it “socially acceptable” for big name actors to do those movies. It mentions Harrison Ford starring in an upcoming movie of THE FUGITIVE (which obviously happened) but also Geena Davis doing a movie of Honey West and Mel Gibson as The Saint (which didn’t). The article also mentioned Davis and Catherine O’Hara as rumored candidates to play Wilma in THE FLINTSTONES, with Rosie O’Donnell and Tracey Ullman as possibilities for Betty.

I think it’s fair to say the cast they ended up with is pretty magical. The world loves John Goodman, but when the hell else would he be the obvious choice to star in a big expensive summer tentpole movie? If they said he was playing Batman, Dick Tracy, Bret Maverick, The Shadow or Jack Ryan people would have scoffed, but you say he’s playing Fred Flintstone and it’s like – yeah, of course! No one better, either for the body type or the performance. He even has years of working class sitcom dad experience under his belt. I think the essence of Fred Flintstone is more of an asshole than the essence of John Goodman, so his sweet side seems more genuine than in the cartoon. But that’s okay. Better than going in the other direction.

I also can’t think of anyone better to play Barney than Rick Moranis (STREETS OF FIRE). How is it possible there was a guy who was short and experienced in doing cartoonish voices and playing nice guys who are kinda dumb and was a major name in big time movies? It’s weird that he even exists! He was suggested by Danny DeVito, who recognized that he was wrong for the character when he turned down producer Steven Spielrock.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Perkins (BIG) is a lesser known face who disappears into the established personality of this cartoon character Wilma, and O’Donnell (A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN) was controversial as Betty Rubble for not being skinny – yep, those guys were out there whining even before the internet – but she actually does the voice and inhabits the character very well. There’s nobody in the movie that’s not game. And it happened to be made during the window when Kyle McLachlan could play the main villain in a big movie. I do have a hard time looking at him in this costume and not picturing his action figure where he has the same head but a stubby little cartoon body, but that’s not his fault.

I would guess that most kids today don’t know The Flintstones, not as much because it’s old as because most kids don’t have to settle for whatever’s on. They’re used to clicking on the thing they want. If they even have TV there are many channels and few of them showing The Flintstones. (They might still take the vitamins or eat the cereal, though.)

So if anybody still watches this movie it must be the grown ups, which makes sense, since the plot is about jobs and marriage and shit anyway. What strikes me about it now is how it depicts that American dream of the sixties and beyond, of sitcoms, of the middle class, of my parents’ generation. They tell you that life is you find a wife who forgives you for being a lunkhead, you get a steady job, buy a big house with lots of things, get a dog and a cat, have a kid, have a next door neighbor you drink beer and bowl with, try to get That Big Promotion at work. That’s part of the story here. Barney feels sorry for Fred doing terrible on an aptitude test at work, and switches them so that Fred can get a better job with an office, a hot secretary (Halle Berry, JUNGLE FEVER) and a Dictabird. It’s nice at first but then there’s resentment and class treachery and Barney gets fired and Fred is being scammed and etc. Movie shit.

The big difference between the modern stone age families of then and now is that today’s Wilma would probly want to have a job too. And if she didn’t they probly couldn’t afford that house. I realize that I did believe this was the standard life path, and it was still accessible for many of my generation. I have friends and cousins that did all that, but I didn’t have it in me. I didn’t have an urgency to have kids. I did want money and a house but not as much as I wanted to stick to my artistic shit. I didn’t want to be like my friends’ dads growing up who used to do cool stuff like write a book or make a movie. I couldn’t give it up. So here I am a middle aged man, happily married but no kids, some savings but not enough to buy a house, especially without moving to the suburbs, which I never want to do. I’m not the Bedrock type. What used to be my idea of normal life is now my idea of what other people do.

But that was mostly my choice, what worries me more is how many people younger than me who actually want that lifestyle don’t have much of a shot at it. Education costs more, housing costs more, jobs pay less and don’t take care of you as much. What would be the equivalent to working at the rock quarry – an Amazon warehouse job? You just can’t pay for a house and a car and a wife and a kid with a job like that anymore. It’s not a thing. And then going out and buying those giant ribs!? No way.

Man, for it to be ’94 again. When the summer movies were only okay and most of the music on the radio was pretty bad but at least it seemed like you were gonna make it.

* * *

Summer of ’94 connections: Somehow this has a song (“Hit & Run Holiday”) by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, who also appear in and have a song on the soundtrack for THE CROW. I guess we’d have to call these the two hottest soundtracks of the summer. Weirdly there’s also an Us3 song on the end credits with Def Jef rapping about The Flintstones. Honestly I was thinking the music on this is much cooler than expected – the “BC-52s” scene is a highlight – but Green Jelly rewording “Anarchy in the UK” Bedrock style crosses into my cringe zone.

Weirdest cameo: There’s a TV show within the movie called Bedrock’s Most Wanted (hosted by Jay Leno) that re-enacts what happens to Fred in the movie, and according to the credits his boss is played by Sam Raimi in the re-enactment. I don’t think you can really see him, though.

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32 Responses to “The Flintstones (30th stoniversary revisit)”

  1. In all fairness, there is one actor more suited to playing Fred than Goodman.
    Unfortunately, The Great One was six years six feet under by the time the movie was produced.

    But Goodman does a good impersonation.

  2. My sister was (and still is) one of those who are whining about movie Betty being “fat” for what it’s worth.
    Yeah, I don’t think I have anything to add that I didn’t say the last time. The casting of Goodman and Moranis is indeed alltime great live action cartoon casting! The world they created in this movie is still wonderful to look at. And even my mother admits that Halle Berry was super sexy in here.

    Sadly the movie is indeed “Just fine” at best.

    Talking about cartoon movies that were made and were never made: I own a press kit for the INSPECTOR GADGET movie (which, btw, has with Dabney Coleman as Chief Quimby another spot on cartoon casting, although he is sadly not doing much in it. Maybe most of his stuff got removed from the legendary 100 minutes test screening bomb) and it says that one of the producers works on a CARMEN SANDIEGO movie with Jennifer Lopez and a SAILOR MOON movie with Geena Davis as villain.

    That’s all I have. Now excuse me while I try to add that FLINTSTONES soundtrack to my SONGS FROM AND INSPIRED BY THE MOTION PICTURE collection, because why not?

  3. As much as people complain about franchises and sequels and all that junk today, it’s crazy to realize how many old TV shows were adapted into movies in the 90s. I guess the difference is that there was maybe a healthier movie ecosystem where studios also funded mid-budget original genre pictures and films aimed more squarely at adult audiences.

  4. grimgrinningchris

    June 4th, 2024 at 9:58 am

    I will likely get grilled for this. But Viva Rock Vegas is a FAR better movie. It is more clever, far funnier and with a (no disrespect to the absolute legends in this one) FAR better cast… and cast on not just name recognition. Goodman is clearly the superior actor, but Mark Addy is CLEARLY the superior Fred Flintstone. Same with Stephen Baldwin’s Barney vs Moranis’s. Outside of Usual Suspects, this is his 100% best role and he is PERFECT. And Jane Krakowski was brilliant in relation to O’Donnell’s simple, generic voice imitation of Betty. And let’s not forget one of the single greatest casting choices of all time… Alan Cumming as The Great Gazoo…

  5. All I remember is that we had this discussion once before and that I wanted to rewatch VIVA ROCK VEGAS, but still haven’t.

    But casting Joan Collins as young Liz Taylor was a great idea.

  6. grimgrinningchris

    June 4th, 2024 at 10:33 am

    CJ. Likely on Vern’s original review of this one. I’ll go look. Point still stands. Also it doesn’t appear to be streaming without rentals or premiums now, sadly.

  7. I probably would’ve dug the GRAPES OF WRATH version. My current favorite comic book scribe, Mark Russell, wrote a 12-issue Flintstones comic a while back, drawn by Steve Pugh, which many have heralded as a surprising instant classic. It’s more of a contemporary satire about capitalism, religion, climate change, etc., told through that modern Stone Age family lens, with the plight of the dinosaur appliances as a recurring plot. It’s funnier than I’m making it sound.

    Russell also wrote a Snagglepuss series which casts the title character as a Tennessee Williams-esque gay playwright during McCarthyism. It’s a goddamn masterpiece.

  8. It is so weird that we have that genre/trope/methodology of the big, broad adaptation that does huge box office and then the hardcore, for-the-fans corrective sequel that much fewer people like. “The Flintstones” movie always seemed like a pretty straightforward encapsulation of the “best” of the Flintstones. But I’ve always been curious about “Viva Rock Vegas”, which seems like more of a “true” Flintstones movie in adapting everything funny but also weird and nonsensical about the original show.

    Kinda recall those recent “live action” Ninja Turtles movies being similar. The first one was some reshot, re-edited mishmash of Ninja Turtles canon designed to appeal to the Mystical Chambers Of The Four Quadrants. But the second one seemed like more of an adaptation of an arc from that original animated series, complete with Krang and a Baxter Stockman origin story — obviously it bombed.

  9. Y’all love it when I drop some completely random tidbits that are only tangentially important to the respective reviewed movie in these comments, don’t you? So here is an interesting (citation needed) one: I did not know that the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons (or any cartoon) had a laugh track until maybe the late 90s. The German dubbing thankfully just left them out (Which they admittedly also did with most live action sitcoms until the late 80s.) and it wasn’t until one station reached deep into its licensing leftover bag and aired one of those FLINTSTONE spin-offs (I’m sure it was THE NEW FRED AND BARNEY SHOW) with a dub that inexplicably kept the laugh track, which even caused one of our TV magazines to write a short blurb, declaring it the “flop of the week” because “TV now even tells our children when to laugh”, that I learned about the existence of cartoons with a “live audience”.

    I talked in the original review about the pretty damn great German dubbing of the original show, which contains bunch of things that my sister and me still quote on a nearly daily basis (Or just some gems like a cop who showed up in one episode being dubbed by the German voice actor of Kojak and letting him speak exactly like that character), but the lack of laugh tracks in these cartoons. But not having these laugh tracks (which I generally don’t mind, but I can imagine would have driven me insane in a cartoon), might still be the best thing about them.

  10. Glaive, we can also add INSPECTOR GADGET to that. The first live action movie barely resembles the cartoon, but the cheap-ass DTV sequel (which btw features Bruce Spence in make up that makes him look like Bill Nye and I’m sure it was on purpose), is actually much closer to its source. It’s still not as good as TMNT OUT OF THE SHADOWS though.

  11. I still have never seen this movie, and until now it had never occurred to me that it might be worthwhile to do so.

    But now the current “Related Posts” include links to Vern’s reviews of SCANNERS II: THE NEW ORDER and CRIMES OF THE FUTURE.

    I never previously thought of THE FLINTSTONES as Cronenberg-adjacent. But then I remembered that EXISTENZ takes place in a future where humanity has a symbiotic relationship with weird bio-tech. And is that so different from a society where the devices are creatures that say “It’s a living”?

    So now I’m (slightly) interested.

  12. @CJ I remember discovering the 80’s show SLEDGEHAMMER! on DVD, kind of a proto-POLICE SQUAD. I thought it was absolutely hilarious, but then I saw the extras. They revealed the show originally aired with a fake laugh track. They showed a few scenes with the laugh track, and it was an immediate repulsion. Like, if I had seen it originally, I would have hated the entire show with a relentless fervor.

    Also, the second Inspector Gadget is an excellent example of what I’m talking about. French Stewart is a way better choice than Matthew Broderick.

  13. Seconding what Bill Reed said if anyone has any love for the Flintstones you owe it to yourself to read that Mark Russell comic. It’s not just the best version of the flintstones but maybe one of the best comics I’ve ever read? Like it’s truly phenomenal.

    The flintstones movie though, I will never get over the fact that there’s a character who’s rock based name is Sharron Stone played by Halle Berry. Like couldn’t they have changed the name when that casting fell through?

  14. Okay, I ordered the first paperback. Volume 2 seems harder to come by.

  15. CJ, that is cool foreign dubs omitted the laugh track.

    Glaive, I remember Sledge Hammer with the laugh track. Luckily I was a kid so I didn’t know any better.

  16. If I remember right, the laugh track in SLEDGE HAMMER lasted only half of the first season before the network actually agreed to remove it. We only got the un-laughing version here. (It’s a very popular show in Germany, btw.)

    I think the first time I actually heard a laugh track in a German dub was in ALF, but I just thought “Okay, so it’s a stage play”. From then on, all Sitcoms kept it.

    Glaive: Gotta be honest, French Stewart is far from being the perfect actor for Inspector Gadget (Although I don’t know who would be), but I was surprised how quickly he won me over. You look at him and think “Why?” but he is actually quite good in the part. And having a fitting voice definitely helps. One thing that I loved about INSPECTOR GADGET 2 btw was how they used the low budget for their advantage and made the FX obviously look cartoony on purpose. Seriously, I’m not saying y’all should run and check out that movie. It’s still a pretty mediocre kids movie. But it is a good example of Glaive Robber’s “Part 2 is closer to the source” point.

  17. I’ve not seen this, and I didn’t have anything to say about it the last time it was reviewed, but things change. I don’t think I should miss this chance to say something now about the B-52’s, a band I have loved for over 40 years. They seem a very fine fit for this movie.

    So, “a gay old time”; did Anderson Cooper really use his celebrity and platform to denounce The Flintstones as disrespecting gay people for that? If he and other gay people really felt that, I would certainly not want them to be quiet about it, but, honestly, it seems like an Onion story. But what do I, a cis heterosexual male, know?

    The version of the theme used in this movie was recorded in the period when Cindy Wilson, who had lost her brother and co-founder of the B-52’s, Ricky, to AIDS in the ’80s, was on hiatus from the band. The performance in the movie and the music video of the theme features Fred, Keith and Kate, and although Kate was in a relationship with a man at the time, I think it was pretty clear that they were all very comfortable having a “gay old time” and neither felt nor intended any disrespect.

    There’s a school of thought that says that the B-52’s are one of the most subversive bands ever. Again, I am not sure I am the right person to judge that. But I’ve seen them several times over the years and they really know how to put on a great show. Their first two albums continue to sound utterly different and delightful, and Whammy!, my personal favourite, coming after the stumble of the Mesopotamia EP, is a pioneering piece of synth pop that too often gets overlooked.

    Suffice to say, I am a fan. Kate is 75 now, and Keith no longer plays with them, but there’s a part of me that wants to go see their Vegas residency shows. I’m pretty sure they’ll be a good time, if not a gay old time.

  18. grimgrinningchris

    June 5th, 2024 at 8:59 am


    The B-52s are the first band I ever saw of my own volition (as opposed to getting taken to by parents) and I still had my original Cosmic Thing tour shirt (and it even still fit) up until a couple of years ago.
    One of the first bands (along with The Dead Milkmen and Depeche Mode- the former being my first ever club show, the latter being my first ever arena show- both within a year of seeing the Bs in a theater) that I was fully obsessed with- where I had to own, in some format, every song they’d ever released. I hope to one day be able to stay at one of Kate’s motor-home resorts!

    Also, I like Mesopotamia… Ha.

  19. That’s cool CJ. Mesopotamia is not bad at all, it’s just that it’s not really them. It’s David Byrne’s idea of the B-52s, or rather the compromise they reached with David Byrne on his vision. Which is why it’s an EP not an LP.

    Wish I still had my Cosmic Thing tour shirt. They were outstanding on that tour, even without Ricky.

  20. Sadly the B-52s are one of the bigger gaps in my music knowledge, but I am pretty fond of their (as of now) last album FUNPLEX, which IMO is a good example of an iconic band updating their sound for the modern age, without losing everything that made them special or coming across as sell-outs.

  21. DOH! Sorry, that was Chris I was replying to not you CJ. Apologies to both of you for my inability to read comments properly

  22. A few random comments/responses in relation to various things that have been brought up over the course of this discussion that you’ve all already moved on from;

    – Just to give a different perspective I personally think those “Gritty Hanna-Barbera reimagining” comics are inherently kind of asinine, and they don’t really transcend that conceptual inanity to me. I haven’t read any of them in full, so dismiss me on that if you like and haven’t already, and I’m not saying there aren’t some nuggets of smart social commentary in there, but I also suspect if they went outside of their very specific bubble there might be a few more eyebrows raised. Maybe to you there’s a difference between “it’s clobbering time” coming from Ben Grimm’s abusive brother and Fred and Barney learning “Yabba Dabba Doo” as [SPOILERS] a trauma support group mantra, but to me it’s the “they’re the same picture” meme big time.[END SPOILERS]

    – Dabney Coleman looked perfect for Chief Quimby, but the character was completely different, changing from a sycophantic admirer with a streak of bad luck to…well, the standard Dabney Coleman character. That’s not necessarily a complaint, because the cartoon character is the kind that only works in a formulaic (again not a complaint) TV show. But yeah, in the released film at least he sadly doesn’t do much.

    – I still want to know why they added Gazoo to VIVA ROCK VEGAS, given the character had long been canonised as a Cousin Oliver/Scrappy type figure by then. Is it because everything else in the film is about dating and social climbing, and they thought they needed something (other than Baby Dino) with obvious kiddy appeal?

    – I actually prefer THE FLINTSTONES, TOP CAT etc with the canned laughter because the shows were actually timed around it. It actually varied growing up in the UK in the 90s which version you’d see. M*A*S*H* officially never had a laugh track in the UK, but the odd one would somehow slip through, at least on Sky One. Pink Panther cartoons with laugh tracks are an abomination, as they aren’t timed and were never meant to be released, that way

    So that’s me; critic of acclaimed gritty reboot comics, apologist for laugh tracks. I’ll leave my opinion on B-52s and whether or not I find “In the Days of the Caveman” by Crash Test Dummies appearing on the soundtrack more exciting to your imagination.

  23. Crash Test Dummies are a pretty underrated band IMO. Also it’s odd that Weird Al’s BEDROCK ANTHEM is on the soundtrack, but I guess since that one appeared on his by that time newest album (ALAPALOOZA, released in 93), the timing was just good.

  24. This is a really lovely piece of writing and it’s so fucking funny that it’s in your review of The Flintstones Live Action Movie. Last few paragraphs really got me. I’m so grateful for your writing, Vern.

  25. I saw a TikTok where a young kid explained to their parent that Fruity Pebbles were a gay rights cereal, and I certainly wasn’t mad at it.

  26. Thank you PJ, that’s nice of you to say. I always try to end on a bummer in a second THE FLINTSTONES review.

  27. After getting my hands on the soundtrack, I have to agree with “much cooler than expected”. It’s obvious that someone at the studio must have thought “So we have this movie for kids and nostalgic adults, but the teen demographic will feel too cool for that, so at least sell them the soundtracks”.

    That said, it’s not top tier “mediocre to bad movie with awesome soundtrack”. I would put it in the “Pretty okay” category. There is no really bad song on it, but outside of the two BC-52s songs and the Thrill Kill Cult one, nothing outstanding. The Green Jelly version of ANARCHY IN THE UK didn’t make me groan as much as it made Vern. It’s a pretty cool “What the fuck?” if you play it out of context, but putting it on the same album with a Weird Al song was a mistake. Al writes brand new lyrics for his parodies, Green Jelly just took the original lyrics and changed a few words. It’s amusing, but also a bit lazy.

    All in all I give the album the “You won’t regret an impulse buy at the thrift store” badge.

  28. I must say the rationale of doing a Bedrock-ified cover of Anarchy in the UK was baffling to me as I assumed it was something that would have been commissioned especially for the film, but it seems it was a pre-existing Green Jelly single that they decided to give the official seal of approval, so I guess it came about simply because Green Jelly were playing the song and said to themselves “hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we sung this about The Flintstones?” which I can appreciate if not entirely agree with. I’m surprised they didn’t include the more tolerable Flintstones-related novelty single I Wanna Be a Flintstone by the Screaming Blue Messiahs, which made it into the UK Top 30 in 1988 partially on the back of what I’m assuming was an officially sanctioned Fred picture disc 12-inch, but I guess they thought it was kind of old hat by 1994.

  29. No, it is actually on the soundtrack. Honestly, learning about this and the Green Jelly song makes me want to investigate how many of the songs were actually originals and which one pre-existent. Some of them gave me a “We changed the lyrics of one of our older songs for this movie” vibe, while some were obviously made before the movie and just put on it because of a certain stone age or even Flintstone theme. But by now I start to suspect that only the BC-52s songs were made for this.

    If you think about it, it would make sense that there would be a whole bunch of songs about an iconic cartoon around and then the studio would just have to pick a few good and/or appropriate ones for their soundtrack.

  30. Huh, I had it in my head it wasn’t on there, and I didn’t check. That teaches me!

    I know the Dummies’ song was just taken from their then recent/current album. It’s also generally about cavemen and not Fred and Willma specifically, not even Bam-Bam or Gazoo or Tex Avery’s THE FIRST BAD MAN or whatever. I suppose you could make the case that any song about cavemen will lead most listeners in the 90s to picture the Flintstones anyway, so in a way all songs about cavemen were automatically kind of about The Flintstones.

    Does seem to be something specific about THE FLINTSTONES that inspired semi-ironic songwriting from later boomers and older Xers. Aside from the odd dialogue sample there doesn’t seem to have been many ROCKY & BULLWINKLE songs despite it seeming to hold a similar (and, if anything, fonder) place in the US psyche.

  31. I feel like at some point I should make a podcast about “Songs from and inspired by the motion picture” albums. I just have no idea what to say and am not into podcasts in general.

  32. After rewatching it for the first time in something like 20 years, I do agree that VIVA ROCK VEGAS is the better FLINTSTONES live action movie. It’s still not great, but the script does feel like an episode of the cartoon and the whole thing moves swifter than part 1. Also how great is Alan Cumming as Gazoo and Mick Jagged?
    Sadly the whole thing does feel cheaper (The Dino puppet looks at times like something out of a Charles Band movie!) and Stephen Baldwin is sadly incredibly annoying. He looks like someone showed him out-of-context clips of LITTLE NICKY and then decided “If Adam Sandler can make a full movie with a dumb grimace, so can I!” (Sorry, Chris.) But yeah, it’s okay.

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