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CBS Cartoon Theare (), an early attempt at animation in primetime Together, they live in the town of Bedrock, located in Cobblestone County with .. The famous “Meet the Flintstones” theme was, actually, the second. After all, so many of our earliest TV memories are tied to an animated series, short . songs “(Meet) The Flintstones” and “The Bedrock Twitch” in its controversial. The Flintstones is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera for ABC. In , TV Guide ranked The Flintstones the second greatest TV cartoon of all The show is set in the Stone Age town of Bedrock (pop. . The "Meet the Flintstones" opening was later added to the first two seasons for syndication.
Blanc had already had an extensive portfolio in animation, voicing many iconic Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck and for Universal as Woody Woodpecker. Mel Blanc was so dedicated to voicing Barney, in fact, that following a near-fatal car accident in early which left Blanc in a coma for two weeks and in a full-body cast for months, a number of second season Flintstones episodes were recorded in his bedroom with a microphone dangling above him though for a few of the initial episodes that were recorded around the time of the accident, Daws Butler, who voiced Barney in the pilot, briefly stepped in.
The Flintstones' pet Dino initially looked and acted much different right compared to his more familiar appearance left Mel Blanc also voiced the Flintstones pet Dino, a pinkish-red dog-like dinosaur who uttered unintelligible barking-ish noises.
What caused the change was never explained, except perhaps to add more comedic elements of a dinosaur acting like the family dog. Fred often butted heads with his boss Mr.
Slate Rounding out the cast was Mr. The Great Gazoo was added to the show in its final season, dividing many viewers on if the show had run out of ideas. Through him, several later plots involved time travel as far as the 21st century, where the Slate Rock and Gravel Company is still in business!
Besides the aforementioned firsts of being the first cartoon made for primetime and being the first TV cartoon to focus on one set of characters for a full half-hour, The Flintstones did some things that even other sitcoms of the time tended to shy away from. One thing was the fact that Fred and Wilma slept together in the same bed. The Flintstones was certainly the first time that a TV cartoon had done this. The lead-up to the birth of Pebbles was both a rare instance of pregnancy in a cartoon, as well as one of the first story arcs in animation to last over multiple standalone installments.
Most of the firsts, however, center around a plot that lasted the majority of season 3 and even part of season 4. This was both the first time that a pregnancy had been represented in a realistic manner in animation, as well as possibly the first ongoing story arc lasting through several standalone installments without being strictly serialized in a cartoon series.
The early concept of a child Flintstone, Fred Jr. The decision to give the Flintstones a child goes as far back as the conceptual stages of the series, where, for a time, they had a son named Fred Junior. Ultimately they took the child out for the first two seasons but brought the concept back for season 3, going with a girl instead because a baby girl was much more marketable than a boy.
The episode that introduced the Rubbles' adopted son Bamm-Bamm dealt with infertility, a subject matter rarely brought up in media during the 50's and 60's. The subject of infertility was almost never brought up on television, so this was a potentially controversial subject for an animated series to tackle. By the end of the episode, the Rubbles adopt an orphaned baby named Bamm Bamm initially known as "Junior"the "strongest baby on Earth" called so for his unexplainable strength. The Flintstones had such guest stars as Ann-Margret and Tony Curtis "Rock" Stars The Flintstones was one of the first cartoons to create an emphasis on guest stars appearing voicing versions of themselves, all with rock-themed names.
For the time, being a guest star on the Flintstones was considered a mark of prestige, similar to the effect that guest starring on the live-action Batman series later in the decade would have on celebrities.
Oddly, Dino was blue in this opening, but this error was likely not a concern of the time, because while The Flintstones was produced in color, those first two seasons aired in black and white. In the fall ofa full six years after competitor NBC launched their color television campaign, ABC finally began experimenting with color broadcasting with two series: The Flintstones and The Jetsons.
For the third season of the Flintstones, the show was given a new opening which showed Fred leaving work, gathering up his family and the Rubbles, and heading to a drive-in theatre. The new closing credits show the family heading to their homes after the film in the drive-in, ultimately ending similar to the original closing with Fred getting trapped outside for the night by Baby Puss. This opening and closing were retroactively included on the first two seasons when the show was eventually reran in syndication.
Animation cel from one of the Winston Cigarette ads. Note that the ads were produced in color like the rest of the show, even though color versions of the ads have never been seen. During its first two and a half seasons, the Flintstones, while produced for all audiences, was targeted by ABC towards adult viewers.
History of Hanna-Barbera: The Flintstones | ReelRundown
In for its 50th anniversary, the Flintstones were featured for a day as a Google Doodle. During its fourth season, it moved to Thursdays at 7: A brief demonstration film was also created to sell the idea of a "modern stone age family" to sponsors and the network. The show imitated and spoofed The Honeymooners, although the early voice characterization for Barney was that of Lou Costello.
The characters, I thought, were terrific. Now, that influenced greatly what we did with The Flintstones The Honeymooners was there, and we used that as a kind of basis for the concept. But if people want to compare The Flintstones to The Honeymooners, then great. It's a total compliment. The Honeymooners was one of the greatest shows ever written. The cartoon concerned the rowdy antics of a bank robber in stone-age Dallas.Hubby Responsibilities - Flintstones - Boomerang Official
Many of the visual jokes antedated by many years similar ones used by Hanna-Barbera in the Flintstones series. Many students of American animation point to this cartoon as a progenitive seed of the Flintstones.
The concept was also predated by the Stone Age Cartoons series of 12 animated cartoons released from January to September by Fleischer Studios. These cartoons show stone age people doing modern things with primitive means.
One example is Granite Hotel including characters such as a newsboy, telephone operator, hotel clerk, and a spoof of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Barbera explained that selling the show to a network and sponsors was not an easy task. Here we were with a brand new thing that had never been done before, an animated prime-time television show. So we developed two storyboards; one was they had a helicopter of some kind and they went to the opera or whatever, and the other was Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble fighting over a swimming pool.
History of Hanna-Barbera: The Flintstones
So I go back to New York with a portfolio and two half-hour boards. And no-one would even believe that you'd dare to suggest a thing like that, I mean they looked at you and they'd think you're crazy.
But slowly the word got out, and I used the presentation which took almost an hour and a half. I would go to the other two boards and tell them what they did, and do all the voices and the sounds and so-on, and I'd stagger back to the hotel and I'd collapse. The phone would ring like crazy, like one time I did Bristol-Myersthe whole company was there.
When I got through I'd go back to the hotel the phone would ring and say "the president wasn't at that meeting, could you come back and do it for him. I got to know where the laughs were, and where to hit it, nothing; dead, dead, dead. So one of the people at Screen Gems said "This is the worst, those guys What it was, was that there were two agencies there, and neither one was going to let the other one know they were enjoying it.
But I pitched it for eight straight weeks and nobody bought it. So after sitting in New York just wearing out, you know really wearing out.
- The Flintstones
- The Flintstones' 50th anniversary: 15 things you don't know
Pitch, pitch, pitch, sometimes five a day. So finally on the very last day I pitched it to ABC, which was a young daring network willing to try new things, and bought the show in 15 minutes. Thank goodness, because this was the very last day and if they hadn't bought it, I would have taken everything down, put it in the archives and never pitched it again.