Monday, 16 May 2011

Seth MacFarlane Presents The Flintstones

Flintstones fans survived Gazoo. They survived the Schmoo. They survived a live-action moo(vee). But can they survive Seth MacFarlane’s coming version of The Flintstones?

The original animators are gone. The original story men (save Tony Benedict) are gone. The original voices (save John Stephenson) are gone. Those are huge strikes against the proposed series to begin with. We can only hope:

● The people hired to work on the show are fans of the original and try to hew as closely to it as possible (okay, they can ditch Gazoo, the Gruesomes and either the baby or married version of Pebbles).
● MacFarlane doesn’t turn Fred into the Modern Stone Age “Family Guy”.


  1. Good Lord, give the guy a chance. He grew up loving the Flintstones as much as we did. They're 50 years old; you can't live in the past.

    In any event, at least take solace in that nothing he does can change the originals.

  2. Classics shouldn't be messed with. I don't care who's doing it. I'll be shocked if McFarlane doesn't try to make the Flintstones more hip and relevant by slipping in some of the shock humor he's so well known for.

    Look at Warner Brothers... they still haven't been able to come close to the feel of the Merrie Melodies or original Looney Tunes shorts.. unfortunately that hasn't stopped them from trying every couple of years.

  3. I'm sitll wondering WHAT underscores Seth McFarlane will use...the "5th of Beethoven" (1976 #1 USA hit) guy [Walter Muprhey] or stock H.Curtin Hanna-Barbera cues, or the later mid 60s ones. [I always thought the "FAMILY GUY" series was too over budget in many ways [I didn't watch it, if you want my opinion of the show..:wink:]


  4. There is justification in worrying about modern revivals, if the Yogi Bear live action film and the recent Tom and Jerry cartoon are anywhere to go by.

    It's still too early to judge, however. Forget the previews. I'll await the episodes themselves before casting judgement.

  5. "Forget it, Seth - it's Dinotown!!!"

  6. All I can say is 'Seth McFarstone remakin' The Flintstones? Eeeeeewwww boooooooooy.....'

  7. Joe, one could make a case that this blog does live in the past. It shines a bit of light on cartoons made 50 or so years ago.

    Mr. MacFarlane's reputation preceeds him. And his reputation is that his television cartoons do not have anything remotely resembling the type of humour found on The Flintstones. And he, perhaps, takes joy in the fact they don't have that type of humour. That, coupled with the overall track record of cartoons that are revived (regardless of by whom), has people cringing.

    Certainly that doesn't mean Mr. MacFarlane is incapable of producing cartoons with the same tone or visual style as the old ones. It just seems that it's unlikely to happen. And that won't satisfy fans of the originals.

    In fairness to him, television humour has changed since 1961. And I suspect, though the cartoons will be on Fox, he probably will have to deal with more interference from network busybodies than Joe and Bill ever had to go through when ABC was the runt network at the beginning of the '60s. Furthermore, those running television today have the peculiar contradictory attitude that the past should be revived because that's what people will watch.. but it all has to be changed.

  8. If you're familiar with Family Guy, it's basically a modern version of the Flintstones. There have been many very funny references to Fred & Wilma in the series, I think it's in good hands.

    Did Honeymooners fans get upset about a cartoon version of their favorite show?

  9. Although I wasn't a big fan of what John Kricfalusi did with Yogi Bear, I'd feel a lot better if he was the one reviving the Flintstones. Besides his obvious affection for the H-B cartoon stars, he actually worked for Hanna and Barbera, so there would be some sort of continuity – plus you know it would be well-animated and full of funny drawings.

    I do sample the Seth MacFarlane shows, and think some of them are really funny, but to me at least they are souless and cruel. I don't care about the characters, whether it is Peter Griffin or Stewie or whoever. It's all about offensive laughs, not about creating a loving family getting into humorous situations that spring from the personalities.

    Nevertheless, anything that keeps H-B characters in the public eye is a good thing, I guess. I just wonder why the Jetsons aren't the ones being revived - the humor would be more relevant.

  10. Fred:(a la Lloyd Bridges in "Airplane") "Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smokin' Winstons!"

  11. There's a difference between reviving The Flintstones, and simply borrowing the premise and the characters names and basic designs and then just doing what you like to do.

    There's no question that you can improve on what the show was, particularly in its final three seasons, and update it from the 1960s. If McFarlane is going to something similar to what Cartoon Network did with "The Flintstones: On The Rocks" -- which basically tried to update the characters/designs as they were from the early Season 1 episodes -- I've got no problem with that. But if all it's going to be is Family Guy/American Dad in animated loincloths, just redesign the characters, give them and the show new names and start from scratch, without bastardizing the original series.

  12. Given all of the inappropriate – if not outright horrible – things Hanna-Barbera ITSELF has done to its characters post-sixties, I’m actually looking forward to this!

    One thing we know… MacFarlane LOVES The Flintstones and Star Wars! I don’t expect he’d set out to destroy the memories of either!

    It might be nice to be able to LAUGH while watching The Flintstones again!

  13. I wonder how the voice actors will play the parts? In the "live" action movies you had John Goodman...what you see is what you get and hear. A lot of actors don't like to do impersonations. But, knowing how the sound of the Flintstones and the Rubbles are forever burned in the minds of viewers of all ages, it will be interesting to to see how MacFarlane will handle that aspect of it. I'm sure the show will be somewhat edgy. Gosh Steve," A 5th of Beethoven "???. I'm having nightmares of myself as a young East Coast radio personality in the summer of 1976 playing it EVERY hour and 20 minutes!!-Ha!!!

  14. I think Seth MacFarlane would be best served in recreating THE FLINTSTONES in their FIRST SEASON incarnations. This would best suit his style, which I expect would be (at least somewhat) toned down from his more adult-oriented fare. His work on DEXTER’s LABORATORY and JOHNNY BRAVO prove that he can be “wild” and “tame” at the same time. I feel his FLINTSTONES will be more in that vein.

    In fact, I’d love to see MacFarlane make the gutsy move of utilizing a good approximation of Barney Rubble’s ORIGINAL voice! The one Mel Blanc used for the First Season. (“The Swimming Pool”, “The Flintstone Flyer”, etc.) I think that would suit his vision well.

  15. Kind of frustrating. I feel more qualified to oversee a fairly faithful recreation (see "Flintstones Forgery" on YouTube), but I'm not already in the industry. Seth McFarlane may have a feel for it for all we know, but the shows he's done so far wouldn't lead me to expect it. Fred done in a Family Guy style is fine for a cutaway spoof on Family Guy, but for a revival directly tied to the actual show, The show shouldn't look like one of his, with the uniform thin lines and total lack of cartoony expressiveness and dynamics.

    If his intention for the look of the show is to go for the original design, It would greatly benefit if someone like me was involved, but how do you go from unknown to working on a major studio project? I wouldn't be too interested in working on a update that uses the FG/AD/CS style, but for anything like the original I'd be a perfect fit. Too bad I don't yet have a clue how to get involved with a mainstream production.

    A new version of the show has been a fantasy project of mine for years now, because I understand the look and feel of it. I didn't mind the complete pipe-dream aspect of it because I didn't think Warners had any interest in putting out a new version. To see someone who on the surface seems like the wrong choice to do it be given the gig is bothersome because now it's a real project that has nothing to do with me or what I was picturing. It just serves to point out to me that I'm still on the outside of the industry I should be in and have no real idea how to penetrate the barrier that separates the wanna be's from the actually are's.

    I don't know what he'll do with it, but I know if I were overseeing it that fans of the original would be pleased.

  16. Here’s some ideas for Seth MacFarlane, from me…

    If the new FLINTSTONES reaches a Second Season, abruptly change Barney’s voice!

    Temporarily, you might even replace the voice actor! And, reference it continually, over the course of several episodes. After all, no one can milk a gag like you do, Seth!

    Do the sort of thing the original series could not do – but that you can!

    You could even do the kind of “Dick York vs. Dick Sargent” jokes, as to which “Barney” was better!

    In the fifth season, you could do the same with BETTY!

    The Rubbles could ALL be imposters, before you’re through! Also, make Fred’s CAR and HOUSE look different every time you see them! Add the second floor (as ONLY seen in “The Hot Piano”) and remove it at will! …And, don’t get me started on the many versions of Joe Rockhead!

    As a completely unrelated suggestion, you could re-do the “Roger Marble” (Roger Maris?) baseball episode with “Alex Rock-riguez”! “A-Rock” could even supply his own voice!

    Now, that you’ve heard MY ideas, how many of you are ready to trust Seth? :-)

  17. These infos also were carried here in Brazil.