Judge Cynthia Boris is refreshed after a half hour without sex, violence, or vulgar humor.
Our reviews of The Flintstones: The Complete First Season (published April 27th, 2004), The Flintstones: The Complete Second Season (published February 16th, 2005), The Flintstones: The Complete Third Season (published May 19th, 2005), The Flintstones: The Complete Fourth Season (published December 14th, 2005), The Flintstones: The Complete Sixth Season (published October 11th, 2006), and The Flintstones: Prime-Time Specials Collection, Volume 1 (published November 1st, 2012) are also available.
Weirdly: "Hello, Mr. Flintstone. I'm Gruesome."
When they started out, The Flintstones were often called the cartoon version of The Honeymooners. Fast forward forty years and The Flintstones are in a league of their own. No longer considered a carbon copy of something else, this series set the standard for shows such as The Simpsons and Family Guy—a cartoon for grown-ups. Who would have believed it could last this long?
Facts of the Case
"Flintstones. Meet the Flintstones. They're a modern Stone Age family…" Sing along. Come on, don't tell me you don't know the words! Is there anyone on the planet who doesn't know Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty? How about Pebbles? Bam Bam. Dino and Hoppy? These guys aren't just cartoon characters, they're cereal. They're movie stars. They're part of TV history and they're back for Season Five.
Here's what you get:
Disc Four: Side One
Disc Four: Side Two
The Flintstones may be set in the Stone Age, but it was a marvel when it came to parodying modern society. With jabs at then-current TV shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show, Ben Casey, and Candid Camera, and special guest voices such as Ann-Margaret and James Darren, The Flintstones did a fantastic job of mirroring the pop culture of the era. In this box set you get an introduction to The Gruesomes, a creepy, spooky family that moves in next door. It's no coincidence that these characters were introduced in the same year as The Addams Family and The Munsters. As with Season Three, you'll find a good number of fantasy-based story lines in this season from shrinking Fred, to time travel, to a mad-scientist-engineered body switch. Many people dislike these episodes, but I must admit a fondness for the Gruesomes!
The true joy of watching The Flintstones is in the clever dialogue and the voice over work. In addition to the regular cast, you'll find strong performances from the marvelously versatile Howard Morris (The Andy Griffith Show), cartoon staple Allan Melvin (the voice of Magilla Gorilla), and the legend, Daws Butler. This high caliber of voice acting brings The Flintstones to life in a way that was unequaled until the birth of The Simpsons in 1989.
This box set has its moments. There is a nice use of cartoon graphics on the box and the discs and on the navigation screen. For those who like symmetry, the box coloring is the same as earlier sets. Personally, I like when each season is a different color so I can easily tell them apart, but that may be more of a sign of my failing eyesight than anything aesthetic.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
Sadly, the quality of the video and audio on these discs is not great. All of the episodes appear "dirty," like an animation cell that's been left lying around in the attic. There are numerous scratches, pops, and faded colors. The sound quality is very uneven and muffled in spots. It's a real shame that Warner Brothers couldn't have spent some time and money to restore these prints to their original bright colors. It's bad enough when an old live action TV show looks faded but it's a crying shame when a formerly brilliant cartoon comes across so flat and dull.
With all of it's embedded pop culture references, you might think that The Flintstones is entirely too dated, but nothing could be further from the truth. I find the show and all of its quirks endearing. There's something all warm and fuzzy about watching Fred get in and out of his latest scrape. Maybe it's the innocence of it all. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Family Guy fan, but a half hour without sex, violence, or vulgar humor is a refreshing change of pace.
This court finds The Flintstones—The Complete Fifth Season to be a very innocent look at the wild and wacky sixties.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
• "A Stone Age Parenting Guide" featurette -- child rearing in the Stone Age
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