In yet another return to yesteryear, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay announced they will produce a Flintstones animated movie, with all of Hollywood no doubt yelling Yaba Daba Doo. The former 1960’s era Hanna Barbera series was previously made into a movie starring John Goodman and Elizabeth Perkins as Fred and Wilma Flintstone in 1994. The actual cartoon series was closely patterned after Jackie Gleason’s The Honeymooners, a TV show from the 1950’s. The only real difference were characters being animated and set in the mythical stone age city of Bedrock instead of New York.
Instead of finding new ideas, the well-paid creative minds of Tinsel Town are going to the well once again to revamp an old theme. The characters of The Flintstones are well known by all. Fred and Barney, Wilma and Betty, Pebbles and Bam Bam, together with Dino and Mr. Slate, are legends of cartoon lore. Many a Baby Boomer watched their misadventures as Fred attempted one get rich quick scheme after another and cavorted at the Buffalo Lodge. Similarly, Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton liked to spend their leisure time at the Raccoon Lodge in The Honeymooners.
The Yaba Daba Do reprisal in the new Flintstones return engagement will rely on the talents of Ferrell and McKay, together with Chris Henchy, who is writing the script for the movie. Ferrell and McKay just finished working together on Anchorman 2 and are frequent collaborators. Henchy boasts a long list of movie and TV producing and writing credits, including Spin City and the wacky and infuriating Between Two Ferns with Zack Gallifianakis. He is also well known as the husband of Brooke Shields.
The comedic trio will be tested to come up with an interesting new twist on the stone age crew. While Anchorman was generally acknowledged as a funny film, at least by those with a teen aged sense of humor, Anchorman 2 tended to stay too long with its various gags. The Brick character being stupid is only amusing for so long. At least in the new Flintstones, Barney Ruble will probably not get scared of losing his legs in front of the blank TV weather board.
Warner Brothers owns the rights to The Flintstones, which were included as part of the acquisition of Turner Broadcasting. The company is known as a master of the cartoon genre based on the Looney Tunes collection. Warner Brothers also owns The Jetsons, which could mean a futuristic return to an old favorite cartoon if this vehicle is successful.
No word on whether Ferrell will supply the Fred Flintstone voice. Ferrell may not have the booming Fred Flintstone sound, but he does have the off-beat goofiness to keep the audience on its toes. The six year Flintstone series has been in syndication for years and new generations enjoy its humor. The Yaba Daba Doo announcement of The Flintstones movie return will allow a new generation to join in on the fun. Hopefully, Fred Flintstone can stay on the good side of Mr. Slate in this one, although he has a poor track record over the last fifty years or so.
By William Costolo
New York Daily News