The animated big screen movie version of The Flintstones has received the go-ahead from Warner Brothers Animation, and comedian Will Farrell will be involved in the project. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay will be the Executive Producers of the film, while Chris Henchy (The Campaign and Entourage) will write the screenplay. One thing’s for sure — it won’t be your your Mom and Dad’s The Flintstones.
The original animated TV series The Flintstones, which was created by Hanna-Barbera and premiered in 1960, ran until 1966. It was about a modern stone age family from the town of Bedrock, and it was loosely based on the black-and-white TV series The Honeymooners. In its six seasons, there were 166 episodes made of The Flintstones. The series was a huge success, and it was even the first primetime animated series ever nominated for an Emmy. The Flintstones had the record for the longest running cartoon on TV until the late 1990’s when The Simpsons broke it.
The Flintstones then aired for decades in syndication, attracting legions of new fans. A host of toys, cereals, clothing, and other products, like vitamins, based on this extremely popular animated TV series, came out, making the series and characters a tremendous branding success.
Universal Pictures did a live action version of The Flintstones in 1994 starring John Goodman as Fred Flintstone,. His wife, Wilma, was played by Elizabeth Perkins. Barney Rubble was played by Rick Moranis, and his wife, Betty, was played by Rosie O’Donnell. Co-starring in her last feature film, Elizabeth Taylor played the role of Wilma’s mother. Another famous actress in The Flintstones was Halle Berry, who had a small role as Fred’s secretary. The theme song was performed by the B-52’s. The movie was famous, or infamous, for having had 32 writers work on the screenplay.
Though it got generally bad critical reviews, The Flintstones was a big enough box office success, taking in $341 million worldwide, that there was a sequel made that was released in 2000, called Viva Rock Vegas.
Though Warner Brothers Animation has not set a definite date for when the big screen animated movie, The Flintstones, will be released, they have two dates scheduled for when two unnamed-as-yet animated features will hit the theaters. One of these two dates is likely when Warner Brothers will release the animated movie. Both dates are in February, but a year apart. The two dates are February 10, 2017 and February 9, 2018.
Will you plan on watching The Flintstones?
Warner Brothers Animation execs had to have asked themselves questions like “Will the audience for an animated version of The Flintstones warrant the cost of making one?” and “Who will make up the audience for an animated movie like The Flintstones?”
To help ensure that The Flintstones will be a box office money maker, it will need to be funny and have a relatively decent plot. With people like Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy working on the film, hopefully it will be a hilarious movie that the whole family can enjoy.
Warner Brothers Animation had a major blockbuster hit with The Lego Movie. When the company acquired the rights to The Flintstones in 1996, even back then there were hopes that the animated TV series could be worked into an entertaining feature film. Whether or not it will be the sort of money maker that The Lego Movie was depends on several factors, like how well modern references can be incorporated into the plot.
The Flintstones has had many animated TV reboots created based upon the original characters, like The Flintstone Kids and even a series called The Pebbles and Bam-Bam Show, which had teenage versions of Pebbles and Bam-Bam and their friends in it.
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) signed in 2011 to be the executive producer of a new The flintstones TV series, but that plan never came to fruition because the pilot episode presumably failed to impress the Warner Brothers Animated Group execs.
The Flintstones are a much-beloved franchise. A narrow edge has to be walked to both stay true to the original animated series while trying to be topical and appeal to a more modern audience. The proposed big screen animated feature film version of The Flintstones has great promise, but it’s also a project that could easily fall flat on its face. If you can’t wait to see the movie, or think it will be a flop, please let America know about what your opinions are in the comment area below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb