The 90s were a great time for Universal Studios. This was the time when they made some of their best movies, and Amblin was a name everyone knew would produce a hit movie. When Amblin took on Hanna-Barbera’s, The Flintstones, as a live action movie, somehow they knew they would produce a product that was pure family fun, and it remains so to this day. The formula for such a fun movie involves John Goodman as Fred Flintstone, and Rick Moranis as Barney Rubble. These hardworking cavemen would not be anywhere with there cute cavewoman wives, Wilma (Elizabeth Perkins) and Betty (Rosie O’Donnell). Pebbles (Elaine Silver, Melanie Silver) and strong boy Bamm-Bamm (Hlynur Sigurðsson) and Dino add to the cuteness, we even get to meet nerdy boss, Mr. Slate (Dann Florek), Add the BC-52s (fun alternative party band, The B-52s) to your soundtrack, and you got a movie that is about as fun as it gets.
There is a new chink in the plans of living happily ever after in the town of Bedrock, and it does not come from a nasty carnonosaur or a hungry saber-tooth cat, nor even the giant pteranodon that buzzes the town square and leaves its giant droppings on parked cars. This time Slate industries has a snake working from within. Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan) and his partner in crime, Sharon Stone (Halle Berry) are looking for the biggest sap in the working pool to take the fall for an embezzling scheme.
Before the test, Barney thanks Fred for a loan that will help him and Betty adopt a child, and says he’ll pay them back as soon as he can, and if there is anything he can do to pay back the favour, just name it. Fred does not want Wilma to know about the money missing from the savings, but after Wilma attempts to buy a new garbage disposal, she finds the savings empty, and is about to put Fred in the Dino-house until he confesses and tells her it was so the Rubbles could adopt a child. Wilma forgives Fred, and things are looking up, with the exception of Fred’s arguments with his mother-in-law, Pearl Slaghoople (Elizabeth Taylor). A few days later, the test is given. Fred studied hard, but still has a rough time of it, but Barney breezes right through it. Barney saw how Fred was sweating through the test, and decides to switch answer tablets with Fred. Fred scores the highest on the test, which was really Barney’s score, and Barney gets the lowest, even lower than the dolts and chimpanzees he works with, but that was actually Fred’s score.
So now, Fred has become a junior executive, and is no longer running the brontosaurus lift in the quarry. He is oblivious to the plans of Vandercave and Stone, even when his pompous Dictabird (Harvey Korman) tells him that he is an idiot for clinging to Vandercave’s promises and accepting “bonuses”. At one point, Fred is told to fire Barney. Since Barney got the lowest score on the test, Vandercave considers him to be dead weight that will hold the company back. Fred likes his new job and income, and even though he is at odds with cutting his best friend from the payroll, he does it, and there starts the biggest rift in Pangaea.
This movie was given a great budget, a fun script, and one of the best party bands on the planet to supply the music. The production team of Hanna, Barbera, and Spielberg worked on this, and it stayed true to the original cartoon we remember from the 60s, with a few modern updates. Jean Vanderpyl, the original Wilma voice actress, made a cameo, as did William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. This movie is another great pairing of prehistoric creatures and humans coming together, but unlike Jurassic Park, these animals and people work together, and get along. After watching the stinker of a Bloodrayne movie the night before, The Flintstones was a much needed respite, and I was very happy to see it. You will be, too.
I give this film a Musing review of