The Flintstones jump the shark The Flintstones jump the shark
Cartoon Culture

The Flintstones jump the shark

(Thanks to Ira Gallen for posting this)

  • Suddenly Poochie looks like the very model of integrity. Thanks, you made my day.

  • Paul

    At least we know now where Ashlee Simpson got the idea to dance on SNL when her music cue wasn’t right… :0)

  • Corrado (Anthony)

    This was a great find. A well-done rarity. And it was refreshing to hear Alan Reed as Fred. He was the best Fred and way better than Henry Corden.

    My only complaint is that Barney is too dumb here. Completely dumber than on the show which he wasn’t that dumb.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Well this was cute! The blog header itself is no lie!

  • Gerard de Souza

    Hey! That was cool. We know the ‘Stones were shills from the begining and they really jumped the shark with The Great Gazzoo.

    And hey kids, after you have your vitamins, cereal and grape juice, you play with Aurora games and then you can have a break with a Bud and a Winston cig.

  • FP

    That’s perfectly awful. I really liked it.

    Too bad the spot didn’t mention Aurora model kits. The sight of Fred Flintstone holding up a little Batman or Captain America might cause some in the audience to spontaneously void.

  • It kind of depends on when this film was made . . .

    For me, the Flintstones jumped the shark with THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE, which was aptly the denoument for the original series. I really like this film, even though, if you think about it, it was also kind of sad, because it was the end of an era (and they don’t make animated films like this anymore!).

    I will admit that this was a cute film.

  • Corrado (Anthony)

    No they jumped the shark when Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm arrived. Most people think that it jumped when Gazoo showed up, but when the kids arrived, the focus of the show changed from Fred and Barney’s exploits to a more family-oriented show.

  • I really don’t see what the big bleeping deal is. It’s just more Hanna Barbera fluff; nothing more, nothing less. If you really want something to piss and moan about, try an episode of Scooby Doo.

  • OM

    …Except for the Skittle Bowl, I can’t recall any of those other toys. Anyone else recall whether they existed?

  • Bill the Splut

    Wow, that’s embarrassing. Particularly when Barney talks about animation, and Fred’s exactly as animated as you’d expect from H-B: He doesn’t move at all.

    I had Skittle Bowl! It was available until the early 80s, I believe. The rest of toys are total dogs. “Whoops!” looks like they decided to remake Twister with all the law suit potential of lawn darts. Although you couldn’t get a more 1960’s-named toy than “Paraphernalia”…it would’ve been perfect it was the Easy Bake Bong.

  • Will Finn

    I’m with Anthony on this one. A few eps into season 2 the show dipped, but the arrival of Pebbles & Bamm Bamm spelled definitive doom for the show. This promo is indicative of the post Ed Benedict period, which is all pretty lame to me.

  • Objectively, Anthony’s right.

    As I understand it, Winston was the original sponsor for the show (as everyone knows), but when Pebbles debuted, Winston dropped the show (guess they thought that just because there was a kid in the show meant it was a kids’ show?), and Welch’s picked it up instead. That’s where THE FLINTSTONES ceased being a grown-up show. But it wasn’t too bad, IMHO.

    And almost three decades later, THE SIMPSONS succeeded where THE FLINTSTONES failed in that regard (anything after 1962 being strictly kids’ material). But that’s a moot point.

  • Quiet_Desperation

    Gazoo pwned. He was the first wave of ancient alien invaders that eventually led to the X-Files.

  • Well, they did have extremely low budgets – that’s why the Flinstones stinks to begin with. They had to cheapify the animation and use limited cel animation. It’s no surprise they tried to make money through a sponsorship with that toy company. It’s probably part of the reason they were able to make more… cel crappy cartoons. P.S. Yeah I know nobody will agree it’s crappy, but if I ask anyone to compare it to the Tom and Jerry cartoons H&B made before the Flintstones, you can’t argue it’s as nice as those shorts.

  • mwb


    It’s not just that it’s usual bad HB tv animation. Or even that the patter is terrible. The toys themselves are pretty uninspired.

    Although I am amused at how they try to market a toy sewing machine as “cool” to boys and to girls.

  • RobEB

    But this was not a FLINTSTONES sponsor. This appears to be an industrial sales film for Aurora that they would show to their sales reps, buyers from department stores and toy stores, etc. to whip up enthusiasm for the toy line.


    Maybe it wasnt Eisner who killed Animation I think it was Aurora toys,
    Cause now all I can do is the PARAPHERNALIA. (OH YEAH)

  • John

    If you go back and look at the series’ credits, the less and less story work Warren Foster and Michael Maltese did for The Flintstones, the worse and worse the scripts got (I actually would have loved to have seen Maltese and Foster go wild with that 1967 Anheuser-Busch industrial promo animation, though I suppose that wouldn’t have been what Augustus Busch III would have been expecting Bill and Joe to present to him).

  • It’s interesting that Irv Spence, the greatest Tom and Jerry animator, did the stuff of Barney tip-toeing over the toy and then stepping on Fred’s foot towards the end of this clip. The animation is just a bit more embellished and the drawing a little slicker than the rest of the film. You’ve got to admit that those Welch’s grape juice spots with Pebbles calling it “woo-woo gay goo” tend to set the teeth on edge.

  • Depressing. Truly depressing.
    Hearing Fred in his original voice shill like this made me kind of sick and sad.

  • Wow. Reading through the comments here surprises me. I never knew so many people hated the Flinstones. I mean sure, this commercial is pummeling one’s brain with a hammer, but sheesh.
    I always liked the Flinstones. I’d stay up every night to watch the show back when it still aired.

  • Ryan W. Mead

    This is one of those pieces that makes you wonder that if outside of the show, Fred and Barney really ARE cavemen or just actors playing cavemen- despite the fact that Barney appears to know who Guy Lombardo is, the cue cards he gives Fred are made out of solid rock, just like all the printed material on “The Flintstones.” (Of course, there’s always the possibility that Fred and Barney are actors portraying cavemen, but also actually ARE cavemen who live in modern times for some reason, like the GEICO spokespeople or Phil Hartman’s “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer” character from “SNL.”)

    Either way, this is a nice mirror into the time when mellow Beatles-style rock was the way to get kids hooked on products instead of rap, animation was hand-drawn instead of computer-created, and kids could be entertained by toys that didn’t blink, beep, or required batteries.

  • slowtiger

    Great trash. I like it. Most surprising was that in those days, drawings of toys came first, being introduced from well-established cartoon characters … not like today’s “intellectual property” cast in plastics first and then made into small-resolution phone films …

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Being reminded of having saw this ad also pop up on YouTube featuring Fred in a modern suit that just seemed so awkward to me to watch!

    He just seems so ‘normal’! :-)

  • From the looks of it, it’s a trade show film. Something screened at conventions and meetings to impress investors and buyers. It’s never meant to be seen by the public.

    I’ve been to a whole bunch of trade shows, and every big company has something like this to show off their latest stuff.

  • Dammit, now I have the Aurora Toys jingle ringing in my head. Thank you Jerry Beck.

    And yeah, the birth of Pebbles was the moment when The Flintstones “jumped.”

  • Douglas A. Putboff

    Everybody know “The Flintstones” actually takes place after a Nuclear Holcaust. That how you get people with three fingers and a thumb on each hand and talking animals.

  • Woah! I never thought I’d see bad animation from Hanna Barbera!