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Warner Home Video presents
The Flintstones: The Complete Third Season (1962-1963)

"Flintstones, meet the Flintstones..."
- theme song

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: March 22, 2005

Stars: Alan Reed, Jean Vander Pyl, Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet
Other Stars: Doug Young, Howard Morris, Herschel Bernardi, Hal Smith, John Stephenson, Don Messick
Director: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 13h:00m:00s
Release Date: March 22, 2005
UPC: 014764265025
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B+B+B+ B-

DVD Review

Warner Bros. continues the Hanna-Barbera Classic Collection series with The Flintstones: The Complete Third Season, a handsome four-disc slipcased set (Disc 4 is double-sided) that features all 26 episodes of the 1962-'63 season.

Maybe not as eternally polished as the timeless works of Disney or the mad slapstick of the golden age of Looney Tunes, the prehistoric antics of The Flintstones were a different animal entirely, an early 1960s prime-time animated series that eventually became the staple of entertainment for legions of children growing up well into the 1970s. With options limited, you would have been hard-pressed to find a kid who couldn't recite episodes backwards and forwards back then (at least in my world, that is) and of all the works of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, The Flintstones are probably their finest creation.

With the third season, the show moved headlong into then-uncharted territory for animation, which featured a story arc on Wilma being pregnant with Pebbles. That might seem remarkably mundane today, but this was pretty cutting-edge stuff for the time, and it is really the 1962-'63 season that solidified the direction of the show for the next couple of years, with not only the arrival of Pebbles, but the now familiar theme song sequence as well (beginning with episode two). The early Honeymooners similarities started to thin out a bit in the writing for this particular season (Alice and Ralph never had children), and the reliance on exploring more traditional sit-com storylines became the rule.

As with Season Two, there is yet another fine Hitchcock homage (Dial S for Suspicion), as well as a rather memorable standalone song (The Twitch), in which Fred has to take the place of pop star Rock Roll for one of Wilma's fundraisers. As a buildup to the impending pregnancy that cropped up in the second half of the season, there is the usual misunderstanding on Fred's part of the meaning of The Little Stranger, which in this case turns out to be a visit from Arnold the paperboy. There's also a couple of Water Buffalo Lodge-related episodes (The Buffalo Convention, Here's Snow in Your Eyes), a parody of a celebrity (Gina Lolabrickida in Wilma the Maid), a take-off of another series (Hawaiian Eye in Hawaiian Escapade) and even a cameo by Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo (Swedish Visitors).

The Flintstones series seemed to really gel in this season, something that was relatively short-lived before what many consider to be an early case of jumping the shark when in later seasons Bam-Bam and The Great Gazoo became prominent. The clever prehistoric appliance gags are in abundance here, and though the animation was a bit on the minimalistic side to begin with, the presentation in Season Three has the advantage of consistently funnier storylines, and the material seems less like retreads of the same old same old.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: All 26 episodes are presented in their original format, and despite being over 40 years old, the transfers look rather amazing. Yes, there are some minor instances of dirt and grain, but overall every episode is full of bright colors, both foreground and background.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, French, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Each episode feature clean Dolby Digital mono tracks in English, French or Spanish. There isn't much to necessarily ooh and aah over, but small things like the way the theme song sounds deeper and fuller than it ever did before make the presentation an dramatic improvement over Seasons One and Two.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 26 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Flintstones: The Complete First Season, The Flintstones: The Complete Second Season, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? The Complete First and Second Seasons, Top Cat: The Complete Series, Wacky Races: The Complete Series
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Tri-Fold Amaray with slipcase
Picture Disc
4 Discs
5-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The packaging on this set is nice enough to make the marginal extras not that much of drag. Disc 1 features the most enjoyable, entitled Bedrock Collectibles (06m:43s), and features Flintstones collector and animator/artist Scott Shaw showing off his large stash of merchandising, which includes a working replica of their telephone. Disc 2 has First Families of the Stone Age (07m:07s), a quick retrospective of the impact of the show from assorted producers and writers, and how characters like Betty and Wilma were modeled less on typical "cartoon" stereotypes and more on normal television housewives of the time. Things fall off a bit with Disc 3, which houses some Hanna-Barbera trailers. There is also a mini collectible litho cel included in this set, too.

Each disc has five to six episodes each, and has the Play All option.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Another impressive slipcased set of classic Hanna-Barbera animation, The Flintstones: The Complete Third Season should bring back plenty of fond memories if you happened to grow up watching the series. Nicely packaged all the way around, and includes a small collectible litho cel, too.

 


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