Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Reboot to the Modern Stone Age Family? Seth MacFarlane to Revamp The Flinstones

In what will surely trigger a slew of “Yabba Dabba Do’s and Don’ts debates (and cringing puns – apologies for that), Seth MacFarlane has been given the green light to revamp The Flinstones, Fox TV has announced. The classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon, one of the earliest forerunners of the fat-guy, skinny wife theme, centered on a husky, arrogant Fred Flinstone, his more attractive, red-headed slender wife, Wilma and the comedic adventures shared with neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble. Originally airing from 1960-1966, the series also sparked severFilm poster for The Flintstones in Viva Rock VegasImage via Wikipediaal spinoffs, animated specials, toys, games and a plethora of other merchandise opportunities.


"The very first cartoon character I drew at age 2 was Fred Flintstone," MacFarlane said in a statement. "So it's appropriate that events have come full circle, allowing me to produce the newest incarnation of this great franchise.”
MacFarlane is no stranger to animated comedies. The Flinstones is his 4th project on Fox, with Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show already under his belt. Family Guy itself has already paid homage to Stone Age duo Fred and Barney in various episode clips, with an “I got an Erocktion!” sexual innuendo and a World’s Wildest Police Videos quip among the pile of them. And while it’s been said that the refashioned Flinstones will stay true to some elements of the original, there will of course be some creative license applied.


The Flinstones’ haven’t been immune to reinterpretation. John Goodman & Rosie O’Donnell starred in the 1994 remake and the live-action prequel, 'The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas’ (with 30 Rock star Jane Krakowski), made its underwhelming mark in 2000.


The verdict is still out on how far MacFarlane’s comedic approach to offend, and offend often, will go in the iconic town of Bedrock. While we sit back and eat up the scenes brimming with raunchiness and laden with pop-culture references, both old and new, in MacFarlane’s current animated repertoire, it’s to be seen how forgiving we’ll be when it’s applied to a full-length program based on an old classic.