Cast: Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl (VOICES)
Release Date: October 27, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
The Flintstones: The Complete Series is boulder-sized fun for the whole family. Fans of all ages will crack up at the misadventures of the Flintstones and Rubbles, who consistently find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. Living in the suburbs in the town of Bedrock, Fred Flintstone is a devoted husband who is employed at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company. He is married to Wilma, a smart, strong-willed red-headed beauty. Their next-door neighbors and friends are Barney and Betty Rubble. The four of them are always involved in variety of hilarious shenanigans of every-day living. Although they live in pre-historic times, they have modern conveniences but they are made from stone age materials and mainly powered by animals. Since the stone age, The Flintstones has delivered entertainment that never shales to delight each new generation. And now, all 166 episodes are available for the first time in high definition. So grab a Bronto burger and Cactus Coola, and settle in to watch the first primetime animated television series and celebrate 60 years of history in the making.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Yabba Dabba Doo! Your favorite Stone Age family is back and looking better than ever in ‘The Flintstones: The Complete Series’ on Blu-ray. So gather up the whole family and get ready to revisit Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty and their humorous exploits as they go about their everyday lives in the Stone Age, including all of the mishaps and silly situations they find themselves thrown into. With all of their clever gadgets, many of which are often animals who are given their own tasks serving as everyday human assistance tools from car horns to home showers and garbage disposals, there’s always heaps of fun to be found with this beloved group of everyday individuals with lives much like those of real folks during the 1960’s when it first debuted, merely in the Stone Age. Now, all 166 episodes from all six seasons are finally available to own in glorious high definition in this rock-tastic 10-disc Blu-ray collection.
Hanna-Barbera’s ‘The Flintstones’ makes its anticipated debut on Blu-ray disc in high definition with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s new ‘The Flintstones: The Complete Series’ 10-disc Blu-ray box set which brings the series home in its entirety looking better than we’ve ever seen it. Featuring all 166 episodes from all six seasons in high definition and as originally aired (don’t panic when you don’t hear the famous theme song in the earlier seasons, it didn’t initially open with the now-famous theme until season three) along with solid, albeit lossy audio presentations and some fun bonus content. All six seasons and the extras are spread between ten discs that feature 17 episodes on each disc (aside from disc ten which features a few less in addition to the two bonus movies), but for those worried about lackluster quality because of the quantity on each need not fret, with the animation style of the series and of course the lossy audio making the decision logical and the presentation never disappoints as a result.
Unfortunately, the release does have one or two disappointing elements within fans of the beloved series may not be thrilled about. Most troubling is an audio issue with one episode (S1E17 “The Big Bank Robbery”) which is oddly missing all of the music and audio effects on the English language track (even more peculiar is that the music and effects are present in the Spanish and French audio tracks for the episode). All of the dialogue is present and accounted for, but the absent effects and music are hard to ignore. Fortunately this is likely an unintentional error on the studio’s part which will hopefully be rectified in the foreseeable future with a replacement disc program. Some may also be understandably disappointed to discover that both of the bonus movies are presented in standard definition so if you already own the previous Blu-ray release of ‘The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown!’ you’ll probably want to hold onto it. Nonetheless, the quality of the presentations on the episodes themselves is well worth the upgrade alone. The quality appears to vary a tad on some of the later episodes with some appearing far smoother with less natural grain than others, yet they still look quite fantastic as a whole and without a doubt better than you’ve ever seen the series look on disc before.
Overall, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s 10-disc ‘The Flintstones: The Complete Series’ Blu-ray box set serves up all 166 episodes from all six seasons of the unforgettable animated sitcom that started it all in gorgeous high definition that should thoroughly delight the fans. Complimented by solid soundtracks that never suffer or falter throughout and some enjoyable bonus content including ‘2 Bonus Movies’ (although unfortunately the films are not given the same High Definition treatment as the episodes themselves; please see the technical specifications section of the review below for more detailed information regarding the video, audio and special features) that should altogether make this one a true treat for dedicated fans of the popular Hanna-Barbera series. This 10-disc Blu-ray box set is definitely recommended for anyone contemplating a purchase. Bringing the series home on Blu-ray disc for the first time ever and with what is easily the best quality it’s ever seen, this new Blu-ray collection is now without a doubt the definitive physical collection for the show.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Flintstones: The Complete Series’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation on every episode of the series, each with the original 1.33:1 Full Frame Aspect Ratio in which the series was originally broadcast. The video presentations look outstanding altogether and for the most part deliver clean, richly detailed and vibrantly colored presentations that still retain a nice layer of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of their source material. Some episodes later in the series occasionally vary more than the others, with some appearing exceptionally smoothed over while others almost seem to include more grain and imperfections than even the earlier episodes. Fortunately, they still look pretty impressive all things considered and fans should be overjoyed with the gorgeous high definition video presentations here, without a doubt looking better than we’ve ever seen the series.
The two included bonus movies (‘The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown!’ and ‘The Man Called Flintstone’) on the other hand (both of which can be found on Disc Ten) are both presented in standard definition with a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio and as such are a definite step down in quality compared to the high definition episode presentations. Each is certainly more than watchable although there are some imperfections and slightly distracting elements to be found within, particularly on ‘The Man Called Flintstone’.
The Blu-ray release includes a 192 Kbps 2.0 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack on all 166 included episodes (and both bonus movies). These dual mono soundtracks may not have the capabilities of lossless soundtracks, yet they hold up remarkably well nonetheless and provide crisp, clean and smooth audio presentations on every episode. They nicely balance the various audio elements occurring within, never allowing any dialogue to conflict with music, sound effects or anything else that might be occurring simultaneously; consistently keeping every element within clean and fully audible every step of the way and never suffering any notable faults or issues whatsoever (with the exception of the missing music and effects on one episode, although that has nothing to do with the sound format and presentation itself) and sounding great throughout. Overall, these are highly capable 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtracks that more than deliver in every way required of them and never falter or disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Flintstones: The Complete Series’ includes a nice handful of extras spread between a number of the ten discs including Featurettes, two bonus movies and the Original unaired pilot clip; the majority of which (if not all) is presented in standard definition. For the sake of simplicity and easy navigation, I’ve broken down the extras by disc below:
-Disc 1: ‘The Flagstones: The Lost Pilot’ (running approximately 90 seconds in length), and ‘How to Draw Fred Flintstone’ (running approximately 7 minutes).
-Disc 2: ‘Carved in Stone: The Flintstones Phenomenon’ (approximately 21 minutes).
-Disc 3: ‘Songs of The Flintstones Album’ (28 minutes).
-Disc 4: ‘All About the Flintstones’ (5 minutes).
-Disc 5: ‘Bedrock Collectibles: Collecting All Things Flintstone’ (7 minutes), and ‘The Flintstones: One Million Years Ahead of Its Time’ (8 minutes).
-Disc 6: ‘First Families of the Stone Age’ (7 minutes), and ‘Hanna-Barbera’s Legendary Music Director Hoyt Curtin’ (7 minutes).
*No extras are included on discs 7, 8 and 9.
-Disc 10: ‘The Flintstones Meet Pop Culture’ (11 minutes), ‘The Great Gazoo: From A To Zetox’ (4 minutes), and ‘2 Bonus Movies’: ‘The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown!’ (51 minutes), and ‘The Man Called Flintstone’ (89 minutes).