The Great Animated Female Character Discussion: Wilma Flintstone

Perhaps the first lady of animated television, Wilma Flintstone has been putting up with Fred for more than half a century at this point. Together with Betty, they were the yin to Fred and Barney’s yang and kept them honest too!

So what makes Wilma great character? Is it her steely resolve? Her never-ending patience? Or the fact that she was perhaps the first real strong animated female character on TV?

Get commenting with your thoughts!

wilma

Four Thoughts on Seth MacFarlane Rebooting The Flintstones

Yoinked from Cartoon Brew

I admit I was disappointed when I read the news yesterday. Why someone felt the need to let Seth MacFarlane reboot one of the greatest TV shows of all time is beyond me. Since we haven’t even seen or heard anything yet, I cannot have an opinion on the show either way. What I can have, are some thoughts on the whole idea, which I present to you below.

1. Why bring it back?

The old saying “let a sleeping dog lie” is apt. There is no shortage of original concepts out there just waiting to be made. Instead, in this age of sequels and prequels, we get an existing property that just has to be brought into the modern age.

Don’t get me wrong, The Flintstones aren’t sacrosanct. Remember the kids version from the 80s? Hanna-Barbera themselves weren’t as nice to the characters as they perhaps should have been. The difference is that they knew the jig was up in the early 90s and began making original content.

Why now? The Flintstones is 50 years old and the only new content being created is the Fruity Pebbles commercials. That’s pretty bad, but also appropriate. The show itself is only shown on Boomerang and merchandise has been gradually retracted over the years. The show is losing its audience (as they regrettably die off) and there aren’t enough new ones discovering the show.

My beef with the whole idea? Can you imagine if, back in the 60s, some network decided to bring back some vaudeville act from 50 years before? They’d be laughed out of town. Sadly that is not the case today.

2. Why Seth MacFarlane?

He already has three ‘winners’ on the network that pull in hundreds of millions of dollars a year for FOX. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Besides, he did work on some of the H-B cartoons of the 90s like Johnny Bravo, which was very much in the retro style. He is (or should be) familiar with the characters and the style of the show.

3. Will the reboot return animation to the glory of prime time?

No. That era is well and truly dead. The proliferation of the audience among the vast number of cable channels and the internet has meant that the audience necessary to sustain a top quality animated prime time show is gone. The days of the The Simpsons and Family Guy itself are rapidly drawing to a close. Don’t expect any big surprises.

4. Will you and I watch it?

I don’t know, will you? I’ll probably watch  the premiere but to be honest, I haven’t watched FOX on Sunday night in months. The quality of the evening has sunk to the point that I would rather invest my time in a film or TV show on Netflix than get let down by The Simpsons and the MacFarlane shows. It’s sad but it’s the truth.

Would You Eat At A Place Like This? I Sure Would!

Tip of the hat to Pat Smith over at Scribble Junkies for alerting me to the really cool artist that is Timba.

When you think about it though, Hanna-Barbera did a really good job with the marketing for the Flintstones. In fact, you could argue that after more than 50 years, the very existence of products like Fruity Pebbles, vitamins and so forth is testament to the longevity of the show.

The art is awesome though, isn’t it? A part of me now really wishes there was a burger joint called Fast Freds…

The Flintstones: From the Stone Age of Television To Today

Via: The Cartoon Pictures.com

What can I say that hasn’t already been said over and over again and again? The Flintstones is a giant among giants. The mere fact that we are celebrating its 50th anniversary today is proof that the Flintstones has been enormously successful. The closest parallel in terms of popularity has been The Simpsons, a part-parody of today’s topic (remember this?) and who undoubtedly succeeded because of it.

We all know what made the show successful: strong, easily identifiable characters, its primetime slot on ABC, a few celebrity voices (that were perfect for the roles), the experience and expertise of William Hanna and Joe Barbera, it’s similarities to successful, live-action sitcoms (The Flinstones were directly based on The Honeymooners) and last but not least, the sheer novelty of being an animated show at a time when cartoons were already being driven into the kiddie domain.

Without going into my likes and dislikes of the show, it’s safe to say that The Flintstones are of the highest quality. It is a wonder how much better things would be if they had stretched the animation budget just a tiny little bit further, but, having said that, the limited animation look of the show plays second fiddle to the stone age design and the hilarious consequences of such.

It continues to defy its age. Think about any live-action show from the era, it’s clear that they belong to that particular time. The Flintstones could have been made 10 years ago (and in the case of The Jetsons, the late 80s) and it would still be considered innnovative.

The Flintstones is unlikely to be unseated from its perch anytime soon. The Simpsons still has another 30 years or so to play catch-up, but that show’s unprecedented 22 year run ensure it’s place in the history books as well. With the coming storm in the media market, we will never again see such TV shows, Indeed shows like The Flintstones and The Simpsons are already an extinct species.

The influence of Fred, Barney, Wilma Betty, Pebbles and Bam-Bam is still being felt in TV today. References abound, imitations exist, merchandise continues to sell, and people continue to watch a show that by all rights should be well past its sell by date.

The Flintstones is not a lesson in how to make a great TV show, rather, it is proof that animation can be superior to live-action in many respects and can be popular with kids and grown-ups alike. It is a historical anomaly that was an extremely lucky break for Hanna-Barbera who finally managed to gain a foothold in the maintream media and the public’s consciousness as a result.