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Even after watching every episode more times than I can count during my childhood, I still love THE FLINTSTONES. Inspired by Jackie Gleason’s classic sitcom THE HONEYMOONERS, THE FLINTSTONES took the premise of an already funny show and gave it a new spin, or should I say a very old one- a prehistoric one, in fact. Using the marital squabblings of two couples in that never ending battle of the sexes, THE FLINTSTONES took one of the most tried and true comic premises and adapted it to the animated format, which allowed for even broader sight gags allowed by the show’s stone age setting.

For those of you who have never seen an episode of THE FLINTSTONES, the show is set in a post-modern, prehistoric caveman world, that features stone age equivalents of all the modern conveniences that we know, or at least as they knew in the early 1960s. THE FLINTSTONES follows the comic misadventures of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, not to mention their long suffering wives Wilma and Betty. Both couples live next-door to one another in the town of Bedrock (Population: 2500). Fred is a schemer, who usually manages to get his pliable best friend Barney into just as much trouble as himself. Wilma and Betty are far more level headed than their husbands, and as such, they usually wind up way ahead of their spouses at every turn of the game. The vocal talent behind THE FLINTSTONES (and their best friends the Rubbles) includes Alan Reed, Jean Vander Pyl, Mel Blanc and Bea Benaderet.

THE FLINTSTONES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($45) comes to DVD in a four disc boxed set that features the following thirty-two episodes: The Hit Song Writers, Droop Along Flintstone, The Missing Bus, Alvin Brickrock Presents, Fred Flintstone Woos Again, The Rock Quarry Story, The Soft Touchables, Flintstone Of Prinstone, The Little White Lie, Social Climbers, The Beauty Contest, The Masquerade Ball, The Picnic, The House Guest, The X-Ray Story, The Gambler, A Star Is Almost Born, The Entertainer, Wilma's Vanishing Money, Fuedin' And Fussin', Impractical Joker, Operation Barney, The Happy Household, Fred Strikes Out, This Is Your Lifesaver, Trouble-In-Law, The Mailman Cometh, The Rock Vegas Story, Divided We Sail, Kleptomaniac Caper, Latin Lover, Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Warner Home Video has made all the episodes that comprise THE FLINTSTONES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Since this animated show is more that four decades old, one should not be surprised by the minor imperfections in the image. There are blemishes and some graininess here and there, but nothing that indicate that these episodes are taken from deteriorated source prints, or that transfers are haphazard. For the most part the episodes look quite good, with some variations between episodes. The picture generally provides all the sharpness and detail that one would normally expect from this type of 2D cell animation. Colors range from bright and appealing to a bit subdued, but for the most part look good. Blacks appear accurate and whites are clean. Contrast is also quite good. Digital compression artifacts are usually well contained. The Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks are quite serviceable and don’t suffer from any significant flaws. Background hiss and surface noise has been pretty well cleaned up in the mastering process. Dialogue is always completely understandable, while the music lacks any kind of harshness, despite the limited fidelity of the vintage recordings. English, French, and Spanish language tracks are provided on the DVD, along with English, French, and Spanish subtitles.

Music and a bit of animation serve to enhance the interactive menus, which provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras, which are spread across discs one, two and three. Cartoonists and animation historians Jerry Eisenberg, Earl Kress and Scott Shaw provide audio commentaries for three of episodes contained in the set. Carved in Stone: The Flintstones Phenomenon is a twenty-minute retrospective that look back at the show’s creation and its popularity. Songs Of The Flintstones Album provides nearly a half hour of songs that were performed during various episodes. How To Draw Fred Flintstone is six fun minutes of just what you would expect. Flintstone Art is a gallery of stills with musical accompaniment. And Now a Word from Our Sponsor offers additional four television commercials featuring THE FLINTSTONES characters, still notably absent is the Winston cigarette commercial that aired in the sixties. Finally there are a number of promo trailers for other Warner animated DVDs including THE FLINTSTONES: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, THE JETSONS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, WACKY RACES: THE COMPLETE SERIES, TOM AND JERRY SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION, TOP CAT: THE COMPLETE SERIES, LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION VOLUME. 2 and LOONEY TUNES SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION VOLUME 2.

When I was a kid, I really loved THE FLINTSTONES. As an adult, I can honestly say that I am delighted that I can enjoyed these episodes once again on DVD, without the nuisance of having to suffer through countless commercials (except for those four featuring THE FLINTSTONES). Warner has done a good job with the presentation of the episodes; the certainly do look and sound far better on DVD than the syndicated reruns of my youth. If you’re eager to have a yabba dabba doo time, a dabba doo time, then you better pick up a copy of THE FLINTSTONES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON on DVD. Highly recommended.



The Flintstones - The Complete Second Season (1961)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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