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As Iíve stated in my reviews of the previous seasons of THE FLINTSTONES, I am something of a longtime fan, especially since this wonderful animated show was a daily staple throughout my childhood. I took great delight from a watching THE FLINTSTONES a regular basis and have seen each episode countless times. Fortunately (or unfortunately) there has been an extended period of years where I hadnít seen THE FLINTSTONES, which gives a certain level of freshness to the experience of viewing the episodes again on DVD- which certainly goes a long way to make this fan appreciate the series anew. While THE FLINTSTONES was adapted from the same sitcom format that brought the world THE HONEYMOONERS, the third season of the popular animated show ventured into uncharted waters when a new addition arrived in Bedrock- namely a little baby named Pebbles.

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 THIRD SEASON ($45) comes to DVD in a four disc boxed set that features the following twenty-eight episodes: Dino Goes Hollyrock, Fred's New Boss, Barney The Invisible, Bowling Ballet, The Twitch, Here's Snow In Your Eyes, The Buffalo Convention, The Little Stranger, Baby Barney, Hawaiian Escapade, Ladies Day, Nuothing But The Tooth, High School Fred, Dial S For Suspicion, Flash Gun Freddie, The Kissing Burglar, Wilma, The Maid, The Hero, The Surprise, Mother-In-Law's Visit, Foxy Grandma, Fred's New Job, Dress Rehersal, Carry On, Nurse Fred, Ventriloquist Barney, The Big Move, Swedish Visitors and The Birthday Party.

Warner Home Video has made all the episodes that comprise THE FLINTSTONES: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Right up front, letís acknowledge that this animated series is now four decades old; however, for the most part, the episodes that comprise season three look pretty darn good. Sure there is some graininess, and visual imperfections that can be traced all the way back to the original animation, but there is little one can really complain about. Sharpness and detail is about all one can expect from this type of 2D cell animation. Colors vary somewhat; sometimes appearing bright and appealing, while at other times they are a bit subdued. Blacks are accurate; whites appear clean, while contrast is generally good, although there are some exceptions. The Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks are just fine, never demonstrating any significant flaws. Most signs of background hiss and surface noise have been expunged 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. Disc one offers Bedrock Collectables, a six-minute program spotlighting Flintstone memorabilia. Disc two offers First Families Of The Stone Age, which clocks in at seven minutes and provides a discussion of the series female characters and the addition of Pebbles. Disc three offers trailers for the previous Flintstones sets, as well as other Warner animated DVD collections.

As expected, Warner has done their usual fine job with THE FLINTSTONES: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON on DVD, offering solid presentations that should keep fans happy. If you love THE FLINTSTONES, this is another set youíll want to add to your collection. Highly recommended.



The Flintstones - The Complete Third Season


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 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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