Seth MacFarlane’s Flintstones Reboot is the Latest of Many Incarnations
Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and American Dad!, is planning to reboot The Flintstones for both film and television. Although this is The Flintstones‘ first reboot, it’s far from the first time the series has been revisited to create new media in some form. As we’ve noted before, studios and investors love media that comes with a built-in fanbase. That’s because financially speaking, it’s a much safer bet than a new series idea is. The Flintstones was extremely popular in its day, and is still beloved as a classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon. In the years since the show’s cancellation, marketers, studios, theme park entrepreneurs, and Product Group Managers at cereal companies have cashed in on this fact.
Here are a few other examples of the series’ remakes, prequels, TV specials, and ancillary merchandise since its cancellation in 1966:
Immediately following the show’s cancellation, Hanna-Barbera released an animated feature titled The Man Called Flintstone. The film, part musical comedy and part James Bond parody, marked the series’ first foray into feature film.
In 1994, the series was made into a live-action feature comedy, The Flintstones. Though critically panned (it received two Razzie Awards, and was nominated for two more) the film performed well at the box office, grossing over $340 million worldwide. As is the way of Hollywood, this financial success led to an unfortunate prequel, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. As you can probably surmise from its title, the film was panned by critics, and this time also flopped at the box office.
The Flintstones spawned too many spin-offs, television specials, and TV movies to list in one post, so here’s a taste of just a few of them:
The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show was first spin-off of The Flintstones. A 30-minute long Saturday morning cartoon, the show followed Pebbles Flintstone and Bamm-Bamm Rubble, who were now teenagers and romantically involved with one another. The series ran from 1971 to 1972.
The most recent Flintstones spin-off, entitled Cave Kids, began and ended in 1996. Produced by Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network, the series followed Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm as preschoolers, and intended to teach children important life lessons about friendship, teamwork, and what have you. The series lasted for just two months, airing eight episodes total.
A Flintstones Christmas, aired in 1977, was the first of many Flintstones TV specials. Don’t confuse this one with the 1994 made-for-TV movie A Flintstones Christmas Carol, the inevitable meeting of Flintstones content with Charlies Dickens stories.
What facet of entertainment hasn’t The Flintstones infiltrated? There are two Flintstones theme parks currently operating in the United States, as well as a handful of now-defunct ones. There are also several comic book series and 15 video games. And don’t forget Post’s Pebbles cereals. Previously called Sugar Rice Krinkles, the poorly-performing cereal became wildly popular when Post’s Product Group Manager licensed use of the Flintstones character as a brand tie-in, something that had never been done before. And we’d be remiss if we left out Flintstones vitamins, the chalky chewables in the shape of the series various characters.
What do you think of the impending Flintstones reboot?