A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The major female characters are either housewives or sexpots. While the movie presents a racially integrated supporting cast, jokes are made at the expense of "Neanderthals."
Positive Role Models
No positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish violence intended to imitate the cartoon violence of the original. Bam Bam clubs Barney in the head, for instance. Pebbles and Bam Bam are kidnapped and threatened by the villain. Plenty of comic pratfalls. Barney punches Fred in one scene. Villain of the story apparently dies when he's covered with cement. Characters catapulted into canyon walls. Fred and Barney are threatened with hanging by an angry mob.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Fred flirts with his secretary, whose dialogue primarily consists of sexually-charged one-liners like "use me how you see fit."
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Products & Purchases
McDonald's, CNN, Universal, with prehistoric puns on their names.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
We see "Sharon Stone" smoking a prehistoric cigarette. Fred clearly likes to throw back a few drinks, and comes home drunk in one scene. Mother-in-law accuses Fred of being drunk. Martini drinking out of exaggerated "stone age" martini containers.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Flintstones is the 1994 live action remake of the classic cartoon series. This version stays faithful to the original. For instance, there are plenty of scenes in which Fred is shown using his feet to operate his Stone Age car to get to work, but the gender roles and stereotypes of the original are also prominent. When Fred gets an office job, his new secretary pretends to flirt with him while whispering sexually-charged one-liners like "use me how you see fit" and 'if you want me." Fred's mother-in-law (played by Elizabeth Taylor) accuses him of being drunk. Cigarette smoking. Beer drinking at the bowling alley. Characters drink martinis out of exaggerated Stone Age martini "glasses." Some cartoonish violence and pratfalls -- Bam Bam hitting Barney in the head with a club, characters flung into canyon walls via catapults. Product placement, contemporary products or news organizations have their Stone Age equivalents. Language includes "damn," "sucks." However, it's worth noting that the theme of personal sacrifice to help one's friends is stressed throughout the movie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Live-action versions of cartoon hits should be approached with caution; if an idea works well as a cartoon, it's unlikely to have the same impact in live action, and vice versa. THE FLINTSTONES actually makes the transition reasonably smoothly, thanks to clever casting and an eclectic display of wacky creatures (computer-generated and puppets). Much of the original series' humor, faithfully recreated here, stems from the fact that the Stone Age world had primitive versions of modern conveniences. Some of these gags, however, are more grotesque when not in cartoon form, but many kids will find this outlandish humor funny.
But Barney and Betty's attempts to adopt a baby, their subsequent financial troubles, and management vs. labor subplots are too serious and at odds with the absurd tone of the rest of the movie. Nevertheless, most kids will enjoy the preposterous world of The Flintstones. The prequel, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, is even better for kids, retaining this movie's virtues, but eliminating the dour elements.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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