The Flintstones

 
(i)

 

Zany cave-age antics leaven too-serious plot.
  • Review Date: September 13, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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."

Violence & scariness

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.

Sexy stuff

Fred flirts with his knockout secretary. In another scene, he gets rid of an overly affectionate Dino by threatening to get him "fixed."

Language

A couple mild curse words.

Consumerism
Not applicable
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.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will hear some mild cursing and see plenty of cartoon violence. Faithful to the original, this movie also contains references to sex, plus onscreen drinking and smoking. There is also plenty of 1950s-style stereotyping of men and women both. Female characters are either housewives or sexpots. Men drink, bowl, attend lodge meetings, and are putty in the hands of non-wife sexpots. However, it is worth noting that the theme of personal sacrifice to help one's friends is stressed throughout the movie.

What's the story?

Fred Flintstone is promoted to corporate executive, then framed for embezzlement in this live-action version of the popular cartoon series. Flintstone (John Goodman) and Barney Rubble (Rick Moranis) work in the rock quarries of the prehistoric town of Bedrock. Fred loans Barney money from his and Wilma's (Elizabeth Perkins) savings account so Barney and Betty (Rosie O'Donnell) can adopt a child. Meanwhile, creepy executive Cliff Vandercave plans to promote one of his quarry workers to vice president, using an aptitude test to find a suitable candidate. Fred gets the promotion, with a little help from Barney. Unfortunately, it's all a setup. Vandercave plans to frame the new VP in an embezzlement scheme, and Fred's growing egotism at this promotion causes a rift between the former best pals -- especially when Fred is forced to fire Barney. Can the two make up in time to prevent Fred from going to jail, and get Barney his job back?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about movie remakes and nostalagia. Why make a movie that essentially reproduces a cartoon most popular when many of today's parents were children? Do you think it's harder or easier than creating new characters, new themes, new stories? Is there an element of safety in remaking a once-popular movie or TV series?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 23, 1994
DVD release date:October 14, 1997
Cast:John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Rosie O'Donnell
Director:Brian Levant
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:Parental Guidance Suggested

This review of The Flintstones was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 8 year old Written bycone March 17, 2011
 
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byLowe's man September 1, 2014
 

Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera and Steven Spielberg knew how to make the cartoon translate to live-action.

The scantily clad secretary and the depiction of some of the other women characters should make parents think twice about whether or not to let children under 7 watch. There's also the drinking, but again in prehistoric days most people weren't sensitive to this. Same goes when the cartoon first came out in 1960. While we can debate whether or not the producers should've gone this far to be faithful to the original series, it is for that reason- loyalty- that drinking was shown. The main focus of this movie is loyalty to friends. After all, it is Barney's loyalty to Fred that gets Fred the promotion. Although there's a rift between Fred and Barney when Fred gets the promotion, they make up by movie's end. There are a couple other lessons to be learned from this movie as well. For example, it is shown how power corrupts some people. The consequences of dishonesty are also portrayed. Barney also learns that loyalty can only go so far. When he saw that Fred wasn't cut out to be a manager, Barney admitted what he did to help Fred get the job, and felt that he shouldn't've. Fred understood his intention and forgave him, thereby telling viewers that we need to look at one's intentions, not just the effects of his or her actions. Kids who enjoy the series will enjoy this movie.
Parent Written byemmastanley August 2, 2015
 

Wayy worse than las vagas

This is boring and not good i dont like this movie
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass