The Flintstones

Movie review by
Paul Trandahl, Common Sense Media
The Flintstones Movie Poster Image
Zany Stone Age antics; some violence, drinking.
  • PG
  • 1994
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

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. 

Sexy Stuff

Fred flirts with his secretary, whose dialogue primarily consists of sexually-charged one-liners like "use me how you see fit." 

Language

"Damn," "sucks." 

Consumerism

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. 

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCanaam June 22, 2019
Adult Written byemmastanley August 2, 2015

Wayy worse than las vagas

This is boring and not good i dont like this movie
Kid, 10 years old December 18, 2019

I did enjoy, not much to learn from though.

I did surprisingly enjoy this movie. Though there isn't much to learn.

Cons: Caveman and neanderthals, didn't enjoy the use of inferior cavemen. I d... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 3, 2012

Meh.....

An entertaining yet brainless film, chock-full of stereotypes and gross-out humor. Not much I can say here.

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?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movie remakes and nostalgia. 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?

  • How are women and men portrayed in this movie? How does this match both the cartoon series The Flintstones and the gender roles of the 1950s? 

  • How does the movie use product placement? Why would it be problematic for product placement to be in a movie, especially one marketed for kids? 

Movie details

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