A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Honeymooners-inspired cartoon is an innovative, entertaining animated classic intended to be enjoyed by the entire family. Although all of the characters are good people, the show's language is somewhat dated, which causes characters (especially Fred) to sometimes sound derogatory and stereotypical. Male and female roles are traditional, though Wilma knows how to think for herself.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE FLINTSTONES -- which holds the distinction of being the first prime-time animated series -- takes place in prehistoric Bedrock and comically explores what Stone Age life might have been like with a few "modern" conveniences. Premiering in 1960 and still yabba-dabba doo-ing on DVD and on TV in reruns, this classic stars Alan Reed as working-class "regular guy" Fred Flintstone, Jean Vander Pyl as his wife Wilma and daughter Pebbles, Bea Benaderet as next door neighbor Betty Rubble, Don Messick as Bamm-Bamm Rubble, and Mel Blanc as Fred's best friend Barney Rubble, Dino, and all of the other working animals.
Is it any good?
Playing out like an animated version of The Honeymooners, The Flinstones will amuse adults with its slick one-liners regarding marriage, making a living, and fulfilling the American dream. And kids will enjoy Fred and Barney's action-packed antics, as well as the service/pet prehistoric animals.
Parents do need to know that Fred doesn't deal with stress well; his hot temper can set bad behavioral examples. Also, since the series debuted in the '60s, political correctness is nowhere to be found -- both Fred and Barney can be stereotypical and sexist, spewing one liners such as "whoever said a man's house is his castle was probably a woman." Other terms, like "slave labor," are both dated and offensive.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about family values. Do Fred and Wilma have equal roles in their family? What are the similarities and differences between your family and the Flinstones? How have family roles evolved since the show debuted? How might the series be different if it was premiering now instead of in the '60s? For young viewers, parents can ask questions about the "appliances" Fred and the gang use in their everyday lives -- where do you think animators got their ideas for the funny, animal-powered inventions?
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