Day Nineteen of my Advent Christmas Carol Challenge:
"A Flintstones Christmas Carol" (1994)
My first thought upon hearing about this adaptation of the story was,
why are The Flintstones staging an adaptation of a book written in the
19th century? Of course, I was then struck with the question of why the modern stone age family were celebrating Christmas at all...
Anachronisms aside (and seriously, the Flintstones features dinosaurs,
so I wasn't expecting rigorous prehistoric accuracy,) this version takes
the "play-within-a-play" format, that has been borrowed/stolen from Mr. Magoo.
However, it works quite nicely in its own right.
follows the fortunes of Fred Flintstone, who has been cast in the role
of Scrooge for Bedrock's annual Christmas play.
So obsessed is
he with perfecting his role, he grows selfish and arrogant. Throughout
the course of the play, Fred learns the true meaning of the story and
how he should stop being so mean.
The cartoon is light and
cute. The animation itself is Hannah-Barbera, so there's obviously a
certain lifelessness to it all, but yet again, I found myself taken
aback by the faithfulness it demonstrated towards its source material.
Aside from using most of the dialogue, the costumes appear to be based
upon the original illustrations. It's always nice to notice these
details, as it suggests that this was a version made with deep affection
for the original story.
On top of that, we have concepts that
very few child-orientated animations would deal with today, including
death and poverty, which are played exactly as Dickens intended -
utterly seriously. Most surprisingly of all comes a subplot featuring
allegations of infidelity, which helped remind me just why The
Flintstones was noted for having such wide appeal to the whole family.
As merry making as Bob Cratchit's Christmas day.
"A Flintstones Christmas Carol" (1994) 3/5