Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Year One. Day Nineteen: "A Flintstones Christmas Carol" (1994)

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.

The story 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

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