April 04, 2015

FLINTSTONE KIDS


THE FLINTSTONE KIDS
(ABC, Syndication, September 6, 1986-September 3, 1988)

Hanna-Barbera Productions



MAIN CAST:
Lennie Weinrib – Freddy Flintstone (season 1)
Scott Menville – Freddy Flintstone (season 2)
Hamilton Camp - Barney Rubble, Flab Slab
Mel Blanc – Dino, Captain Caveman, Bob Rubble, Piggy McGrabit
Julie McWhirter – Wilma Slaghoople (season 1), Tarpit Tommy, Mica Slaghoople, Mickey Slaghoople
Elizabeth Lyn Fraser – Wilma Slaghoople (season 2)
B.J. Ward – Betty Jean Bricker, Miss Rockbottom
Frank Welker – Nate Slate, Stalagbite, Fang
Bumper Robinson – Philo Quartz
Charlie Adler – Cavey, Jr.
Henry Corden – Ed Flintstone, Edna Flintstone
Susan Blu – Dreamchip Gemstone, Janet Granite, Victoria Lithonstone-Gemstone
Marilyn Schreffler – Rockford “Rocky” Ratrock, Flo Rubble

Kenneth Mars - Narrator


For the history of the Flintstones, check out the post here.


            With Muppet Babies proving a rousing success, Hanna-Barbera decided to get in on the action by taking their flagship property and de-aging them for a new generation. The result was The Flintstone Kids.


Fred, Barney, Wilma, Betty, Philo and Dreamchip leaving Bedrock Elementary.

            The series focused on the daily adventures of best friends Freddy Flintstone (Lennie Weinrib & Scott Menville) and Barney Rubble (Hamilton Camp) and their future wives, Wilma Slaghoople (Julie McWhirter & Elizabeth Lyn Fraser) and Betty Jean Bricker (B.J. Ward), as modern Stone Age attendees of Bedrock Elementary School. Other familiar faces included Freddy’s dog, Dino (Mel Blanc), and future boss, Nate Slate (Frank Welker). 

Rocky Ratrock threatens Freddy.

Joining them was a slew of new characters created for the show, giving it the largest supporting cast of any entry in the franchise. There was resident whiz kid, amateur detective and one of the first recurring Black characters in the franchise, Philo Quartz (Bumper Robinson); his father, Officer Bob Quartz (Rene Levant); spoiled rich girl Dreamchip Bluestone (Susan Blu); neighborhood bully Rocky Ratrock (Marilyn Schreffler); his dog, Stalagbite (Welker); and his gang, Tarpit (McWirter), Flab Slab (Camp) and Janet Granite (Blu). While Wilma’s mother had previously made appearances on the parent show as a thorn in Fred’s side, this series introduced Freddy’s parents Ed and Edna (both voiced by then-current adult Fred actor Henry Corden) and Barney’s parents Bob (Blanc in his Barney Rubble voice) and Flo (Schreffler). 


Barney rocks out to his portable radio.

            While a prequel series, the show did ignore the continuity established by its parent series. In The Flintstones, a flashback in the season four episode “Bachelor Daze” revealed that Fred and Barney didn’t meet their future wives until early adulthood. Dino was also introduced in the season one episode “The Snorkasaurus Hunter” (although he was shown earlier) well after Fred and Wilma were married adults. Much like the parent series did with 1960s technology, Kids adapted 1980s technology and gave it a Stone Age twist. For instance, there was the presence of computers; particularly Philo’s advanced one and the fact Wilma’s father owned a computer business. And, even in the intro, Barney is seen rocking out to a prehistoric Walkman.


Princess Wilma and her magic mirror.

            Rather than focus on a single story, each episode was broken up into several segments. Along with the standard story starring the kids, there was a segment called “Flintstone Funnies” in which the kids would use their imaginations to propel themselves into fantastic worlds and adventures. That segment was dropped for the show’s second season. Another segment called “Dino’s Dilemmas” was a shorter one focusing on a day in Dino’s life. 

Cavey, Jr. and Captain Caveman.

The final segment was a show within a show: Captain Caveman and Son. Captain Caveman (Blanc) was the dim-witted bumbling prehistoric superhero that had previously appeared on Scooby’s All-Stars, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels and The Flintstones Comedy Hour. This time he was joined by his much smarter son and sidekick, Cavey, Jr. (Charlie Adler), as they haphazardly dealt with threats to Bedrock. The segment straddled the line between being a television program and an actual adventure, and the characters frequently broke the fourth wall to interact with their narrator (Kenneth Mars) or a disruptive member of the viewing audience. Each episode would see the Flintstone kids hurriedly gather in front of a television with their Captain Caveman spotted capes and clubs to watch the show, chanting his patented “Unga Bunga” when the narrator would ask “Hey, kids, do you know what time it is?”

The Captain Caveman Fan Club gets ready to watch an episode.

The Flintstone Kids ran on ABC for two seasons beginning on September 6, 1986. The series was written by Bill Matheny, Barry E. Blitzer, Mel Gilden, L. Lynn Hart, Jeff Holder, John Ludin, Lisa Maliani, Dennis Marks, David Schwartz, Sue Shakespeare, Terry Shakespeare, Laren Bright, Alan Swayze, John Bates, Coslough Johnson, Wayne Kaatz, Mary Jo Ludin, Lane Raichert, Troy Schmidt and Kent Zbornak, with music by Hoyt Curtin. The episode “Rocky’s Rocky Road” won writers Ludin and Raichert a Humanitas Prize in 1988 for showing “a touching probe of a child’s struggle to grow and affirm himself.” In between the two seasons, the principle voices for both Freddy and Wilma were changed.

Ad for the drug prevention special.

Several days after the end of the series, a primetime special aired on September 15th called The Flintstone Kids Just Say No. It was a 30-minute ant-drug special that focused on Wilma being offered marijuana in order to join the “cool kids” while the others focused on winning tickets to a Michael Jackstone concert. The special featured an introduction by Nancy Reagan and an appearance by the actual La Toya Jackson as La Toya Jackstone, sister to Michael. Original Wilma Jean Vander Pyl portrayed Wilma’s mother. The special was subsequently aired as an episode of ABC Weekend Special. Reruns of the series proper aired as part of the weekday syndicated block The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera.

 
Ad for Pizza Hut's Flintstone Kids glasses.

Coleco produced a line of action figures based on the show, including all the principle characters, the playsets Bedrock and Bedrock Elementary School, and three vehicles in a firetruck, a Bedrock Airlines plane and Dreamchip’s chimp limo. A line of puzzles were produced by Golden Press, Illco and Rainbow Works, respectively. Selchow & Righter published a board game where the kids were in a race to get to a concert first. From 1987-89 Marvel Comics published 11 issues of a tie-in comic and a special giveaway mini-comic through their Star Comics imprint. Also in 1987, Pizza Hut offered four drinking glasses featuring the main characters for $.49 cents each, as well as four buttons with their faces. In 1988, McDonald’s included five toys in their Happy Meals featuring the main characters in race cars and Dino, and Budget Books published two sticker storybooks. In 1989, the kids adorned a Fun-N-Learn carry activity case which featured Flintstone-themed activities. View-Master also produced a 3-reel 3-D set for their viewer. In 2014, Turner Home Entertainment released The Flintstone Kids: Rockin’ in Bedrock on DVD. The set only contained 10 of the regular Kids segments rather than complete episodes. Amazon Prime Video made the first 17 episodes available for streaming, as well as episode segments available through a partnership with Boomerang.



EPISODE GUIDE:

Season 1:

“The Great Freddini” (9/6/86) – Freddy learns magic for the school talent show.

“Frankenstone / Yard Wars / Frenzy Does It” (9/13/86) – Fixing broken toys leads Freddy to imagine he’s Dr. Frankenstone. / Wilma’s cat causes trouble when left in Dino’s care. / Cavey, Jr. becomes Captain Caveman’s sidekick in time to help him fight Dr. Icemare.

“Heroes For Hire” (9/21/86) – Jealous of Barney winning a prize to a Captain Caveman taping at his house, Freddy tries to prove himself a hero and more deserving of the prize.

“Indiana Flintstone / Dreamchip’s Car Wash / Invasion of the Mommy Snatchers” (9/27/86) – Freddy fantasizes that he’s Indiana Flintstone on an adventure. / Dreamchip uses Dino to test her new automatic dog washer. / Captain Caveman has to rescue Earth’s mothers from a two-headed alien.

“The Bad News Brontos” (10/4/86) – After Edna saves Freddy’s failing baseball team, Rocky challenges them to a game.

“Rubble Without a Cause / Dressed Up Dino / The Ditto Master” (10/11/86) – Barney dreams he’s a space-faring hero. / Micki and Mica dress Dino up as a baby. / Captain Caveman faces the Ditto Master, whose machine allows him to duplicate himself.

“Dusty Disappears” (10/18/86) – Doing a good job of babysitting Barney’s little brother gets his parents to send him with Freddy and Barney to the carnival.

“Sugar and Spies / The Vet / I Was a Teenage Grown-Up” (10/25/86) – Wilma and Betty dream about being secret agents. / Dino overhears a conversation that makes him believe he’s being taken to the vet. / Mr. Bad unleashes a gas that turns all the kids in Bedrock into virtual grown-ups.

“Poor Little Rich Girl” (11/8/86) – Dreamchip’s friends attempt to invade her mansion in order to celebrate her birthday.

“Freddy in the Big House / The Butcher Shoppe / Grime & Punishment” (11/15/86) – Fred imagines he’s in prison when Rocky frames him for playing baseball in class. / Dino tries everything to get some sausage. / Captain Caveman has to stop the Trash Man from messing up Bedrock.

“The Rock Concert That Rocked Freddy” (11/22/86) – Freddy and Barney need to find a way to acquire the Brick Stonespring tickets Freddy promised the gang.

“Bedrock P.I.s / Fred’s Mechanical Dog / A Tale of Too Silly” (12/2/86) – Freddy and Barney look into the disappearance of Wilma’s cat. / Dino gets jealous of Freddy’s new robot dog. / Captain Caveman has to stop the Yuckster from making a pie big enough to throw at the city.

“Curse of the Gemstone Diamond” (12/9/86) – Freddy steals Dreamchip’s diamond at a Halloween party…or did he?

“Princess Wilma / The Dino Diet / To Baby or Not to Baby” (12/16/86) – While home sick Wilma dreams she’s a princess. / Freddy is forced to put Dino on a strict diet. / Jealous of Captain Caveman’s success stealing his viewers, Mr. Sciencedome uses a formula to turn him into a baby.

“I Think That I shall Never See Barney Rubble As A Tree / Dino Come Home” (1/17/87) – Freddy overhears a conversation that makes him believe Barney is sick. / Dino runs away after stowing away on a class camping trip.

“Monster From the Tar Pits / What Price Fleadom / Hero Today, Gone Tomorrow” (1/31/87) – The kids imagine they’re making a movie on an island about a monster that dwells in the tar pits. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / New hero Perfect Man outdoes Captain Caveman in heroing.

“The Fugitives” (2/8/87) – Freddy and Barney accidentally steal an old pillow from a museum on a class trip.

“The Twilight Stone / The Terror Within / Day of the Villains” (2/15/87) – The kids discuss what they plan to do as adults. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / Mr. Bad assembles a team of villains to get revenge on Captain Caveman.

“Freddy’s Rocky Road to Karate” (2/22/87) – Rocky challenges the gang to a karate match.

“Betty’s Big Break / Revenge of the Bullied / Curse of the Reverse” (3/14/87) – Replacing a sick Dreamchip leads Betty to instant stardom. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / Mr. Bad’s Backwards Beam turns Captain Caveman and Cavey into wanted criminals.

“Barney’s Moving Experience” (3/21/87) – Barney moves away after Freddy breaks his bike.

“Dino Goes Hollyrock / The Chocolate Chip Catastrophe / Captain Caveman’s First Adventure” (4/22/87) – Dino becomes a big movie star. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / Captain Caveman remembers his first adventure when his mother gave him his club.

“The Little Visitor / Grandpa For Loan” (4/29/87) – Freddy believes he’s getting a new sibling. / Freddy loans his grandfather to Barney for the Father-son picnic.

“Philo’s Invention / Watchdog Blues / Leave it to Mother” (5/12/87) - NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / Captain Cavemom has to save her kids from Mr. Bad’s hair blob.

“Freddy’s First Crush” (5/19/87) – Freddy gets a crush on his substitute teacher.

“Bedrock ‘n Roll / Captain Cavepuppy / Greed it and Weep” (5/27/87) – Piggy McGrabit uses a money magnet to steal the city’s money.

Season 2:
“The Flintstones Fake Ache / Killer Kitty / Captain Knaveman” (9/5/87) – Freddy fakes being sick to get out of school. / / Captain Caveman loses his memory, and since he was disguised as a villain believes he actually is one.

“Better Buddy Blues / Who’s Faultin’ Who? / Attack of the Fifty Foot Teenage Lizard” (10/19/87) – Star Shades Stone moves to bedrock and takes advantage of his young fans in Bedrock. / / Billy the monster is being forced by his parents to be destructive and destroy a city.

“A Tiny Egg / Little Rubble, Big Trouble” (11/11/87) – The kids adopt a tiny egg that ends up producing a giant dinosaur. / After accidentally drinking one of Philo’s potions, Barney turns into a monster that attacks Rocky when certain foods are mentioned.

“Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Betty / Haircutastrophe” (12/5/87) – Dreamchip tries to outdo Betty at her ice cream business. / Freddy has Barney cut his hair so that he can save money for a toy car.

“Camper Scamper / Bone Voyage / The Cream-pier Strikes Back” (1/25/88) – The kids try to earn their scouting badges while competing with Rocky’s gang. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / Yuckster’s cream pies turn everyone into copies of him—including Captain Caveman.

“Rocky’s Rocky Road / World War Flea / Captain Caveman’s Super Cold” (2/17/88) – Rocky turns to the kids for help to keep from being shipped off to military school. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / Mr. Bad takes advantage of Captain Caveman’s cold.

“Freddy the 13th / A Midnite Pet Peeve / The Big Bedrock Bully Bash” (4/10/88) - / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / Cavey tries to find a way to turn Butch the Bully back to normal size.

“Philo’s D-Feat / The Birthday Shuffle / Captain Cavedog” (9/3/88) – Philo gets his first D and the gang helps him try to raise his grade. / NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE. / Mr. Bad is freed from prison and turns Captain Caveman into a dog.

Specials:
“Just Say No” (9/15/88) – Wilma is offered marijuana while the gang tries to get tickets to the Michael Jackstone concert.


Originally posted in 2015. Updated in 2020.

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