Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Flintstone!

We’ve been so dedicated to regularly updating the old Blog, and tending to the business of everyday life, that the Christmas Holiday just sorta snuck up on us!  But, let’s rectify that. 

Forty eight years after the fact, 1964’s “Christmas Flintstone” is still my favorite animated holiday treat. 

See it in this DVD set.

 …Or, read it in this COMIC! 
The Flintstones # 31 (Gold Key Comics)
I mention “Christmas FlintstoneHERE atop my list of favorite things to watch at this time of year (please forgive the graphics on that post, as I was in my “Garish Colors Phase”) – and HERE as part of my “Weird Christmas Tales” celebration. 

Beyond that, the celebrated Hanna-Barbera blogger YOWP posts on it HERE. 

YOWP gives us lots of great backgrounds used in the original production, and look for an outstanding comment by our friend “Scarecrow33” concerning the Flintstone characters celebrating Christmas in the Stone Age.   
"I'm dreaming of a SAVED Christmas!  Just like the one I USED to KNOW!"
It never fails to thrill me to see Fred Flintstone “save Christmas” before it became a required activity for nearly all animated characters.  
Ooooh, MAMA!

And, then I can flash-forward to 2010 to see FAMILY GUY’s Brian and Stewie totally screw it up, before even *they* manage to “save Christmas” themselves in the hour-long special episode “Road to the North Pole”, as seen on the DVD set pictured below. 

Considering that THE FLINTSTONES begat FAMILY GUY (presumably by way of THE SIMPSONS), watching these two superb (each in their own way) episodes back-to-back sorta brings us “Full-Christmas-Circle”! 

You won't be LAUGHING, when I'M through with you, Fat Man!


scarecrow33 said...

Thanks for the kind words, Joe!

I agree--this Flintstones episode really "rocks"!

Merry Christmas, my friend!

Joe Torcivia said...

And, the same to you, Scarecrow!

For what it’s worth, yours was the 1,500th comment to be posted to this Blog! (This response being number “Fifteen Hundred and One”!)

There are no prizes for this milestone, other than my affirmation that “Christmas Flintstone” still DOES “rock”, after 48 years – to this day (December 25, 2012), in fact!

Back when I first saw “Christmas Flintstone”, could I EVER believe I’d be writing this?! …And, on some wonder of future communications called a “Blog”? …And that I’d see it *IN* the year 2012, on some wonder of future entertainment delivery called a “DVD”? We’ve lived into some pretty amazing times, from 1964!

Elaine said...

OK, Joe, you convinced me; I just bought The Flintstones 31 on eBay (an after-Christmas sale, 10% off!). I don't remember this episode from childhood (though we did watch the Flintstones), so my first experience of the story will be the comic version. Happy to add it to my stack of Christmas comics (mostly Disney Duck or Chip 'n' Dale stories, but with a few others thrown in) to be read during the Twelve Days. You've done a list of your favorite Christmas DVDs to watch; have you done a list of your favorite Christmas comics to re-read?

Elaine said...

Oh, and I totally agree with scarecrow33--it's just silly to complain about the celebration of Christmas in Bedrock as an anachronism, when the whole show was all about funny anachronisms.

Joe Torcivia said...


Always glad to see you here! Merry Christmas, and Happy 2013!

Considering that THE FLINTSTONES couldn’t even keep straight the details of Fred’s car (Two seats or four? Having a trunk when something needed to be hidden. And a door when it needed to be slammed on Fred’s thumb!) or the very layout of their HOUSE (which actually had an “off-again / on again” SECOND FLOOR within the episode “The Hot Piano” Yes, really!), why sweat the other details!

I’m sure you’ll enjoy THE FLINTSTONES # 31, and wish you could see the episode as well. It really is outstanding, for TV animation of its day. And it has that uncanny ability to give me a similar feeling today, to that it did way back when, as certain Barks comic stories do. A feeling I’m guessing you fully understand.

Don’t confuse “Christmas Flintstone” with one (or more?) vastly inferior remakes done in later years. This one is out of the original run of the series from 1964 – the last year that, IMHO, Hanna-Barbera could do no wrong. After that, it was more of a mixed bag until about 1970, and virtually nothing to recommend after that.

As for the comics, there were many outstanding issues of THE FLINTSTONES, particularly from those prime years of Gold Key 1964-1966. I cited some of them in my “Gold Key 50th Anniversary” post, and it was another instance of “They can do no wrong!”. At least through about early/mid 1966, there seems to be an even higher level of effort on that title than there was for the GK line in general, resulting in one quality issue after another. Consider that THE FLINTSTONES was the ONLY Gold Key title, other than WDC&S, to achieve a higher than bi-monthly status during the prime years of the Silver Age and there must have been SOMETHING special going on!

Until his death, Harvey Eisenberg did some of his finest and most innovative (in terms of panel layout) work on this title. See issue # 38, the “pirate issue” I occasionally picture on the Blog. ( ) Most GK issues of the period (love ‘em as I do) didn’t look like that one did! Wish I could scan some interiors. That issue was concurrent with Barks’ “Giant Robot Robbers” (UNCLE SCROOGE # 58) and, at that particular point; Eisenberg was actually the better artist of the two! Sacrilege, perhaps, but check it out for yourself.

GOLLY, my comment to Elaine was TOO LONG for Blogger to accept, so I’ve segmented it into TWO PARTS!

Read on...

Joe Torcivia said...

GOLLY, my comment to Elaine was TOO LONG for Blogger to accept, so I’ve segmented it into TWO PARTS!

Here’s Part two…

A list of favorite Christmas comics is a wonderful idea, and one I really should do! Beyond what you see here, I think the closest I’ve come is the “Four Part Series on Weird Christmas Tales” – the Flintstones entry of which I link to within this post, and links to the other three appear on the “right side bar” of that post… except on the “mobile (phone) version”. There are entries for Bugs Bunny, The Simpsons, and Impulse.

There’s little I could add to the unquestionable Carl Barks’ classics: “Christmas for Shacktown”, “Christmas on Bear Mountain”, “Letter to Santa”, “You Can’t Guess”, “Submarine Christmas”, and the Pat Block neo-classic “Too Late for Christmas” , but it would be fun to try. Beyond that, I can think of issues of Superman, Warner characters, and even Savage Dragon that I could cite.

In fact, one of the goals I have for 2013 is to do more comic reviews. Having finally shaken the shackles of less enjoyable modern comics (Yeah, I’m talking to YOU, DC!), I’ve been liberated toward revisiting more of the older classics, and should discuss them more often.

I’ve still got a bunch of DVD reviews “in the can” and waiting for the time to properly format and illustrate them. (That’s the hardest part for me, you know!) And, without a scanner, I can’t illustrate comics interiors to the degree I’d like to, in order to accompany the voluminous text I expect I’d produce but, yes, I should do more. How feel you all?

And, with your always welcome and always interesting comments (here and elsewhere), Elaine, you should have a Blog of your own! I know I’d enjoy reading your thoughts on comics and whatever else bubbles to the surface on more of a regular basis.


Elaine said...

I am interested in seeing the video of the Flintstones xmas show, but my inter-library loan system (which I checked yesterday, after buying the comic) has the DVD sets of seasons 1-4, but not 5! So I'll have to wait until I get on Netflix again (which I sometimes do for a few months in winter).

I'll read your other "weird Christmas" posts. My own "favorite Christmas comics" list is almost all Disney Duck and/or C&D comics (most published in the US, plus several I've ordered from France, Germany or the Netherlands), a list too long to put here (though available upon request :-) !). But I do have a few others: some Santa Claus Funnies (Walt Kellys and one other), one Tubby (The Christmas Bunny), and the Winter issue of Roger Langridge's recent Muppets Four Seasons series. In a Muppetized version of the Twelve Days of Christmas song, the line for "ten lords a-leaping" has Dr. Honeydew pointing to Beaker (who is saying "M-meep?") and singing "a tense sort of meeping." Can't beat that!

Happy seventh day of Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Joe Torcivia said...

And all those “Happys”, right back, Elaine!

Yes, absolutely see that Flintstones episode, when you can. Also be sure to see the “Time Machine” episode on the same disc as “Christmas Flintstone”. That’s another of my favorites. Watched ‘em both in the same sitting this year. 1964-1965 was a good and varied season for the show (…comedy, adventure, fantasy, even sentiment – everything you’d like in a good Duck comic), unlike the “Gazoo Season” that followed.

…and, if I were to “request” your Christmas comic list, it might magically appear here someday?

That’s one thing I LOVE about the comics hobby! It becomes so personalized that no two person’s lists are alike – but there’s almost always some common ground. I don’t own any of the other items you mention, yet we’ve each spent nearly a lifetime with the Ducks!

Elaine said...

Joe, I could email you my Christmas comics list, if you like, and if your email address is publicly shareable. I'm an inveterate listmaker, so this is one of *many* lists I have made to amuse myself while stuck waiting in line, etc. But as I said, too long to put in a comment here. 6 Barks stories, 6 Disney Duck stories not by Barks published here, 6 Disney Duck stories not published in the USA, 6 Chip 'n' Dale, 6 Disney Christmas comic covers, 6 non-Disney comics (saving a space on that list for the Flintstones!).