Wednesday, May 18, 2011

…Through the Cour-te-see of Seth’s Two Feats!

Well, actually, that would be THREE feats for Seth MacFarlane. FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD, and more recently THE CLEVELAND SHOW!

And now he will be turning his attention to the one that started it all… THE FLINTSTONES!

Only time (and viewership) will tell if he is successful, but I’ll go on record as saying that I can’t wait to see it! Both MacFarlane’s Peter Griffin and Matt Groening’s Homer Simpson are directly descended from Fred Flintstone, and I look forward to seeing what MacFarlane will do.

Recall that he STARTED at Hanna-Barbera, in their final days of DEXTER’S LABORATORY and the still-great first season of JOHNNY BRAVO! Frankly, anything done with Johnny Bravo SINCE that first season has been ordinary and even flat by comparison.

Indeed, you could even argue that the origin of Stewie Griffin (as the "Cubix Bomb") can be found in the BRAVO short “The Aisle of Mixed-Up Toys”. A short written by Michael Ryan and Seth MacFarlane, BTW! And a hilarious one, at that.

One aspect where I feel this will either soar or fall is in the VOICING! If the voices are anything short of “authentic recreations” of the original performers’ efforts, I will bristle! I suspect others will as well.

I think MacFarlane would be best served in recreating THE FLINTSTONES in their FIRST SEASON incarnations. This would best suit his style, which I expect would be (at least somewhat) toned down from his more adult-oriented fare. His work on DEXTER and BRAVO prove that he can be “wild” and “tame” at the same time. I feel his FLINTSTONES will be more in that vein.

In fact, I’d love to see MacFarlane make the gutsy move of utilizing a good approximation of Barney Rubble’s ORIGINAL voice! The one Mel Blanc used for the First Season. (“The Swimming Pool”, “The Flintstone Flyer”, etc.) I think that would suit his vision well.

Given all of the inappropriate – if not outright horrible – things Hanna-Barbera ITSELF has done to its characters post-sixties, I’m actually looking forward to this! One thing we know… MacFarlane LOVES The Flintstones and Star Wars! I don’t expect he’d set out to destroy the memories of either!

In fact, it might be nice to be able to LAUGH while watching The Flintstones again!

Want the take of someone who’s actually written a few FLINTSTONES comic books – AND has worked for Hanna-Barbera? Here’s what Mark Evanier has to say!

And here's more from the great Hanna-Barbera Blog - Yowp!


joecab said...

I'm with you: I'm looking forward to this. And the Flintstones was my favorite cartoon growing up and still is. I don't get all the negativity about this announcement. People, there's nothing else being done with them, and it's just us old nostalgia buffs that still go for the originals.

Do you remember about 10+ years ago H-B announced they were gonna make a new syndicated Flintstones cartoon mixing new episodes with the originals like they did (poorly for the most part) with the Jetsons? The character designs were great and had a real roughness to them like Ed Benedict's original designs. The series went nowhere but it looked like they did make that one short, The Flintstones: On the Rocks, off that same (or a similar) look.

If someone hasn't seen it, just check YouTube under that title and see what you think. I liked it.

Joe Torcivia said...

Joe C.

First one to comment on YOWP, and first to comment here! Nicely played, Sir!

I can understand the caterwauling on the part of some – simply because EVERY modern revival of a classic character seems to be either poorly done or an outright disaster. By now, I wish they’d just leave the Looney Tunes characters alone.

But why the specific vitriol aimed at Seth MacFarlane?

He’s talented and he produces a FUNNY product!

And, he’s not afraid to take risks… risks that PAY OFF! On FAMILY GUY alone, consider his affectionate remaking of the Star Wars Trilogy, “Stewie Kills Lois/Lois Kills Stewie”… and “Road to the Multiverse”, probably the single funniest product of contemporary animation – just to name three!

His love of THE FLINTSTONES is professed over and over again! I WANT this guy in charge of THE FLINTSTONES, and not whoever was responsible for “YO YOGI” and “LOONATICS UNLEASHED”!

Some people actually want John K.???? If you’re afraid of any sort of FAMILY GUY influence on THE FLINTSTONES, how could you possibly condone the gross and disgusting things he did with Yogi Bear?!

The sad thing is, John K. can actually be VERY FUNNY when he wants to be… like that bit with the “multiple versions of Ranger Smith”. That was hysterical! But nothing Seth MacFarlane has done (…with the possible exception of the wonderfully disgusting “A Cleveland Brown Thanksgiving”) has ever come close to some of the things John K. has done with Yogi Bear!

…Though, I’d take John K.’s version over “YO YOGI” any day!

I understand “The Flintstones: On the Rocks” was aired only once – and never again – by Cartoon Network. I did see it on YouTube, thanks to David Gerstein. It was decidedly “adult” in nature, and I never heard any static over that.

So, again, let’s give Seth MacFarlane a chance. I think he’ll do well!

Joe T.

PS: Anyone mentioning the genius of Ed Benedict gets Extra Bonus Points!

Chris Barat said...


You know my opinion of MacFarlane and his other works, but I am willing to take him at his word that he wants to do right by the Flintstones.


Joe Torcivia said...

Aw, c’mon, Chris… I know you liked that first season of JOHNNY BRAVO! How ‘bout the wonderful lunacy of “Date with an Antelope” and the aforementioned “Aisle of Mixed-Up Toys”? Those were his. Even if FAMILY GUY is not to your taste, what was wrong with those?

I also know you’d appreciate “Blue Harvest” – the best “parody/tribute” to STAR WARS ever! Watch the first film and this back to back, just to fully appreciate how extensive and detailed the parallels were! I did, so I know.

And, if Mike Judge could offend with BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD and “go mainstream” with KING OF THE HILL, why can’t Seth MacFarlane take a different approach with THE FLINTSTONES?


joecab said...

And remember, Seth's not operating in a vacuum here: he knows everyone is expecting a Family Guy clone and he's not gonna do that, and Turner/H-B has to sign off on each show, so I doubt he's going to go into fully adult territory. But it's bound to have some adult element in it: that's how the original series started and when it was at its best. Aside from Fox's Sunday night block, we don't have much in the way of prime time cartoons not aimed at just kids.

Even Family Guy has changed some: it relies much less on cutaway gags nowadays, and American Dad never used them to begin with.

Joe Torcivia said...

Joe C.

I can speak for no one but myself… but (A:) I love classic Hanna-Barbera (B:) I love Seth MacFarlane animated series… ergo, no matter which way this turns out, I suspect I’ll at least LIKE (if not LOVE) it.

A hybrid between the two would be ideal for modern times, wouldn’t you say?

Joe T.