Rated: PG Reviewed by: Chris Release date: May 27, 1994 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
Memorial Day Weekend is the start of the big summer films and probably the most anticipated among them, The Flintstones just had the largest opening ever. At $35 million, all the hype and promotion sure has paid off.
John Goodman plays the blustery Fred Flintstone and he's an excellent choice. He's big and goofy, yet lovable. Wilma (Elizabeth Perkins), decked out in her designer duds, on the other hand, looks a wee bit too sophisticated for the blue collar Fred.
The Flintstone's loyal friends, Betty and Barney Rubble, are played by Rosie O'Donnell and Rick Moranis, who are a more evenly matched couple. Moranis, with his hair dyed bright yellow and lopsided grin, is a good-natured Barney and even though O'Donnell isn't as svelte as her cartoon counterpart, she has Betty's laugh down pat.
ElizabethTaylor does a cameo as Fred's mother-in-law and although she looks like she's having a grad ole time hamming it up, she seems uncomfortable and out of place.
The plot revolves around the Slate Company Quarry, where Fred and Barney toil until the bird in the yard screeches that it's quitting time. Kyle McLachlan (Twin Peaks) plays a conniving executive, who along with his sexy accomplice, "Sharon Stone" (Halle Berry) uses the unsuspecting Fred to help them embezzle. Poor Fred finds himself in deep trouble with both his job and his friends.
Most of the film's $45 million budget seems to have gone into the sets - which are colorful and bigger-than-life. They really captured the sense of a cartoon come-to-life. The cars motored by foot, a dictaphone talking bird or lobster-clawed movers, are a few of the very clever sights in Bedrock. Not even the smallest detail of Stone Age life is overlooked.
Besides the live actors, director Brian Levant also uses animatronics for Dino, a large slobbering hog, which doubles as the garbage disposal and other prehistoric animals. Dino, big and bouncy, is especially cute w3hen running and pounding on Fred every time he comes in the door.
Opening and closing with the familiar, upbeat Flintstones theme song, all the silly characters and good-natured fun of the cartoon show is here. From the moment Fred opens his mouth and roars "Yabba-Dabba-Doo" until the closing credits, both adults and kiddies are in for a wonderful, whacky time.