The Flintstones

The Flintstones

1960 - United States

Long before The Simpsons took American prime time by storm, a slightly less dysfunctional cartoon family blazed the trial for generation crossing animated antics. 

Inspired by the classic Jackie Gleeson hit, The Honeymooners, in 1960 academy award winning animators of Tom and Jerry, William Hannah and Joseph Barbera created a satirical animated series originally to be called 'The Flagstones.' The Flagstones underwent a name change to The Flintstones, and the legend of Bedrock County and its immortal stone-aged inhabitants was born. 

Through the gruff, grumpy, but ultimately likeable character of Fred Flintstone, along with his long suffering wife Wilma and best friends Barney and Betty Rubble, the viewers were introduced to a Stone Age which bore startling similarities to their own sophisticated 60's lifestyles. Although the animation was far removed from the golden days of Hollywood theatrical quality, it nevertheless had a charm and inventiveness which was to help cement the foundations for the series ultimate success. Not that the success came immediately. 

Initially at least the series received much critical hostility as illustrated by the New York Times branding it an 'inked disaster.' However, the series by its second season fared much better with the viewers and was ultimately to prove its critics wrong by being nominated, and winning, a coveted Golden Globe award. 

Change was a key to the show's success during its six year run. In 1963 Wilma finally gave birth to a daughter named Pebbles. (A first for television animation at the time). Later, the core cast was expanded further by the Rubble's adoption of Bam Bam, a foundling with extraordinary strength. Although the original series ended in 1966 the format has been revived by the Hannah/Barbera studio numerous times since in varying permutations but without the sharply satirical edge which had made it an adult favourite, and while a major live action movie version starring John Goodman as Fred may have been an enjoyable romp for the kids, it wasn't a patch on the original. The Flintstones deserves its classic status on the merit of it's skilful blend of original writing and pleasingly rounded animated characters, for six years American prime time television was, indeed, a 'Yabba, Dabba, Doo' time. 

Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble
Fred and Barney go out for a drive "courtesy of Fred's two feet"

The Flinstones Theme Tune
"Flintstones... Meet the Flintstones,
They're a modern stoneage family.
From the town of Bedrock,
They're a page right out of history.
Let's ride with the family down the street.
Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet.

When you're with the Flintstones,
Have a yabba dabba doo time,
A dabba doo time,
We'll have a gay old time."

Published on December 12th, 2018. Noel Onely.

Read Next...


Crack pilot James "Biggles" Bigglesworth leads a team of investigators who solve crime around the world.

Also released in 1960

All Our Yesterdays

One of Granada Television's most successful series of all time, All Our Yesterdays began in 1960 and was presented by noted foreign correspondent James Cameron who linked together edited version of two 1930s cinema newsreels from the same week twenty-five years ago.

Also released in 1960


Philip J. Fry is a twenty-five-year-old pizza delivery boy whose life is going nowhere. After he accidentally freezes himself on 31 December 1999, he wakes up one thousand years in the future.

Also tagged Animated Comedy

After the Funeral

When Alun Owen's play 'After the Funeral' was read by Sydney Newman, head of drama for ABC Television, and William Kotcheff, the television director, they were so taken by his conception of Wales and the Welsh, they decided to see for themselves.

Also released in 1960

Count Duckula

Children's cartoon series centred around Duckula's adventures in search of riches and fame.

Also tagged Animated Series

Bootsie and Snudge

Spin-off from 'The Army Game' - Private 'Excused Boots' Bisley and his bullying Sergeant, Claude Snudge, return to civvy life where they find employment in a Pall Mall gentleman's club called The Imperial.

Also released in 1960

Battle of the Planets

Animated sci-fi series in which a team of youngsters are tasked with a mission to save the Earth.

Also tagged Animated Series

Crystal Tipps and Alistair

Creator Hilary Hayton invented a land where everything seemed fab and groovy and where best friends Crystal and Alistair lived in a pop-art world that one could easily envisage being a part of John Lennon's 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.'

Also tagged Animated Series

Button Moon

The adventures of Mr. Spoon who would travel to Button Moon in his homemade rocket-ship. All of the characters were based on kitchen utensils...

Also tagged Animated Series