Thursday, September 30, 2010
Well, this shouldn't be news - Google remembered and has a tribute pic up on their homepage. If you missed out, on September 30, 1960, The Flintstones debuted on ABC. Clearly the Jackie Gleason show The Honeymooners was a major influence and inspiration. Fred and Wilma had the distinction of being the first cartoon characters of the opposite sex portrayed as sleeping in the same bed.
It was definitely a different era - the main sponsor Winston was touted with "integrated" commercials in black and white:
Cartoon purists argue that the show wasn't all that because of the usage of limited animation. Instead of the lavish artwork that Disney made famous, Hanna Barbera used this type of animation as a cost cutting measure. I'm sure we all remember the continuous loops of scenery in the background when Fred was running - and Fred running with the exact same speed and step the whole way with just perhaps his mouth moving to show dialog. Frankly, most of the HB stable of cartoons were animated in this style and even as a kid, I was aware that these shows didn't approach the majority of Looney Tune's quality.
Of course I've seen every show available in reruns - mostly in the afternoons after school and during summers. It was one show Sis and I could agree to watch. It's definitely woven into the fabric of our being - as it were. I even used to be able to do a decent imitation of Barney - where he laughs "Huh huh huh, gee Fred." I think most of us of a certain age have this tune firmly engraved in our brains: