The Flintstones: The Complete Series Blu-ray review
Oct 26, 2020- Permalink
The Flintstones was the first animated sitcom to air on a network in prime-time. Premiering in 1960, it followed the lives of Fred and Wilma Flintstone – a modern stone age family – and their neighbours Barney and Betty Rubble. Full of laughs, the occasional song and dance, and yes, even a few emotional moments, it’s a legendary production. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released The Flintstones: The Complete series on Blu-ray. Though WBHE provided us with a copy to review, the thoughts and opinions below are mine.
The 1080p AVC-encoded episodes (6 seasons, 166 episodes) are presented in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Back when I was watching these during my school lunch breaks on an old standard definition TV, the copies the station had were worn and muddy looking. This transfer has cleaned all of that up. The colours are bright with a lot of pop. The line art has crisp detail and given that this is hand-drawn animation, you can see the brush strokes on the cels. The black levels are deep with no sign of crushing. There’s some fine grain from the original film source, but apart from a small few video bumps along the journey, this is the most fantastic presentation of The Flintstones that you have ever seen. There are some episodes that differ in quality, but that may have been due to the quality of the source material available for each episode.
On the audio side, the series’ episodes are presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono tracks. Though nobody was expecting a Marvel-level immersive track, it would have been nice to have a lossless audio track, but that may have been a lot to ask given the number of episodes on each disc. The wonderful video presentation is the draw here, so pining for a lossless track is just to have something to beef about. Subtitles for the episodes are available in English SDH. There is a production issue with episode 17 – it has no music or sound effects – WBHE is aware and will offer a disc replacement program.
On the extras side, the set also comes with two animated Flintstones films: 1966’s The Man Called Flintstone and The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown! from 2015. The Man Called Flintstone is a feature-length production (89 minutes) while the direct-to-video The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown! is a mere 51 minutes long. Sadly, they’re both presented in standard definition (even though the WWE flick was available in HD) and The Man Called Flintstone is a disappointing transfer considering it had a theatrical release. There is a collection of other extras on the animation, the stone age inventions, the songs and show music, and the pop culture influence, but the extras aren’t a selling point here. Again, you’re buying this set for how well the 166 episodes of this iconic series are presented.
With a great video presentation and a sufficient audio presentation The Flintstones: The Complete Series is a must have for fans of the series, collectors, and animation historians. Again, you’re not buying this for the extras, but for how yabba dabba do fantastic the episodes look.
[Note: Bill Hunt over at thedigitalbits.com has confirmed a disc replacement for the missing music/sounf effects on one episode of disc one. See his article for details.]