"The Flintstones" Season 6: A Yabba-Dabba-DVD Release for the Final Season
It seems like yesterday I saw the first season of The Flintstones on DVD in the store. The packaging has certainly changed from its initial releases (slimmer cases and no plastic slip cover), but the content is still all here: a full season of one of the most popular cartoons to come out of Hanna-Barbera with DVD quality video and crystal clear audio.
The sixth, and final, season of The Flintstones had its fair share of guest stars (various musicians, Bewitched cast, Tony “Stoney” Curtis) and even the introduction of a new character, the Great Gazoo. I may just have a foggy memory, but I recall that Gazoo got some flack from fans for having such a strong presence in the sixth season, but I always enjoyed the episodes he was in. After five seasons of just the The Flintstones and guest stars, it was cool to see a new character introduced, even if it was only for the later half of the season.
I won’t deny that watching this show again after so many years (I watched it religiously on Cartoon Network back in the day) wasn’t slightly jarring, as it’d been so long since I’d heard that opening theme or the voices of these characters. Even watching some of these episodes, I can vaguely recall watching them, particularly “No Biz Like Show Biz,” “Rip Van Flintstone,” “The Stonefinger Caper,” “Fred Goes Ape” and “The Treasure of Sierra Madrock.” It’s strange to think I’ve seen most of this season, but considering how many years the show aired on Cartoon Network, I’m not at all surprised.
The show remains great fun to revisit and really is enjoyable for the whole family to watch. It’s a shame the series is completely on DVD, as each one of the seasons is enjoyable to watch—but hey, with six seasons now on our DVD shelves, there’s always plenty to re-watch!
Standard slipcase packaging with colorful and crisp show art, which I assume is new considering it shows no real age from what I can tell. Double layer digi-pak trays are on the interior, though I have to say, although I love this packaging, I do not like the fact there’s a dual layer disc in this set. It’s one thing to have them simply single sided with disc art, but double sided discs are much more prone to scratching, especially if one of the discs becomes dislodged in shipping—a recipe for disaster.
Menu art is static with music over the main menu; art and layouts match the packaging very closely and is easy to navigate and pleasant on the eye. There is nothing to complain about on these myriad menus.
Video is cleaner than you would expect for a cartoon of its age, but there is some cel dirt and discoloration present in spots. Nothing to dock the video for, as these things are minor and the look and sound of these episodes is superb. Despite the audio being a mono track, everything is crystal clear and I don’t think there’s much to gain by making it stereo track—it’s not exactly a show that needs surround sound.
The special features are a bit weak for a final season of one of the most ground breaking primetime cartoons, but they do entertain. Stephen Baldwin hosts “The Flintstones Meet Pop Culture” and a history on the Great Gazoo is given by one of the staff involved with the show. The Baldwin feature is entertaining (even if he isn’t), as we get to hear from producers and even a few of the guest stars that popped up on the show in its final season. Nothing terribly informative is given, though a few neat tidbits are dropped about the guest stars that showed up and how much of a win-win the guest appearances were for all those involved.
The Great Gazoo featurette goes into his backstory and how he came to be. Written by one of the few female cartoon writers at the time, Great Gazoo had a slightly different origin when originally conceived but as one of the show team notes, it’s amazing how much of the original story made into the Gazoo’s background. This featurette is short, but worth watching if you enjoyed Gazoo’s appearances.
Despite the sparse special features, the discs do not disappoint. I find that when I review or buy shows I enjoy, rather than have to deeply critique (i.e., any of the DC Comics cartoon releases), weak special features do not bother me as much. Fans will no doubt have wanted more, but for the casual Flintstones viewer, the episodes are more than enough. If you haven’t already, start building up that The Flintstones DVD collection—these are keepers.