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The Flintstones - The Complete First Season



DVD Release Date: March 16, 2004 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
Color/MSRP: $44.98
Number of Discs: 4 (disc #4 is double-sided)
Number of Episodes: 28 (29 counting the short pilot)
Running Time: 737 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 17 minutes
(not counting Bonus Previews) Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, French and Spanish language & subtitles; Closed Captioned.
Special Features: “All About the Flintstones,” “Flagstones ­ The Lost Pilot,” “Wacky Inventions,” “9 Original Spots.”

My Thoughts:

Since we reviewed season two a few weeks back, we thought we ought to review the first season as well, since it was one of the very few sitcoms on DVD we missed since our DVD review program started last March. Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty and the rest of the prehistoric characters are available for the first time on DVD! Season one originally aired in the 1960-61 season on ABC. This season features 28 episodes that will make you laugh and it’s for all ages. It was sort of like an animated Honeymooners series. Like I said in our season two review, so, ‘Rise & Shine’ with those Cocoa Pebbles and buy this DVD so you can ‘Meet the Flintstones’ for the first time on season one!

Some memorable episodes include: “The Swimming Pool,” “The Flintstone Flyer,” “The Engagement Ring,” “The Prowler,” “The Sweepstakes Ticket,” “The Hot Piano” and “The Snorkasaurus Hunter” ­ in which we meet Dino for the first time. Guest voice includes Frank Nelson as the clerk who loves to say “yeessssssssss.” Recurring voices from Hal Smith and John Stephenson are also included.

The packaging is similar to season two. It is a see through digipak with a black border on the sides. The box cover is transparent and has Betty, Barney, Fred, Wilma and Dino from left to right with the Flintstones logo on the top. The back of the box has Fred sliding off a dinosaur and the back also has info on the set and series. All of the special features are also listed. The case cover is the same as the box cover, but it is not colored in. It looks like a cave portrait that is used on the show when they take photos. The back of the case has the entire gang in the car. When you open the case once, you will a breakdown of disc one on the left side and a breakdown of disc two on the right now. The breakdowns feature all the episodes and special features on each disc. A nice photo and a cool trivia blurb are also printed on each breakdown. When you open the case another time, you get to the 4 discs and the breakdowns of discs three and four.

Disc one has episodes 1-7. Disc two has episodes 8-14. Disc three has episodes 15-21. Disc four is double sided - side A has episodes 22-28, side B has all of the special features. On the discs, there are photos of different characters. Disc one has a photo of Fred & Wilma, disc two has Barney & Betty; disc three has a photo of Dino and a steak. Disc four has no pictures, since it is double sided. The other three discs have a nice blue setting in the background.

The menu screen is very cool! It has The Flintstones TV, with a DVD player and then it zooms to the main menu screen where we see the entire gang standing (same photo as the box cover). The “Rise & Shine” theme is playing in the background, though not the entire thing. It loops, too. The menu screen consists of “Play All,” “Special Features,” “Episodes,” and “Languages” from left to right. Languages and subtitles are in English, French and Spanish. The episodes section has the list of episodes on the disc, when you highlight one episode; a photo from the episode is shown on a mini-screen.

The video quality is very good ­ very impressive. This is from the early ‘60s, so it is remarkable. There are a bit of dusty areas, but that is expected. The audio, however is not that good, just like season two. It is mono and a bit low, but definitely hearable when you put it louder. Each episode seems to be unedited and in the range of 25-26 minutes per episode. The original “Rise & Shine” theme song is included. This theme was originally used for the first two seasons and was never seen in syndication until recently on Cartoon Network/Boomerang ­ we’ll see the “Meet the Flintstones” in the next release with season three. The little teaser scene before the opening credits is also included on this set as well.

The special features are not as long as season two. But Warner Bros. still did a decent job with this set. The first bonus material is a feature that is over 5 minutes called “All About the Flintstones.” This has clips and other cool stuff on how the show came about. The next feature is the original test pilot called “The Flagstones.” It is usually seen in syndication after “The Swimming Pool” episode. It runs a little over 1 minute and 30 seconds. The video is quiet choppy and the colors look weird, but that was just a test pilot. Good thing they liked what they saw, or we would have no Flintstones at all.

Next up is another feature ­ “Wacky Inventions.” The show had so many cool inventions that we use today. It was sort of funny how advanced the Stone Age really was on this show. It really is a fascinating feature that runs under 5 minutes and 45 seconds. I personally like the elephant or whatever that is, that showers them. Or how about the bee in a shell that Fred uses as a razor for shaving?

This set also has commercials and sponsor bumpers. There are about 9 of them on this set. They are over 5 minutes in length. There are two ABC network promos that have Fred saying the show is moving to Thursday nights. That is very rare, indeed. The others are mainly sponsor promos where the Rise and Shine theme plays and at the end they say, “The Flintstones are brought to you buy …”

For those of you who bought season two and didn’t buy season one yet, you must get this set as well. While this set doesn’t have the number of special features as season two, the episodes on season one are classics. Some of my personal favorites and most remembered episodes are form this season. And if you bought season one already and didn’t buy season two yet, buy it NOW! Season three is coming this March. It looks like Warner will release two sets a year (every March and December). Season three will be packed with bonus material, too. I think the sales are doing very good, so they are spending a lot for bonus material. I think season three will the best yet to come ­ that season brought in Fred & Wilma’s child, Pebbles! So get seasons one and two, if you haven’t already, before season three is out!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.0/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 01/10/2005

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