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Released into theaters in 1966, THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE ($20) was designed to capitalize on the popularity of THE FLINTSTONES television series and the international craze for James Bond. The premise of THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE finds super-spy Rock Slag in Bedrock and injured by foreign agents. Taken to Bedrock Hospital, Slag’s superior notices his resemblance to fellow patient Fred Flintstone, who is recruited by the agency to fill in for their downed agent. The leads to an international adventure, where Fred does some spy work- trying to capture a criminal mastermind called the Green Goose. Of course, Wilma, Barney and Betty are kept in the dark, thinking they are all merely on a vacation. THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE is definitely a fun offshoot from the television series that also includes a number of musical interludes in between the comedy. The vocal talent behind THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE includes Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl, Gerry Johnson and Paul Frees.

Warner Home Video has made THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE available on DVD in 4:3 full screen television aspect ratio. Not having seen THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE in the theaters, I am unsure if this is the correct aspect ratio or not. Fortunately, the full screen presentation does not crop away any picture information, making THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE seem like an extended television episode, instead of a feature film. The animation seems to be of a slightly higher caliber than the television series… but Disney it is not. Image sharpness is just fine. Colors are quite vivid and appealing. Black and whites appear accurate, while contrast is all one can expect from this type of 2D cel animated material. The elements from which THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE have been mastered do show mild blemishes. Also one will notice imperfections that were created in the original animation process. There is some grain, but not a significant amount. Digital compression artifacts are well contained.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is just fine for a film that is over forty years old. Most instances of background hiss and surface noise have been scrubbed away during the mastering process. As expected, fidelity is a bit lacking, but the film’s music is never harsh or distorted at average listening levels. Dialogue is always completely understandable and the voices come across effectively. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features. No supplements have been provided.

THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE is as much fun as I remember it being during my childhood. The presentation is solid, but I am left wondering if the movie should have been in matted wide screen. If you grew up watching the television series, you’ll want to check out THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE on DVD.



The Man Called Flintstone (1966)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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