Hanna-Barbera’s sixties cartoon about prehistoric couple Fred and Wilma, pet dinosaur Dino and neighbours Barney and Betty, was translated into a very silly (but often funny) live-action movie with John Goodman fitting perfectly into the role of dim-witted Fred. Rick Moranis is less successful as Barney (wouldn’t Danny DeVito have been better?) and Elizabeth Perkins and Rosie O’Donnell don’t make much of an impression as their put-upon wives, but grown-ups will get more than a few chuckles from Elizabeth Taylor’s turn as Fred’s disapproving mother-in-law, while men especially will enjoy the casting of Halle Berry (playing a character called Sharon Stone, a role that was originally offered to the real Ms Stone) as secretary to Fred’s boss Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan, camping it up with glee).
The plot is pretty simple – Fred gets promoted but it’s part of scheming Vandercave’s evil plan – but kids especially will enjoy the film mainly for the visual gags (check out Fred’s garbage disposal beneath the sink), the true-to-the-cartoon sets and vehicles, and creatures provided by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.
Is The Flintstones suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...