A Flintstones Christmas Carol

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A Flintstones Christmas Carol
A Flintstones Christmas Carol.jpg
DVD cover
Based on A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
Directed by Joanna Romersa
Voices of Henry Corden
Jean Vander Pyl
Frank Welker
B.J. Ward
Russi Taylor
Don Messick
John Stephenson
Howard Morris
Will Ryan
Marsha Clark
Joan Gerber
Music by Steven Bernstein
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Buzz Potamkin
Running time 70 minutes[1]
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Distributor Turner Program Services (original)
Warner Bros. Television Distribution (current)
Release
Original network ABC
Original release November 21, 1994
Chronology
Preceded by A Flintstone Family Christmas
Followed by The Flintstones: On the Rocks

A Flintstones Christmas Carol is a 1994 animated television film featuring characters from The Flintstones franchise, and based on the novel A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Produced by Hanna-Barbera, it features the voices of Henry Corden, Jean Vander Pyl and Frank Welker. It first aired November 21, 1994 on ABC.

The special followed numerous Christmas-themed The Flintstones productions. It has been released on DVD.

Plot[edit]

The Bedrock Community Players is mounting A Christmas Carol, and all of the town's citizens are either planning to attend or be involved in the production: Barney Rubble is playing Bob Cragit, with Betty as Mrs. Cragit and his son Bamm-Bamm as Tiny Tim; Mr. Slate is Jacob Marbley; Wilma Flintstone is serving as the stage manager, while her daughter Pebbles plays Martha Cragit; even Dino has a role, playing the Cragit's family pet. It is Fred, though, who has landed the leading role of Ebonezer Scrooge. Unfortunately, he has let his role go to his head, thinking himself a star and spending all of his time rehearsing his lines rather than focusing on his job or family. On Christmas Eve, in his rush to get to work, Fred forgets that he must take Pebbles to "cave care", and later to pick her up from cave care. When Fred arrives at the theater, he discovers a furious Wilma, who breaks down in tears as she tells Fred about his mistake.

The play finally begins with narrator Charles Brickens reading the opening lines, and after a momentary bout of stage fright, Fred enters. The play proceeds as normal. As the second act opens, Wilma and Betty discover that Garnet, the woman playing the Ghost of Christmas Past, has contracted the "Bedrock Bug," a flu-like illness. As stage manager, Wilma is left to play the part herself. Throughout the act, Wilma vents some of her frustration at Fred through her lines, while Fred himself realizes the parallels between Scrooge's past and his own recent behavior. During the next scene, at Fezziwig's Christmas party, Betty informs Wilma that Maggie has come down with the Bedrock Bug as well; Wilma dons her costume and plays Belle. The rest of the play proceeds as normal: Ernie, a cheerful Bedrock citizen, plays the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Fred, witnessing Barney, Betty, Bamm-Bamm, and Pebbles playing the Cragits, continues to realize the depths of his recent self-absorption. The third act begins with the hooded figure of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come appearing before Scrooge; he shows the elderly man "shadows of things that will be," including an abandoned gravestone marked with the words "EBONEZER SCROOGE." The scene suddenly shifts to Scrooge's bedchamber—he is still alive, and he discovers that it is Christmas morning: "the spirits have done it all in one night." He recruits a passing boy (played by the same child who Fred entrusted with his presents) to purchase a prize "Turkeysaurus" and have it sent to the Cragits for a feast. Scrooge prepares to go out and explore the city on Christmas morning; along the way, he meets Wilma, who has taken on the role of one of the members of the Piltdown Charitable Foundation, as the original actor has caught the Bedrock Bug. Fred acts as if the woman is Belle (much to narrator Brickens's frustration, as the ad-libbing is not in his script), and begs for both her and Wilma's forgiveness, admitting his recent selfishness and promising that he has changed his attitudes. Wilma reluctantly plays along.

The play ends with Scrooge making Cragit a full partner in his money-lending business, the rest of the actors lifting Ebonezer onto their shoulders, and the narrator informing the audience of the permanent change in the elderly man. It falls to Bamm-Bamm to deliver Tiny Tim's famous "God bless us, everyone!," but he suddenly forgets his line, leaving Pebbles to make the declaration herself. When the curtain falls, the company drops Fred and scolds him "for being such a Scrooge." Fred apologizes, informing Wilma that he has finally realized that his friends and family, rather than his role in the production, are what matter most. As the company begins to depart, Fred insists that the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come take off his hood; the actor does so, revealing himself as Dino, who took the part after the regular actor Philo came down with the Bedrock Bug.

Brickens congratulates Wilma for her roles in the play with a bouquet. A changed Fred says that when the Flintstones get home, he's going to make dinner. Unfortunately, however, after he says this, he comes down with the flu, and Wilma decides to make dinner, since the Bedrock Bug "lasts for a day".

Voice cast[edit]

Actor The Flintstones character(s) A Christmas Carol character(s)
Henry Corden Fred Flintstone, Dannel Qurke's Singing Voice Ebonezer Scrooge
Jean Vander Pyl Wilma Flintstone, Ann Qurke Ghost of Christmas Past, Belle
Frank Welker Barney Rubble, Dino Bob Cragit, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
B.J. Ward Betty Rubble Mrs. Cragit
Russi Taylor Pebbles Flintstone, Birdy Martha Cragit
Don Messick Bamm-Bamm Rubble, Joe Rockhead Tiny Tim
John Stephenson Mr. Slate Jacob Marbley
Marsha Clark Maggie, Miss Garnett Feldspar
Will Ryan Ned
Brian Cummings Erwin Ghost of Christmas Present
René LeVant Philo Quartz
John Rhys-Davies Charles Brickens

Production[edit]

The special came after three Christmas-themed episodes and specials in The Flintstones franchise, namely "Christmas Flintstone" (1964), A Flintstone Christmas (1977) and A Flintstone Family Christmas (1993).[2] It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and directed by Joanna Romersa.[3]

The teleplay was written by Glenn Leopold, based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The music was composed by Steve Bernstein.[4] Jean Vander Pyl returned as the voice of Wilma Flintstone, a role she performed since first chosen by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera to voice the character in 1960.[5]

Broadcast and release[edit]

The special premiered on the American Broadcasting Company on November 21, 1994.[4] It has been rebroadcast in later years, by Toon Disney, Boomerang and Canada's YTV.[6][7][8]

Turner Home Entertainment initially released A Flintstones Christmas Carol on home video, debuting 24th among children's video rentals in the United States in October 1995.[9] Warner Home Video released it on DVD in Region 1 on October 2, 2007. An included bonus was "Christmas Flintstone", an episode from Season 5 of The Flintstones.[10]

Reception[edit]

The special received a Film Advisory Board award.[3] TV Guide gave it two stars, saying the story within a story is challenged by "the continual cutting away to backstage incidents that turn the careful momentum of Dickens' narrative into jagged stops and starts," adding "how can these prehistoric folk be celebrating the birth of a messiah not due for several millenia?"[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Flintstones Christmas Carol". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 11 December 2016. 
  2. ^ William D. Crump, The Christmas Encyclopedia, Third ed., McFarland & Company Publishers, 2013, p. 185.
  3. ^ a b Crump, The Christmas Encyclopedia, p. 186.
  4. ^ a b Vincent Terrace, Television Specials: 5,336 Entertainment Programs, 1936-201, second ed., McFarland & Company Publishers, 2013, p. 154.
  5. ^ Rice, Lynnette (27 May 1994). "She Has Never Stopped Being Wilma". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 11 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "All Christmas all the time on TV". The Los Angeles Times. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2016. 
  7. ^ TV News Desk (9 December 2013). "Boomerang Holiday Programming to Kick Off 12/15". Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 11 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Leah Collins, "Tinsel on the tube: A holiday TV guide," Saskatoon StarPhoenix, 5 December 2007.
  9. ^ "Top Kid Video," Billboard, 28 October 1995, p. 76.
  10. ^ "A Flintstones Christmas Carol". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  11. ^ "A Flintstones Christmas Carol". TV Guide. Retrieved 11 December 2016. 

External links[edit]