Thursday, September 30, 2010

"The Flintstones" 50th Anniversary

"The Flintstones" premiered on the ABC Television Network 50 years ago today, September 30, 1960.  

                Hanna-Barbera Studio's promotion art for "The Flintstones" circa 1975.  

I remember it vividly.  For a 6-year-old who loved cartoons, this was "event television."  The first weekly primetime cartoon show, in color, on ABC, from the makers of "Huckleberry Hound" and "Yogi Bear"?  Heaven!   

The entire family -- mom, dad, and siblings -- tuned in that night, and everyone found something to like.  There were frequent laughs throughout the show.   Here was a new and rare example of cartoons and television bringing families together.

             From 1961:  My  most cherished TV Guide cover, featuring my favorite TV stars of the era.

I started drawing Fred and gang almost immediately. Below is one of my earliest drawings of Fred and Barney from 1960.  Apparently, as far as I was concerned, "The Flintstones" had already joined the ranks of cartoon superstars.  

Below, a signed drawing of Fred by "The Flintstones" Sunday comic strip artist Gene Hazelton.    He drew a great Fred!  

Fred became a fallback doodle drawing for me.  I've been drawing him adbsentmindedly practically my whole life.   Following are a few samples from over the years.  Keeping Fred on model does not seem to be a goal of my doodles.

So, on this 50th Anniversary of "The Flintstones," thank you Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera and the entire creative staff at Hanna-Barbera for bringing this landmark show to life.

I had the privilege of working for Hanna-Barbera in the 70's and 80's.   I started out in Bill's arena, the animation and production department, and later I worked for Joe in the story, development  and writing department.  They both taught me crucial aspects of the animation business, and I'm eternally grateful to them for giving me such wonderful opportunities.  

Bill and Joe were great guys, and they made some great cartoon shows!  

                                          I had my picture taken with Bill and Joe at a 90's reunion. 


  1. One of the best things about cartoons is the relativity and comedy it can retain throughout the years.

    I remember when I was 6 years old as well, and would watch the Flinestones, Yogi Bear (I went to Jellystone Park for my 8th birthday), Tomcat, Hong Kong Phooey, and a bunch of other great cartoons.

    I would always watch the classic cartoons, especially when I was over my grandparent's house.

    I found it really interesting how Hannah Barbara was a major influence on you, and helped you get into the animation industry.

    Now, the momentum has been transformed to you, and all the six year old little boys who watched Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, Histeria!, or any of the other shows you've worked on, are now being influenced by you and many other animators and writers to go into the animation industry.

  2. "Bill and Joe were great guys, and they made some great cartoon shows!"

    Yes, they did, dude!


  3. Yup, it's true. Just like you have a lot of old Fred drawings, I have a lot of old Animaniacs drawings.

  4. I.....don't have alot of A! Drawings, but you are a major influence on me. A! is the reason, however, that I am learning to draw.

    I love those drawings from when you were young, pretty good. Who was that blue rabbit?

    That picture at the end was funny. You standing inbetween them with that big grin, and they're just kind of......there.

  5. The blue rabbit is my version of Bugs Bunny at age 6.

  6. So that was why Buster was coloured blue!

  7. FLINTSTONES - 50 YEARS (1960-2010)

  8. ¿will the series called "for the birds" be in 3D (computer animated) or in 2D (tradicional animation) like your previous shows? ¿will it have jokes, running gags and Slapsticks?

  9. "For the Birds" is a 2d animated comedy -- in the tradition of the animated comedy series I worked on in the 90s.

  10. Ok Tom, you've grabbed my attention. Is for the Birds apart of that ad-lib, improv session made two years or so ago. The one that you and the gang pitched at Comedy Central? I hate getting off topic, but this is just too good to hear.

  11. No, "for the birds" is a show developed for HIT entertainment. The improv show is a different property featuring vultures.

  12. ¿why did Road Rovers last only one season? ¿rating problems? I didn't see it bad at all, it was a good series