Plot: A secret agent known as Rock Slag is hot on the trail of an elusive criminal masterpiece Green Goose, but before he can pinch the crook, he is injured in the chase and has to rest in a hospital. His layoff couldn’t have come at a worse time, as the law was close to capturing Green Goose, so Chief Boulder decides the case must go on, he just doesn’t know how. An answer soon appears however, as Boulder notices a man who looks exactly like Rock Slag, in the same hospital. If this stand-in could continue the agent’s work, perhaps Green Goose could be lured out once again and finally, be brought to justice. The man who is the double? None other than Fred Flintstone, who agrees to venture to Europe and carry out the task Boulder assigns, unaware that he is involved in a spy caper.
Entertainment Value: If you’ve ever wanted to see Fred Flinstone in a James Bond style spy adventure, The Man Called Flintstone is your ticket. This feature length movie was released in theaters and made just after The Flintstones television show had ended, so this was kind of a curtain call for the beloved characters. Of course, in the decades since we have seen numerous Flintstones incarnations, but at the time, this was to give the fans a little extra farewell. Once the spy elements are in place, the movie plays much like you’d expect from the Flintstones, with the show’s usual sense of humor and general tone, just taken on the road. The spy thread is prominent, but a good amount of time is also devoted to the characters usual banter and of course, being in Europe offers some new material to explore. I do think the movie runs a little long, as the material feels stretched quite thin, but for those in search of more old school Flintstones fun, you’ll find that here.
The animation in The Man Called Flintstone is right in line with the television show, so it keeps the familiar, iconic visual design elements intact. That is good news for fans of course, as the classic designs are maintained and while the visuals don’t raise the scale for this feature, that was the right choice. I think it was important to remain true to the television show, rather than try to refine the animation and lose the cartoon magic in the process. I do appreciate that we get some scenes that would have never made it to the television show however, such as the larger scale chases and the scenic European elements. The voice remain faithful as well, with all of the usual voice talent back in their roles for the movie. I think that was again the correct decision, as fans had grown attached to these performers in the iconic roles, so to change up just for the movie would have likely been ill received. In short, this might be a feature length Flintstones tale, but it sticks close to the source, as fans would want.