The brilliance of both the WWE and Warner Brothers in teaming up like this is that the WWE will continue adapting like they always do into different mediums. For Hanna-Barbera (owned by WB) it is in hopes of turning a new audience of children on to beloved characters of yesteryear before Seth McFarlane creates the movie and the big push comes.
I know that we can have some fun along the way. So let’s get this monkey smoking…
The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown! Directed by: Spike Bandit and Tony Cervone Written by: Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas Production Companies: Warner Brothers and WWE Films Starring from the WWE: John Cena, Vince MacMahon, Mark Henry, The Bella Twins and more Starring from WB Entertainment: Jeff Bergman, Kevin Michael Richardson, Tess MacNeille and Grey Griffin Run Time: 50 Minutes
Synopsis from IMDB: When Fred loses his family's vacation money, he hatches one of his hair brained plans to get it back. It's a sports entertainment spectacle that involves throwing his best bud, Barney into the wrestling ring with the likes of John Cenastone (John Cena), Rey Mysteriopal (Rey Mysterio) and even The Undertaker, with Fred himself as event promoter! The crowds roar, the "clams" are pouring in from ticket sales and even Mr. McMagma (Vince McMahon) is taking notice of all the hoopla.
Including all-star appearances from The Boulder Twins (Brie and Nikki Bella) Marble Henry (Mark Henry) and Daniel Bry-Rock (Daniel Bryan), it's time to get the whole family together for hard-hitting, side-splitting laughs from the most epic event in all of prehistory! Plus new bonus content The Superstars of Fred Flintstone Entertainment, How to be a Stone Age Superstar and two bonus episodes from the original hit TV show The Flintstones.
The Breakdown: I have been watching WB cartoons since I was an infant (Bugs Bunny) and continued through the acquisition of Hanna-Barbera to the modern age. I never miss a direct release from Scooby-Doo and so I was eager to see this. What I got was a mixed bag of fantastic moments and horrible ones with very little middle ground.
The writing was worthy of Flintstones of old. Subtle adult style references to real life married attitudes interlaced with family friendly jokes that hit the broad spectrum of funny bones. When it works. The reason the writing doesn’t work in places is delivery. Ninety percent of the time the voice cast nails it but there are many moments of wooden delivery or over acted lines become anchors to the immersion level.
But the worst thing that happened to this could-have-been-great cartoon feature is Kevin Michael Richardson’s Barney Rubble. The voice is completely wrong. It sounds nothing like the traditional Barney except the occasional laugh that comes out creepy and out of place in the new voice. There are at least two other voice over actors that still nail that voice and I KNOW Scott Innes would have done it. All through the movie you are constantly reminded of how it doesn’t fit.
There are other great moments however and it needs to be said here that the WWE members did another solid performance. Undertaker is hilarious. The Bellas are perfectly wicked and the chief antagonist is a great surprise.
There is a plethora of Easter eggs in regards to Looney Tunes. The animation is very easy on the eyes and communicates s nearly flawless Bedrock world to live in for an hour.
The Verdict: The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown is a fun return to Bedrock even though there are giant bumps along the way. Great writing is often rendered flat by line delivery. The obvious and poorly cast Barney Rubble weighs down the immersion but the good in this cartoon far outweigh the bad with the times that technique, writing and timing come together.
I give The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackdown 4 out of 7 X’s XXXX