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The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Review

The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown
Movie, Blu-ray & DVD Details

Video Premiere: March 10, 2015 / Running Time: 52 Minutes / Rating: Not Rated

Directors: Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone / Writers: Jed Elinoff, Scott Thomas

Voice Cast: Jeff Bergman (Fred Flintstone), Kevin Michael Richardson (Barney Rubble), Tress MacNeille (Wilma Flintstone), Grey Griffin (Betty Rubble), Eric Bauza (Bamm-Bamm Rubble, Dino, Hoppy the Hopparoo), John O'Hurley (Mr. Slate), Russi Taylor (Pebbles Flintstone), Brie Bella (Brie Boulder), Nikki Bella (Nikki Boulder), Daniel Bryan (Daniel Bryrock), John Cena (John Cenastone), Mark Henry (Marble Henry), Mr. (Vince) McMahon (Mr. McMagma), Rey Mysterio (Rey Mysteriopal), CM Punk (CM Punkrock), The Undertaker (The Undertaker), Doug Erholtz, Charlie Hewson, Tom Kenny

Blu-ray: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 5.1 DTS-HD MA (English); Dolby Digital 5.1 (French, Spanish)
DVD: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai)
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Thai; Extras Subtitled in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai
Not Closed Captioned / Release Date: March 10, 2015 / Suggested Retail Price: $24.98
Two single-sided discs (BD-25 & DVD-9) / Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase in Cardboard Slipcover
Also available on DVD ($19.98 SRP) and Amazon Instant Video (November 18, 2008)

Buy The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown from Amazon.com: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD DVD Instant Video

The Flintstones, long the most popular and successful animated franchise on television, awakens from fourteen years of dormancy in The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown,
an all-new, hour-long original movie which premieres this week on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD. As you can surmise from the title and the cover artwork above, this resurrection is made possible by teaming with one of the more active and aggressive brands in contemporary entertainment: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

WWE Studios, the LA-based subsidiary of the billion dollar narrative sports organization, has attempted to make movie stars out of wrestlers to some success. Dwayne Johnson, formerly known as The Rock, starred in the first three WWE productions back in the early 2000s. In time, he distanced himself from WWE and now finds himself as close to Hollywood's A-list as any pro wrestler ever has. Most of the other wrestlers-turned-actors have settled for niche movie careers, typically starring in direct-to-video action movies and sequels.

WWE first hooked up with Warner Bros. Animation in the spring of 2014 on the feature-length movie Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery. Now, a similarly storied but less thriving Hanna-Barbera property introduced in the 1960s gets comparable treatment, albeit at only two-thirds the length.

Fred Flintstone becomes a wrestling promoter in "The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown."

Prehistoric working stiff Fred Flintstone needs an advance on his paycheck to pay for his family's vacation to Rockapulco. Unable to get that after another workplace accident, he decides to organize a little wrestling show upon discovering a lucrative market for that. He enlists a muscular new co-worker at the rock quarry, John Cenastone (who is in the image and voice of WWE's John Cena), and other wrestlers who have been given the Flintstone name treatment, including Marble Henry (Mark Henry), CM Punkrock (CM Punk), twins Nikki and Brie Boulder (Nikki and Brie Bella), Rey Mysteriopal (Rey Mysterio), and The Undertaker (The Undertaker).

Just when it looks like Fred's plan will get both his family and the Rubbles to Rockapulco, he takes the things too far. He quits his job, spends the vacation money on a flashy suit and pinkie ring, and organizes an even bigger event,
the Saturday Night Spectacular at the Bedrock Sports Arena. Needless to say, everything goes wrong and Fred finds himself in the ring and cage, outclassed by formidable fighters with bones to pick.

Stone Age Smackdown is refreshingly adept at recreating the tone and look of the cartoon sitcom that ran for six seasons on ABC. Barney Rubble's blank white eyes, though they have precedent, are misjudged, as is his voice (supplied by Kevin Michael Richardson). His wife Betty's appearance also looks a tad off. Still, considering that these characters have largely been out of circulation this century -- they last appeared in Cartoon Network's 2001 movie The Flintstones: On the Rocks and are probably better associated with the critical and commercial failure of 2000's unnecessary theatrical live-action sequel Viva Rock Vegas -- the faithfulness of the characterizations and the comedy exceeds your low expectations.

CM Punkrock makes a spectacle during Fred's Saturday Night Spectacular in "The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown."

Of course, the Flintstones seem to be the less fashionable of the two brands fused here. You don't need to know WWE, but fandom of that is the most obvious foundation for enjoying this movie, which does seem to skew a bit younger than WWE typically does. The Flintstones themselves have evolved over the years from a primetime family modeled after "The Honeymooners" to Saturday morning kiddie fare. They don't make Flintstones Vitamins for grown-ups.

Stone Age Smackdown would probably be most appreciated by WWE's younger fans and their parents who were raised by the various incarnations of "Flintstones" TV series that occupied airwaves all the way through the mid-1990s.


Stone Age Smackdown obviously opts for a presentation more like a new direct-to-video movie than the classic TV series. The Blu-ray's 1.78:1 picture is positively flawless, showcasing the simple yet nice animation cleanly and vibrantly. The potent 5.1 DTS-HD master audio soundtrack is livelier than you would expect from beginning to end.

We get stats on John Cena's animated Flintstones alter ego, John Cenastone, in "The Superstars of Fred Flintstone Entertainment." Twins Brie and Nikka Bella discuss "How to be a Stone Age Superstar."


Four bonus features accompany the movie on each disc, with the Blu-ray encoding all of them in HD.

"The Superstars of Fred Flintstone Entertainment" (9:46) lets producer/director Tony Cervone and the wrestling figures involved discuss FFE, the prehistoric equivalent of WWE, and their animated counterparts. Real WWE footage is compared to the cartoon and stats are listed for each featured fighter.

"How to be a Stone Age Superstar" (4:45) lets wrestlers discuss finding their identity, signature moves, wardrobe, and their training, while Cervone explains how those topics apply to the film.

Fred is in Barney's corner as he has to fight a boxing champion in "The Engagement Ring." Umpire Fred and coach Barney argue in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

A most pleasant surprise, we next get two classic episodes

of the original 1960s "The Flintstones" TV series, the first to appear on Blu-ray.

In "The Engagement Ring" (26:22; originally aired November 25, 1960), Barney trusts Fred to hide the engagement ring he plans to give Betty. Naturally, that decision has unintended consequences, as misunderstanding ensues and Barney has to fight a boxing champion to pay for the ring.

Upholding the sports entertainment motif, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (26:05; originally aired April 30, 1962) sees Barney coaching children's baseball and Fred learning to become an umpire.

Finally, a trailers section holds previews for Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, and Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness.

The discs open with menu-inaccessible trailers for "The Tom and Jerry Show": Funny Side Up and LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League.

The basic menus attach an apparently new recording of the Flintstones theme song to a simple wide reformatting of the cover art. The Blu-ray resumes unfinished playback, but doesn't support bookmarks.

Like other Warner combo packs, this one places the two discs and code-supplying Digital HD UltraViolet insert in a plainly slipcovered eco-friendly keepcase.

The Undertaker uses his outdoor voice on Fred Flintstone in "The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown."


Stone Age Smackdown does more to benefit WWE than the Flintstones, but at least it resurrects the 55-year-old Hanna-Barbera franchise without feeling like crass sacrilege. Though short and fairly forgettable, this animated movie does contain some of the wit and character humor on which the Flintstones won a fan following. It may be worth a look for interested parties and the two vintage episodes as bonus features are a really nice touch.

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Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD DVD Instant Video

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Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons Ice Age: Mammoth Christmas Special
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Reviewed March 9, 2015.

Text copyright 2015 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2015 Warner Bros. Animation, WWE Studios, and Warner Home Video.