|A Flintstones Christmas Carol|
|Directed by||Joanna Romersa|
Jean Vander Pyl
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||William Hanna|
|Running time||70 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Release Date||November 21, 1994|
A Flintstones Christmas Carol is an animated made-for-TV movie based on the holiday novel of the same name by Charles Dickens and featuring characters from the 1960s series, The Flintstones. The movie was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and premiered in syndication on November 21, 1994, and currently runs annually on Cartoon Network or Boomerang in the US, and on YTV or Teletoon in Canada. This film marked the final time Jean Vander Pyl provided the voice of Wilma Flintstone, prior to her death in 1999.
The Bedrock Community Players are 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, the day of the production, Fred spends the morning trying on his costume and mumbling his lines to himself, much to Wilma's chagrin. In his rush to get to work, Fred forgets that he must take Pebbles to "cave care"; though Wilma reminds him, he leaves Pebbles with her teacher Ms. Feldspar without even kissing his daughter goodbye, leaving her in tears. Upon arriving at Mr. Slate's quarry, Fred, still absorbed in his script, injures several of his co-workers, who he derisively calls "supporting players," and chats with Maggie, the attractive young woman playing Belle, Scrooge's love interest. Mr. Slate allows his employees to go home early, which Barney appreciates, as it gives him time to wrap Christmas presents. On hearing this, Fred panics, as his obsession with playing Scrooge made him forget to purchase anything for Wilma or Pebbles. He rushes to Bloomingshale's, a department store, and makes his purchases, only to discover an enormous line at the gift wrapping station. After a failed attempt to push past the rest of the shoppers, Fred gives his presents to a young boy, telling him to have them wrapped and to wait at the store until his return.
Fred rushes toward the theater, but decides to stop at his home for a snack. In his haste to eat, he fails to notice a note from Wilma which asks him to pick Pebbles up from cave care, as she had to report to the theater early to help adjust costumes. When Fred arrives at the theater, he discovers a furious Wilma, who breaks down in tears as she tells Fred about his mistake; Barney, who picked up Bamm-Bamm from the cave care center, also brought Pebbles with him. Fred points out that Pebbles is fine, but Wilma, still angry, storms away as Betty, working as a costumer, helps Fred into wardrobe and makeup.
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, opening in Scrooge's counting house and featuring visits from Scrooge's nephew and two gentlemen from the "Piltdown Charitable Foundation" seeking a donation. After Mr. Slate makes his appearance as Jacob Marbley and warns Scrooge of the three spirits that will visit him that night to spare him from an eternity in chains, the first act ends to thunderous applause. Fred boasts that the clapping is all for him, leaving Barney frustrated. 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—Scrooge's being left at school for the holidays, for instance, reminds him of his own neglectful attitude toward Pebbles (a point strengthened by Ms. Feldspar's playing Fan, Scrooge's sister). 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. Wilma and Fred play a convincing couple throughout Belle and Ebonezer's courtship, but the act ends tragically, as Belle, realizing the growing avarice in Scrooge's heart, releases him from their engagement. Wilma's tears and anger at Fred in the scene are genuine, spurred on by his recent treatment of her and Pebbles. Fred takes note of her emotions, leaving Barney and Betty to point out his selfish attitudes. Their words have a slight effect on him, as does Barney's suggestion that Wilma's anger will end when she opens Fred's gift to her tomorrow. Fred, realizing that he has forgotten to pick up his presents from Bloomingshale's, races there during the intermission, only to find it closed. He breaks in, discovering that the boy he asked to stay has left. To his shock, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come suddenly appears in the store; Fred begs for mercy, but the "spirit" is simply Philo Quartz, a local policeman (summoned by a silent alarm Fred triggered when he entered the building) and the actor playing the Ghost in the play. He gives Fred a lift back to the theater just as the second act begins.
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, and how his friends and family have become frustrated with him. 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 two men discussing the recent death of a rich man, a corpse covered by a sheet lying in a bed, and three servants—an undertaker, charwoman, and laundress—visiting a pawn shop to trade the deceased's belongings for gold. The spirit then shows Scrooge the Cragits, mourning the loss of Tiny Tim, and finally an abandoned gravestone marked with the words "EBONEZER SCROOGE." Scrooge, realizing that his selfishness will result in his dying cold and alone, begs the Ghost for mercy, promising to change his ways.
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; to convince Wilma of his sincerity, he even offers to invite her mother to join them for Christmas dinner. The curtain rises to loud cheers, and though Fred first claims that the praise is for his performance, he reveals the statement to be a joke, instead saying, "They loved us!" Brickens receives a bouquet of flowers, but insists on giving them to the "real star" of the play; Fred steps forward, but Brickens instead insists that Wilma, with her work as stage manager, costumer, and last-minute actor for three separate parts, is a "miracle worker". Fred wholeheartedly agrees, and leads the audience in a round of applause for her with a "Yabba-Dabba-Doo!"
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 Philo came down with the Bedrock Bug. Barney takes Betty and Bamm-Bamm offstage, excited to prepare his presents for them. Fred is prepared to admit his mistakes regarding Wilma and Pebbles's own gifts—but the boy from Bloomingshale's suddenly enters carrying the wrapped boxes, explaining that he brought them to the theater after Fred failed to return. Fred, filled with Christmas spirit, begins to lead everyone offstage, only to suddenly turn green—he is the latest victim of the Bedrock Bug. Wilma promises that, as the symptoms only last twenty-four hours, he will still at least be able to enjoy Christmas dinner, which her mother will prepare; this comment prompts Fred to dash away and vomit. A laughing Wilma remarks that "this is one Christmas Eve Fred will never forget," and takes her family home.
- Henry Corden - Fred Flintstone
- Jean Vander Pyl - Wilma Flintstone
- Frank Welker - Barney Rubble, Dino
- B. J. Ward - Betty Rubble
- Russi Taylor - Pebbles Flintstone, Birdy
- Don Messick - Bamm-Bamm Rubble, Joe Rockhead
- John Stephenson - Mr. Slate
- Marsha Clark - Maggie, Miss Garnett Feldspar
- Will Ryan - Ned
- Brian Cummings - Ghost of Christmas Present
- René LeVant - Philo Quartz
- John Rhys-Davies - Charles Brickens
Home Video Release
Turner Home Entertainment released A Flintstones Christmas Carol, along with Casper's First Christmas on VHS on September 26, 1995. Turner released it on VHS again in 1996, as part of Cartoon Network's Christmas video series. Warner Home Video released A Flintstones Christmas Carol on DVD in Region 1 on October 2, 2007. The release also included "Christmas Flintstone," an Christmas episode from Season 5 of The Flintstones.