Brain Candy: Yabba Dabba Done

WARNING: The post that you’re about to read is very rambly. There’s going to be a lot of zig-zagging. You’ve been warned!

Hey! Do you remember that Highly Opinionated post that I made back in 2012 titled “The All New Something, Something Whatever Show”? Where I said that Warner Brothers had no interest in doing anything new with The Flintstones franchise? Remember that? Well, apparently, I was wrong….kind of.

A few weeks a ago, while surfing the web, I came across an article announcing a new animated series produced by Warner Brothers Animation that’s scheduled to air on the Boomerang streaming service (and possibly the Boomerang channel also) based on the Flintstones franchise titled Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs.

Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs

Yeah, that’s the thing.

Originally, I was going to talk about this show on Peeks, but I decided not to for a specific reason, which I’ll go into a little later. Suspense! Anywho, here’s the lowdown on this new series, courtesy of Cartoon Brew:

Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs!

Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are back in this quarter-hour animated comedy series, Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs! Warner Bros. Animation takes you beyond Bedrock to The Crags, a vast land that is as dangerous and wild as the dinosaurs that inhabit it.

Pebbles Flintstone and Bamm-Bamm Rubble are two best friends, growing up in the prehistoric time when dinosaurs and giant beasts still walked the earth. But as exciting as that sounds, they live in peaceful, quiet old Bedrock, a modern domestic civilization similar to our own (but with stone cars that run on leg-power). That’s why whenever they get the chance, Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm and Dino head to the open wilderness, helping new friends, fighting new enemies, and learning about life through their endless crazy adventures. Back in Bedrock, Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty still enjoy all the familiar quirks and trappings of life as a modern Stone Age family not knowing all the trouble (and fun!) their kids are getting themselves into.

Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs! is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Mark Marek (producer, MAD, Be Cool Scooby-Doo!) and Marly Halpern-Graser (executive producer, Right Now Kapow) serve as producer with Sam Register as executive producer.

dumb-donald

“Uh……what??”

That premise sounds…interesting, to say the least. So all this time there’s been a savage land teaming with dangerous, feral dinosaurs located just outside of Bedrock and we’ve just never seen it before?  And no one on the show has ever mentioned this place in 40+ years? Now don’t that churn yer butter? Here’s what we know so far:

This series will mostly focus around Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, not unlike Cave Kids (which I never saw). This time around, P&BB appear to be grade school aged, not toddlers nor teenagers, but right in the middle. Regarding this series, one fan noted:

“I think that this series will focus on Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm, Dino and Hoppy.”

Hoppy?? Wow…I’m just blown away that somebody remembers that character!

Hoppy

My advice: forget about Hoparoo. The rest of the world has.

I’m not sure why dinosaurs should be a major selling point for a Flintstones series when that show has always had plenty of dinosaurs, most notably Dino.

Dino_from__The_Flintstones_

I know that Dino is technically a Snorkasaurus, but let’s be real here: Dino has always been much closer to a dog than a dinosaur. Except in that one weird episode of The Flintstones where Fred and Barney were hunting Dino and Dino was intelligent and he could talk and he was doing shtick like Bugs Bunny and Fred and Barney were like a two man Elmer Fudd, and then that episode was completely forgotten about after that episode ended. Seriously, what was up with that? What happened to Dino’s intelligence? Damon (Silverstar) offers this theory:

Maybe he got conked on the head with a bowling ball. That seems to be a common cause of amnesia in Bedrock.

Another user in cyberspace speculated, “I wonder if Moonrock, Wiggy, Penny and Bad Luck Shleprock will be in this show?”

waynesworld2-outside

“Exsqueeze me? Baking powder??”

Penny Moonrock & Wiggy

Again, I’m just amazed that somebody remembers those characters. As for them being on this show, I’m not sure what led to that speculation. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are clearly younger than teenagers here, and it’s not like those characters have seen the light of day since The Flintstone Comedy Hour, which was back in ancient 1972.

Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Show

Now this is strictly an opinion, but I personally felt that The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show was just too much like The Archies for my tastes, right down to the characters forming a bubblegum rock band performing tunes that would make the Monkees cringe, so if Warner Brothers never used Wiggy, Penny, Moonrock, Bad Luck Shleprock or the Bronto Bunch in anything else again, I’d be totally fine with that.

moonrock-crater-the-pebbles-and-bamm-bamm-show-4.39

“I concur. Oh, wait…”

Anyway…

YDD 2

The character designs are courtesy of Mark Marek. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the guy who did the Henry and June segments on Nickelodeons Kablam!. The character designs are different, but not terrible.  I don’t know who’s idea it was to give Bamm-Bamm long pants. No one on The Flintstones ever wore pants. That just looks odd.

Also, I read that Captain Caveman would be appearing on this show; in what capacity, I have no idea. Would he be a denizen of The Crags? (He’d actually be a better fit there than he would in Bedrock, honestly.) Would he be a fictional character on an in-universe TV show like he was on Flintstone Kids? Who knows? But it’s apparent that the idea of Cavey being part of the Flintstones universe is something HB producers refuse to let go of.

Captain-Caveman-Hanna-Barbera

“Me gotta stay in Bedrock. My cave on top of the Teen Angels’ van got repossessed after the girls all got jobs as swimsuit models! Rent high, man, rent high.”

YDD3

And then, the unusual Flintstones shtick is still going on in Bedrock and the parents have no idea that their kids are going to this savage land? OK. I’m not sure exactly what Warner Brothers was going for with this idea. I have a theory about this (and it’s just a theory. I have no research to back this up whatsoever): I think that Warner Brothers had originally planned for this show to be an attempt to cash in on the success of Jurassic Park, a show about 2 kids who venture into the world of wild, savage dinosaurs, and then someone at WB said “Hey! The Flintstones has dinosaurs! Why don’t we make the Crags adjacent to Bedrock and make the 2 kids Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm?”

Anyway…I haven’t seen a complete episode of Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs! yet, as the series hasn’t yet premiered. The pilot episode is (or was at one time) available for viewing on the Boomerang streaming service. But it hardly matters because…wait for it…about two weeks after I read that article, the news was dropped that Warner Brothers announced that there won’t be a second season of YDD! Yep, that’s right, Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs! is effectively already canceled!

And that, friends, is why I decided not to cover this show on Peeks. What’s the point of previewing a series that doesn’t have a future? I suspected as much when I found out that YDD would be airing exclusively on Boomerang. If WB and Turner thought that they had a hit on their hands, they would have run the show on their main channel (that of course being Cartoon Network), or on both channels simultaneously. Instead, it looks like this show is going to be a one-and-done before it’s even officially premiered. And if you haven’t figured it out by now…

Studios generally only do this when they know they’ve got a major league bombasaurus on their hands. WB apparently thinks that this show sucks and the studio just wants to cut it’s losses. So it looks as if WB is going to with Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs what they did with Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Pocketville and The Peanuts Show; just burn through the episodes that have already been made and then just sweep the show under the rug and act like it never existed. Too bad, since based on what I saw and read of it, buried somewhere beneath all of those layers of what the what, I thought that there was a sliver of an interesting idea in there somewhere.

The real tragedy (for Flintstones fans, anyway) is that the message that WB may take from this is that Flintstones series don’t work or resonate with modern audiences and so it may be years before we see another one.

Flintstones - WWE crossover

At least not one that’s not a crossover with WWE wrestlers.

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7 Comments

  1. It’s definitely a shame that the hard work the crew behind the show is just thrown out the window. Lets hope Marly Halpern Graser’s other upcoming series (Thundercats Roar) is not treated this poorly.

    Speaking of the WWE movie, and as someone who saw the preview (which is fine), I find it odd that Eric Bauza is reprising the role of Dino (and presumably Hoppy as well), yet he’s not voicing Flim Flam again. Then again, with Jessica DiCicco voicing Pebbles instead of Russi Taylor, and with the other Flintstones and Rubbles voice actors reprising their roles, it’s simply a new direction.

    On one last note, Captain Caveman will apparently appear, but Jim Cummings is not reprising the role from Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated.

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  2. silverstar

    Pity that Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs apparently didn’t go over well with WB execs and test audiences. It sounded like an interesting premise, anyway; one minor beef I’ve always had about The Flinststones was how civilized the show was to have a prehistoric setting, so adding an actual ‘savage land’ element could’ve made for an interesting touch, something the show’s never had before.

    UPDATE: I just saw the pilot episode (Thanks to Graham for making that possible), and now having seen a full episode of Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs!, I honestly don’t get what Warner Bros. was on about; I thought it was OK. I didn’t see what was so bad about it that made WB want to drop the hammer down on it so soon. My biggest criticism with YDD! was the art and animation; it looked very ‘sketchy’, as in unpolished and unrefined, it looked more like a rough draft than a final product. As for the material: come on, it’s The Flintstones. What were they expecting, Better Call Saul? YDD! wasn’t perfect, but I thought the idea had potential. I personally could watch this for a half-hour and not complain. I liked Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs! a LOT more than The Casagrandes.

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    • Yeah, after reading about how Warner Brothers chose to end Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs! before it’s even officially premiered, I was expecting this show to be a dumpster fire and it really wasn’t. On the contrary, I thought that the pilot episode was pretty good. The few issues that I had with the pilot, (aside from the art work, which reminded me more of a student film than a network TV production) had more to do with the long established tropes of the franchise than with this particular idea. Was Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs the best thing I’ve ever seen? No. Was it the worst thing that I’ve ever seen? Heck no! I’ve seen far worse shows that actually got a 2nd season. Warner Brothers didn’t give Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs! a fair chance. YDD! wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t terrible either. It certainly wasn’t the worst show to ever come from the studio. Yo, Yogi! was far worse.

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  3. silverstar

    If it’s not going to get you or this site into trouble, then go for it. I’m sure inquiring minds want to know. 🙂

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    • This blogging software won’t let me send the link. Can I reach you through Email or some other contact?

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  4. All, right. See if you can send it to my email. jasonp0205@gmail.com. If that doesn’t work, don’t worry about it.

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  5. silverstar

    Over the weekend I was compiling notes and ideas for an upcoming post (what is it? You’ll have to wait and see :D), and I had a revelation about this series: namely, that Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs is what 4Kids TV’s Dinosaur King should’ve been. Seriously, YDD is the Dinosaur King show that I wanted. It has some kids who live in a unique, zany household, they occasionally dabble in odd inventions and quirky science, and in addition to that, they interact with with dinosaurs. No collecting, no trading cards, no battles, no Team Rocket ripoffs, just kids, their kooky family and wild creatures. Now whenever I see anything pertaining to YDD, I think “This should have been Dinosaur King!”.

    Going back to the Captain Caveman thing for a sec, ever since 1983, Hanna-Barbera has been trying to integrate Captain Caveman into the Flintstones universe. First they tried making him a straight-up Superman parody and that didn’t work since he was still covered in hair and couldn’t speak a sentence without saying “Unga-munga” first, so you’d have to be blind, deaf or thunderously stupid not to see that Chester the Copy Boy and Captain Caveman were one and the same. They next tried making Cavey a fictional character on a TV show on Flintstone Kids, and that didn’t work either because the show-within-the-show that Cavey starred in was also set in Bedrock, so he still stuck out like a sore thumb. Only after the WB takeover someone finally got the idea that if you put an actual savage land in this prehistoric setting (which itself should be a no-brainer), you could put the hairy wild man in there and he’d actually fit in! Just make him the Crags’ Tarzan. You wouldn’t have to explain why Cavey is the way he is; he spent his entire life in the Crags, so naturally he wouldn’t be civilized like the citizens of Bedrock.
    There’s an ancient saying which I think applies here. What is it? Oh yeah…DUH.

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