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'The Flintstones - The Complete Fifth Season'
(4-Disc DVD / NR / (1960) 2006 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: In Season Five, the Flintstones and Rubbles still delight young and old with prehistoric versions of modern conveniences and modern predicaments. Over 26 episodes on 4 discs, the two families travel in a time machine, tangle with jewel thieves, spies and celebrity cops and get caught in a handful of show-business fiascos. Usually at stage center, fathead Fred is menaced by a mad scientist, joins a rodeo, takes flying lessons, impersonates royalty and plays Santa Claus in a really big way. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm grow bigger and cuter - and the rivalry between their parents over who's Bedrock's Most Beautiful Baby causes a temporary rift.

DVD Verdict: So, you say you're a 'Flintstone' Fanatic?! That means you probably have a shelf somewhere in your living room upon which you proudly display your beautifully packaged Flintstone DVD sets. The Complete First, Second, Third and Fourth Seasons are each graced with lovely transparent plastic slipcovers housing four-way unfolding cardboard disc-holding inserts, all liberally but tastefully decorated with nifty drawings of Fred; Barney; Wilma; Betty; Pebbles; Bamm-Bamm and Dino. Now it's finally time to add the Fifth Season to your prized collection, and man-oh-man, Flint-fan, are you in for a shock! You'll undoubtedly be shouting "Yabba-Dabba-DON'T" as you tear open this Season Five DVD box, only to discover, much to your dismay, that the case for Stone Age installment number 5 is only _half_ the thickness of the first four, and comes with a _cardboard_ slipcover containing a sparsely-illustrated insert which shamefully hides two of those loathsome overlapping-disc holders! I, for one, despise these disc holders because they make the discs more susceptible to scratches, as one disc has to sit halfway overtop of another. Also, you can't remove Disc 2 without first removing Disc 1. Sure, it's great to at last have the Complete Fifth Season on your aforementioned DVD shelf, but it would be much nicer if it matched the other sets. Case issue aside, the discs themselves are comparable to the others in audio and video quality, but season five has no Spanish language track...and no commentaries either. This year in Flintstone history (1964-65) saw the introduction of Bamm-Bamm's pet hopparoo, Hoppy, and Fred's ghoulishly green-skinned neighbors, Weirdly, Creepella and Gobby Gruesome (all of whom are inexplicably absent from the set's cover art). It also showcased a cavalcade of wild new antagonists like Dr. Frankenstone; Uncle Giggles; Dr. Sinister and Madam Yes. And if Betty Rubble sounds different to you, it's because she's voiced here by Gerry Johnson instead of Bea Benaderet (hey, at least it's not Rosie O'Donnell). The plots in season five are zanier than ever, featuring everything from mad scientists, time machines and haunted houses to superheroes, fairy godmothers and cowasaurus rustlers. Over the course of these four discs (Disc 4 is a "flipper," another of my DVD pet peeves), you'll see Fred Flintstone ride in the Bedrock Rodeo; race in a prehistoric precursor to NASCAR; masquerade as the King of Stonesylvania; battle the notorious Slatery Brothers as the Sheriff of Rocky Gulch; star as Hercurock in `Hercurock and the Maidens;' shrink himself down to the size of a ventriloquist's dummy for an appearance on The Ed Sullystone Show; and much, much more! He'll even take time out of his busy schedule to hawk Welchade Grape Drink (it's rich in levulose!) and Welch's Grape Jelly and Jam. Yes, there's a lot of entertainment crammed uncomfortably into this thin, oddball case, so maybe you shouldn't judge a DVD set by its cover! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) and comes with the Special Features of:

All 26 episodes from Season Five on four discs
"A Stone Age Parenting Guide" featurette - child rearing in the Stone Age
"The Gruesomes' Road to Bedrock" featurette - the journey of a famous Flintstones episode
"Gemstones" - Flintstones rarities unearthed
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)