Voices: Henry Corden, Jean Vander Pyl, Megan Mullally, Frank Welker, B.J. Ward, Jerry Houser, Janet Waldo, John Stephenson, Don Messick, June Foray.
There are some nicely handled, even touching moments, but for the most part, this two-hour animated telefilm is unlikely to excite either the generation that grew up on the original “Flintstones” or the generations that followed. Unfortunately, “I Yabba-Dabba Do!” is a yabba-dabba dud.
Those hoping to see the old “Flintstones” humor elevated a notch or two will be disappointed, as will be those hoping for a nostalgic dose of the look, feel and style of old Bedrock: “I Yabba-Dabba Do!” has an average script and Hanna-Barbera continues to visually update, even when a retro-ride to “The Flintstones’ ” early-’60s roots could have created a formidably hip world for the MTV kids.
Thus, while the vidpic is innocuous and occasionally fun, this will not be remembered as an important page out of Stone Age history.
Direction is generally lethargic. Voice acting is mixed, with Henry Corden holding things together impressively as Fred, while Megan Mullally’s shrill Pebbles is a jolt and Jerry Houser as Bamm-Bamm sounds like half the handsome young animated characters on television.
The script is the key weak link. The story (Fred’s schemes put him deeper and deeper in debt as the wedding expenses mount) is as predictable as classic “Flintstones” episodes, but in this case, 30 years staler. A few of the gags will amuse the full family audience, but mostly the telefilm plays to the youngest of viewers. The animation and storyboarding are flashy in spots but otherwise uninspired. Artwork is, beyond question, far more accomplished than what’s seen in the classic episodes, but there’s also less style and wit to these louder, gaudier ’90s visuals.
“I Yabba-Dabba Do!” provides less than the intended yabba-dabba-good time.