Thursday, October 9, 2014

Celebrity Toons: The closest we'd ever get to an animated Bewitched (The Flintstones, 1965)

It's 1965. The Flintstones was in its 6th and final season. Bewitched was in its 2nd. Someone, either at ABC or Screen Gems, which at the time was distributing Hanna-Barbera's programming, decided to bring the two shows together, by concocting a 1-shot storyline that had Samantha & Darrin Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery & Dick York) moving pro tempore to Bedrock. H-B already had the character designs, since they provided the animated open to Bewitched.

To my knowledge, this was the only toon credit for York and Montgomery. And while reruns of Bewitched would emigrate to ABC's morning lineup, running six days a week at one point (!), apparently, no one thought to follow up on this experiment by creating an animated version of the series. The only other cartoon associated with the franchise was a Saturday Superstar Movie that featured Tabitha & Adam as teenagers, and this was right after Bewitched had ended its run. It's a pity. Anyway, Wilma (Jean VanderPyl) & Betty (Gerry Johnson, who'd taken over for Bea Benaderet in season 4) get acquainted with "Samantha":

I am not entirely sure if this episode would be included in the Flintstones rerun package that aired on NBC while Bewitched was still on the air. We do know that it aired in syndication, though.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

My family loved "Bewitched" so it wasn't hard to like this episode.

I had heard from someone that the VA who voiced Darin wasn't Dick York. I always made it a point to listen carefully, and as far as I can tell, it's him - even though he barely had any lines to read. Perhaps that's why I doubted it was him - if it were, couldn't he have had more involvement in the story?

Not that I minded. It's still entertaining.

Funny how you mention this episode being the closest to having an animated "Bewitched" series. If you follow the episode closely, it could easily be a live action episode of Bewitched! Most of the "magic" we see on screen could easily be duplicated on the actual show!

I also noticed on "Bewitched" that when Tabitha is small, most of her stuffed toys are that of many HB characters.

hobbyfan said...

As we've noted, H-B was a sister company of a sort to Screen Gems back then, which is why SG distributed their product until the company was sold to Taft around 1968. H-B, that is.

It's definitely Dick York as Darrin. Why anyone would think otherwise is beyond me.