This Merrie Melodies cartoon beat the Flintstones to the Modern Stone Age by just a few months

There are many similarities but also distinct differences between the short and the Hanna-Barbera series.

In many ways, The Flintstones invented the modern animated TV show. It wasn’t the first cartoon on television, but its decidedly sitcom sensibilities (inspired by The Honeymooners) as opposed to wacky animal antics, its primetime time slot and jokes aimed at adults all paved the way for many of the most popular animated shows today.

It also had a premise that felt unique and provided endless opportunities to parody life in the Sixties. But using Stone Age technology in modern ways, not to mention throwing in rock puns whenever possible, was not a completely new idea when The Flintstones premiered at the end of September, 1960. Just a few months prior, in February of that year, Warner Bros. released an animated short to play before theatrical films with remarkable similarities.

Directed by long-time Looney Tunes director Robert McKimson, “Wild Wild World” features Stone Age elevators, cave cities and movies starring Cary Granite and Dinah Saur. There’s even a “hardtop convertible,” though it’s dinosaur-powered, not foot-propelled.

The whole cartoon is a parody of the 1955-1958 documentary series Wide Wide World hosted by Dave Garroway. The animated host is naturally named Cave Darroway. The years of time it took to finish one short meant that the show it was poking fun at was already off the air for two years before it came out!

Despite the obvious similarities, there are also distinct differences between “Wild Wild World” and The Flintstones. Even though the cave-people have technology, like an elevator, in Robert McKimson’s Cro-Magnon world, they mostly power it themselves instead of using animals like Fred and Wilma. In fact, McKimson portrays most of the dinosaurs as hostile, a far cry from the overly friendly Dino.

It may seem like William Hanna and Joseph Barbera stole elements from Robert McKimson and put them into a TV show, but The Flintstones was already well underway when “Wild Wild World” came out. Hanna-Barbera developed a speedier way to produce animation but even they would not have been able to go from nothing to a full-fledged show in seven months.

If anything, the Merrie Melodies short served as a proof of concept. It showed the ways animation could bring a Neolithic world to life and the countless opportunities for puns and jokes. It’s an interesting first glimpse of a Sixties Stone Age before The Flintstones took the world by storm.

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LOOPYDLOOP 21 months ago
If you are going to go back to influences and what came first there are numerous others. Tex Avery’s The First Bad Man, Daffy and the Dinosaur (with a pre-historic Jack Benny character), and The Fleischer Studios with their Stone Age series of the early 1940s. 😊
bagandwallyfan52 23 months ago
I would like to see one of the Funniest Cartoon Series of All Time
And his assistant Leonardo on
METV . Freakazoid and Clyde
CRASHCUP are 2 of the Funniest Cartoon Characters I have ever seen
Clyde CRASHCUP was seei on The
Alvin and the Chipmunks Show.
Does anyone out there in METV LAND remember Clyde CRASHCUP?
I would also like to see Alvin and the chipmunks cartoons and
Rocky and Bullwinkle Dudley DORIGHT Mighty Mouse Heckel and Jeckel Casper The Friendly Ghost
Yogi Bear Freakazoid and other
Cartoons on METV.
Wacky inventors like Clyde CRASHCUP and Professor Pepperwimkle (Phillips TEAD )
And Dr Ludlow (Dick Gautier)
From Happy Days are always
Welcomed on my TV Set.
Below this Comment is a Clyde CRASHCUP Cartoon.
Please bring Heckel and Jeckel
The magpies and Dimwit the
Dog Mighty Mouse Pearl Pureheart and Oil Can Harry
I would also like to see The
Little Rascals and Laurel and Hardy Shorts on METV.
Mighty Mouse had 2 Girlfriends:
Pearl Pureheart
Claude bagandwallyfan52 22 months ago
Yes, I remember Clyde Crashcup and Leonardo very well. I watched it all the time as a kid in the 60's.
top_cat_james_1 23 months ago
Good grief, this cartoon didn't take two years to produce, "MeTV staff"! The reason for the two year lag was because Warners had an enormous backlog of new animated shorts to release first.
MrsPhilHarris 23 months ago
I love Cary Granite and Dinah Saur. Clever. 😅
justjeff MrsPhilHarris 23 months ago
Then you probably also love the real-life celebrities Harold J. Stone, Rocky Graziano, George Sanders, Cliff Norton, Clay Aiken, ZaSu Pitts, Nat 'King' Cole, Selma Diamond, Jeremy Slate...
LoveMETV22 MrsPhilHarris 23 months ago
LOL, The Flintstones had some funny names: Stony Curtis, Ann-Margrock. It was funny the episode when they had Samantha and Darrin Stephens. They also played with subtle nuances
(nothing specific) in some episodes. Still a fun animated series after all these years.
MrsPhilHarris LoveMETV22 23 months ago
Love The Flintstones and you are right it is still a fun series. 😁
moax429 MrsPhilHarris 23 months ago
I remember over that scene where the Rocksy marquee was shown they were playing a minor-note version of "Hooray for Hollywood." That was rather funny.

When I was 13 years old in 1975, I taped the soundtrack onto my audiocassette recorder and played it so many times that I know the script and music by heart. At that time, I was lucky I did tape the sound, since in early September 1975 WOTV (now WOOD-TV), channel 8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, chose not to renew their contract with Warner Bros. Television Group to air the Looney Tunes at 4:00 P.M. weekday afternoons. I forgot what program they replaced the Looney Tunes with.
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