by Rachel Newstead
Researching cartoons can sometimes raise as many questions as answers, and on this edition of Freeze Frame Friday, we have a mystery worthy of Scooby-Doo and the gang. Fitting, really, as part of this week’s entry concerns them–sort of.
If there’s one book that can be considered the authority on all things Flintstone, it’s the one by T.R. Adams–if only for lack of competition. I truly regret getting rid of my copy so many years ago, as a vague memory of something in that book has both intrigued and nagged at me for years.
It states, as I did in my recent review of “The Swimming Pool”, that one can see early, discarded designs of the main characters (Fred especially) in certain scenes. That much is obvious, but I’m almost certain they went further, by mentioning a specific scene: the “pool warming”/birthday party that gets Fred run in for “dunking an officer”. I couldn’t for the life of me imagine at first which anonymous character in the scene they might have been referring to (as the known characters don’t look all that different) until–after about the third or fourth viewing on VHS–I happened across our bass player above. And promptly did a double-take.
He looks for all the world like Fred–granted, a pointier-nosed, relatively chinless version of him, but enough to be a close “relative.” We know that isn’t actually Fred in that scene, but there’s good reason to suspect the design of this character could have been taken from a rejected concept drawing of Fred, fished from the wastebasket and re-purposed as an “extra.” Continue reading