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I know, I know. I thought I would dislike this as much as the rest of you. I mean, The Flintstones, and WWE? How in the world could those two concepts possibly come together and work?! Well, to be honest, it actually did rather well! The plot actually plays out somewhat like a standard episode of The Flintstones (or a short animated film) with Fred becoming a manager and promoter of wrestling matches as part of a get rich quick scheme in order to afford a family vacation, featuring stone age versions of several current WWE wrestlers.
As much I was preparing myself for a lot of pandering to wrestling fans and the sensibilities of modern animation, storytelling and humor, this film was surprisingly low key and reserved, not resorting to the usual gaggle of ironic pop culture puns on the latest movie releases and the like, except when they could be adapted into the story for a quick gag, (i.e. a quick joke about prehistoric digital devices made out of stone), but like celebrity cameos, these were also a common quality of the Flintstones universe, so, I let it slide.
The wrestling itself is thankfully not too realistic, there are a lot of cartoonish exaggerations, that still don't clash too much with the semi-realistic tone of the Flintstones universe.
There are a few references to catchphrases and the like that may confuse or otherwise irritate you if you're not a fan of pro wrestling, and a few plot devices may seem a little contrived, but thankfully, they are sparse. A bunch of the WWE entertainers actually do a reasonably good acting job, so that's another plus.
This, coming from a longtime advocate of traditional, hand-drawn animation and traditional storytelling, this film, which I was not quite looking forward to, this was like a relieving breath of fresh air for me personally. It sort of put me in the mind of the multiple Flintstones specials from the early 1990s that would be played on Cartoon Network ad naesuem back in the day.
In short, for the casual Flintstones fan, you may want to give this a watch. For children, I'm not sure if I would recommend it if the concept of several scenes of somewhat revealing swimwear and women with sassy, sexualized attitudes and cartoonish violence offends you. Also, if the kids or teens seem to be more into the frantic pace of most of today's animated output, this may not be for them, either.
Final thoughts. Animated projects with this type of art and story style are so unheard of to this day, that this gave me some pretty pleasant nostalgic feelings. Overall, I'm not sure if I would necessarily watch it again, but if it just happens to be on television in the future, I might sit through it.
Darna at ang Babaing Tuod (1965)
Ingmar Bergman Presents: Troubled Filipino Relationships (With a Cameo by Darna)
That's what this film's title should have been. You see, I can understand taking a superhero film in a bold, artistic direction but for that, the superhero in my opinion must have at least 20 MINUTES OF SCREEN TIME IN HER OWN MOVIE! The legendary Filipino heroine created by Mars Ravelo has only about SEVEN!! Not only that, her first appearance comes one hour and two minutes into an HOUR AND TWENTY-EIGHT MINUTE film!
Most of the plot focuses on a troubled woman apparently struggling with romance, sickness and religion in her life, only to be cursed and transformed into the title villain. A walking tree. No features, just..a..tree.. I can understand the low budget, but if it also comes at the cost of the heroine making a cameo in a tragic drama with her own (misleading) title on it, then you've made a major mistake. One thing they could've done is at least had the younger Narda alter-ego character figure larger in the plot, reacting to the events, instead of being a cameo character as well. There were a couple of standard low budget fight scenes, and some nice use of the stereotypical "torch wielding mob", but they belonged in a different film.
In short, if you give a super heroine movie a deceptive action movie- like title and spend so much time getting to her that the viewer believes they were given a mislabeled romantic drama, despite having the heroine in the opening credits. You've got a disaster.