When an animation studio does its job well, anyone can spot its clever work instantly. A lot of elements went into making some famous animated opening credits. And that’s an especially good thing since that sequence is the show’s first impression on new viewers. The Flintsones and Bewitched had that area mastered, and there’s a pretty good reason why. Both opening credits are the work of the same studio, Screen Gems, Inc.
Screen Gems, Inc. became something of a multitool for its parent companies. It acts primarily as a film production and distribution studio and came to specialize in genre films, particularly horror. But decades ago, it helped launch some big movements in animation history, perhaps most notably the ambitions of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. As a result, both Bewitched and The Flintstones have that same iconic quality in their opening credits.
Screen Gems, Inc. included parallels between ‘Bewitched’ and ‘The Flintstones’
The Flintstones introduced audiences to an average Bedrock family in 1960. Its opening animation shows all the wacky ways dinosaurs and humans mingled and the primitive but ingenious methods people used to get by. Four years later, Bewitched flew in on a magic broomstick to introduce viewers to Samantha Stephens and her quest for an ordinary life when she herself was quite extraordinary. Both featured a very different cast and unique premises, but both opening credits also came from Screen Gems, Inc.
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So, naturally, the two crossed paths. Only a year had passed since Bewitched debuted, and The Flintstones had an episode titled “Samantha.” Sure enough, who should be there but the witch herself. The animation studio ended up being only one thing tying these two shows together. In that episode, both Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York voiced the animated versions of their characters.
But the reason behind all this crossover fun stems, again, from those opening credits and the same animation studio tasked with bringing these things to life. And the studio’s handiwork is clearly present in some fine but clear details in each show. For example, Samantha has the same swirly eyes in The Flintstones as she does in the Bewitched opening credits.
And, because Samantha wears a heart-shaped necklace in Bewitched, guess what the animators had her wear in The Flintstones. That’s right, a heart-shaped necklace. Though, this was, of course, adapted for the time period. All women with jewelry in the Stone Age had clunky accessories, so Samantha’s was too. MeTV also reports that Sandra Gould not only acted for Bewitched but also for several episodes of The Flintstones. It’s like one big modern magical stone-age family!