Frank Frankenstone, or simply Frankenstone, is a recurring character in The Flintstones franchise during the late 70s, 80s and early 90s. He is the patriarch of The Frankenstones Family and was Fred Flintstone's monstrous neighbor and temperamental rival.
Frank and his family were created as part of a series of Flintstone Halloween events and specials in 1979 starring with The New Fred and Barney Show, and were the third attempt at giving the Flintstone's a spooky neighboring family to take advantage of the reinvigorated monster craze caused by The Munsters, The Addams Family and the monster films by Hammer and Universal Studios. Frank and his family were previously preceded by The Gruesomes in the original series and the Rockulas a season prior in The New Fred and Barney Show, however only the Frankenstones proved to be the most successful and would continue to play a prominent part in the Flintstones franchise during the 80s and early 90s even outside of Halloween events.
Frank Frankenstone made his official debut in 1979 in the episode "Fred and Barney Meet the Frankenstones" from The New Fred and Barney Show where his family just moved to Bedrock and opened up their own condominium which they dubbed the Deadrock Arms Condorstonium that was home to a large gaggle of monsters.
Frank Frankenstone made his first solo appearance in the 1979 Halloween special, The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone. Frank's appearance here would be quite different from his first appearance and all other future appearances (with the exception of a few comics and The Flintstone Kids) as here he was portrayed as the almost mindless and violent creation of the evil and villainous Count Rockula, and was stated in the film to have been created over 500 years ago and had no known family.
The film also apparently took place during Pebbles' young childhood, despite Fred and Barney first meeting Frankenstone during Pebbles' infancy. Further differences are noted in the portrayal of Frankenstone and Count Rockula, as both were friendly and good-natured figures in The New Fred and Barney Show while in the film both characters are evil and sadistic, and both characters have apparently been asleep for over 500 years, making it impossible for them to be the same characters from previous appearances.
This makes the movie appear to take place in its own continuity separate from the rest of the franchise. One possible explanation though for the discrepancies could be that these two monsters are possible relatives or ancestors of Frankenstone and Rockula, as Frankenstone's family portraits are seen in The Flintstone Comedy Show, which shows that all of Frankenstone's relatives and ancestors looked exactly like him, and the fate of Rockula's wife, the Countess in the film is left unknown, which could allow her to be the ancestor of the Rockula family seen in in The New Fred and Barney Show, and one other thing of note is that Fred and Barney seem to be familiar with how to deal with vampires in the film and seem to recognize Frankenstone and Rockula immediately as the real deals while the rest of the hotel guests thought they were just people in costumes.
The 1980's and 90's
In September 1980, the Frankenstones starred in the primetime special The Flintstones' New Neighbors. In November 1980, Frank and his family finally received their own animated segment in The Flintstone Comedy Show focusing entirely around them. In 1984, the Frankenstones made their final animated appearance in The Flintstone Funnies, however the show was mostly repackaged segments from The Flintstone Comedy Show.
In 1989, Frank Frankenstone made another solo appearance in The Flintstone Kids comic series in the tenth issue, although his attire was far more simplified and he was not a child like the other characters. His name was also used for the second episode of The Flintstone Kids, however he did not actually appear in it other than being mentioned as a character in a movie, and seen in the fantasy sequence which it was just Wilma's fraternal twin sister, Mica's Pebble Patch doll.
As the 90's came and went, so too did the height of the Flintstone's revitalized age of TV specials and films including Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby with Frank in a cameo appearance as a a statue along with Michael Jackstone for example. And the Frankenstones themselves would make their final appearances in this era along with other characters introduced after the original show's run before fading out entirely.
Frank Frankenstone made his debut in the 1991 video game, The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy. With his home serving as one of the game's levels and Frank serving as the level's primary enemy.
Frankenstone made his final appearance in the franchise in the fifteenth issue of the 1995 Archie comic run of The Flintstones, however his appearance here was based more on the generic depiction of Frankenstein's monster.
In his original appearances (which took place during Pebbles Flintstone's infancy), Frank was a calm and friendly individual who often spoke in a very depressed tone (which was made to resemble Boris Karloff's own voice). He was very patient and welcoming to others and had no problem dealing with Fred and Barney's discrimination and Fred's signature foul temper. Although Fred, Barney and Frank did end up finding common ground and forming a friendship by the end of the TV special, The Flintstones' New Neighbors.
By the time of Pebbles' teen years, Frank had grown bitter and surly, becoming just as hot tempered, if not more so, than Fred, with Frank often exploding into electrical fits of rage which cause him to overheat, the result being his primitive circuits becoming fried while blowing steam out his ears. His friendship with Fred became more strained and fueled by an intense rivalry between the two to prove who was the better man and who had the better family.
Frank explains his distaste towards Fred as being caused by the latter always finding someway to cause him trouble and also due to being unable to put up with Fred's "weird" antics (often dubbing Fred a "Yo-Yo"), a sentiment and reasoning which is also shared by Fred towards Frank. Despite this and their hot-tempered personalities, Fred and Frank share more in common than they'd care to admit and tend to have more fun when trying to outperform one another even if they refuse to admit it. Frank is also accepting of his son Freaky's friendship (and occasional dating) of Fred's daughter Pebbles, considering her to be the "best Yo-Yo in the bunch".
Frank Frankenstone is a tall and muscular humanoid being with beige skin, red eyes and black hair who is made up of several different stitched together body parts, but despite this organic outer-layer, Frank is mostly machine at his core, specifically having a completely metallic skeleton, a built-in primitive electrical motor for a heart, a mechanical spine connected to his brain, and instead of blood he has oil running through his veins, oil which requires constant changing according to his wife to help control his oil pressure. He also requires tune-ups. The only evidence of his machine innards on the outside are the two bolts on his neck which he uses to charge himself with electricity, although he will also just use an electric chair. Despite his mechanical systems, he can still eat and even produce children.
His outfit is the typical primitive caveman attire colored grey but is accompanied by a shaggy black vest. The most notable feature of his attire though are his "shoes" which are just two slabs of stone tied to his feet via rope, making him one of only three characters in the franchise to wear footwear, the others being his son Freaky Frankenstone and Philo Quartz (as he was depicted in The Flintstone Kids at least).
- The New Fred and Barney Show
- "Fred and Barney Meet the Frankenstones" (first appearance)
- The Flintstone Primetime Specials
- The Flintstone Comedy Show
- The Flintstone Funnies
- The Flintstones (Archie Comics) (last appearance, in the fifteenth issue)