Hanna-Barbera

Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. /ˈhænə ˌbɑːrˈbɛrə/ (simply known as Hanna-Barbera and also referred to as H-B Enterprises, H-B Production Company and Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc.) was an American animation studio, founded in 1957 by Tom and Jerry creators and former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, in partnership with film director George Sidney.[1]

The studio was a prominent force and leader in American television animation for three decades as it created a wide variety of popular animated characters and produced a succession of cartoon series, including The Flintstones, The Yogi Bear Show, The Jetsons, Wacky Races, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Smurfs.[2] Additionally, Hanna-Barbera produced new movies for theatrical release and television broadcast as well as specials and direct-to-video content.

Hanna and Barbera's cartoons won them seven Academy Awards, eight Emmy Awards, a Governors Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[3][4] With their studio now established as a successful company, the two men and original investor Sidney sold it to Taft Broadcasting on December 29, 1966. Taft would run it for the next quarter-century.[5]

By the mid-1980s, when the profitability of Saturday-morning cartoons was eclipsed by weekday afternoon syndication, Hanna-Barbera's fortunes had declined. Turner Broadcasting System purchased the studio from Taft (by then renamed Great American Broadcasting) in late 1991 and used much of its back catalog as programming for its new channel, Cartoon Network.[6][7]

After Turner purchased the company, Hanna and Barbera continued to serve as creative consultants and mentors. The studio became a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Animation in 1996 following Turner Broadcasting's merger with Time Warner, and was ultimately absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation in 2001.

As of 2019, Warner Bros. now distributes subsequent Hanna-Barbera cartoons, as well as now owning the rights to its back catalogue.

Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.
Subsidiary
IndustryTelevision
Cinema
FateAbsorbed into Warner Bros. Animation
PredecessorMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio
SuccessorWarner Bros. Animation
Cartoon Network Studios
FoundedJuly 7, 1957
Founders
Defunct2001
Headquarters,
ProductsTV shows
Theatrical feature films
Specials
Direct-to-video projects
TV movies
Theatrical short films
Commercials
ParentTaft Broadcasting (1966–1991)
Turner Broadcasting System (1991–1996)
Time Warner (1996–2001)

History

1939–1957: Humble beginnings, Tom & Jerry, birth of Hanna-Barbera

William Hanna, a native of Melrose, New Mexico and Joseph Barbera, born of Italian heritage in New York City, first met at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio in 1939, while working at its animation division (through its Rudolf Ising unit) and thus began a partnership that would last for six decades. Their first cartoon together, the Oscar-nominated Puss Gets the Boot, featuring a cat named Jasper and an unnamed mouse, was released to theaters in 1940 and served as the pilot for the long-running short subject theatrical series Tom and Jerry. Hanna and Barbera served as directors of the shorts for over 20 years, with Hanna supervising the animation[8] and Barbera in charge of the stories and pre-production.

Hanna did the screams, yelps, howls and yells of Tom. In addition being nominated for twelve Oscars, seven of the cartoons won seven Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) between 1943 and 1953. They were awarded to producer Fred Quimby, who was not involved in the creative development of the shorts.[9]:83–84 The pair also directed the hybrid animated live-action musical sequences in MGM's feature films Anchors Aweigh (notable for its dance sequence featuring Gene Kelly and Jerry), Dangerous When Wet and Invitation to the Dance and wrote and directed a handful of one-shot cartoons, Gallopin' Gals, Officer Pooch, War Dogs and Good Will to Men, a 1955 remake of the 1939 cartoon Peace on Earth.

With Quimby's retirement in 1955, Hanna and Barbera became the producers in charge of the MGM animation studio's output,[10] supervising the last seven shorts of Tex Avery's Droopy series and directing and producing a short-lived Tom and Jerry spin-off series, Spike and Tyke, which ran for two entries. In addition to their work on the cartoons, the two men moonlighted on outside projects, including the original title sequences and commercials for the CBS sitcom I Love Lucy.[11] With the rise of television, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer decided in early 1957 to close its cartoon studio, as it felt it had acquired a reasonable backlog of shorts for re-release.[10]

While contemplating their future, Hanna and Barbera began producing animated television commercials[12] and during their last year at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, they had developed a concept for a new animated TV program about a dog and cat duo in various misadventures.[12] After they failed to convince the studio to back their venture, live-action director George Sidney, who had worked with Hanna and Barbera on several of his theatrical features for MGM, offered to serve as their business partner and convinced Screen Gems, a television production subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, to make a deal with the producers.[1]

A coin toss would determine that Hanna would have precedence in naming the new studio. Harry Cohn, president and head of Columbia Pictures, took an 18% ownership in Hanna and Barbera's new company, H-B Enterprises,[1] and provided working capital. Screen Gems became the new studio's distributor and its licensing agent, handling merchandizing of the characters from the animated programs.[13] The duo's cartoon firm officially opened for business in rented offices on the lot of Kling Studios (formerly Charlie Chaplin Studios[11]) on July 7, 1957, two months after the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation studio closed down.[12]

Sidney and several Screen Gems alumni became members of the studio's board of directors and much of the former MGM animation staff — including animators Carlo Vinci, Kenneth Muse, Lewis Marshall, Michael Lah and Ed Barge and layout artists Ed Benedict and Richard Bickenbach — became the new production staff for the H-B studio.[12] Conductor and composer Hoyt Curtin was in charge of providing the music while many voice actors came on board, such as Daws Butler, Don Messick, Julie Bennett, Mel Blanc, Howard Morris, John Stephenson, Hal Smith and Doug Young.

1957–1969: Major success with Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones and others

Hb1957logo
Hanna-Barbera's first studio logo, used from 1957 to 1960.

H-B Enterprises was the very first major animation studio to successfully produce cartoons exclusively for television.[14] Previously, animated programming was primarily rebroadcasts of theatrical cartoons. Its first animated TV original The Ruff and Reddy Show, premiered on NBC in December 1957.[15] The Huckleberry Hound Show premiered in syndication in 1958 and aired in most markets just before prime time. A ratings success, it introduced a new crop of cartoon stars to audiences, in particular Huckleberry Hound, Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks and Yogi Bear. It was the first to win an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Children's Programming.

The company began expanding rapidly following its initial success and several animation industry alumni – in particular former Warner Bros. Cartoons storymen Michael Maltese and Warren Foster, who became new head writers for the studio – joined the staff at this time along with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears as film editors and Iwao Takamoto as character designer.[12] By 1959, H-B Enterprises was reincorporated as Hanna-Barbera Productions and slowly became a leader in TV animation production from then on. The Quick Draw McGraw Show and its only theatrical short film series, Loopy De Loop, would follow in 1959.

The smash hit The Flintstones premiered on ABC in prime time in 1960, loosely based on the CBS series The Honeymooners. It was set in a fictionalized stone age of cavemen and dinosaurs. Jackie Gleason considered suing Hanna-Barbera for copyright infringement, but decided not to because he didn't want to be known as "the man who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air". The show ran for an amazing six seasons, becoming the longest-running animated show in American prime time TV history, a ratings and merchandising success and the top-ranking animated program in syndication history until being beaten out by The Simpsons in 1996. It initially received mixed reviews from critics, but its reputation eventually improved and is now considered a classic.

In 1961, The Yogi Bear Show, the studio's first spinoff, premiered in syndication followed by Top Cat for ABC. The three shows Wally Gator, Touché Turtle and Dum Dum and Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har aired as part of The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series. For prime time, The Jetsons debuted in 1962. Several animated TV commercials were produced as well, often starring their own characters (probably the best known is a series of Pebbles cereal commercials for Post featuring Barney tricking Fred into giving him his Pebbles cereal). Benedict, layout artist for H-B, produced the opening credits for Bewitched, in which animated caricatures of Samantha and Darrin appeared. These characterizations were reused in the sixth season Flintstones episode, "Samantha", voiced by Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York.

HannaBarbera
The former Hanna-Barbera building at 3400 Cahuenga Blvd. West in Hollywood, California, seen in a 2007 photograph. The small yellow structure (lower right) was originally the "guard shack" for the property entrance to the east of the building.

In 1963, its operations moved off the Kling lot (by then renamed the Red Skelton Studios) to 3400 Cahuenga Blvd. West in Hollywood, California. This contemporary office building was designed by architect Arthur Froehlich. Its ultra-modern design included a sculpted latticework exterior, moat, fountains and a Jetsons-like tower. In 1964, its first movie Hey There, It's Yogi Bear was released to theaters while newer programs of The Magilla Gorilla Show, The Peter Potamus Show and Jonny Quest aired. Atom Ant, Secret Squirrel and Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt came in 1965. Screen Gems and Hanna-Barbera's partnership lasted until 1965, when Hanna and Barbera announced the sale of their studio to Taft Broadcasting.[13]

Taft's acquisition of Hanna-Barbera was delayed for a year by a lawsuit from Joan Perry, John Cohn, and Harrison Cohn – the wife and sons of former Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn, who felt that the studio undervalued the Cohns' 18% share in the company when it was sold a few years previously.[16] In 1966, an animated Laurel and Hardy series debuted on the air while The Man Called Flintstone came to theaters. Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles and Space Ghost also first aired. By December 1966, the litigation had been settled and the studio was finally acquired by Taft for $12 million. It would fold it into its corporate structure in 1967 and 1968,[13] becoming its distributor.

Hb1968logo
The studio's "Zooming Box" logo, used from 1966 to 1974 and was later revived for the Scooby-Doo direct-to-video movies from 2003 to 2009.

Hanna and Barbera stayed on to run the company while Screen Gems retained licensing and distribution rights to the previously Hanna-Barbera produced cartoons,[13] along with the trademarks to the characters into the 1970s and 1980s.[13][17] A number of new comedy and action cartoons followed in 1967, among them are The Space Kidettes, The Abbott and Costello Cartoon Show, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, The Herculoids, Shazzan, Fantastic Four, Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor and Samson & Goliath (a.k.a. Young Samson).

The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, The Adventures of Gulliver and The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn arose on the air in 1968, while the successful Wacky Races and its spinoffs The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines aired on CBS, returned Hanna-Barbera to straight comedy, followed by Cattanooga Cats for ABC. The studio had its first (and only) record label Hanna-Barbera Records,[18] headed by Danny Hutton and distributed by Columbia Records.

It featured many music artists and performers of Louis Prima, Five Americans, Scatman Crothers and the 13th Floor Elevators. Previously, children's records with Yogi Bear and others were released by Colpix Records. Next came the breakthrough hit of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969, which blended elements of comedy, action, the TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and the radio show I Love a Mystery.[19][20] The series, which ran for two seasons on CBS, centered on four teenagers and a dog solving supernatural mysteries.

1970–1979: Scooby knockoffs, along with live-action and more

Referred to as "The General Motors of animation," Hanna-Barbera would eventually go even further by producing nearly two-thirds of all Saturday morning cartoons in a single year. At its peak, the company controlled over 80% of children's programming for television and at the top of its game, it secured the top three Saturday morning ratings as well, making it the world's largest animation powerhouse. On the horizon, the studio produced a steady stream of new mystery-solving and crime-fighting programs featuring teenagers with comical pets and or mascots, prime time and Saturday morning cartoons, superhero and action-adventure productions and many new spinoffs for TV broadcast.

HBlogo1974
The studio's "Rainbow" logo, used from 1974 to 1979 and later revived in 2017 for the Wacky Races reboot.

These include Harlem Globetrotters, Josie and the Pussycats, Where's Huddles, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!, The Funky Phantom, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, The Flintstone Comedy Hour, The Roman Holidays, Sealab 2020, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, the feature film Charlotte's Web, Speed Buggy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, Yogi's Gang, Super Friends, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Inch High, Private Eye, Jeannie, The Addams Family, Hong Kong Phooey, Devlin, Partridge Family 2200 A.D., These Are The Days, Valley of the Dinosaurs, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, The Tom and Jerry Show, The Great Grape Ape Show, The Mumbly Cartoon Show, The Scooby-Doo Show, Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Clue Club, Jabberjaw, Laff-A-Lympics, CB Bears, The Robonic Stooges, The All-New Super Friends Hour, The All-New Popeye Hour, Yogi's Space Race, Galaxy Goof-Ups, Buford and the Galloping Ghost, Challenge of the Super Friends, Godzilla, Jana of the Jungle, The New Fred and Barney Show, Casper and the Angels, The New Shmoo, The Super Globetrotters, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo and The World's Greatest Super Friends.

The majority of American television animation were made by Hanna-Barbera with their major competition coming from Filmation and DePatie-Freleng. ABC president Fred Silverman gave H-B the majority of its Saturday morning cartoon time after dropping Filmation for its failure of Uncle Croc's Block. Along with the rest of the American animation industry, it began moving away from producing all its cartoons in-house in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Joe Ruby and Ken Spears left to found their own studio Ruby-Spears Enterprises in 1977, with Filmways as its parent company. In 1979, Taft bought Worldvision Enterprises, which would become the syndication distributor for the Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

The studio would try at producing new shows and films entirely in live-action, though its success selling such programming was limited by its track record as an animation company. Hanna-Barbera had already got into live-action in the late 1960s (mixing it with animation). Its live-action unit was spun off and renamed Solow Production Company, which immediately following the name change, was able to sell the action series Man from Atlantis to NBC.[21] Hanna-Barbera's most distinguished live-action production by far was The Gathering, an Emmy award-winning TV movie starring Edward Asner and Maureen Stapleton, written by James Poe and directed by Randal Kleiser.

International expansion and educational projects

In Australia, Hanna-Barbera Pty. Ltd. was formed in 1972 as an Australian unit of the American studio. In 1974, 50% of the studio was acquired by the Hamlyn Group, which in 1978 was acquired by James Hardie Industries. In 1983, both Taft and James Hardie Industries reorganized the division as Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd. The company established a division in Los Angeles known as Southern Star Productions, headed by Buzz Potamkin in 1984. New cartoons produced by this unit, would be animated by the Australian Hanna-Barbera studio in Sydney and carried the name Southern Star/Hanna-Barbera Australia.

In 1987, Hanna-Barbera Poland was established to produce cartoon shows and VHS videocassettes for Polish-speaking audiences. It operated under that name until 1993. In Italy, Hanna-Barbera's cartoons had become very popular. The studio launched a major thrust into the European market with the introduction of The Hanna-Barbera Hour, which was supported by an integrated European marketing program. For earthquake preparedness, Barbera and the studio teamed with Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich for a new project called the Shakey Quakey Schoolhouse Van, headlined by Yogi Bear.

Production process changes

Since 1957, Hanna-Barbera had produced nightly prime time, Saturday morning and weekday afternoon cartoons for all four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) and syndication in the United States until 1995. The small budgets that TV animation producers had to work within prevented them, and most other producers of American television animation, from working with the full theatrical-quality animation the duo had been known for at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While the budget for MGM's seven-minute Tom and Jerry shorts was about $35,000, the Hanna-Barbera studios was required to produce five-minute Ruff and Reddy episodes for no more than $3,000 a piece.[1]

To keep within these tighter budgets, Hanna-Barbera modified the concept of limited animation (also called semi-animation) practiced and popularized by the United Productions of America (UPA) studio, which also once had a partnership with Columbia Pictures. Character designs were simplified, and backgrounds and animation cycles (walks, runs, etc.) were regularly re-purposed. Characters were often broken up into a handful of levels, so that only the parts of the body that needed to be moved at a given time (i.e. a mouth, an arm, a head) would be animated. The rest of the figure would remain on a held animation cel. This allowed a typical 10-minute short to be done with only 1,200 drawings instead of the usual 26,000.

Dialogue, music, and sound effects were emphasized over action, leading Chuck Jones—a contemporary who worked for Warner Bros. Cartoons when Hanna and Barbera was at MGM, and one who, with his short The Dover Boys practically invented many of the concepts in limited animation—to disparagingly refer to the limited television cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbera and others as "illustrated radio".[22] In a story published by The Saturday Evening Post in 1961, critics stated that Hanna-Barbera was taking on more work than it could handle and was resorting to shortcuts only a television audience would tolerate.[23] An executive who worked for Walt Disney Productions said, "We don't even consider [them] competition".[23] Animation historian Christopher P. Lehman argues that Hanna-Barbera attempted to maximize their bottom line by recycling story formulas and characterization instead of introducing new ones.

Once a formula for an original series was deemed successful, the studio would keep reusing it in subsequent series.[24] Besides copying their own works, Hanna-Barbera would draw inspiration from the works of other people and studios.[24] Lehman considers that the studio served as a main example of how animation studios which focused on TV animation differed from those that focused on theatrical animation. Theatrical animation studios tried to maintain full and fluid animation, and consequently struggled with the rising expenses associated with producing it.[24] Limited animation as practiced by Hanna-Barbera kept production costs at a minimum. The cost in quality of using this technique was that Hanna-Barbera's characters only moved when absolutely necessary.[24]

Ironically, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Hanna-Barbera was the only studio in Hollywood that was actively hiring, and it picked up a number of Disney artists who were laid off during this period. Its solution to the criticism over its quality was to go into movies. It produced six theatrical films, among them are higher-quality versions of its TV cartoons and adaptations of other material. It was also the first animation studio to have their work produced overseas. One of these companies was a subsidiary started by Hanna-Barbera called Fil-Cartoons in the Philippines.[25] Wang Film Productions got its start as an overseas facility for the studio in 1978.[26]

Sound effects

Hanna-Barbera was noted for their large library of sound effects. Besides cartoon-style ones (such as ricochets, slide whistles, etc.), they also had familiar sounds used for transportation, household items and more. When Hanna and Barbera started their studio in 1957, they created handful of sound effects and had limited choices. They also took some sounds from the then-defunct MGM cartoon studio and various other cartoon and movie studios like Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation and Walt Disney Productions. By 1958, they began to expand and added more sound effects to their library. The Hanna-Barbera sound effects are rarely and sparingly used in children's programs from other studios, along with live-action films, animated films and video games.

1980–1990: The Smurf craze, later years

HBstarogo1979
The studio's "Swirling Star" logo, used from 1979 to 1986, was based on a logo designed for Taft by Saul Bass. It was revived on Hanna-Barbera's 50th in 1989. A CGI version of it was used from 1986 to 1992, which was later used in the Johnny Bravo episode "Under the Big Flop" in 1997, The Powerpuff Girls, from 1998 to 2002 and the TV movie Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip in 1999.

1980 saw the debuts of Super Friends, The Flintstone Comedy Show, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang and Richie Rich. New programs emerged in 1981, such as Laverne and Shirley in the Army, Space Stars, The Kwicky Koala Show and Trollkins. Taft purchased Ruby-Spears from Filmways the same year. While Filmation, Marvel/Sunbow, Rankin/Bass and DiC introduced successful syndicated shows based on licensed properties (mostly toy lines), Hanna-Barbera continued to produce for Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons, but no longer dominated the TV animation market as it did formerly.

Its control over children's programming went down from 80% to 20%. Worldvision Home Video would release episodes of earlier Hanna-Barbera shows on VHS until 1988. The highly successful series Smurfs, adapted from the comic by Pierre Culliford (known as Peyo) and centering on a gang of tiny blue forest dwelling creatures led by Papa Smurf, premiered and aired on NBC for nine seasons, becoming the longest-running Saturday morning cartoon series in TV history, a significant ratings success, the top-rated program in eight years and the highest for an NBC show since 1970.

In 1982, fresh cartoons Jokebook, The Gary Coleman Show, Shirt Tales, Pac-Man, The Little Rascals and The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour first aired along with the musical feature Heidi's Song for theatrical release. The Dukes, Monchhichis, The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show and The Biskitts came to the airwaves in 1983. The studio set up a computerized digital ink and paint system and was innovative for its time. It was the first to use digital coloring, long before other animation studios. This process did not require as much effort as time consuming labor of painting on cels and photographing them.

Many of Hanna and Barbera's shows were outsourced to Cuckoo's Nest Studios, Mr. Big Cartoons, Mook Co., Ltd., Toei Animation and Fil-Cartoons in Australia and Asia. The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Snorks, Challenge of the GoBots, Pink Panther and Sons and Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show all aired in 1984. In 1985, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo along with Yogi's Treasure Hunt, Galtar and the Golden Lance and Paw Paws (the three shows introduced in The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera) debuted while new episodes of The Jetsons premiered.

The studio also presented The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible, its first new made-for-video series.[27] In 1986, new episodes of Jonny Quest and series of Pound Puppies, The Flintstone Kids, Foofur and Wildfire aired while Tom and Jerry (part of the pre-May 1986 MGM film library) would be bought by Turner Entertainment. Sky Commanders and Popeye and Son debuted in 1987. Meanwhile, Taft, whose financial troubles were affecting Hanna-Barbera, would be acquired by the American Financial Corporation in 1987, renaming it Great American Broadcasting the following year.

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, new episodes of The Yogi Bear Show, Fantastic Max, The Further Adventures of SuperTed and Paddington Bear followed in 1988 and 1989. Worldvision was sold to Aaron Spelling Productions except for Hanna-Barbera's library, which remained owned by Great American. Some of the staff got a call from Warner Bros. to resurrect its animation department and Tom Ruegger along with his colleagues left to develop new programs there. David Kirschner would be named CEO of Barbera and Hanna's studio.[28]

In 1990, under Kirschner, the studio formed Bedrock Productions, a unit for various movies and shows.[29] Great American put Hanna-Barbera, along with Ruby-Spears, up for sale after being less successful and burdened in debt. Jetsons: The Movie was released that year while new shows Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone, Rick Moranis in Gravedale High, Tom & Jerry Kids Show, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures, The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda and Wake, Rattle, and Roll (later as Jump, Rattle, and Roll) first aired for broadcast. The studio would start its home video line Hanna-Barbera Home Video.

1991–1996: Turner rebound and rise of Cartoon Network

Hb1994logo
The studio's "All-Stars" logo, used from 1993 to 2001.

In 1991, Young Robin Hood (a co-production with Canada's CINAR), The Pirates of Dark Water and Yo Yogi! (widely cited as one of the worst cartoons of all time) aired while the Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears libraries, were acquired by a 50-50 joint venture between Turner Broadcasting—which by that time also bought the pre-May 1986 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library—and Apollo Investment Fund for $320 million.[30] This was with the intention of launching an all animation based network aimed at children and younger audiences. Turner's president of entertainment Scott Sassa hired Fred Seibert, a former executive for MTV Networks, to head Hanna-Barbera.

Filling the gap left by the departed Great Americian-era crew with new animators, directors, producers and writers, including Pat Ventura, Craig McCracken, Donovan Cook, Genndy Tartakovsky, David Feiss, Seth MacFarlane, Van Partible, Stewart St. John and Butch Hartman.[31] In 1992, the studio was renamed as H-B Production Company. Fish Police, Capitol Critters and another Addams Family series debuted while Turner launched Cartoon Network, the world's first 24-hour all-animation channel, to broadcast its library of animated classics, of which Hanna-Barbera was the core contributor. As a result, many cartoons, even the H-B ones, were rebroadcast.[32]

HBIwao&Me
Hanna, Iwao Takamoto, studio employee and Barbera, from July 14, 1996.

In 1993, while changing its name again to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc., Turner acquired the remaining interests of the studio from Apollo Investment Fund for $255 million.[33] Once Upon a Forest and Tom and Jerry: The Movie were released to theaters while new cartoons – Droopy, Master Detective, The New Adventures of Captain Planet, SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron and 2 Stupid Dogs debuted. In 1994, Turner Broadcasting refocused the studio to produce new shows exclusively for its networks. Dumb and Dumber aired on ABC (the final Hanna-Barbera show to air on a broadcast network) in 1995.

Next came What a Cartoon! (known as World Premiere Toons), an animation showcase led by Seibert. It featured new creator-driven shorts developed for Cartoon Network by its in-house staff. Several new original shows emerged from the project, giving the company its first smash hit since The Smurfs. For 1996, Cave Kids and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest premiered on air. Turner Broadcasting merged with Time Warner that same year.

1997–2006: Absorption into Warner Bros. Animation, deaths of founders

Hanna-Barbera operated on its original lot on Cahuenga Boulevard until 1998, when its studio operations, company archives and extensive animation art collection moved to Sherman Oaks Galleria in Sherman Oaks, California, with Warner's animation unit. As it was too expensive to keep operating out of its own, H-B stayed at the Warner studio. After moving to Sherman Oaks, it appeared that its Cahuenga Blvd. studio would face demolition and despite the efforts of Barbera and others, the building failed to achieve Los Angeles city landmark status. Hanna-Barbera would continue to operate at Sherman Oaks Galleria until 2001, when the studio was absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation.[34]

Following its absorption, Cartoon Network Studios was revived and took over production of programming for Cartoon Network.[35] Hanna died of throat cancer on March 22 of that year. Sidney, who worked with Hanna and Barbera as their business partner, died from complications of lymphoma on May 5, 2002. In May 2004, the Los Angeles City Council approved a plan to preserve the Cahuenga Blvd. facility while allowing retail and residential development on the site.[36] Barbera would continue work at Warner Bros. Animation until his death of natural causes on December 18, 2006.[37]

Ownership and new projects based on legacy properties

As of 2019, Warner Bros. now own the rights to Hanna-Barbera's back catalogue, while using its brand to market its properties and productions associated with its library and continues to produce new projects based on its legacy properties, such as the Scooby-Doo direct-to-video films, What's New, Scooby-Doo?, the Tom & Jerry direct-to-video films, The Karate Guard, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, Tom and Jerry Tales, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, The Tom and Jerry Show, Stone Age SmackDown, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, Robo-WrestleMania and a Wacky Races reboot.

In 2016, it was announced that the reboot film S.C.O.O.B. was in the works and scheduled for release in September 2018, but was pushed back to 2020. It is intended to be the first installment of a Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe.[38] In October 2018, it was announced that the new film is now set to be released in the first quarter of 2020.[39] Another film part of the Cinematic Universe will be based on The Jetsons, with Conrad Vernon set to direct[40] and Matt Lieberman writing the screenplay.[41][42] Others part of the upcoming movie series also include a Flintstones and a Wacky Races film.[39]

Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs! and Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, are set to debut on the streaming service in 2019. DC Comics announced a new comic book initiative titled Hanna-Barbera Beyond, to re-imagine some of the Hanna-Barbera studio's classic cartoons into some darker and edgier settings. The first comic books on the line are Future Quest, Scooby Apocalypse, The Flintstones and Wacky Raceland.[43] New titles arrived in March 2017 crossing over with the DC Universe.[44]

Other media

On June 29, 2017, a new set of DVDs, released as the Hanna-Barbera Diamond Collection, are re-issues of complete seasons and series sets of Hanna-Barbera's cartoons from Warner Home Video in Region 1[45], in honor of the studio's 60th anniversary.

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d Hanna, William and Ito, Tom (1999). A Cast of Friends. New York: Da Capo Press. 0306-80917-6. Pg. 81–83
  2. ^ Holz, Jo (2017). Kids' TV Grows Up: The Path from Howdy Doody to SpongeBob. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. pp. 81–85, 124–126. ISBN 978-1-4766-6874-1.
  3. ^ "William Hanna – Awards". allmovie. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "Hanna-Barbera Sculpture Unveiled Animation Legends Honored in Hall of Fame Plaza". Emmys.com. March 16, 2005. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "Hanna-Barbera Acquired By Taft Broadcasting Co. - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. 1966-12-29. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  6. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; Hanna-Barbera Sale Is Weighed". The New York Times. July 20, 1991. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  7. ^ Carter, Bill (February 19, 1992). "COMPANY NEWS; A New Life For Cartoons". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  8. ^ Barbera 1994, p. 83–84.
  9. ^ Barbera 1994, p. 207.
  10. ^ a b Barrier 2003, pp. 547–548.
  11. ^ a b Leonard Maltin (1997). Interview with Joseph Barbera (Digital). Archive of American Television.
  12. ^ a b c d e Barrier 2003, pp. 560–562.
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  16. ^ Shostak, Stu (03-11-2011). "Interview with Jerry Eisenberg, Scott Shaw!, and Earl Kress". Stu's Show. Retrieved 03-18-2013. Jerry Eisenberg, Scott Shaw!, and Earl Kress were all former employees of Hanna-Barbera over the years, and relate the history of the studio to host Stu Shostak
  17. ^ "BRIEFCASE: Great American Broadcasting". Orlando Sentinel. August 19, 1989. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  18. ^ Davidson, Chris (March 27, 2007). "Animation + Rock = Fun: The Danny Hutton Interview". Bubblegum University. Archived from the original on February 24, 2009.
  19. ^ Laurence Marcus & Stephen R. Hulce (October, 2000). "Scooby Doo, Where Are You Archived 2013-01-28 at the Wayback Machine". Television Heaven. Retrieved on June 9, 2006.
  20. ^ Shostak, Stu (05-02-2012). "Interview with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears". Stu's Show. Retrieved 03-18-2013.
  21. ^ Shostak, Stu (12-20-2006). "Interview with Mark Evanier". Stu's Show. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  22. ^ "The golden era - Cartoons - film, director, music". filmreference.com.
  23. ^ a b (Dec. 2, 1961) "TV'S Most Unexpected Hit – The Flintstones" The Saturday Evening Post
  24. ^ a b c d Lehman 2007, p. 25.
  25. ^ Basler, Barbara (December 2, 1990). "TELEVISION; Peter Pan, Garfield and Bart – All Have Asian Roots". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  26. ^ Violet, Chang (May 1, 1998). "Wang's World". Taiwan Info.
  27. ^ The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible: The Creation. 1987. VHS. Hanna-Barbera
  28. ^ David Kirschner named new head of Hanna-Barbera Productions; founders Hanna and Barbera to assume roles as studio co-chairmen. (William Hanna, Joseph Barbera)
  29. ^ Lev, Michael (January 9, 1990). "Hanna-Barbera Follows Disney Map". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  30. ^ "TBS Buys Animator Hanna-Barbera Library for $320 Million". Atlanta. Associated Press. Oct 29, 1991. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  31. ^ Peter Vidani. "What A Cartoon! Frame Grabs". Fredseibert.com. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  32. ^ Carter, Bill (February 19, 1992). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Turner Broadcasting Plans To Start a Cartoon Channel". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  33. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; TURNER BUYS REMAINING 50% STAKE IN HANNA-BARBERA". The New York Times. December 30, 1993. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  34. ^ Natale, Richard; Schneider, Michael (18 December 2006). "Cartoon giant Barbera dies". Variety. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  35. ^ "National Archives Catalog".
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  38. ^ McNary, Dave (May 3, 2017). "Scooby-Doo Animated Movie Moves Back Two Years to 2020". Variety. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
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Bibliography

External links

Endemol Australia

Endemol Australia (formerly known as Southern Star Group, Southern Star Productions, Southern Star/Hanna-Barbera Australia & Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd.) was Australia's largest independent television production and distribution group. In 2015, the company was merged with Shine Australia to form Endemol Shine Australia.

Godzilla (1978 TV series)

Godzilla is an American animated monster television series produced by Hanna-Barbera, in association with Henry G. Saperstein. The series aired on NBC in 1978 in the United States and on TV Tokyo in Japan. The series continued to air until 1981, for a time airing in its own half-hour time-slot until its cancellation. The series acquired the retronym of Godzilla: The Original Animated Series for its DVD release.

Hanna-Barbera Beyond

Hanna-Barbera Beyond is a comic book initiative started in 2016 by DC Comics that consists in a line of comic books based on various characters from the animation studio Hanna-Barbera.

Hanna-Barbera in amusement parks

Through its history, Hanna-Barbera has operated theme park attractions, mostly as a section in Kings Island, Carowinds, California's Great America, Kings Dominion, Canada's Wonderland, and recently, Six Flags Great America.

Outside North America, the theme parks were also available in several countries, notably in the United Kingdom, China, India, Gabon, and even Australia, which was part of Australia's Wonderland, which was now defunct. Hanna-Barbera Land was also opened in Houston, Texas.

The sections contained in the KECO Entertainment-owned parks was retained when their parent park, except the one in Australia, was bought by Paramount Communications (formerly Gulf+Western, and later acquired by Viacom), then the parent of Paramount Pictures, which changed the name of the parks by adding "Paramount's" in front of their names. The park in Australia was not purchased by Paramount and was sold to a local company. KECO Entertainment was renamed into Paramount Parks in 1994, around the time of the Viacom purchase, and remained in existence until 2006. As part of the 2005 Viacom split, ownership of Paramount Parks was transferred to the CBS Corporation. CBS then sold the parks to the Sandusky, Ohio-based amusement park management company Cedar Fair Entertainment Company on June 30, 2006.

As an effect of absorption of Hanna-Barbera into Warner Bros. Animation in 2001, the parks have largely removed or rebranded the areas into other children's sections by either the Nickelodeon brand and/or the Warner Bros. brand. Current Hanna-Barbera theme parks are Bedrock City in South Dakota, the park with the same name in Arizona, Camp Cartoon, located in Six Flags Great America as part of the Camp Cartoon section and Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Campground.

Hanna–Barbera Land

Hanna–Barbera Land was a theme park based on the cartoons of the Hanna-Barbera animation studio. It was located in the Spring CDP of unincorporated Harris County, Texas, United States, north of Houston. It was open in the 1984 and 1985 seasons.

The park was built by Taft Broadcasting, which became the Kings Entertainment Company as of opening. Kings also owned the Australia's Wonderland, Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and Kings Island theme parks. Despite increased attendance in 1985, a bad regional economy, competition with the well-established AstroWorld and minimal spending in the park on concessions, gift shop purchases, and souvenirs doomed the park.The park was sold to private investors and SplashTown USA was built in its place, then again to Bryant Morris, then to Six Flags who purchased it in 1999. After initially not wanting to brand and call it "a member of the Six Flags family," Six Flags eventually decided to re-brand it as Six Flags SplashTown. In 2007 it was sold to PARC Management, The park was later renamed Wet N' Wild Splashtown and in 2019 it was rebranded Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown

List of Hanna-Barbera-based video games

This is a list of video games based on various Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. The list is not complete or exhaustive.

List of films based on Hanna-Barbera cartoons

Since 1964, various animated and live-action theatrically released films based on Hanna-Barbera cartoons have been created and released to theaters. While alive, Joseph Barbera and William Hanna (the founders of Hanna-Barbera) were involved with each production in some capacity.

List of works produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions

This is a list of animated television series, made-for-television films, direct-to-video films, theatrical short subjects, and feature films produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions (also known as H-B Enterprises, H-B Production Company, and Hanna-Barbera Cartoons). This list does not include the animated theatrical shorts William Hanna and Joseph Barbera produced while employed by MGM. Note that some shows or new spin-offs of shows may be listed twice. Hanna-Barbera won eight Emmy Awards. Warner Bros. Animation absorbed Hanna-Barbera in 2001.

For subsequent productions featuring Hanna-Barbera created characters, see Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation.

Key for below: = Won the Emmy Award

Scoob

Scoob! is an upcoming American 3D computer-animated film featuring characters from the Scooby-Doo franchise. The film is directed by Tony Cervone, written by Kelly Fremon Craig, and stars the voices of Frank Welker, Zac Efron, Will Forte, Amanda Seyfried, Gina Rodriguez, and Tracy Morgan. It is a reboot of the Scooby-Doo film series and the first film in the Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe. Animated by Reel FX for Warner Animation Group, the film is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 15, 2020, by Warner Bros.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is an American animated mystery comedy television series produced by Hanna-Barbera. Produced for CBS, the series premiered as part of the network's Saturday morning schedule on September 13, 1969, and aired for two seasons until October 31, 1970. In 1978, a selection of episodes from the later series Scooby's All-Stars and The Scooby-Doo Show were aired on ABC under the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! name and they were released in a DVD set marketed as its third season.The series centers on a group of characters consisting of four teenagers—Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Shaggy Rogers—and the title character, a semi-anthropomorphic Great Dane named Scooby-Doo. The group travels in the Mystery Machine, a blue and green van with two orange flowers, solving mysteries involving local legends; in doing so, they discover that the perpetrator is almost invariably a disguised person who seeks to exploit the legend for personal gain.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is the first incarnation of what would eventually become a long-running media franchise, which primarily consists of subsequent animated series, several films, and related merchandise.

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera is an animated syndicated programming block produced by Hanna-Barbera that ran on a weekly schedule and was performed in live action. The program ran from 1985 to 1994.

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera (ride)

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera was a simulator ride at Universal Studios Florida, and one of the park's original attractions. The story line was that Dick Dastardly and Muttley have kidnapped Elroy Jetson, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo give chase and the audience is in for the ride of their lives.

It was created and executive produced by Peter N. Alexander and directed by Mario Kamberg with Hanna-Barbera founder William Hanna as creative consultant. It was the first ride film to predominantly use computer-generated imagery, with the characters created using traditional cel animation techniques and optically composited.

This was the first of three simulator ride attractions to be built inside Soundstage 42 in Universal Studios Florida, followed by Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast and the current Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, as well as the first motion simulator at Universal Orlando Resort.

The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series

The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series, a.k.a. The New Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series or The Wally Gator Show, was a syndicated television package of animated cartoon series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, starting in 1962. The series included three unrelated short cartoon segments featuring funny animal characters:

Wally Gator

Touché Turtle and Dum Dum

Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har HarThe package consisted of fifty-two episodes, each with three individual segments and no bridge animation. Each individual cartoon segment, had its own opening theme and closing title.

The title The New Hanna-Barbera Cartoon series was an off-screen promotional title to distinguish this package from other Hanna-Barbera cartoons (such as Ruff and Reddy, Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear all of which had bridge animation between the cartoons.) available at the time. For example, WGN-Channel 9 in Chicago ran the three segments in a half-hour timeslot under the name Wally Gator. In New York, WPIX-TV originally used the segments for a local series, Cartoon Zoo, featuring Milt Moss as host and "Zookeeper", with life-sized cutouts of the characters in "cages" as a backdrop.

The package was originally syndicated by Screen Gems, the TV division of Columbia Pictures. The Hanna-Barbera studio was later purchased by Taft Broadcasting Company, which distributed the studio's product first through Taft-HB Program Sales, and later through Worldvision Enterprises. Over time, the studio regained control of many of its earlier productions and distributed them through Worldvision. The elements of The New Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Series were split up, with Wally Gator airing as a segment on Magilla Gorilla and Friends on USA Network's Cartoon Express from 1987 through 1991. Meanwhile, Touche Turtle and Lippy the Lion were part of another package of cartoons aired on The Family Channel. Following the purchase of the Hanna-Barbera library by Turner Entertainment, these shorts eventually appeared on Cartoon Network and later Boomerang.

The Jetsons

The Jetsons is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera, originally airing in primetime from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963, then later in syndication, with new episodes in 1985 to 1987 as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera block. It was Hanna-Barbera's Space Age counterpart to The Flintstones.While the Flintstones lived in a world which was a comical version of the "stone age", with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons live in a comical version of a century in the future, with elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions. The original series comprised 24 episodes and aired on Sunday nights on ABC beginning September 23, 1962, with primetime reruns continuing through September 22, 1963. It debuted as the first program broadcast in color on ABC-TV. (Only a handful of ABC-TV stations were capable of broadcasting in color in the early 1960s.) In contrast, The Flintstones, while always produced in color, was broadcast in black-and-white for its first two seasons.Following its primetime run, the show aired on Saturday mornings for decades, starting on ABC for the 1963–64 season and then on CBS and NBC. New episodes were produced for syndication from 1985 to 1987. No further specials or episodes of the show were produced after 1989 due to the deaths of stars George O'Hanlon and Mel Blanc. The 1990 film Jetsons: The Movie served as the series finale to the television show. 27 years later, a new direct-to-video animated movie, The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!, was released in 2017.

Wacky Races (1968 TV series)

Wacky Races is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The series features 11 different cars racing against each other in various road rallies throughout America, with each driver hoping to win the title of the "World's Wackiest Racer".

The cartoon had a large number of regular characters, with 23 people and animals spread among the 11 race cars. Wacky Races ran on CBS from September 14, 1968, to January 4, 1969, and in syndication from 1976 to 1982. Seventeen episodes were produced, with each episode featuring two different races.

William Hanna

William Denby Hanna (July 14, 1910 – March 22, 2001) was an American animator, director, producer, voice actor, cartoon artist, and musician whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of people for much of the 20th century.

After working odd jobs in the first months of the Great Depression, Hanna joined the Harman and Ising animation studio in 1930. During the 1930s, Hanna steadily gained skill and prominence while working on cartoons such as Captain and the Kids. In 1937, while working at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Hanna met Joseph Barbera. The two men began a collaboration that was at first best known for producing Tom and Jerry. In 1957, they co-founded Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio in the business, creating and/or producing programs such as The Flintstones, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, and Yogi Bear. In 1967, Hanna-Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12 million, but Hanna and Barbera remained heads of the company until 1991. At that time, the studio was sold to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn was merged with Time Warner in 1996; Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors.

Tom and Jerry won seven Academy Awards, while Hanna and Barbera were nominated for two others and won eight Emmy Awards. Their cartoons have become cultural icons, and their cartoon characters have appeared in other media such as films, books, and toys. Hanna-Barbera's shows had a worldwide audience of over 300 million people in their 1960s heyday, and have been translated into more than 28 languages.

Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear is a fictional character who has appeared in numerous comic books, animated television shows and films. He made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show.

Yogi Bear was the first breakout character created by Hanna-Barbera and was eventually more popular than Huckleberry Hound. In January 1961, he was given his own show, The Yogi Bear Show, sponsored by Kellogg's, which included the segments Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. Hokey Wolf replaced his segment on The Huckleberry Hound Show. A musical animated feature film, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, was produced in 1964.

Yogi was one of several Hanna-Barbera characters to have a collar. This allowed animators to keep his body static, redrawing only his head in each frame when he spoke—a method that reduced the number of drawings needed for a seven-minute cartoon from around 14,000 to around 2,000.

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