Creator / Hanna-Barbera

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bill_hanna_and_joe_barbera_8804.jpg
Joseph Barbera (left) and William Hanna with plushes of some of their many characters and a couple of the Emmys their studio won over the years.note 

The partnership of William Denby "Bill" Hanna (1910–2001) and Joseph Roland "Joe" Barbera (1911–2006) began at MGM's animation studio, where the pair spent almost 20 years directing Tom and Jerry shorts. After MGM got out of the cartoon business in 1957, Hanna and Barbera founded their own studio, which came to dominate Western Animation on television for decades.

The studio's extremely prolific half-century-plus output included classic cartoon series like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Space Ghost, and The Smurfs; the Emmy-winning live-action Made-for-TV Movie The Gathering a handful of feature films, most namely a popular adaptation of Charlotte's Web; and the infamous live-action acid sequence KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, as well as countless other projects.

Hanna-Barbera pioneered the use of many Limited Animation techniques, such as Ring Around the Collar, to produce cartoons on a low budget quickly enough to meet a television schedule. As a result a lot of Hanna Barbera shows put the emphasis more on the voice acting and the writing/gags then the actual animation process itself. These practice allowed them to continue producing works well into the 80s and 90s.

In the late 1980s, Hanna Barbera's parent company Taft/GAB faced a lot of internal and financial issues. This had a major impact on the fates of Hanna Barbera and its siblings. As a way of cutting costs, they began to look to sell off the studios. The first in 1988, when a buyout was reached for Hanna Barbera's Australian division. That entity becoming the Southern Star Group and taking the rights of the shows and specials produced by that sub-entity. The problems however still continued, as this lead to an exodus of 80s Hanna Barbera staff to go help revitalize the Warner Bros. Animation studio. In the early 1990s, GAB decided to put Hanna Barbera and sister studio Ruby Spears up for sale as well.

In 1991 a deal was struck between GAB and Turner that resulted in Turner purchasing Hanna-Barbera and its library. Turner also purchased the Ruby-Spears library but not the studio which also became its own entity again. It was here those libraries merged and the HB shows merged with the predecessor shorts Bill and Joe had done for MGM, but are legally not in the same library. note  Under the new age, everything that was on tap but not funded was put on hold, and in 1992 Turner launched Cartoon Network. The HB libraries and MGM libraries had been joined by the pre-1948 Looney Tunes library when Turner bought out MGM in 1986note . This combined library, along with some others made up a good chunk of the schedule at the dawn of the network. However, as the channel grew, so did the initiative to bring new original content to the channel. The studio at the time had an influx of younger talent that had been brought in to the fill the gap left by the earlier exodus. In 1994, Hanna-Barbera was internally reorganized as Hanna Barbera Cartoons and with a new sub-entity that began to refocus their efforts towards what was originally called "World Premiere Toons", essentially allowing many of the younger members of the studio to launch their own pilots in the hopes of becoming new original shows. The experiment proved successful; while other Hanna-Barbera productions were still being produced, the amount dwindled as more originals (which would go on to be called Cartoon Cartoons years later) were added to the pipeline.note 

In 1996 Time Warner purchased Turner in the AOL Time Warner merger, putting them on the same corporate roof as Warner Bros.. This reunited a few shows back to the HB library that had been in the hands of Warner Bros., as well as reunited the the post-1948 Looney Tunes with the rest of their library.note  From this point Hanna-Barbera was slowly merged into Warner Bros. Animation. Just before the then-imminent death of Bill Hanna in 2001, Cartoon Network programming and the units producing them were spun out into their own entity (Cartoon Networm Studios) and Warner Bros. assumed the production of Scooby-Doo, the company's longest-running franchise and picked up all their legacy properties with Hanna-Barbera credited as the copyright holder. The earliest Cartoon Cartoons (including The Powerpuff Girlsnote  stopped being associated with Hanna-Barbera as well.

In 2016, Warner Bros. announced that there are plans to create a Shared Universe of animated films based on Hanna-Barbera properties, provided that the 2020 animated Scooby-Doo reboot does well. Exactly how this ties into other rumored HB films announced around the same time remains to be seen.

See Ruby-Spears, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation for related entities, as well as Wang Film Productions, a Taiwanese studio established for outsourcing to (eventually expanding their services to other companies too).

The Other Wiki has more in depth about the duo, their history and their legacy. Also see Hanna Barbera Australia/Southern Star on the other wiki for the subsidy unit of the main Hanna Barbera. See also The Hanna-Barbera Wiki.
For a complete list of their shows, check out IMDB.com or TV Tome:

List of Hanna-Barbera works:

Tropes related to Hanna-Barbera (as a company):

  • Animated Adaptation: A staple of their later work was adapting everything from Godzilla to Laverne & Shirley into a cartoon.
  • Animation Bump: While their regular TV shows relied heavily on limited animation, the studio would use a more lax schedule and substantial budget for all it was worth when it could get it. Most of their staff from Tom and Jerry migrated over to HB when MGM closed its cartoon unit, so they were plenty capable of full, classical animation. You mostly see this in their features and one-shot specials. The mid '60s also saw an influx of former Disney animators, resulting in some parts of episodes of The Flintstones being uncannily animated on ones. They'd move away from limited stuff for good by the '90s, after reconstructing their pipeline to allow for outsourcing.
  • Crossover/Loads and Loads of Characters: The studio made good use of its huge roster of popular characters. In the early days, characters would sometimes cameo in each other's shows or even passively name-drop them. The first true crossover was Yogi's Birthday Party the end special to Yogi Bear and followed by The Council of Doom arc on Space Ghost. Yogi's Gang became the first series built around the idea as a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, which itself followed off the Yogis Ark Lark special. Many more series and movies of the like followed from this such as The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, and Laff-A-Lympics.
  • Darker and Edgier: While in some corners of the web the studio isn't thought to be associated with this trope, they have crossed this line many times. Most earliest in the 60s with shows like Jonny Quest and Space Ghost being action shows where the weekly bad guys didn't always survive the episode.
    • Their action cartoons during the 80s and 90s began to take this route as well- the last couple seasons of Super Friends brought in Darkseid, for starters; the trend continued with Galtar and the Golden Lance, The Pirates of Dark Water, and SWAT Kats.
    • And in even more obscure corners, the studio also provided things such as The Last Of The Curlews and Rock Odyssey featuring some scenes that may launch into pure nightmare fuel.
    • DC Comics' Hanna-Barbera Beyond; a slate of comic reboots of H-B properties; while the above mentioned Future Quest aims at a retro aesthetic, the others provide these kind of what-if takes on the characters. These include Scooby Apocalypse (which takes the Scooby Gang into a world infected by a nanite virus), Wacky Raceland (which transplants the Wacky Racers into a Mad Max: Fury Road style environment), and The Flintstones comic that takes it back to its' roots about social issues in a prehistoric setting. This of course mirroring the multiple paths being taken in the modern animation projects.
  • Domestic Only Cartoon: Justified, as the studio was founded well before outsourcing animation duty to foreign countries was possible, but even after it became the norm, the studio still had its cartoons animated in US, for better or worse. On the one hand, they proudly kept animation jobs going in America at a time when it was an otherwise suicidal career choice. On the other, it was not a practice conducive to creating shows of a quality higher than what they produced.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Played with. Shows which used exaggerated proportions for their human characters (e.g. The Flintstones, The Jetsons) used four-fingered hands, while shows which used realistically-proportioned human characters (e.g. Jonny Quest, Scooby-Doo) used five-fingered hands.
  • Friendly Enemy: With Ruby-Spears, both Ruby and Spears met at Hanna Barbera and split off to form their own studio. They however shared a positive relationship with their old employer; sharing employees, producing shows together and co-marketing. The relationship is somewhat fuzzier given they were sibling studios and the Ruby Spears library was merged into the Hanna Barbera library.
    • Technical example with Southern Star Group (now a part of Endemol Australia) which was originally a sub entity of Hanna Barbera. Despite being divorced, there is no problem between the current parents of either when it comes to Endemol using the Hanna Barbera name to promote the cartoons they have rights to.
  • Limited Animation: Pioneered many of the techniques in creating animation on a television schedule and budget, at least with what the technology would allow at the time. Of corse, as mentioned on Animation Bump, give Hanna-Barbera a budget and they would use it for all it was worth.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Some of their 80's shows such as Challenge of the GoBots and Sky Commanders.
  • Parody Assistance: They helped animate The Beautiful South's music video for "How Long's a Tear Take to Dry?", which is an Affectionate Parody of Band Toons.
  • The Power of Friendship: A near constant theme in their shows, regardless of formula. Most have characters that will be best of friends and sometimes whole episodes are devoted to showcasing how friendship overcomes hardship. For a 50th anniversary, Bill and Joe led several of their star characters in a song about teamwork.
    • The studio itself survived decades thanks to its founders' teamwork, despite the two of them being polar opposites (Hanna was the quiet country type, Barbera was the fast-paced city type) and rarely fraternizing outside of work. Inside the studio the two worked in their own ways and complemented one another's talent to a tee.
  • The Rival: Filmation during the '60s and '70s — the rivalry faded in the '80s as Filmation concentrated on syndication, and was eventually shut down by the end of the decade.
  • Recycled In Space: Definitely not the first to do this, but both the Trope Namer (with Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space) and Trope Codifier for how this trope is currently used. As stated above, they were known for shameless recyling — if one show was successful, do another just like it. If one was not, do one like one of the more successful shows, rinse, repeat. If you're not too busy, check out this trope's page for western animation. About half of the above list is on there.
  • Reused Character Design: Inevitably, due to the sheer number of shows that the studio produced per-year and their short turn-around time. Some former employees claimed that it got the point that they would simply trace pre-existing model sheets to create new ones. Sometimes this went down to characters who look alike to the same designs being used in more than one show.
  • Shout-Out: Hanna Barbera used this in their shows about as often as they had a direct Crossover. It was quite normal to hear a character make a reference or turn on the tv to see another Hanna Barbera character.
    • In the earliest days of Cartoon Network originals (as Cartoon Network Studios was simply a subdivision of Hanna-Barbera), these and cameo appearances were common, but they started to slow down after the '90s. In an interview Maxwell Atoms had made mention Cartoon Network gave him a bit of a hard time when he had continued to use the older HB characters for cameos. However, even longer after H-B shut down, SWAT Kats merited a mention in the crossover episode between Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa (likely because the Crewniverse and the creator, Rebecca Sugar, watched the show in the 1990s).
  • Spiritual Successor: Hanna Barbera itself was the successor to the MGM Animation studio. As when MGM shut them down, Bill and Joe went on their own and took a good chunk of their MGM staff with them.
    • There however is heavier debate which of two studios deserve to be the heir apparent. One is Cartoon Network Studios, which began it's existence as a sub entity to Hanna Barbera in 1994 before going on it's own. A lot of it's first shows were pet projects of younger HB employees who were originally hired to fill the void when a chunk of the 1980s Hanna Barbera staff went to the other studio. That studio being the Warner Bros. Animation Studio that was revitalized in the early 1990s after that exodus. The AOL Time Warner Merger ended up putting both of these entities back under the same umbrella in 1996. Corporate and ideologies allegedly clashed from the merger to the point where in 2001, the decision was made to split the corporate culture. Cartoon Network Studios got their cartoons and distanced themselves from the Hanna Barbera name. Warner Bros. Animation on the other hand got all the HB legacy properties and ever since have made up a good chunk of their yearly output.
  • Strictly Formula: They are notorious for making a decades long career with over a hundred shows with a handful of similar concepts.
  • Take That!: Both William Hanna and Joseph Barbera really disliked their boss Fred Quimby. Now notice how pushy Fred Flinstone and Fred Jones (of Scooby-Doo) are....

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