Creator / Hanna-Barbera
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. The company has been accused of fostering the Animation Age Ghetto as a result of their popularizing of kiddie fare for Saturday Morning Cartoons.note  They've also been cited as one of the causes of the so-called "Dark Age of Animation" due to the their cartoons being produced on an incredibly low "cut the corners" budget. Some also became critical of the wave of similar shows to their earlier programs (especially The Flintstones, The Smurfs and Scooby-Doo) starting in the 1960s. This wave of copycat cartoons was spurred on by networks searching for the next big hit in that vein, who would then cancel the copycat show when it didn't meet ratings expectations.

There is also some critical opposition that probably comes as a by-product of producing so many at once (you could argue that their biggest competitor was themselves). Though some of their shows get better individual recognition, such as Hong Kong Phooey and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, and are cult classics to this day, while other series, such as The Herculoids and Jonny Quest, are little masterpieces of design and layout. They also showed greater ambition with The Pirates of Dark Water, which (while not perfect) had a lot more time, money put into the animation, although it was sadly Too Good to Last. In their prime, they never really attracted much critical attention but certainly achieved fame to the greater public. In an example, Fred Seibert has vigorously defended the classic H-B style as having saved Western Animation at a time when the end of animated theatrical shorts meant a steep decline in budgets. Meanwhile John Kricfalusi – one of the aforementioned critic supporters and no fan of H-B has a very different stance. Even to the point at one time he spread a false rumor about Hanna and Barbera's thoughts on "Scooby-Doo".

In the modern era this hasn't stopped, the studio will often become an example of Love It or Hate It. With certain areas claiming them a beloved studio/creators or in other cases dubbing them the people that ruined animation. Outside of the web in the modern home media market, the HB Family of properties are given the most attention by Warner out of their back catalog. This is pretty solid evidence that the love side still has strong followers, note  even though some sites may use an Internet Backdraft to pretend otherwise.

The studio often produced crossovers starting in The '70s, such as Yogi's Ark Lark and Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics. WB Animation has now taken over as Spiritual Successor to that tradition.

They also produced the films Charlotte's Web, Heidi's Song, and Once Upon a Forest. These have the distinct honor of being the only animated movies they ever made that did not feature any of their trademark characters. They also produced a few live-action TV series, like Korg: 70,000 BC and Benji, Zax & The Alien Prince.

Another popular aspect of the company was their distinctive sound effects library. Said sounds have become so common in cartoons that they have become ingrained in our minds to the point of becoming Stock Sound Effects.

After the purchase of the studio by Turner Broadcasting in 1991, the studio was an integral part in the founding of Cartoon Network; while its archives (and the MGM and pre-1948 Looney Tunes library, the post-1948 Looney Tunes coming with the Time Warner acquisition in 1996) filled up the schedule, its studio also became the network's in-house production unit, creating both "Cartoon Network Originals" and other projects (including SWAT Kats, 2 Stupid Dogs, and The New Adventures of Captain Planet {taking over from DIC Entertainment} for TBS, and their final broadcast TV series, Dumb and Dumber on ABC). Following the death of Bill Hanna, the corporate culture was essentially split. Cartoon Network programming is handled by Cartoon Network Studios, which was spun out into its own entity. Warner Bros. assumed the production of Scooby-Doo, the company's longest-running franchise, with Hanna-Barbera credited as the copyright holder. note  One important thing this schism provides confusion on is that the earliest Cartoon Cartoons stopped being associated with Hanna-Barbera here as well. Which is true up to this day at marketing from WB and CN.

Turner Broadcasting was acquired by Time Warner in 1996, at which point studio President Fred Seibert left. To fill the void, Turner handed the studio's operations to Warner Bros. Television Animation the following year; WBTVA head Jean MacCurdy took Seibert's place as a result. The H-B studio at 3400 Cahuenga West was closed in 1998, and the studio's operations were moved into WBTVA's building in Glendale. Two years later, its operations were handed back to Turner Broadcasting, which moved them to a building in Burbank dubbed Cartoon Network Studios, while Hanna-Barbera's intellectual property was retained by WB. The name Hanna-Barbera was mostly retired after Bill Hanna's death in 2001, though Warner was already attempting to phase it out; H-B merchandise from the late '90s noticeably lacks any H-B branding and instead has Cartoon Network's on it. This practice was abandoned after Cartoon Network Studios replaced H-B; H-B's name can be seen on current Hanna-Barbera merchandise.

Towards the later end of their careers, In 1988, William Hanna (at age 78) co-directed the Scooby episode "Bicycle Built for Boo", and in 2003 Joseph Barbera (at age 92) co-wrote the Scooby episode "Homeward Hound". Barbera also co-wrote "Tom and Jerry: The Fast and the Furry" plus co-directed and co-wrote "The Karate Guard" (the final theatrical T&J short) in 2005. However, every other time Hanna and Barbera are credited as "executive producers" for Warner Bros projects, those are just respectful gestures (like with "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue"). Hanna and Barbera both directed and wrote two "What a Cartoon!" shorts as well, and directed Jetsons: The Movie by themselves.

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 2018 animated Scooby-Doo reboot (S.C.O.O.B.) does well. Interestingly enough, said shared universe will apparently utilize traditional animation.

The Other Wiki has information about the duo and their legacy. See also The Hanna-Barbera Wiki and Wang Film Productions, a Taiwanese studio established by a former employee for outsourcing to (eventually expanding their services to other companies too).
For a complete list of their shows, check out 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 and 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 build around the idea as a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, which itself followed off the Yogi's 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: 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.
  • Friendly Enemy: With Ruby-Spears, the two founders split from Hanna-Barbera to form their own company, yet the relationship sure didn't stop there between the two.
  • 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.
  • 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. The Super Globetrotters often joked about this at its own expense.
  • 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: MGM Animation → Hanna-Barbera → Cartoon Network Studios.
  • 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....