Creator: Hanna-Barbera

The partnership of William Hanna (1910–2001) and Joseph Barbera (1911–2006) began at MGM's animation studio, where the pair spent almost 20 years producing 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 supposedly low quality of production and writing in their cartoons, especially in the wake of a wave of knock-offs of 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.

The so-called low quality of some of their cartoons, probably a by-product of producing so many at once (you could argue that their biggest competitor was themselves), sometimes ran into severe They Just Didn't Care territory, though some of their shows, such as Hong Kong Phooey and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, 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 and thought put into the animation and storytelling, although it was sadly too good to last. No less than 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. In their prime, they never really attracted much critical attention but certainly achieved fame to the greater public. In the modern era this hasn't stopped, and thanks to the Internet Backdraft, the studio will often be Love It or Hate It bait depending on the forum of your choice – either a beloved studio/creators or the people that ruined animation.

The studio often produced crossovers starting in The '70s, such as Yogi's Ark Lark and Scooby's All-Star Laff-a-Lympics. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law acts as a Spiritual Successor to that tradition even while occasionally mocking it.

They also produced the films Charlotte's Web, Heidi's Song, and Once Upon a Forest. These (along with GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords) 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. Noted programming from this period included Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls. Meanwhile, what remained of the studio's new output was fighting it out on sister station TBS, like SWAT Kats.

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.

Cartoon Network programming is handled by Cartoon Network Studios while Warner Bros. assumed the production of Scooby-Doo, the company's longest-running franchise, with Hanna-Barbera credited as the copyright holder. This schism provides some confusion, as even though the Cartoon Cartoons originated within Hanna-Barbera, no marketing at Warners or Cartoon Network still associates them as Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

John Kricfalusi – one of the aforementioned critic supporters and no fan of H-B – spread an Internet rumor that Hanna and Barbera hated Scooby-Doo. However, this is probably not true. 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.

The Other Wiki has information about this. See also The Hanna-Barbera Wiki and Wang Film Productions, a Taiwanese studio first 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: Although better known for their original characters, they made cartoons out of everything, from Godzilla to Laverne and Shirley.
  • Animation Bump: In the late 80s/early 90s, when they started streamlining their creative process by farming out their animation services and producing far fewer shows at a time. This is especially notable in The Pirates of Dark Water.
    • They also put noticeably more care into their movies, especially theatrical ones. Charlotte's Web is still respected today. And, although the Jetsons movie has its share of problems, poor animation is not one of them.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Fred Seibert, who was head of television production from 1992 to 1993 and President of the whole studio from 1993 to 1996 and instituted the What A Cartoon program and a set of logos celebrating classic Hanna-Barbera characters.
  • Crossover: They loved doing this with their core stable of characters. The first real example specifically would be Yogi's Birthday Party. However even before this the 50s/60s characters would often name drop one another in their segments. This practice would swell into future shows that would make even bigger crossovers or plots to make two come together. Examples such as Laff-A-Lympics and The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones.
  • 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.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: They had a stable of extraordinarily talented voice actors who any fan of the craft can pick out easily, including Daws Butler, Don Messick, Frank Welker, and Mel Blanc (when they could afford him).
  • Limited Animation: One of the pioneers, admittedly out of necessity.note 
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • 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.
    • Can be argued for the studio itself, which 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, where they were often compared to an old married couple in terms of how they worked together.
  • Recycled In Space: Definetly 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 recycling – 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: MGM Animation → Hanna-Barbera → Cartoon Network Studios.
  • Strictly Formula: They are notorious for making a decades-long career out of over a hundred shows with a handful of similar concepts.