The partnership of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Also, the animation studio formed by the two shortly before leaving MGM's animation studio
(where they'd spent almost 20 years producing Tom and Jerry
shorts), which came to dominate Western Animation
on television for decades.
Responsible for creating Scooby-Doo
, The Jetsons
, The Flintstones
, Tom and Jerry
, Yogi Bear
, Space Ghost
and many, many more — including the infamous live action acid sequence KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park
. (To be fair, the company also produced the acclaimed Made-for-TV Movie The Gathering
, for which they won an Emmy.)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 Cartoonsnote
. 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 programs (especially The Flintstones
, The Smurfs
) 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, as either their favorite's creator or the people that ruined animation.
The studio often produced crossovers
starting in The Seventies
, 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 Charlottes 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 was cannibalized to also serve as the network's in-house production unit. Noted programing from this period included Dexter's Laboratory
and The Powerpuff Girls
. The name Hanna-Barbera was retired after Bill Hanna's death in 2001; 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 Warner Brothers or Cartoon Network still associates them as Hanna Barbera cartoons. Joseph Barbera spent his final years producing new Tom and Jerry
movies and the very first episodes of Tom and Jerry Tales
, returning to his roots.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 IMDB.com or TV Tome:
List of Hanna-Barbera works:
Tropes related to Hanna-Barbera (as a company):
- Animated Adaptation: They made cartoons out of everything, from Godzilla to Laverne and Shirley.
- Ascended Fanboy: Fred Seibert, who was President of the studio from 1992 to 1996 and instituted the What A Cartoon program and a set of logos celebrating classic Hanna-Barbera characters.
- 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!: Had a lot of strong recurring voice actors that you can often pick out
- Limited Animation: One of the pioneers.
- Recycled In Space: Both the Trope Namer (with Josie and the Pussycats In Outer Space) and Trope Codifier. 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.
- It is notable that this is the company that gets accused of this far more than other western animation even though shameless recycling as a practice is very much Older Than Steam.
- 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 a lot of which with similar formulas.