Follow TV Tropes


Context Creator / RubySpears

Go To

1[[quoteright:225:]]˛Ruby-Spears is an American animation house that was one of the more prolific animation studios of the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Studio founders Joe Ruby and Ken Spears started out as sound editors at Creator/HannaBarbera in the 1960s, eventually moving up the studio ladder into writing positions. This later led to the two creating the iconic ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' franchise for Hanna-Barbera, though they also played a part in many of Hanna-Barbera's successes before and after Scooby-Doo. While the pair did not have a "Created by" credit on ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'' [[note]]Though they received writing credit in every episode's ending credits[[/note]], they did received a "Created By" credit for ''WesternAnimation/{{Jabberjaw}}'', and ''WesternAnimation/DynomuttDogWonder''[[note]]Which had CrossOver with Scooby-Doo.[[/note]]; they also co-created ''WesternAnimation/TheHoundcats'' and ''Bailey's Comets'' with and for [[Creator/DePatieFrelengEnterprises David [=DePatie=] and Friz Freleng]].) After CreativeDifferences with H-B, Ruby and Spears left the studio in 1971, with the two supervising Saturday morning programming for both Creator/{{CBS}} and later Creator/{{ABC}} before deciding to branch out on their own.˛˛The history of the studio is a turbulent one. After its' founding in 1977, Ruby and Spears launched their own venture to add more competition to their former employer Hanna-Barbera. Even from the offset, many employees were shared between both houses in addition to the stylistic similarities of their output. Aside from similar sound effects, the animation style mimicked Hanna-Barbera's tried and true LimitedAnimation methods. The visual similarities led to many of the early Ruby-Spears shows, such as ''WesternAnimation/{{Fangface}}'', often being mistaken for actual Hanna-Barbera shows. Initially owned by Creator/{{Filmways}} from 1977 to 1980, in 1981 they were purchased by Taft Broadcasting, which also owned Hanna-Barbera, making them sister companies. Hence, they were animation's best example of FriendlyEnemy in the industry. Further, they understood that the generation of their time would determine the next path of WesternAnimation and planned accordingly.˛˛While Ruby-Spears did create a few original properties, during their heyday they became particularly well known for churning out a great deal of licensed properties. These ranged from animated adaptations of live-action sitcoms, to action shows centered on then-popular film and television celebrities (most notably, Creator/MrT and Creator/ChuckNorris), to the wildly successful 1980s update of ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks''. They even collaborated with Creator/WarnerBros to adapt two Creator/DCComics creations: Plastic Man and ''[[WesternAnimation/RubySpearsSuperman Superman]]''. This even extended to toys (such as [[WesternAnimation/RubikTheAmazingCube Rubik's Cube]]) and [[WesternAnimation/SaturdaySupercade video]] [[VideoGame/DragonsLair games]].˛˛However, Taft (or, as it was known later, Great American Broadcasting) had a lot of problems starting in the late 1980s, leading to them to eventually put both Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears up for sale. The end result saw Turner Broadcasting purchase the Hanna-Barbera studio in full and the Ruby-Spears library prior to 1991. The studio itself however was allowed to go independent once more. After the sale, the company restructured into RS Holdings. This led to them working on projects such as ''WesternAnimation/WildWestCOWBoysOfMooMesa'', ''WesternAnimation/SkysurferStrikeForce'' and the American ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan'' cartoon.˛˛One major point of confusion in regards to this history is that during the Turner buyout, the Ruby-Spears library was legally consolidated into the Hanna-Barbera one. This led to such confusion as Ruby-Spears [=DVDs=] having fine print saying they are owned by Hanna-Barbera and even some of the back catalog being marketed as Hanna-Barbera titles. The rights to the shows they produced after 1991 are split across various partners.˛˛Both Ruby and Spears continued to be involved in television production in a limited capacity until the former died on August 26, 2020. Spears followed suit in passing almost three months later, on November 6.˛-------˛!!List of shows produced by Ruby-Spears:˛˛[[index]]˛* ''Series/AfterschoolSpecial'':''ABC Weekend Special'': Starting in 1979 with ''The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy'' until 1982's ''Miss Switch to the Rescue,'' Ruby-Spears would provide at least one animated feature a year for this Saturday morning anthology series. They did so again in 1984 with ''Bad Cat,'' and then again in 1994 (with ''The Magic Paintbrush'') and 1995 (with ''Jirimpimbira: As African Folk Tale''). ˛* ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' (1980s version, first five seasons; rights transferred to Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, and then to Creator/DiCEntertainment)˛* ''WesternAnimation/{{Centurions}}''˛* ''Film/ChildsPlay'' (Animated sequence only)˛* ''WesternAnimation/ChuckNorrisKarateKommandos''˛* ''WesternAnimation/DinkTheLittleDinosaur'' (their final series before the sale to Turner)˛* ''WesternAnimation/{{Fangface}}''˛* ''WesternAnimation/GoldieGoldAndActionJack''˛* ''Heathcliff'' (1980 series only; the 1984 series was by Creator/DICEntertainment)˛* ''It's WesternAnimation/PunkyBrewster'' (the "It's" was never actually shown onscreen; it was largely only used in print materials to distinguish the show from the live-action production)˛* ''WesternAnimation/LazerTagAcademy'' (rights were later transferred to Creator/SabanEntertainment, who later re-released the show as "Laser Patrol")˛* ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan''˛* ''WesternAnimation/MisterT''˛* ''WesternAnimation/PiggsburgPigs''˛* ''The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show''˛* ''WesternAnimation/PoliceAcademyTheAnimatedSeries''˛* ''WesternAnimation/ThePuppysFurtherAdventures'' (first a series of specials, then a regular series that aired as part of ''The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour''; co-production with Creator/HannaBarbera)˛* ''WesternAnimation/RamboTheForceOfFreedom''˛* ''WesternAnimation/RosePetalPlace''˛* ''WesternAnimation/RubikTheAmazingCube''˛* ''WesternAnimation/SaturdaySupercade''˛* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'' (animation for episodes aired on ''The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour''; they were written and recorded at Hanna-Barbera)˛* ''Sectaurs''˛* ''WesternAnimation/SkysurferStrikeForce'' (their final series)˛* ''[[WesternAnimation/RubySpearsSuperman Superman]]'' (1988 series)˛* ''WesternAnimation/ThundarrTheBarbarian''˛* ''WesternAnimation/TurboTeen''˛* ''WesternAnimation/WildWestCOWBoysOfMooMesa'' (second season)˛[[/index]]˛-------˛!!Tropes common to Ruby-Spears Productions:˛˛* AnAesop: A number of their shows were wrapped around morals to try and make them appear more respectable.˛* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: To Hanna-Barbera. The company never quite had the same fame and staying power as their company, and to add insult to injury, their shows were occasionally branded as Hanna-Barbera's by accident. One of their pilots was even beaten by ''Scooby-Doo'', the most famous title associated with them, something which at least one of them was reportedly not pleased about.˛* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: ˛** Both the ''WesternAnimation/MisterT'' and ''WesternAnimation/ChuckNorrisKarateKommandos'' cartoons used live-action wraparound segments to set up the plot of the episode and to later tell the moral of the story.˛** ''WesternAnimation/{{Centurions}}'' ended every episode with a science lesson from one of the characters -- including, on at least one occasion, the series' BigBad.˛* AnimatedAdaptation: Ruby-Spears was responsible for ''The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour'', which was the final season of a series of shows adapting these franchises. They also handled ''WesternAnimation/PunkyBrewster''. This doesn't even get into the animated versions of Plastic Man and Superman.˛* {{Animesque}}: ''Centurions'', ''Mega Man'', ''Skysurfer Strike Force'', ''Rambo'' and the 1988 ''Superman'' series. All of which, appropriately, were animated in UsefulNotes/{{Japan}}.˛* EpisodeTitleCard: As with Hanna-Barbera, most of their series use them.˛* EverybodyLaughsEnding: In ''many'' of their series.˛* FollowTheLeader: In a weird way, the studio itself. "Two men meet working at an Animation Studio, find they work well together and form their own company utilizing many things and workers employed at the former" could be the biography to both the Hanna Barbera and Ruby Spears studio.˛** Hanna Barbera invoked this rule a lot, Ruby Spears was no exception to both the former and themselves. ''WesternAnimation/{{Fangface}}'' was one example of this, with the catch that it was created by the same people who created the original Scooby-Doo in the first place.˛** ''WesternAnimation/ChuckNorrisKarateKommandos'' was a pretty transparent attempt to replicate their limited success with ''WesternAnimation/MisterT''. The formats were nearly identical - both shows featured a live-action wraparound segment starring the title character discussing the plot at the start and later restating the moral at the end, and both featured the title characters re-imagined as globetrotting heroes backed up a group of fictional characters - though while Creator/MrT was assisted by a [[MenOfSherwood group of teenage gymnasts]], Creator/ChuckNorris got a [[BadassCrew full action team]] to accompany him.˛* FriendlyEnemy: With Creator/HannaBarbera; when Ruby and Spears left the studio they did so to become competition and perhaps one up their former employers. However in the end they would continue their style, and shared plenty of employees. Eventually, once Taft owned both studios, they became much friendlier and co-produced shows with them, and even put out composite character ads. You don't get much more friendly in competition than this.˛** You can consider it a full on adoption now that Warner Bros. just considers the Ruby Spears library a part of Creator/HannaBarbera, both legally and in marketing.[[note]]This has gotten better, however: later Warner Archive releases have stopped using the Hanna-Barbera name on the main package. But do notice that in the legal paragraphs Hanna-Barbera is still named owner on the Heathcliff and Centurions [=DVDs=].[[/note]]˛* InkSuitActor: The main characters in many of their {{Animated Adaptation}}s, as well as in ''Mr. T'' and ''Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos''.˛* LimitedAnimation: Just like the studio it spun off from. Though they were a little better at hiding it in comparison.˛* OffModel: Frequently, and constantly, throughout their history. A particularly notorious example in the ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan'' cartoon became a MemeticMutation.˛* ProductionPosse: With Creator/HanhoHeungUp during the early 1980s, Creator/ToeiAnimation and Creator/WangFilmProductions in the late 1980s and [[Creator/ProductionReed Ashi Production]] towards the end of their lifespan.˛* ReclusiveArtist: Joe Ruby and Ken Spears were probably this in final years, as almost nothing was known about their whereabouts after 1996.˛* ScrewedByTheLawyers: Upon the Turner buyout, the Ruby-Spears library was sold and merged into the Creator/HannaBarbera one (in contrast to the Turner one that WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry are under) so the Ruby Spears dvds are prone to not mentioning the Ruby-Spears name. Even though they were sister studios with a very friendly relationship, it is important to remember which were which.˛** Whether or not many of the Ruby-Spears personnel would use the word "screwed" is debatable. Joe Ruby and Ken Spears appeared in one special feature documentary that included one of their cartoons in a montage talking about the Hanna-Barbera studio. Some may even have been helped get dvd releases by the association that would have been delayed without it. So some might choose a less harsh word such as "annoyed" by the lawyers.˛* ScrewedByTheNetwork: While there is often considered a divide between Creator/CartoonNetwork and Hanna-Barbera, Ruby-Spears technically is involved in this as well. From the above mentioned legal choice, most of the problems you can read on the Hanna-Barbera page under this section also apply to Ruby-Spears reruns.˛-----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: