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Creator / Hanna-Barbera

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Joseph Barbera (left) and William Hanna (right) with plushes of some of their many characters and a couple of the Emmy Awards their studio won over the years.note 

The partnership of William Denby "Bill" Hanna (July 14, 1910 – March 22, 2001) and Joseph Roland "Joe" Barbera (March 24, 1911 – December 18, 2006)—yes, it was not, in fact, created by a woman named Hanna Barbera—began at MGM's animation studio, where the pair created Tom and Jerry and spent almost 20 years directing their cartoon shorts. After MGM got out of the cartoon business in 1957, Hanna and Barbera founded their own studio, which would come 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 (1981); the Emmy-winning live-action Made-for-TV Movie The Gathering; and a handful of feature films, most notably a popular adaptation of Charlotte's Web. It was also responsible for the infamous live-action acid sequence in 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 than the actual animation process itself. Although other animators who enjoyed better budgets in different circumstances, such as famed Looney Tunes veteran Chuck Jones, would dismiss this approach as "Illustrated Radio", these practices allowed H-B to continue producing works and employing in times where other studios struggled, and manage to continue doing so well into the 1980s and 1990s. In 1967, the company was purchased by Ohio-based Taft Broadcasting (yes, related to that Taft), which also owned a bunch of regional theme parks such as King's Island in Ohio and Carowinds in North Carolina, and thus Hanna-Barbera properties became prominent at these parks, lasting for years after Taft spun them off (eventually coming under Paramount ownership, then Cedar Fair Entertainment; the attractions were rebranded as Nickelodeon-themed rides after Paramount merged with Viacom, and then after Peanuts in later years after the parks for a short time came under CBS ownership just prior to Cedar Fair taking over), and when Taft acquired syndication company Worldvision Enterprises (the former ABC Films) in 1979, this meant that not only did H-B have easier access to the syndication market, but Taft television stations also had a built-in cartoon supply - this was most apparent on independent stations owned by Taft, which were free from commitments to network programming (Taft owned as many as five independent stations at once: KTXA in Dallas-Fort Worth, KTXH in Houston, WCIX in Miami, WDCA in Washington, D.C., and WTAF in Philadelphia).

In the late 1980s, Taft (which later renamed itself to Great American Broadcasting) faced a lot of internal and financial issues (chiefly stemming from a hostile takeover led by junk bond trader Carl Lindner). 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 sale happened in 1988, when a buyout was reached for Hanna-Barbera's Australian division. That entity became the Southern Star Group and took 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 Broadcasting that resulted in Turner purchasing Hanna-Barbera and its library. Turner also purchased the Ruby-Spears library, but not the studio, which became its own entity again. It was here those libraries merged and the HB shows were united with the predecessor shorts Bill and Joe had done for MGM, but are legally not in the same library. note  Under the new ownership, everything that was in planning but not funded was put on hold (indeed, Turner was planning to shut the studio down and simply continue to utilize the library. Then-president David Kirschner convinced Ted not to, partially because of H-B being in production on expensive theatrical productions; Kirschner eventually turned H-B's feature animation into the semi-separate Turner Feature Animation, which only was able to produce The Pagemaster and Cats Don't Dance before being absorbed into Warner Bros. Feature Animation), and in 1992 Turner launched Cartoon Network. The HB libraries and MGM libraries, along with the pre-August 1948 color Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies library and most of the Harman-Ising Merrie Melodies acquired when Turner bought out MGM in 1986note . This combined library, along with some other material, 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 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. Originally this was only seen as a sub-division while the rest of the studio made their efforts to switch over from other channels. note 

In 1996, Time Warner merged with Turner Broadcasting, putting them under the same corporate roof as Warner Bros., all the ironic given H-B had a few years earlier lost a good amount of its staff to WB. This reunited a few H-B shows that had been in the hands of Warner Bros.note , and reunited the pre-1948 color Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies and the Harman-Ising Merrie Melodies with the rest of the library.note  From this point Hanna-Barbera was slowly merged into Warner Bros. Animation, with the intent that the new company didn't need more than one animation studio. This, however, didn't go entirely smoothly. note  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 Network Studios) under the Turner silo 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 under the Warner Bros. silo. By this point in time, the Cartoon Cartoon efforts had dominated the studio's output, in comparison to other general Hanna Barbera productions, and from here on out the earliest Cartoon Cartoons (including The Powerpuff Girls)note  stopped being associated with Hanna-Barbera as well.

In 2016, Warner Bros. announced plans to create a Shared Universe of animated films based on Hanna-Barbera properties, provided that the 2020 animated feature SCOOB! does well. SCOOB! presented itself as a modern-set Alternate Continuity, using elements from various HB shows and altering them. Whether the movie launches any sequels is still undetermined, but it has also been noted Warner Bros. hopes this film also leads to a greater presence of Hanna-Barbera characters in the theatrical market, whether they be animated, live-action or hybrid. These also may not all share strict continuity, given comments made by writer Tim Sheridan on how the Scooby writers view continuity and that WB isn't against DC movies being made that are not in the DC Extended Universe.

On March 4, 2019, in a major shakeup of WarnerMedia by their new owners, AT&T, Warner Bros. took control of Cartoon Network and its production operations, ultimately bringing Hanna-Barbera and the Cartoon Network properties under one roof again for the first time in 18 years. While the shakeup brought no major alternations at first, April 2021 saw Cartoon Network Studios Europe (the branch of Cartoon Network Studios that produces The Amazing World of Gumball and other shows) be rebranded as Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe. This change gives Hanna-Barbera a physical studio presence for the first time in 20 years; the studio's logo is an homage to its 1966 and 1974 logos, while its endcap also revives the trademark "swirling star" element. The Direct to Video film Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! meets Courage the Cowardly Dog marks the first Crossover between a classic Hanna-Barbera property (Scooby Doo) and a Cartoon Network original show (Courage the Cowardly Dog) since the earliest days of the restructuring. In addition, HBO Max, WarnerMedia's flagship streaming service, hosts material from both the Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network libraries.

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

For a complete list of their shows, check out IMDb:

Between 1965 and 1967, H-B dabbled in the music industry with Hanna-Barbera Records. While many HBR releases were based on the studio's cartoons, the label also had an eclectic pop roster which included Scatman Crothers, Paul Frees, and The 13th Floor Elevators. Read the HBR story here.

List of Hanna-Barbera works:

Hanna-Barbera as a company and its works provide examples of:

  • Acting for Two: And how! A lot of Hanna-Barbera shows had only a few actors playing all the parts. Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines had just two, Don Messick and Paul Winchell. Luckily, the actors were talented enough to have multiple voices in their repertoire.
  • 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.
  • Book Ends: Joe made his directorial debut with the first Tom and Jerry short Puss Gets the Boot in 1940, so it's fitting that his last directing credit would be for the final theatrical Tom and Jerry short, The Karate Guard, in 2005 before his death the following year.
  • Career Resurrection: Subverted. While the name "Hanna-Barbera" was retired in 2001, the studio (or what remained of its assets, at least) never officially went away so much as just being more limited until something triggered a bigger comeback. There are two especially notable examples of this.
    • After middling success in the 1980s, when their runaway hit was the Long Runner The Smurfs (1981) that nothing else matched, a shakeup in management, as well as a massive facelift of their production pipeline, led to the production of Cartoon Network's hugely successful Cartoon Cartoons, most of which were HB productions (or at least had their initial pilots produced by HB) and existed under the studio's umbrella until about 2001. Until Cartoon Network Studios' own absorption into WB, association between the two had been little to none.
    • As of 2016, while the company Hanna-Barbera operates in name only, Warner Bros. has made another more abundant attempt to jump-start the HB brand to bigger goals. This seems to be a culmination of several years of back catalog releases doing well to expanding the new Direct to Video movies to include more than Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry, increasing of other merchandise for sale, letting DC produce more comics with the characters and the intent of using the animated Scooby-Doo reboot feature to launch a whole film universe. 2017 had brought about another increase in promotion for the 60th anniversary of the studio, and Wacky Races, the first children's TV cartoon based on a non-Scooby-Doo classic H-B property in 21 years. Jellystone! and the scheduled Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs (the latter having been held back in the US for 3 years) would follow in 2021, as the rise of streaming services gives the previously niche product that these characters had become room to breathe.
  • Continuity Drift: Continuity in Hanna Barbera productions is a difficult subject. Even despite many of the shows tending to operate on lax rules regarding continuity in general, the studio never had a problem producing crossovers and show off their characters inhabiting a Shared Universe. This creates a weird contrast as to how the shows reference one another, but most of their shows operated on either this principle or Broad Strokes. In Hanna Barbera, sometimes continuity is there and sometimes it changes by the episode. One can't say Hanna-Barbera had a strict continuity, but also one can't say Hanna-Barbera had no continuity. From an out of universe reason a lot of this is a result of Rule of Fun. From an in-universe perspective, one might consider it a faulty timeline which really can be Hilarious in Hindsight as that gives an excuse for all the mistakes that happen from time to time.
  • Crossover: 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 this was 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 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.
  • Creator's Oddball:
    • The Tom and Jerry shorts, when compared to the output of H&B's own studio. The former were lavishly animated and featured almost no dialogue, while the latter was the exact opposite. It’s sort of a shame to see what the duo was capable of when given the proper resources.
    • Most of their live-action TV movies (on which Barbera was always keener than Hanna). As the name Hanna-Barbera is often associated with Western Animation, it can be weird to learn they did in fact attempt to branch out to include live-action material, some with animation components and some with none at all. This came ahead in the 90s when the studio formed "Bedrock Productions" to produce live-action content for TV, such as The Dreamer of Oz and the infamous Poochinski pilot.
    • This is also the case with their more obscure adult-oriented productions. While everyone can remember types such as Funny Animal and You Meddling Kids cartoons from Hanna-Barbera, they've occasionally deviated from their target audience to produce cartoons like the serious drama Devlin and the primetime adult sketch comedy show Jokebook. These shows are so against what people associate with Hanna-Barbera that you can change a the course of an entire conversation just by mentioning them.
    • Their obscure live-action TV special The Last Halloween marked the first and only time Hanna-Barbera used CGI to animate their characters. They've experimented with the technology before, but primarily used it for visual effects like with the Funtastic World ride.
  • 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. It was earliest in the 1960s, with shows like Jonny Quest and Space Ghost being action shows where the weekly bad guys didn't always survive the episode. During the 1970s this trend was dialed back, as the increased controversy over "cartoon violence" forced Hanna-Barbera to focus on comedies instead.
  • 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.
    • They would, however, outsource several shows out to their Australian branch or to Wang Film Productions during the late 70s through to the 80s to varying degrees of involvement.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Some of their characters made cameos as prototypes in cartoons, usually as villains. For example, Snagglepuss started out as a villain named "Snaggletooth" in Quick Draw McGraw before getting its' own series of shorts. Hardy Har Har was an antagonist in a Snooper and Blabber cartoon. Ricochet Rabbit was an antagonist in a Touché Turtle cartoon.
  • Flip-Flop of God: Given his businessman personality, Joe was known to backtrack on his own thoughts during pitch meetings and, on occasions, casual conversations. This likely explains why John Kricfalusi made claim that Joe hated Scooby-Doo when he really didn't, Joe just wanted to be on John's good side when he offered a character design position to him; especially since John was one of his biggest fans.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • Almost all of their cartoons were made to cash in on something trendy at the time. Secret Squirrel was made to cash in on the success of James Bond for instance.
    • They were also prone to following themselves. Popular formulas included:
      • "Animal wants to escape from confinement/steal food" - Yogi Bear, Wally Gator, Breezly and Sneezly, Squiddly Diddly, Hair Bear Bunch.
      • "Small smart guy and big dumb guy fight crime" - Quick Draw McGraw, Ricochet Rabbit, Touche Turtle.
      • "Animals try to scam others" - Hokey Wolf, Top Cat, Lippy and Hardy.
      • "Superhero action shows with realistically drawn people" - Space Ghost, Birdman, Herculoids, Galaxy Trio, Superfriends.
      • "Sitcom with a certain gimmick" - Flintstones (prehistoric), Jetsons (space), Roman Holidays (Ancient Rome), Where's Huddles? (football).
      • "Mystery solving teens" - Scooby-Doo, Jabberjaw, Clue Club, Funky Phantom.
      • "Small, cute creatures" - Smurfs, Snorks, Shirt Tales, Monchhichis.
    • In 1991, they opened their own store to compete with the Disney Store. It was shut down a year later.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Played with.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Surprisingly, Bill and Joe's relationship was largely professional, and they very rarely interacted outside of the workplace. Tellingly, both of their biographies barely make any mention of their partner.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    • With Ruby-Spears, both Ruby and Spears met at Hanna Barbera and split off to form their own studio. Despite doing so to create more competition for them they however shared a generally positive relationship with their old employer. (Given that they shared multiple employees this of course made some sense) Once Ruby-Spears was sold to Taft in 1981, H-B and R-S became sister studios and began producing shows together and co-marketing. The relationship is somewhat fuzzier now since 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/joint venture of Hanna Barbera. Despite being divorced, Endemol is allowed to brand several of their DVDs' material with the Hanna-Barbera name note , and Warner seems to be on good terms with them to not raise a case about it.
  • Genre-Prolific Creator: They did Golden Age's slapstick (Tom and Jerry), science fiction (Space Ghost and The Jetsons), pulp action-adventure (Jonny Quest), horror comedy (Scooby-Doo and the thousand of it's clones), superhero (Super Friends and The Atom Ant Show), spy fiction (Secret Squirrel) and western (Quick Draw McGraw).
  • In Name Only: Turner's initial idea for Cartoon Network Studios was to serve as an in-house example of this for Hanna-Barbera. While HB was wrapping production on their then current shows, this new "subdivision" would be in charge of testing the waters for more original content on the channel until the rest of the company shifted focus towards this goal. It wasn't until Executive Meddling from the Time Warner buyout caused CN Studios to become recognized as a full-fledged production arm of Hanna-Barbera before eventually spinning off into its own company. This is why CN Studios invokedisn't credited on most of the channel's first shows despite already having been formed, as they weren't intended to be a permanent addition to HB from the start. Before such, CN's president Betty Cohen and Hanna Barbera's head Fred Seibert had enjoyed a good working relationship, and given how much Turner's CN utilized the classic HB roster, looking back in hindsight can make one stunned at just how much the failed merger affected every institution involved.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: For most of the library, this is becoming less of an issue. Warner is vastly committed to releasing their holdings, and thanks to the Warner Archive DVD-R program, it's relatively easy to release shows. However, odds of the ones not owned by Warner (e.g., The Harlem Globetrotters) are much lower and require some circulating.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The studio went through this in the mid-to-late 90's during their transition into Cartoon Network, as the channel's emphasis on creator-driven cartoons caused many of their shows to contrast heavily with the rest of the HB library in terms of style and invokedtone.
  • 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 course, as mentioned on Animation Bump, give Hanna-Barbera a budget and they would use it for all it was worth.
    • Believe it or not, Hanna-Barbera cartoons were actually more animated than the very first TV cartoons like Crusader Rabbit. That show was originally part of a package called The Comic Strips of Television because the characters literally didn’t move at all. Even in later years, their work was noticeably more animated than anything put out by the likes of Filmation.
    • For the record, Bill and Joe never liked the term "limited animation"; their prefered name for their process was "planned animation."
  • Marathon Running: During the Thanksgiving weekend of 2020, Boomerang aired marathons of their most popular shows, most notably Top Cat, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Wacky Races, Jonny Quest, Josie and the Pussycats, and Magilla Gorilla.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Some of their 80's shows such as Challenge of the GoBots and Sky Commanders.
  • Mickey Mousing: Originally averted in most cases, as in their earliest years they used stock music from the Capitol Hi-Q library (as heard in Gumby, Ren & Stimpy and even Night of the Living Dead (1968)), and then when Hoyt Curtin took over as the studio's full-time composer in 1961, he generally continued this approach, in most cases coming up with canned music cues that would be recycled, sometimes from show to show. In an interview, Hoyt explained...
    "I just let the music play. Hanna liked that. He didn't want the music to stop and start all the time. I think he was right. The sound effects guy is there to put the sound on every blink; just let the music be happy underneath. Kind of anti-Disney after a while."
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The studio lasted as long as it did because their cartoons were purposefully made to appeal to everyone. Kids liked the colorful characters, slapstick humor, and action, while grown-ups liked the witty writing and celebrity references. In the case of Huckleberry Hound, college students adored the series and had fan clubs for it, as well as "Huckleberry Hound Days" where they would blast episodes of series on the loudspeakers.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Many of their characters' voices are impressions of old celebrities. For example, Wally Gator's voice is based on Ed Wynn.
  • No Export for You: For Hanna-Barbera, this trope was the case in Germany and Austria, when the invokedAnimation Age Ghetto was strong in the United States. Hanna-Barbera did not recognize Germany (until 1990, split into West Germany and East Germany) and Austria because of both countries' very harsh history of authoritarianism and is also due to Moral Guardians. Until the 1990s, West Germany (later Germany) and Austria heavily relied on American animation studios other than Hanna-Barbera for American animation distribution. As a result, most classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons were never dubbed in German while some others, like Yogi Bear and Top Cat, fall into Late Export for You as they were only released in Germany and Austria in the 1990s.
  • 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. To take it up a notch when Warner Bros decided to give the HB characters a serious theatrical push in SCOOB! they grounded the plot in this trope especially among a pair of and the studio's most beloved heroes and two of the studio's most beloved villains.
    • 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.
  • Production Posse:
    • Most of the animators previously worked with Disney and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Even some of them worked on Tom & Jerry when they were at MGM.
    • Composer Hoyt Curtin and music producer Paul DeKorte frequently worked on several shows together from the early 1960s until DeKorte's death in 1985 and Curtin's retirement one year later. They even worked on Battle of the Planets.
    • HB's productions usually had several voice actors who regularly worked alongside one another. Daws Butler, Casey Kasem, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Janet Waldo, and Frank Welker were among its regulars.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Given how the company produced several popular shows over the span of 44 years, it's no surprise to learn that many of its later alumni were fans of their shows as well.
    • Fred Seibert, who was head of television production from 1992 to 1993, and president of the whole studio from 1993 to 1996, instituted the What A Cartoon program, and a set of logos celebrating classic Hanna-Barbera characters (the H-B "All-Stars").
    • As a longtime Scooby-Doo and HB fan, not only did Van Partible had the honor of writing a crossover episode with the Mystery, Inc. gang for Johnny Bravo and later story boarding for one of their many televised reboots, but he also had the chance to work with studio co-founder Joe Barbera himself, having him as a writer and consultant during the first few episodes of Johnny's first season, before he was dismissed due to budget constraints.
      • Van also wanted the aesthetic '50s HB design style implanted in the show and as such tried to hire as much veterans from the studio as he could, with one specific alumni he got out of retirement, Ed Benedict, who was a background consultant and background designer for the first season and several holiday specials.
    • Before Seth Macfarlane got his first break in TV with the studio, he grew up as a fanboy of both The Jetsons and Flintstones, and in his later career with Fox he tried to reboot the latter for a newer audience; which unfortunately never came through due to licensing issues.
    • Maxwell Atoms was another younger talent that came in as a fan to the company from his childhood. He also said in an interview Cartoon Network gave him some trouble when he still wanted to use some older characters for cameos in his shows. After departing Cartoon Network, Atoms would return to do some work for Warner Bros. Animation's Bunnicula which in premise clearly shows some favor to the special produced by sibling studio Ruby-Spears as well.
    • Donovan Cook has often cited Secret Squirrel as one of his favorite shows growing up and as a key inspiration for his decision to enter the animation industry. So it wasn't a shock to many when he decided to revive the character as a side story between episodes of his first TV series.
  • Real-Life Relative: Joseph Barbera's daughter, Jayne, worked with Hanna-Barbera for several years, first as an ink and paint supervisor, and then as a production manager.
  • 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.
  • Recycled Script: They loved reusing plots for their shows. Just a few of their common tropes and plots include Latex Perfection, Evil Knockoff, Unexpected Inheritance, and Fractured Fairy Tale.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: With the high number of shows produced per year and their short turn-around time, this would happen frequently...
    • When Hoyt Curtin first became the studio's full-time composer in 1961 and the Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw shows abandoned the use of Capitol's Hi-Q stock music library in favor of original music, Curtin largely recycled his compositions from The Flintstones and The Yogi Bear Show in both series (and even then, both aforementioned shows tended to "borrow" music from one another.)
    • When Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was a brand-new show, the first season's musical soundtrack consisted of roughly half original compositions by Ted Nichols (who often filled in for Curtin from the mid-60s to the early 70s) and stock tracks written for previous H-B shows (most notably tracks from The Adventures of Gulliver and The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and a "circus acrobatics" theme from Wacky Races.)
    • H-B continued this practice well into the early 1990s. A Pup Named Scooby-Doo recycled a few music cues from the 80s Jetsons revival and The New Yogi Bear Show, in addition to a whole batch of new music cues by John Debney.
  • 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. However, the studio wasn't immune to also having fun with this; The Super Globetrotters had so much fun reveling in this tropethat they clearly were trying to fit as many in as possible.
  • Rhyming Names: Many of Hanna-Barbera's cartoons that use Character Title features characters with rhyming names, while the ones that feature duos frequently employ Rhyme Theme Naming.
  • 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. Filmation even generally used the same Stock Sound Effects as Hanna-Barbera, albeit at a distinctively lower sound quality.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers:
    • Marvel Comics' Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera comics are unlikely to be reprinted now that the Hanna-Barbera characters are owned by Warner Bros., parent of DC Comics. It was made even more unlikely when Marvel was bought by Disney.
    • The studio's sister company, Ruby-Spears, has received some of this by way of how the Turner buyout merged their library into the Hanna Barbera library. Some of their cartoons are branded in the Hanna-Barbera Classic Collection, some are not. However all claim Hanna Barbera as their owner in the legal crawl on the back, because legally now they are. note 
    • There were reportedly negotiations involving a DVD release of The Fantastic Four (1967) shortly before Disney bought Marvel Comics.
    • Quick Draw McGraw and later seasons of Huckleberry Hound used music from the Capitol Records library as underscore. As a result, the shows are stuck in legal limbo as the rights to the music has reverted back to their composers.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • In its original run, the studio suffered from this in regards to Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, which was cancelled in response to the negative feedback it got from Moral Guardians who cited it as inappropriate for younger viewers.
    • Mark Evanier in one of his blog posts recalled how Joe Barbera had some instances where he clashed with the network censors. Two often recalled examples being that he and Doug Wildey failed to convince the network to let them do a darker-themed Godzilla show, and another where Barbera and Evanier clashed with network people on Scrappy Doo being, well, too scrappy.
    • In later years, the history of the studio's catalog and Cartoon Network is a turbulent one, to say the least. Originally, reruns of HB (and Ruby-Spears) shows made up a good chunk of the schedule, making it for some people a resource and even possibly the place they first ever learned about that huge list above. The major change in this is often pinpointed to be 2001, a year that brought many changes to Cartoon Network as the disastrous AOL-Time Warner merger occurred. As you read above, some of this really began earlier, but the splitting of the studios and the Kellner vs Cohen feud of 2001 is really the point that is impossible to change course on. See here for the very long summary that explains the Cartoon Network side of this history.
    • Upon the split, Warner Bros. Animation continued on with HB legacy productions and had Kids WB as an alternative. Cartoon Network had it's own studio to produce its original content for themselves. As time went on though, under Jim Samples more and more HB shows lost their places on the network. Some were able to find semi-reliable space on Boomerang, while others did not. As a result, some shows on the main page were victims of the Keep Circulating the Tapes trope for over a decade and some still are.
    • Several of Cartoon Network's promos from the above mentioned time seemed to have pointed some of this out. There is some confusion as when this process began Cartoon Network under Cohen believed in parodying their cartoons while also showing them in their regular forms. A lot of the humor came from the programming room. note  Originally though the concept behind these may have been to parody the rivalry going on at the studio by even having the characters kind of take sides. Once the studios split and the Cohen-era ended there seemed to be a more direct Take That! attitude added some of which even twisted the network's old slogan into the best place for some cartoons. This may have made some of the earlier light hearted ones look invokedHarsher in Hindsight.
      • Some of the earliest ones featured Dexter and Weasel explaining time zone listings while Dr. Quest stood in the background and got chastised for dropping a lab flask. Then Weasel did a presentation explaining the difference between Cartoon Cartoons and regular cartoons, with less than enthusiastic descriptions of some less popular HB and RS shows. Then they had Yogi Bear not being allowed into the building without an ID, even though they featured his poster behind the reception desk. There was the "parking lot" promo where Fred Flintstone, Thundarr and Chicken try to find a parking spot (as the lot is overcrowded thanks to all the characters), which ultimately culminates in a standoff with Speed Racer. Another one had Ugh from Dino-Boy having to help Edd find the recording room at the CN offices, with Ugh spending the entire time complaining that he has next to no work there anymore since it "got crowded". The most famous (and a notable Take That!) one, though, had Scrappy-Doo going on a rant, in which he outright snaps at the Cartoon Cartoons for them being treated like "the kings and queens of this network".
    • Some specific shows are cited as having been caught in the middle of the Cartoon Network situation. Cave Kids was a new show made for the network and it was cancelled after only a few episodes. Meanwhile, it is reportedly the reason why shows like 2 Stupid Dogs and SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron were cancelled as more of the budget went towards producing Cartoon Network originals rather then rehoming HB series from other networks (though fans of the latter have Misblamed Ted Turner for supposedly preferring Captain Planet and cancelling SK... which is ironic, given CP ended not long after for the same reason). In later years, some of WB's ideas for Hanna-Barbera legacy properties found themselves being rejected due to CN not having any interest in green-lighting them. Not to mention, several of the shows that did get produced have had their scheduling so backed up (thanks to Vishnu Atreya's spamming of popular shows to the detriment of everything else on the schedule), even the people who worked on them admitted they had no idea when or where they'd air.
    • This last note is again for both HB and RS. While a good chunk of their shows appeared at some point on Cartoon Network or Boomerang, recent revelations by the Warner Archive proved some shows from both parts of the library have legally been theirs the whole time, yet never were shown on Cartoon Network or Boomerang. Jerry Beck, back in the older days, did note that CN never had copies of every single thing in these libraries, so it begs the question which were deliberately snubbed and which were innocently overlooked.
  • 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 mentioned Cartoon Network gave him a bit of a hard time over using the older HB characters for cameos. However, even longer after H-B shut down, SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron 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). OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes has even more references, with creator Ian Jones-Quartey specifically stating that H-B is in the show's DNA (see above).
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Seen in their talking animal shows of the 1950's and early 1960's. Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Secret Squirrel and others are firmly in the Funny Animal category, while Yogi Bear and Magilla Gorilla are treated more like Civilized Animals, in spite of everyone wearing at least some clothing, being bipedal, and being able to converse with humans in English. Later CrossOver shows like Yogi's Gang tend to put everyone firmly at the Funny Animal level.
  • Speech-Centric Work: Most of their shows from were dialogue heavy by necessity (except Blast-Off Buzzard, which had no dialogue). Due to the small budgets and short production time, they had to make do with limited animation, so most of the effort went to writing the dialogue.
  • invokedSpiritual 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 is, however, heavier debate which of the two animation studios owned by WarnerMedia deserve to be the heir apparent. One is Cartoon Network Studios, which began it's existence as a sub-entity of Hanna-Barbera in 1994 before going on it's own. A lot of their 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 another studio. That studio being Warner Bros. Animation, which was revitalized in the early 1990s after that exodus. The Turner/Time Warner merger ended up putting both of these entities back under the same umbrella in 1996. Corporate executives 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. Now, thanks to the AT&T merger and subsequent reorganization, both of these entities are back under the same roof, and it remains to be seen if history repeats itself, or they learn from past issues how to handle it better.
  • Stock Footage: Hanna-Barbera often used this method when necessary, though at least it didn't get as bad or repetitive as Filmation's use of stock footage, in most cases.
  • Stock Sound Effects: H-B had a very popular and memorable library of sound effects, and not just the usual cartoony sounds, but more general effects as well. Most of them were released on CD by Sound Ideas, though it's a pretty expensive collection (as it's a professional royalty-free sound effects library.). In fact, many of their sound effects are still being used by sound editors today!
  • 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 at MGM, Fred Quimby. Now notice how pushy Fred Flinstone and Fred Jones (of Scooby-Doo) are....
  • They Also Did: The studio, along with several established artists that they hired over the years, were involved with some notable works in the industry.
    • Before he became the studio's chairman and president, David Kirschner already had writer/producer credits for films like Child's Play and An American Tail under his belt.
    • Mark Jones, the writer/director of Leprechaun and some other quirky movies, was also a writer at both Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears. While his works are often a bit more adult, when watching his movies with this knowledge, the influence is noticeable. And just to be clear, yes, the man who created Leprechaun has some credits on Scooby-Doo.
    • Illustrator Clark Haas was the creator of Clutch Cargo and the founder of Cambria Productions. Both him and Captain Fathom writer Warren Tuff spent the rest of their careers with Hanna-Barbera after Cambria's closure.
    • HB provided some early concept art for the first Crash Bandicoot game. The specific artist in question was a young Butch Hartman.
    • Flintstones and Jetsons writer Joanna Lee is remembered for her role as the alien "Tanna" from Plan 9 from Outer Space.
    • The studio itself produced many of Cartoon Network's earliest shows and pilotsnote  before the channel took over production themselves.
  • Tie-In Cereal:
    • If there was ever an example of the trope that outlived its source material, that honor would go to Fruity Pebbles and Coco Pebbles. Originally made as a tie-in to The '60s animated sitcom The Flintstones, the Pebbles Cereal was so popular that the cereal would continue to be sold in every grocery store in America to this day, even as the original show reached its end. Even if you've never seen an episode of The Flintstones or any other iteration of the franchise, you've probably had one of the Pebbles Cereals at least once.
    • Besides the everlasting Fruity Pebbles, other Hanna-Barbera characters have also sponsored cereal. Quick Draw McGraw sponsored Sugar Smacks, Snuffles (also from QDMG) sponsored Apple Jacks, when Sugar Smacks was changed to Honey Smacks The Banana Splits sponsored it at one point, Snagglepuss sponsored Cocoa Krispies, Yogi Bear sponsored OKs Cereal, and Huckleberry Hound sponsored Sugar All Stars.
  • Vindicated by Reruns: A lot of Hanna-Barbera shows only lasted one season, but it's near universal that HB shows were quite easy to get rerun slots, first on Saturday morning and so on. In the 1990s, Cartoon Network was created as a 24-hour source for rerunning a lot of these shows and no doubt a reason for their continued fandom building. For a library with a whole percent being one season shows, some of those social media reactions can be pretty notable.
    • Given that in recent time home media has overtaken cable as the thing to get if you like watching reruns of older programming, it is also evident that Hanna-Barbera is the area of Warner Bros. Animation's library that routinely gets the most releases each year.
    • The Hanna Barbera Diamond Collection in 2017 was a surprising move that cemented this. Warner Bros. seemed to have been moving the majority of their older properties into the Warner Archive over the previous years. While WB regularly re-releases discs to stores with new packaging, it is notable these were actually newly made discs, which doesn't happen often for back-catalog animation.note  The idea they would take this risk only for a 60th anniversary and three years before the theatrical push really speaks to how much they feel in the HB brand as a whole.note 
  • What Could Have Been: Enough for an entire sub-folder.
  • Zany Cartoon: The company's bread and butter, as while they did do a handful of nuanced dramas, the low budgets and short turnaround time tended to inspire more broad slapstick and downright silly plots animated in a snappy pose-to-pose style.