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YMMV / Hanna-Barbera

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  • All Animation Is Disney: Or in this case, "All TV Animation Is Hanna-Barbera." As mentioned on the main page, the studio was so prolific and had such little competition (the only really notable ones being Ruby-Spears, Filmation and, on the lower end, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises) that for the entire second half of the 20th century, it was easy to mistake literally any other TV animation for an HB production. Even imports like Speed Racer were victim to this. It didn't help that the studios' 100+ shows all aired 24/7 alongside all of these other shows in the early days of Cartoon Network.
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  • Animation Age Ghetto: They are often blamed for fostering this, though however much they deserve the blame is debatable. Word of God is that their intended audience was "the family" and that they invested in Saturday morning cartoons under the assumption that children wouldn't mind Limited Animation as long as it was funny, while parents would appreciate the witty dialogue.note  While it clearly worked in their favor, as those kids eventually grew up and continued to love those funny cartoons, it had the unfortunate side effect of locking them into a preconceived notion that all of their work was child-appropriate, even when they tried to break into primetime. This wasn't too much of a problem with lighthearted shows like The Flintstones and Where's Huddles?, which were eventually reran on Saturday mornings, but more ambitious adult shows like Wait Till Your Father Gets Home clashed with this family-friendly reputation and didn't last long as a result. And that's not even getting into their straightforward dramas like Devlin and These Are the Days that aired on Saturday Morning but were written just like a live action drama, which have since been all but forgotten in favor of their more popular comedies. Ironically near the end of their run, Cartoon Network and [adult swim] would use Hanna Barbera's back catalog as the basis for their early adult animated comedies (also as a way to save money; as Turner Broadcasting was aware that older audiences at the time were willing to watch cartoons they grew up on and might be willing to see them in new contexts.
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  • Archive Panic: Over 100 TV shows! Warner Bros. released its first Hanna-Barbera DVD in 2002. As of 2018, we are a little bit over halfway done. (And that's not including the ones not retained by Hanna-Barbera.)
  • Better on DVD: While a few can be said to include more footage than when shown on cable, there is an interesting split here. As while for some binge watching a single show can make the Strictly Formula weigh thinner, but for most fans they like and buy a good percentage of the library. As a result of pairing up certain shows or episodes you now can make your own Saturday Morning or Cartoon Network line up without actually needing either.
  • Cliché Storm: Yes and no. They created and codified most of the tropes that would forever be associated with low-budget TV animation before they were cliches, but their sheer volume of output, most of which was Strictly Formula, meant they were also the first to make them cliche.
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  • Critical Dissonance: The times critics (and their fans) said something good about Hanna-Barbera can probably be counted on one hand. But then browse social media reaction to random posts from the Hanna Barbera pages or when new DVDs are announced. It's a Yabba-Dabba-Doozy of a difference. It is also important to note many of the critics take the opinion of the animation purist that never appreciated the studio's Limited Animation tropes. The dissonance here transcends beyond the studio itself, where many who are fans of the studio simply never have shared that value, neither as kids nor as adults.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • Former HB employee John Kricfalusi was called out on this after claiming that Joe Barbera was apathetic about Scooby-Doo when he really wasn't. Although given Joe Barbara's businessman personality, it's likely he said this because he was offering a character design role to John and he wanted to stay on his good side during the meeting. Then again, John already has a bad habit of lying to further discredit others; so take what he says with a grain of salt.
    • As a general rule, there are a lot of these often in discussions about Hanna Barbera and the various shows produced by them. Given how many there are, it is not surprising that some smaller details get lost in the shuffle, but at the same time, it can also make one wonder whether some people are Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch. For example, anyone should be able to realize that Scooby-Doo and Jabberjaw have multiple things in common, but they should also realize the shows have multiple points of contrast. While it is understandable to call them similar and point out their Follow the Leader patterns, it is really a much larger stretch to claim that the show about "four amateur detectives and their talking dog unmasking fake ghosts" and the show about "a band and a talking shark foiling would-be world conquerors on gigs" can be "interchangeable" or are the "same". One other point raised a lot in more recent times is that some people seem to miss a lot of the news about the older properties and new productions based on them, even though they tend to make up a chunk of Warner Bros.' output each and every year.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Due to the company's Shared Universe, many people will consider Hanna-Barbera as a whole to be an ensemble. While this trope applies to some characters within their own group ensembles, you will find examples of this trope for certain shows themselves within the Hanna-Barbera ensemble.
  • First Installment Wins: Among the detractors, if they have anything positive to say, it's usually for Tom and Jerry. For those a bit more charitable for their TV work, they would cite the first incarnation of Jonny Quest for its day.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The 1994 TV movie Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights feels more like a Warner Bros. cartoon, despite Hanna-Barbera being under Turner Entertainment's ownership at the time. Turner would merge with Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) two years after the special's broadcast and placed Hanna-Barbera into Warner Bros's hands, who later folded them into Warner Bros. Animation in 2001.
    • Several Disney animators migrated to Hanna-Barbera after the former wanted to focus more on live action during the 60s. Not only would Hanna-Barbera venture into live action a decade later, but when their successor also tried this approach in the mid 2000s, many HB alumni still working for the network jumped ship over to Disney.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The studio's notorious habit of shameless recycling is a regular target of critics.
  • Lowest Common Denominator: In a good way. Part of the reason the studio lasted as long as it did was its reliance on simple concepts and instantly appealing characters, with little in the way of "controversial" ideology.
  • Memetic Mutation: Fan-made versions of the studio's portrait logos are fairly common on the web, given how easy they are to make in Photoshop.
  • Mis-blamed: One thing that has been muddied on in more recent times was to assume Hanna-Barbera itself was in the red in The '80s, which isn't exactly true. The studio was no longer the dominant force it was on Saturday Morning but still got a lot of work orderd. Most of the financial issues were over the studio's head at Taft/Great American Broadcasting. The entire reason they felt the need to sell Hanna-Barbera, Ruby-Spears and Hanna-Barbera Australia were that they were profitable assets and, as such, worth a good chunk of cash. The most ironic bit of history validating this is while the studios lived on, their former owner still filled for bankruptcy in 1993 (becoming known as "Citicasters", eventually being absorbed into the monolithic Clear Channel (now known as iHeartMedia) in 1999).
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The melody used for the star logo during the 1980s.
  • My Real Daddy:
  • Narm Charm: A good deal of their fans will admit that, on a technical level, HB cartoons aren't very sophisticated and the humor is very broad, but it's that simplicity which makes it so appealing.
  • Never Live It Down: They will be pretty much remain associated with several Limited Animation tropes, especially the Wraparound Background.
  • Older than You Think: While the studio is commonly associated with the 1960s (generally considered their peak period), few are able to make the distinction between the beginning of the studio named Hanna-Barbera and the partnership of its two founders, which began with the Tom and Jerry theatrical shorts. The studio itself got its proper start in 1957 and continued to operate all the way until Bill Hanna's death in 2001, after its assets were absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation note 
  • Retroactive Recognition: Considering that Hanna-Barbera at one point staffed well over 2,000 artists, it's no surprise that many of them would go on to make names for themselves.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny
    • When Hanna-Barbera first appeared on the scene in the late 1950s, the idea of a painstaking, laborious form of entertainment such as animation being produced on a television schedule and budget was unknown, and their cost-effective, instantly appealing shows were considered revolutionary. However, in an age of more sophisticated production and creator-driven content, has lead some to wonder what the appeal of such cartoons ever was in the first place, let alone how they still have fans to this day.
    • It can be surprising for many to learn that the studio's slapstick-heavy comedy, which are now known considered almost agonizingly inoffensive, was considered by media watchdogs in the late 60s and early 70s to be the epitome of violence on television, enough to get the studio to stop producing action cartoons for several years after Space Ghost. Ignoring the opinion that most of these shows were significantly less violent than the cartoons Hanna and Barbara had made in the Golden Age of Animation, just about every live-action crime drama and animated show for adults that's come out since this era makes the alleged violence in HB shows look downright quaint.
  • Silent Majority: In the 2000s, it became apparent some of HB's non-fans helped to spread an "uncool" reputation for the company, especially online. However, since then, Warner Bros.' treatment of the brand has been steadily increasing. Even at first, it appeared that DVD releases of classic material and new productions based on the studio's most popular characters were produced at such large rates, it seems improbable there would be this much time and effort spent without a sufficient fanbase supporting them. note  As time goes on, with even more attempts to jump-start the company's assets, this seems to be the proof positive this trope exists alongside the company's internet hatedom.


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