|Fate||Absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation|
|Predecessor||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio|
|Successor||Warner Bros. Animation|
Cartoon Network Studios
|Founded||July 7, 1957|
Theatrical feature films
Theatrical short films
|Parent||Taft Broadcasting (1966–1991)|
Turner Broadcasting System (1991–1996)
Time Warner (1996–2001)
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. /
It was a prominent force and leader in American television animation as it created a wide variety of popular animated characters and produced a succession of cartoon series, including The Flintstones, The Yogi Bear Show, The Jetsons, Wacky Races, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Smurfs. Additionally, Hanna-Barbera produced new movies for theatrical release and television broadcast as well as specials and direct-to-video content.
Hanna and Barbera's cartoons won them seven Academy Awards, eight Emmy Awards, a Governors Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With their studio now established as a successful company, the two men and original investor Sidney sold it to Taft Broadcasting on December 29, 1966. Taft would run it for the next quarter-century.
By the mid-1980s, when the profitability of Saturday-morning cartoons was eclipsed by weekday afternoon syndication, Hanna-Barbera's fortunes had declined. Turner Broadcasting System purchased the studio from Taft (by then renamed Great American Broadcasting) in late 1991 and used much of its back catalog as programming for its new channel, Cartoon Network.
After Turner purchased the company, Hanna and Barbera continued to serve as creative consultants and mentors. The studio became a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Animation in 1996 following Turner Broadcasting's merger with Time Warner, and was ultimately absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation in 2001.
As of 2019, Warner Bros. now distributes subsequent Hanna-Barbera cartoons, as well as now owning the rights to its back catalogue.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1939–1957: Humble beginnings, Tom & Jerry, birth of Hanna-Barbera
- 1.2 1957–1969: Major success with Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones and others
- 1.3 1970–1979: Scooby knockoffs, along with live-action and more
- 1.4 1980–1990: The Smurf craze, later years
- 1.5 1991–1996: Turner rebound and rise of Cartoon Network
- 1.6 1997–2006: Absorption into Warner Bros. Animation, deaths of founders
- 1.7 Ownership and new projects based on legacy properties
- 2 Other media
- 3 List of Hanna-Barbera productions
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
1939–1957: Humble beginnings, Tom & Jerry, birth of Hanna-Barbera
William Hanna, a native of Melrose, New Mexico and Joseph Barbera, born of Italian heritage in New York City, first met at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio in 1939, while working at its animation division (through its Rudolf Ising unit) and thus began a partnership that would last for six decades. Their first cartoon together, the Oscar-nominated Puss Gets the Boot, featuring a cat named Jasper and an unnamed mouse, was released to theaters in 1940 and served as the pilot for the long-running short subject theatrical series Tom and Jerry. Hanna and Barbera served as directors of the shorts for over 20 years, with Hanna supervising the animation and Barbera in charge of the stories and pre-production.
Hanna did the screams, yelps, howls and yells of Tom. In addition being nominated for twelve Oscars, seven of the cartoons won seven Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) between 1943 and 1953. They were awarded to producer Fred Quimby, who was not involved in the creative development of the shorts.:83–84 The pair also directed the hybrid animated live-action musical sequences in MGM's feature films Anchors Aweigh (notable for its dance sequence featuring Gene Kelly and Jerry), Dangerous When Wet and Invitation to the Dance and wrote and directed a handful of one-shot cartoons, Gallopin' Gals, Officer Pooch, War Dogs and Good Will to Men, a 1955 remake of the 1939 cartoon Peace on Earth.
With Quimby's retirement in 1955, Hanna and Barbera became the producers in charge of the MGM animation studio's output, supervising the last seven shorts of Tex Avery's Droopy series and directing and producing a short-lived Tom and Jerry spin-off series, Spike and Tyke, which ran for two entries. In addition to their work on the cartoons, the two men moonlighted on outside projects, including the original title sequences and commercials for the CBS sitcom I Love Lucy. With the rise of television, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer decided in early 1957 to close its cartoon studio, as it felt it had acquired a reasonable backlog of shorts for re-release.
While contemplating their future, Hanna and Barbera began producing animated television commercials and during their last year at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, they had developed a concept for a new animated TV program about a dog and cat duo in various misadventures. After they failed to convince the studio to back their venture, live-action director George Sidney, who had worked with Hanna and Barbera on several of his theatrical features for MGM, offered to serve as their business partner and convinced Screen Gems, a television production subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, to make a deal with the producers.
A coin toss would determine that Hanna would have precedence in naming the new studio. Harry Cohn, president and head of Columbia Pictures, took an 18% ownership in Hanna and Barbera's new company, H-B Enterprises, and provided working capital. Screen Gems became the new studio's distributor and its licensing agent, handling merchandizing of the characters from the animated programs. The duo's cartoon firm officially opened for business in rented offices on the lot of Kling Studios (formerly Charlie Chaplin Studios) on July 7, 1957, two months after the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation studio closed down.
Sidney and several Screen Gems alumni became members of the studio's board of directors and much of the former MGM animation staff — including animators Carlo Vinci, Kenneth Muse, Lewis Marshall, Michael Lah and Ed Barge and layout artists Ed Benedict and Richard Bickenbach — became the new production staff for the H-B studio. Conductor and composer Hoyt Curtin was in charge of providing the music while many voice actors came on board, such as Daws Butler, Don Messick, Julie Bennett, Mel Blanc, Howard Morris, John Stephenson, Hal Smith and Doug Young.
1957–1969: Major success with Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones and others
H-B Enterprises was the very first major animation studio to successfully produce cartoons exclusively for television. Previously, animated programming was primarily rebroadcasts of theatrical cartoons. Its first animated TV original The Ruff and Reddy Show, premiered on NBC in December 1957. The Huckleberry Hound Show premiered in syndication in 1958 and aired in most markets just before prime time. A ratings success, it introduced a new crop of cartoon stars to audiences, in particular Huckleberry Hound, Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks and Yogi Bear. It was the first to win an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Children's Programming.
The company began expanding rapidly following its initial success and several animation industry alumni – in particular former Warner Bros. Cartoons storymen Michael Maltese and Warren Foster, who became new head writers for the studio – joined the staff at this time along with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears as film editors and Iwao Takamoto as character designer. By 1959, H-B Enterprises was reincorporated as Hanna-Barbera Productions and slowly became a leader in TV animation production from then on. The Quick Draw McGraw Show and its only theatrical short film series, Loopy De Loop, would follow in 1959.
The smash hit The Flintstones premiered on ABC in prime time in 1960, loosely based on the CBS series The Honeymooners. It was set in a fictionalized stone age of cavemen and dinosaurs. Jackie Gleason considered suing Hanna-Barbera for copyright infringement, but decided not to because he didn't want to be known as "the man who yanked Fred Flintstone off the air". The show ran for an amazing six seasons, becoming the longest-running animated show in American prime time TV history, a ratings and merchandising success and the top-ranking animated program in syndication history until being beaten out by The Simpsons in 1996. It initially received mixed reviews from critics, but its reputation eventually improved and is now considered a classic.
In 1961, The Yogi Bear Show, the studio's first spinoff, premiered in syndication followed by Top Cat for ABC. The three shows Wally Gator, Touché Turtle and Dum Dum and Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har aired as part of The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series. For prime time, The Jetsons debuted in 1962. Several animated TV commercials were produced as well, often starring their own characters (probably the best known is a series of Pebbles cereal commercials for Post featuring Barney tricking Fred into giving him his Pebbles cereal). Benedict, layout artist for H-B, produced the opening credits for Bewitched, in which animated caricatures of Samantha and Darrin appeared. These characterizations were reused in the sixth season Flintstones episode, "Samantha", voiced by Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York.
In 1963, its operations moved off the Kling lot (by then renamed the Red Skelton Studios) to 3400 Cahuenga Boulevard West in Hollywood, California. This contemporary office building was designed by architect Arthur Froehlich. Its ultra-modern design included a sculpted latticework exterior, moat, fountains and a Jetsons-like tower. In 1964, its first movie Hey There, It's Yogi Bear was released to theaters while newer programs of The Magilla Gorilla Show, The Peter Potamus Show and Jonny Quest aired. Atom Ant, Secret Squirrel and Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt came in 1965. Screen Gems and Hanna-Barbera's partnership lasted until 1965, when Hanna and Barbera announced the sale of their studio to Taft Broadcasting.
Taft's acquisition of Hanna-Barbera was delayed for a year by a lawsuit from Joan Perry, John Cohn, and Harrison Cohn – the wife and sons of former Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn, who felt that the studio undervalued the Cohns' 18% share in the company when it was sold a few years previously. In 1966, an animated Laurel and Hardy series debuted on the air while The Man Called Flintstone came to theaters. Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles and Space Ghost also first aired. By December 1966, the litigation had been settled and the studio was finally acquired by Taft for $12 million. It would fold it into its corporate structure in 1967 and 1968, becoming its distributor.
Hanna and Barbera stayed on to run the company while Screen Gems retained licensing and distribution rights to the previously Hanna-Barbera produced cartoons, along with the trademarks to the characters into the 1970s and 1980s. A number of new comedy and action cartoons followed in 1967, among them are The Space Kidettes, The Abbott and Costello Cartoon Show, Birdman and the Galaxy Trio, The Herculoids, Shazzan, Fantastic Four, Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor and Samson & Goliath (a.k.a. Young Samson).
The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, The Adventures of Gulliver and The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn arose on the air in 1968, while the successful Wacky Races and its spinoffs The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines aired on CBS, returned Hanna-Barbera to straight comedy, followed by Cattanooga Cats for ABC. The studio had its first (and only) record label Hanna-Barbera Records, headed by Danny Hutton and distributed by Columbia Records.
It featured many music artists and performers of Louis Prima, Five Americans, Scatman Crothers and the 13th Floor Elevators. Previously, children's records with Yogi Bear and others were released by Colpix Records. Next came the breakthrough hit of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969, which blended elements of comedy, action, the TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and the radio show I Love a Mystery. The series, which ran for two seasons on CBS, centered on four teenagers and a dog solving supernatural mysteries.
1970–1979: Scooby knockoffs, along with live-action and more
Referred to as "The General Motors of animation," Hanna-Barbera would eventually go even further by producing nearly two-thirds of all Saturday morning cartoons in a single year. At its peak, the company controlled over 80% of children's programming for television and at the top of its game, it secured the top three Saturday morning ratings as well, making it the world's largest animation powerhouse. On the horizon, the studio produced a steady stream of new mystery-solving and crime-fighting programs featuring teenagers with comical pets and or mascots, prime time and Saturday morning cartoons, superhero and action-adventure productions and many new spinoffs for TV broadcast.
These include Harlem Globetrotters, Josie and the Pussycats, Where's Huddles, The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!, The Funky Phantom, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, The Flintstone Comedy Hour, The Roman Holidays, Sealab 2020, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, the feature film Charlotte's Web, Speed Buggy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, Yogi's Gang, Super Friends, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Inch High, Private Eye, Jeannie, The Addams Family, Hong Kong Phooey, Devlin, Partridge Family 2200 A.D., These Are The Days, Valley of the Dinosaurs, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, The Tom & Jerry Show, The Great Grape Ape Show, The Mumbly Cartoon Show, The Scooby-Doo Show, Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Clue Club, Jabberjaw, Laff-A-Lympics, CB Bears, The Robonic Stooges, The All-New Super Friends Hour, The All-New Popeye Hour, Yogi's Space Race, Galaxy Goof-Ups, Buford and the Galloping Ghost, Challenge of the Super Friends, Godzilla, Jana of the Jungle, The New Fred and Barney Show, Casper and the Angels, The New Shmoo, The Super Globetrotters, Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo and The World's Greatest Super Friends.
The majority of American television animation were made by Hanna-Barbera with their major competition coming from Filmation and DePatie-Freleng. ABC president Fred Silverman gave H-B the majority of its Saturday morning cartoon time after dropping Filmation for its failure of Uncle Croc's Block. Along with the rest of the American animation industry, it began moving away from producing all its cartoons in-house in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Joe Ruby and Ken Spears left to found their own studio Ruby-Spears Enterprises in 1977, with Filmways as its parent company. In 1979, Taft bought Worldvision Enterprises, which would become the syndication distributor for the Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
The studio would try at producing new shows and films entirely in live-action, though its success selling such programming was limited by its track record as an animation company. Hanna-Barbera had already got into live-action in the late 1960s (mixing it with animation). Its live-action unit was spun off and renamed Solow Production Company, which immediately following the name change, was able to sell the action series Man from Atlantis to NBC. Hanna-Barbera's most distinguished live-action production by far was The Gathering, an Emmy award-winning TV movie starring Edward Asner and Maureen Stapleton, written by James Poe and directed by Randal Kleiser.
International expansion and educational projects
In Australia, Hanna-Barbera Pty. Ltd. was formed in 1972 as an Australian unit of the American studio. In 1974, 50% of the studio was acquired by the Hamlyn Group, which in 1978 was acquired by James Hardie Industries. In 1983, both Taft and James Hardie Industries reorganized the division as Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd. The company established a division in Los Angeles known as Southern Star Productions, headed by Buzz Potamkin in 1984. New cartoons produced by this unit, would be animated by the Australian Hanna-Barbera studio in Sydney and carried the name Southern Star/Hanna-Barbera Australia.
In 1987, Hanna-Barbera Poland was established to produce cartoon shows and VHS videocassettes for Polish-speaking audiences. It operated under that name until 1993. In Italy, Hanna-Barbera's cartoons had become very popular. The studio launched a major thrust into the European market with the introduction of The Hanna-Barbera Hour, which was supported by an integrated European marketing program. For earthquake preparedness, Barbera and the studio teamed with Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich for a new project called the Shakey Quakey Schoolhouse Van, headlined by Yogi Bear.
Production process changes
Since 1957, Hanna-Barbera had produced nightly prime time, Saturday morning and weekday afternoon cartoons for all four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) and syndication in the United States until 1995. The small budgets that TV animation producers had to work within prevented them, and most other producers of American television animation, from working with the full theatrical-quality animation the duo had been known for at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While the budget for MGM's seven-minute Tom and Jerry shorts was about $35,000, the Hanna-Barbera studios was required to produce five-minute Ruff and Reddy episodes for no more than $3,000 a piece.
To keep within these tighter budgets, Hanna-Barbera modified the concept of limited animation (also called semi-animation) practiced and popularized by the United Productions of America (UPA) studio, which also once had a partnership with Columbia Pictures. Character designs were simplified, and backgrounds and animation cycles (walks, runs, etc.) were regularly re-purposed. Characters were often broken up into a handful of levels, so that only the parts of the body that needed to be moved at a given time (i.e. a mouth, an arm, a head) would be animated. The rest of the figure would remain on a held animation cel. This allowed a typical 10-minute short to be done with only 1,200 drawings instead of the usual 26,000.
Dialogue, music, and sound effects were emphasized over action, leading Chuck Jones—a contemporary who worked for Warner Bros. Cartoons when Hanna and Barbera was at MGM, and one who, with his short The Dover Boys practically invented many of the concepts in limited animation—to disparagingly refer to the limited television cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbera and others as "illustrated radio". In a story published by The Saturday Evening Post in 1961, critics stated that Hanna-Barbera was taking on more work than it could handle and was resorting to shortcuts only a television audience would tolerate. An executive who worked for Walt Disney Productions said, "We don't even consider [them] competition". Animation historian Christopher P. Lehman argues that Hanna-Barbera attempted to maximize their bottom line by recycling story formulas and characterization instead of introducing new ones.
Once a formula for an original series was deemed successful, the studio would keep reusing it in subsequent series. Besides copying their own works, Hanna-Barbera would draw inspiration from the works of other people and studios. Lehman considers that the studio served as a main example of how animation studios which focused on TV animation differed from those that focused on theatrical animation. Theatrical animation studios tried to maintain full and fluid animation, and consequently struggled with the rising expenses associated with producing it. Limited animation as practiced by Hanna-Barbera kept production costs at a minimum. The cost in quality of using this technique was that Hanna-Barbera's characters only moved when absolutely necessary.
Ironically, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Hanna-Barbera was the only studio in Hollywood that was actively hiring, and it picked up a number of Disney artists who were laid off during this period. Its solution to the criticism over its quality was to go into movies. It produced six theatrical films, among them are higher-quality versions of its TV cartoons and adaptations of other material. It was also the first animation studio to have their work produced overseas. One of these companies was a subsidiary started by Hanna-Barbera called Fil-Cartoons in the Philippines. Wang Film Productions got its start as an overseas facility for the studio in 1978.
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Hanna-Barbera was noted for their large library of sound effects. Besides cartoon-style ones (such as ricochets, slide whistles, etc.), they also had familiar sounds used for transportation, household items and more. When Hanna and Barbera started their studio in 1957, they created handful of sound effects and had limited choices. They also took some sounds from the then-defunct MGM cartoon studio and various other cartoon and movie studios like Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Animation and Walt Disney Productions. By 1958, they began to expand and added more sound effects to their library. The Hanna-Barbera sound effects are rarely and sparingly used in children's programs from other studios, along with live-action films, animated films and video games.
1980–1990: The Smurf craze, later years
1980 saw the debuts of Super Friends, The Flintstone Comedy Show, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang and Richie Rich. New programs emerged in 1981, such as Laverne and Shirley in the Army, Space Stars, The Kwicky Koala Show and Trollkins. Taft purchased Ruby-Spears from Filmways the same year. While Filmation, Marvel/Sunbow, Rankin/Bass and DiC introduced successful syndicated shows based on licensed properties (mostly toy lines), Hanna-Barbera continued to produce for Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons, but no longer dominated the TV animation market as it did formerly.
Its control over children's programming went down from 80% to 20%. Worldvision Home Video released episodes of earlier Hanna-Barbera shows on VHS until 1988. The highly successful series Smurfs, adapted from the comic by Pierre Culliford (known as Peyo) and centering on a gang of tiny blue forest dwelling creatures led by Papa Smurf, premiered and aired on NBC for nine seasons, becoming the longest-running Saturday morning cartoon series in broadcast history, a significant ratings success, the top-rated program in eight years and the highest for an NBC show since 1970.
In 1982, fresh cartoons Jokebook, The Gary Coleman Show, Shirt Tales, Pac-Man, The Little Rascals and The Scooby & Scrappy-Doo/Puppy Hour first aired along with the musical feature Heidi's Song for theatrical release. The Dukes, Monchhichis, The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show and The Biskitts came to the airwaves in 1983. The studio set up a computerized digital ink and paint system and was innovative for its time. It was the first to use digital coloring, long before other animation studios. This process did not require as much effort as time consuming labor of painting on cels and photographing them.
Many of Hanna and Barbera's shows were outsourced to Cuckoo's Nest Studios, Mr. Big Cartoons, Mook Co., Ltd., Toei Animation and Fil-Cartoons in Australia and Asia. The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Snorks, Challenge of the GoBots, Pink Panther and Sons and Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show all aired in 1984. In 1985, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo along with Yogi's Treasure Hunt, Galtar and the Golden Lance and Paw Paws (the three shows introduced in The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera) debuted while new episodes of The Jetsons premiered.
The studio also presented The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible, its first new straight-to-video series. In 1986, new episodes of Jonny Quest and series of Pound Puppies, The Flintstone Kids, Foofur and Wildfire aired while Tom and Jerry (part of the pre-May 1986 MGM film library) would be bought by Turner Entertainment. Sky Commanders and Popeye and Son debuted in 1987. Meanwhile, Taft, whose financial troubles were affecting Hanna-Barbera, would be acquired by the American Financial Corporation in 1987, renaming it Great American Broadcasting the following year.
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, new episodes of The Yogi Bear Show, Fantastic Max, The Further Adventures of SuperTed and Paddington Bear followed in 1988 and 1989. Worldvision was sold to Aaron Spelling Productions except for Hanna-Barbera's library, which remained owned by Great American. Some of the staff got a call from Warner Bros. to resurrect its animation department and Tom Ruegger along with his colleagues left to develop new programs there. David Kirschner would be named CEO of Barbera and Hanna's studio.
In 1990, under Kirschner, the studio formed Bedrock Productions, a unit for various movies and shows. Great American put Hanna-Barbera, along with Ruby-Spears, up for sale after being less successful and burdened in debt. Jetsons: The Movie was released that year while new shows Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone, Rick Moranis in Gravedale High, Tom & Jerry Kids Show, an adaptation of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures, The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda and Wake, Rattle, and Roll (later as Jump, Rattle, and Roll) first aired for broadcast. The studio would start its home video line Hanna-Barbera Home Video.
1991–1996: Turner rebound and rise of Cartoon Network
In 1991, Young Robin Hood (a co-production with Canada's CINAR), The Pirates of Dark Water and Yo Yogi! (widely cited as one of the worst cartoons of all time) aired while the Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears libraries, were acquired by a 50-50 joint venture between Turner Broadcasting—which by that time also bought the pre-May 1986 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer library—and Apollo Investment Fund for $320 million. This was with the intention of launching an all animation based network aimed at children and younger audiences. Turner's president of entertainment Scott Sassa hired Fred Seibert, a former executive for MTV Networks, to head Hanna-Barbera.
Filling the gap left by the departed Great Americian-era crew with new animators, directors, producers and writers, including Pat Ventura, Craig McCracken, Donovan Cook, Genndy Tartakovsky, David Feiss, Seth MacFarlane, Van Partible, Stewart St. John and Butch Hartman. In 1992, the studio was renamed as H-B Production Company. Fish Police, Capitol Critters and another Addams Family series debuted while Turner launched Cartoon Network, the world's first 24-hour all-animation channel, to broadcast its library of animated classics, of which Hanna-Barbera was the core contributor. As a result, many cartoons, even the H-B ones, were rebroadcast.
In 1993, while changing its name again to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc., Turner acquired the remaining interests of the studio from Apollo Investment Fund for $255 million. Once Upon a Forest and Tom and Jerry: The Movie were released to theaters while new cartoons – Droopy, Master Detective, The New Adventures of Captain Planet, SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron and 2 Stupid Dogs debuted and in 1994, Turner Broadcasting refocused the studio to produce new shows exclusively for its networks.
In 1995, What a Cartoon! (known as World Premiere Toons), an animation showcase led by Seibert, featured new creator-driven shorts developed for Cartoon Network by its in-house staff and several new original series emerging from it, gave the network its first smash hit since Smurfs. Dumb and Dumber aired that year on ABC and would be the final new Hanna-Barbera show to air on a broadcast network. For 1996, Cave Kids and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest premiered while Turner Broadcasting merged with Time Warner.
1997–2006: Absorption into Warner Bros. Animation, deaths of founders
Hanna-Barbera operated on its original lot on Cahuenga Blvd. until 1998, when its studio operations, company archives and extensive animation art collection moved to Sherman Oaks Galleria in Sherman Oaks, California, with Warner's animation unit. As it was too expensive to keep operating out of its own, H-B stayed at the Warner studio. After moving to Sherman Oaks, it appeared that its Cahuenga Blvd. studio would face demolition and despite the efforts of Barbera and others, the building failed to achieve Los Angeles city landmark status. Hanna-Barbera would continue to operate at Sherman Oaks Galleria until 2001, when the studio was absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation.
Following its absorption, Cartoon Network Studios was revived and took over production of programming for Cartoon Network. Hanna died of throat cancer on March 22 of that year. Sidney, who worked with Hanna and Barbera as their business partner, died from complications of lymphoma on May 5, 2002. In May 2004, the Los Angeles City Council approved a plan to preserve the Cahuenga Blvd. facility while allowing retail and residential development on the site. Barbera would continue work at Warner Bros. Animation until his death of natural causes on December 18, 2006.
Ownership and new projects based on legacy properties
As of 2019, Warner Bros. now own the rights to Hanna-Barbera's back catalogue, while using its brand to market its properties and productions associated with its library and continues to produce new projects based on its legacy properties, such as the Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry direct-to-video feature films and television shows and other new miscellaneous H-B content for straight-to-video, motion picture release and other media.
It was announced in 2016 that the reboot film Scoob was in the works and scheduled for release in September 2018, but was pushed back to 2020 and is intended to be the first installment of a Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe. In October 2018, it was announced that the feature is now set to be released in the first quarter of 2020. Another film part of the Cinematic Universe will be based on The Jetsons, with Conrad Vernon set to direct and Matt Lieberman writing the screenplay. Others part of the upcoming movie series also include a Flintstones film and a Wacky Races film.
DC Comics announced a new comic book initiative titled Hanna-Barbera Beyond, to re-imagine some of the Hanna-Barbera studio's classic cartoons into some darker and edgier settings. The first comic books on the line are Future Quest, Scooby Apocalypse, The Flintstones and Wacky Raceland. New titles arrived in March 2017 crossing over with the DC Universe.
On June 29, 2017, a new set of DVDs, released as the Hanna-Barbera Diamond Collection, are re-issues of complete seasons and series sets of Hanna-Barbera's cartoons from Warner Home Video in Region 1, in honor of the studio's 60th anniversary.
List of Hanna-Barbera productions
- List of Hanna-Barbera characters
- List of films based on Hanna-Barbera cartoons
- List of Hanna-Barbera-based video games
- Hanna-Barbera in amusement parks
- Hanna-Barbera Classics Collection
- Golden age of American animation
- Animation in the United States in the television era
- Laugh track
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- Holz, Jo (2017). Kids' TV Grows Up: The Path from Howdy Doody to SpongeBob. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. pp. 81–85, 124–126. ISBN 978-1-4766-6874-1.
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- Barbera 1994, p. 83–84.
- Barbera 1994, p. 207.
- Barrier 2003, pp. 547–548.
- Leonard Maltin (1997). Interview with Joseph Barbera (Digital). Archive of American Television.
- Barrier 2003, pp. 560–562.
- Rogers, Lawrence H. (2000). History of U. S. Television: A Personal Reminiscence. Bloomington. IN. USA: AuthorHouse. pg. 444-447
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- Barbera 1994, p. 123.
- Shostak, Stu (03-11-2011). "Interview with Jerry Eisenberg, Scott Shaw!, and Earl Kress". Stu's Show. Retrieved 03-18-2013. Jerry Eisenberg, Scott Shaw!, and Earl Kress were all former employees of Hanna-Barbera over the years, and relate the history of the studio to host Stu Shostak
- "BRIEFCASE: Great American Broadcasting". Orlando Sentinel. August 19, 1989. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
- Davidson, Chris (March 27, 2007). "Animation + Rock = Fun: The Danny Hutton Interview". Bubblegum University. Archived from the original on February 24, 2009.
- Laurence Marcus & Stephen R. Hulce (October, 2000). "Scooby Doo, Where Are You Archived 2013-01-28 at the Wayback Machine". Television Heaven. Retrieved on June 9, 2006.
- Shostak, Stu (05-02-2012). "Interview with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears". Stu's Show. Retrieved 03-18-2013.
- Shostak, Stu (12-20-2006). "Interview with Mark Evanier". Stu's Show. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- "The golden era - Cartoons - film, director, music". filmreference.com.
- (Dec. 2, 1961) "TV'S Most Unexpected Hit – The Flintstones" The Saturday Evening Post
- Lehman 2007, p. 25.
- Basler, Barbara (December 2, 1990). "TELEVISION; Peter Pan, Garfield and Bart – All Have Asian Roots". The New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
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