What are your thoughts on Hanna-Barbera? On one hand, they did make Tom and Jerry, which was genuinely good, they essentially created the animated sitcom with Flintstones and Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, and Butch Hartman and Seth MacFarlane came from HB. On the other hand, they made a lot of cheaply animated cartoons and recycled a lot of their own premises. I mean, how many times did they copy the Scooby-Doo formula?
The worst Hanna-Barbera show I watched was the Scooby Doo crossover show. Let’s face it even the campy 60’s Batman was too serious for this show and it showed. Most of the shows I’ve seen were fairly decent. Let’s be honest here Hanna Barbera didn’t invent recycling ideas.
What they perfected though was cutting costs by recycling cells, starting with scrolling backgrounds and then reusing character cells as well. They drove dialogue driven cartoons.
HB was a TV animation factory, and most of their output was pretty dire. Who remembers Peter Potamus, Magilla Gorilla, Lippy the Lion (and Har-de-Har Har), Snooper and Blabber, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, or Yakky Doodle ? Even their better known product was pretty mediocre. Unlike Jay Ward, they didn’t use the limits of their budget as a chance to write creative scripts. Instead they stuck to repetitive jokes and plots.
Their best – probably The Flintstones – waw no more than just OK. The Jetsons were just the Flintstones in the future and wasn’t as good (primarily because The Flintstones concentrated on the Flintstones at home where George Jetson spent most episodes at work.
Scooby Doo was pretty bad, but I had outgrown HB long before it came on.
Tom and Jerry was Hanna and Barbera, but not Hanna-Barbera. They created them when they were working at MGM, before creating their own studio.
HB’s properties are currently owned by Warner Brothers, while T&J are still owned by MGM.
Anyway…HB is hit and miss. The reuses of the Scooby-Doo formula generally don’t work, but the Yogiverse is generally mediocre to good, Wacky Races was way better than it deserved it be, Flintstones and Jetsons were solid, if not overly sparkling sitcoms, and Scooby’s all over the place.
But the Hanna-Barbera Beyond and HB/DCU crossover comics justify the existence of the source material.
One thing I was not aware of until recently is Wacky Races was supposed to be a kid’s game show. That’s why HB co-produced it with Heather-Quigley Productions who were also responsible for The Hollywood Squares. The cartoon segments were to be interspersed with a taped live-action portion featuring child contestants placing bets on who would be the winner. However, children’s TV watchdogs objected when they found out about the premise since it condoned minors gambling and the game show aspect was quickly scrapped in favor of the all-animated show we know now.
As for Hanna-Barbera, it’s been said often they were the McDonalds of animation. I can’t disagree with that assessment.
Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and Quickdraw McGraw were great. Everything else, meh. Except Snagglepuss. And Space Ghost.
These were among my favorites growing up. I still use “Exit - stage left” and “Heavens to Murgatroid” which totally baffles my students.
The Hanna-Barbera studios were two blocks from where I used to live in the Cahuenga Pass of Los Angeles in the 1970’s. I once met one of their inkers at the local laundromat, who told me that the bean counters were so ubiquitous that she was scolded for using purple paint instead of blue to color in the character’s clothes, since purple paint cost more. Heavens to Murgatroid, Snagglepuss!
My favorite HB creation is Arabian Knights.
Why has no one mentioned “Jonny Quest”? It was the rose plucked from the mountain of cartoon crap.
I was introduced to the wide cast of H-B by way of the Laff-A-Lympics on the USA Network in the 80s. I have pleasant memories of watching it. I especially liked Grape Ape. I don’t reckon I’d find it to be high-class entertainment if I saw it again these days.
I also liked Scooby-Doo, the Jetsons and Flintstones as a kid. But beyond those shows and the Laff-A-Lympics, I don’t have much to say about H-B cartoons.
I was watching a YouTube video compilation of 60s and 70s Saturday morning cartoons, and let me tell you, Filmation made Hanna-Barbera look like Disney-Pixar. They uncanny-valleyed everything by overuse of rotoscoping.
Hanna-Barbera’s finest hour was probably Jonny Quest.
The 70s in particular were a dismal time for American animation. H-B, Ruby-Spears, Filmation, and DePatie-Freleng were in a race to the bottom to see who could produce shows for the Saturday morning network cartoon ghetto the quickest and the cheapest.
I found Jonny Quest to be too serious to rate my attention. Cartoons are simply moving comix, and comix are supposed to be FUNNY!
I loved the Banana Splits and all the animation shorts they had. The Arabian Knights and Danger Island and The Three Musketeers and Gulliver’s Travels (my favorite character was Glum, who kept saying, “It’ll never work.” NO ONE GETS IT when I say that.). And I loved Yankee Doodle Pigeon and Penelope Pitstop and …
OK, whaddaya want. I grew up on 70s cartoon shows.
Few people remember The Jetsons was actually a commercial failure as it was cancelled after one season of 24 episodes in 1962. It was only when they brought it back in the mid-80’s with 50 new episodes that it became a success.
I think that my initial impression, as a kid, was that the animation sucked. Pretty soon after I determined that plot-wise, I’d encountered everything they had to offer.
Between watching The Flintstones or going outside, I’d probably go outside.
Between the 60s and the 80s, The Jetsons were rerun on Saturday mornings which is where the show picked up its following.
In retrospect, the H-B shows from the late 50s were actually fairly good. Not as good as Jay Ward’s subversive animation from the same period but there was still a glint of wit to them that was mostly absent from the stuff they later churned out for Saturday morning.