Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Hanna-Barbera Research

Hanna-Barbera Productions was an American animation studio that dominated American television animation for nearly four decades in the mid-to-late 20th century. It was formed in 1957 by former MGM animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. 

They are mostly known for creating:

* The Flagstones (1960)
* The Smurfs (1981)
* Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1969)
* Tom and Jerry (1940)
* The Jetsons (1962)
* Johnny Quest (1964)
* Yogi Bear (1958)
* The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958)
* Dexter's Laboratory (1996)

Hanna-Barbera produced prime-time, weekday afternoon, and Saturday morning cartoons for all three major networks and syndication in the United States. The small budgets television 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 MGM. While the budget for a seven-minute Tom and Jerry entry of the 1950s was about $35,000, Hanna-Barbera 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).

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. 


  1. Hi Alice,

    see link - loads of great 'cartoon' character designers profiled on here :)