Hanna-Barbera - Wikipedia
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First Emmy win, success of a prime time show and more[ edit ] Hanna-Barbera's first studio logo, used from to H-B Enterprises was the very first major animation studio to successfully produce cartoons exclusively for television. A ratings success, it introduced a new crop of cartoon stars to audiences, in particular Huckleberry HoundPixie and Dixie and Mr.
Jinks and Yogi Bear. 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 Fosterwho 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.
Loosely based on the CBS series The Honeymoonersit was set in a fictionalized stone age of cavemen and dinosaurs. Jackie Gleason considered suing Hanna-Barbera for copyright infringementbut 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 It initially received mixed reviews from critics, but its reputation eventually improved and is now considered a classic.
For prime time, The Jetsons debuted in 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 Bewitchedin which animated caricatures of Samantha and Darrin appeared. These characterizations were reused in the fifth season Flintstones episode, "Samantha", voiced by Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York.
The former Hanna-Barbera building at Cahuenga Blvd. West in Hollywood, Californiaseen in a photograph. The small yellow structure lower right was originally the "guard shack" for the property entrance to the east of the building.
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.
Screen Gems and Hanna-Barbera's partnership lasted untilwhen Hanna and Barbera announced the sale of their studio to Taft Broadcasting. It would fold it into its corporate structure in and becoming its distributor. The studio's "Zooming Box" logo, used from to It was later revived for the Scooby-Doo direct-to-video films from to Previously, children's records with Yogi Bear and others were released by Colpix Records. Scooby knockoffs, live-action projects[ edit ] 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.
On the horizon, the studio produced a steady stream of new prime time shows, fresh Saturday morning cartoons, mystery-solving and crime-fighting programs featuring teenagers with comical pets and or mascots, superhero and action-adventure productions and many new spinoffs for TV broadcast.
The studio's "Rainbow" logo, used from to It's the Hair Bear Bunch! InTaft bought Worldvision Enterpriseswhich would become the syndication distributor for the Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
In a different venture, the studio tried its hand at producing TV 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 gotten into live-action earlier in the late sixties 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.
It operated under that name until In ItalyHanna-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. Both characters lived in the fictional town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesotawhich was purportedly based on the real city of International Falls, Minnesota.
Compared with the dim-witted and lovable moose that most fans of the series would grow up with, in this short-lived version Bullwinkle was portrayed as a sarcastic smart-aleck. On one occasion, "Bullwinkle" encouraged children to pull the tuning knobs off the TV set.
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Bullwinkle told the children the following week to put the knobs back on with glue "and make it stick! The plots of these shorts would combine into story arcs spanning numerous episodes.
The first and longest story arc was Jet Fuel Formula consisting of 40 shorts 20 episodes. Stories ranged from seeking the missing ingredient for a rocket fuel formula, to tracking the monstrous whale Maybe Dick, to an attempt to prevent mechanical, metal-munching, moon mice from devouring the nation's television antennas. At the end of most episodes, the narrator, William Conradwould announce two humorous titles for the next episode that typically were puns of each other and usually related more to the current predicament than to the plot of the next episode.
The narrator frequently spoke with the characters, thus breaking the fourth wall. Episodes were introduced with one of four opening sequences: Rocky flies about snow-covered mountains. Below him, hiking on a snowy trail, Bullwinkle is distracted by a billboard featuring his name, and walks off a ledge.
He becomes a large snowball as he rolls downhill. Rocky flies to him and pushes against the snowball, slowing it to a halt at the edge of another cliff. Bullwinkle pops out of the snowball to catch the teetering squirrel at the cliff edge. In a circus, Rocky is preparing to jump from a high diving board into a tub of water tended by Bullwinkle.
However, when Rocky jumps, he ends up flying around the circus tent, while Bullwinkle chases after him carrying the tub. As Rocky lands safely, Bullwinkle tumbles into the tub. Bullwinkle is high atop a flagpole painting, and is knocked from his perch as the squirrel flies by. Rocky attempts to catch the plummeting moose with a butterfly net, but the moose falls through. Rocky then flies lower to find his friend suspended from a clothesline, having fallen into a pair of long johns.
Similar to the previous opening, Rocky is again flying about the city. Bullwinkle is suspended from a safety harness posting a sign on a large billboard. He loses his balance as the squirrel zooms past him and tumbles off the platform. The moose lands on a banner pole mounted on the side of a building, and the recoil springs him back into the air. He lands on a store awning, slides down, and drops a few feet to a bench on which Rocky is seated.
The impact launches the squirrel off the bench, and Bullwinkle nonchalantly catches him in his left hand to end the sequence. Episodes ended with a bumper sequence in which a violent lightning storm destroys the landscape, appearing to engulf Rocky and Bullwinkle in the destruction and accompanied by dramatic piano music.
The music would become more lighthearted, and the ground would scroll upward while the outlines of the heroes gradually appeared. We then see a smiling sun overlooking a barren field which rapidly fills with sunflowers until Rocky and Bullwinkle finally sprout from the ground.
Dudley Do-Right is a Canadian Mountie in constant pursuit of his nemesis, Snidely Whiplashwho sports the standard "villain" attire of black top hat, cape, and large handlebar moustache. This is one of the few Jay Ward cartoons to feature a background music track. As is standard in Ward's cartoons, jokes often have more than one meaning.
A standard gag is to introduce characters in an irised close-up with the name of the "actor" displayed in a caption below, a convention seen in some early silent films. However, the comic twist is using the captions to present silly names or subtle puns.
Occasionally, even the scenery is introduced in this manner, as when "Dead Man's Gulch" is identified as being portrayed by "Gorgeous Gorge," a reference to professional wrestler Gorgeous George.
These segments are famous for including a pun at the end. For example, when going back to the time of Pancho Villa, they show Pancho a photo of a woman and he promptly feels the urge to take a nap. When Sherman asks why this is so, Peabody says that the woman's name is Esther, and whenever you "see Esther" siesta you fall asleep. Peabody is named after a dog belonging to Scott's son John.
The typical structure consists of Aesop attempting to teach a lesson to his son using a fable. After hearing the story, the son subverts the fable's moral with a pun. This structure was also suggested by the feature's opening titles, which showed Aesop painstakingly carving his name in marble using a mallet and chisel and then his son, with a jackhammer and raising a cloud of dust, appending "And Son.
Simple Simon is performed with Boris as the pie man, but as a variation of the famous Abbott and Costello routine " Who's on First? Know-It-All " again features Bullwinkle posing as an authority on any topic. These shorts portray the characters as somewhat out of character.