Insights for Non Artists:
We Had A Gay Old Time... Thank You, William Hanna
Shannon Muir - This
article originally appeared in Suite
When I first
found out that William Hanna passed away at the age of 90, I couldn't
get the Flintstones theme out of my head. The gem that Hanna and
Barbera brought to the industry, I believe, was memorable characters.
Their studio also brought us the Jetsons, Smurfs, Scooby-Doo and
the early seasons of Powerpuff Girls were also done under the
Hanna-Barbera banner. Their collaboration goes all the way back
to the 1930s, when their Tom and Jerry cartoons for MGM and won
seven Academy Awards. After the close of MGM Animation, the pair
formed Hanna-Barbera. Over 150 shows are credited to Hanna and
and rich history illustrates their gift for creating animated
characters that live in hearts and minds for generations. Hanna
and Barbera's ability to create shows with enduring characters
is to strive for when developing shows for animation production.
animation could be called memorable as well. Memorable in the
sense of its quality, or in some people's view, lack thereof.
Often reusing cels and relying on simplistic styles at certain
phases of the studio's existence, many Hanna-Barbera classics
are not art masterworks, despite the strong talents of Hanna and
Barbera. This level of quality was largely born out of the financial
need to keep the studio running. It proved to be an excellent
starting ground for people who have gone on to other aspects of
the business, some of whom I have had the privilege to work with
(an example: the producer I worked with on Jumanji at Sony, Bob
Hathcock, directed several Hanna-Barbera projects including Smurfs.)
endured -- first in syndication, and later forming the foundation
for what has become one of the biggest outlets for original animated
programming, the Cartoon
Network. Without these shows created in the studio
built by William Hanna and Joe Barbera, Cartoon Network probably
would not have come about; which would have meant no Dexter's
Laboratory, Johnny Bravo or Powerpuff Girls.
of you unfamiliar with the evolution of the studio, Ted Turner
bought the Hanna-Barbera studios in the late 1980s and then launched
the Cartoon Network as one of his cable channels to recoup on
his investment. Later, when Turner's stations became acquired
by Time Warner -- now AOL Time Warner -- they began producing
original programming and ultimately Hanna-Barbera was rechristened
Cartoon Network Studios in 2000. Some animation, such as the Scooby-Doo
direct to video movies, became handled by Warner Bros. Animation.
So the name
of Hanna-Barbera passes away, in studio and almost in life, with
only Joe Barbera remaining. But the ideas they brought to life
remain alive, on screen and in people's hearts, for generations
to come. Concepts they first brought to moving life are still
being done as live-action movies, such as Josie and the Pussycats
(based on the Archie comic, for which the official website is
is the official movie website) and Scooby-Doo. This came after
the success of a pair of Flintstones films, proving that the public
remains interested in properties touched by the hand of Hanna-Barbera.
to Hanna and Barbera for letting us meet George Jetson, have a
gay old time with the Flintstone family, and all the rest.
is known in the animation industry for her work as a production
coordinator for Nickelodeon's Invader Zim. She also served as
a Production Coordinator for Extreme Ghostbusters and a Production
Assistant for Jumanji: The Animated Series. Muir is an accomplished
writer and often participates on panels or as a guest speaker
at conventions like Comic Con International.
to Los Angeles in 1996 from Cheney, WA (population approximately
8,000), knowing she wanted to be part of the animation business.
Since then, she's never strayed far from making that dream reality,
whether it be actively working on a production or writing articles
about the industry.
You can email
Shannon Muir at email@example.com.
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