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September 5, 2015

Joseph Barbera of Hanna-Barbera dead at 95

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 18th 2006 7:16PM
Joe BarberaSad news in the world of animation tonight: Joseph Barbera, half of the mega-successful animation team of Hanna-Barbera, died today of natural causes. He was 95.

As most people know, Barbera and his partner William Hanna were responsible for creating the most endearing cartoon characters of all time. From their first major creation, Tom and Jerry, they went on to create memorable characters like Yogi Bear, The Flinstones, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound, Scooby-Doo, and Jabberjaw (well, the last one was only memorable to me, I think). Hanna died in 2001, so this is the end of an era.

The AP obituary for Barbera mentioned that his strengths, according to Leonard Maltin, were comic gags and the ability to capture emotion with subtle drawing techniques (never thought HB cartoons were subtle, huh?), while Hanna was good at timing and conveying warmth. Say what you will about how they cheapened animation with their TV cartoons, especially the ones from the seventies; they've inspired many an animator in the last fifty-plus years.

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I am saddened to hear that Joseph Barbera passed away. I remembered when William Hanna died in 2001. But their animated cartoons live on to me. At one point in the late '70s when I was a child, they were all over the place! They were this cartoon powerhouse in the '70s from Scooby-Doo to Superfriends to Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch. Had no more than 4 or 5 cartoons on Saturday morning back in 1978-1979 on the three competing networks! And I watched many episodes of their '60s hit The Flintstones (an elephant as a vacuum cleaner or naming Hollyrock in place of Hollywood? They were so clever.). I liked the Smurfs from 1982. And these same folks that did these major hits also did those funny Tom and Jerry cartoons in the '50s. They were a brand name; you couldn't miss their familiar H-B logo--I'm sure they made BILLIONS off of those cartoons! Their efforts were timeless and still hold up today whenever I get a chance to see them. Although I moved on to more adult fare, I do catch one of those Hanna Barbara cartoons on local stations or the Cartoon Network. They made cartoons for more than just kids--they made them for the whole family to enjoy as well as others. My condolences go out to Joseph Barbera's family.....

December 19 2006 at 3:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Say what you will about how they cheapened animation with their TV cartoons, especially the ones from the seventies;"

*stops short*

December 18 2006 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My childhood memories are of those wonderful cartoons where the characters rarely moved but made wisecracks that went over my head.

Huckleberry Hound (mis)quoting Shakespeare. Who is Yorrick? Who is Horatio???

But I salute Joe and Bill for their pioneering work. Joe is a great man who will be missed. Rest in peace!


December 18 2006 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sad Indeed. R.I.P.....and I remember JabberJaw too

December 18 2006 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Jones

Its a sad day.

Cable Syndication is making a lot of people sad ... I know, watching shows from the 60's-80's - you now read a lot of obituraries, the greatest eras of television are truly coming to an end now.

December 18 2006 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

is it me or does it seem like a lot of old time cartoon folks have passed away recently. i don't know the names off the top of my head, but it seems like everyday or two i read about another one. or maybe i'm stuck in my own "day break".

December 18 2006 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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