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.
There are some cartoon characters that have a permanent shield of double-thick steel around them. When you think they're finally gone, they come back in a new form.
Take our pal Scooby-Doo, for example. Scooby and his Mystery Inc. friends have been with us since 1969. That's 37 years, kids; 259 in dog years (you knew I had to throw in that joke, didn't ya?). Since then he's been paired with Fred, Daphne, and Velma, the Scooby-Doobies (From Laff-a-Lympics), Dynomutt, Vincent Price and, ahem, Scrappy-Doo. After leaving Saturday mornings in the late '80s, he returned with the entire Mystery Inc in What's New Scooby-Doo for the Kids WB.
Now he's back again in this fall's 'Kids WB on the CW' (catchy, ain't it?) in Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue. In this show... well, perhaps you should jump to find out what it's all about, and also see some of the other new series premiering next fall on Kids WB.
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