William Denby Hanna was born on July 14, 1910, in Melrose, N.M. A talent for drawing landed him a job at the Harman-Ising animation studio in 1930. Hanna worked there for seven years.
Joseph Roland Barbera was born in New York City in 1911. After a brief stint as a magazine cartoonist, Barbera joined the Van Beuren studio in 1932 where he helped animate and script Tom and Jerry cartoons.
In 1938 Hanna and Barbera were teamed together. Their first project was Gallopin’ Gals. By 1939 the two were permanently paired, devoting much of their energy to Tom and Jerry shorts. Twenty years after joining MGM, Hanna and Barbera struck out on their own. Their goal was to develop cartoons for television as well as theatrical release. The success of Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear paved the way for The Flintstones, one of the most successful television shows of the 1960s.
In 1966 Taft Communications purchased Hanna-Barbera Productions for a reported 26 million dollars. Hanna and Barbera continued to head the company. Hanna-Barbera Productions produced over 100 cartoon series and specials. In several cases, a single series produced a host of well-loved cartoon characters. Some of the most popular include Atom Ant, Auggie Doggie and Doggie Daddy, The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Magilla Gorilla, Peter Potamus, Penelope Pitstop, Quick Draw McGraw, Ricochet Rabbit, Ruff and Reddy, Space Ghost, Top Cat, and Yogi Bear.
References: Jo”seph Barbera, “My Life in ‘Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century,” Turner Publishing, 1994; Bill Hanna, “A Cast of Friends, Taylor Publishing, 1996.
by Harry L. Rinker
“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”