Tuesday, December 19, 2006

R.I.P Joseph Barbera (1911-2006)

Animation czar Joseph Barbera (the one with the shoe-polish black hair) passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 95. Along with partner William Hanna (who previously passed away in 2001) they formed Hanna-Barbera and went on to create all the Tom and Jerry cartoons, as well as The Flinstones, Johnny Quest (an awesome series), The Jetsons and Yogi Bear to name just a few. In fact, anytime you watched a cartoon that featured a talking animal wearing cufflinks, a tie or a hat, it was probably from the Hanna-Barbera stable (think Wally Gator, Magilla Gorilla, et al). Their animation wasn't of the highest quality (except for Johnny Quest), but they pretty much dominated the Saturday morning landscape for decades nonetheless. One of my guilty fav's was a terrible 60's cartoon they did called "Dino-Boy", which depicted a young obnoxious kid somehow trapped in pre-historic times, where he was befriended by a caveman named "Ugh." They also did a 60's "Moby Dick" cartoon, wherein Moby Dick was a kind benevolent creature that hung around with, you guessed it, some precocious kids in modern times. Such is the dark side of having your work in the public domain, Mr. Melville.

The funeral will be held on Friday and will most likely include some pallbearers carrying the casket past an endless background that has the same potted plant or cactus repeated in it over and over again.


Shad Petosky said...

Tom and Jerry was animated really well.

BlogFoot said...

Sure, when they started out they hired good people, because they were small. The early MGM stuff directed by Fred Quimby was cool, as was the later stuff by the maestro Chuck Jones. But once they decided to take over Saturday mornings, it was hack city.