Today we celebrate the birthday of
William Hanna who, along with his partner, Joseph Barbera, formed the award winning
partnership, Hanna Barbera which brought us some of the most popular cartoons
ever produced for American television. From The Flintstones, to The Jetsons to
Mutley and Dastardley, to Hucklberry Hound and Yogi Bear. From Wally Gator, Quick
Draw McGraw to Snaggelpus and on to Tom and Jerry - it is difficult to imagine
American pop culture without the influence of Hanna Barbera-and they have some
famous sound effects as well. Here's Fred Flintstone getting hit by his rock-hard
... and endeavored to become a full-time cartoonist. Relocating to California, he joined MGM as a sketch artist the same year that Hanna had been hired. When the two men met, it was a strike of good fortune for both of them.
At MGM, Hanna and Barbera created Tom and Jerry-the quintessential cat and mouse team-and produced more than 200 films in the series between 1940 and 1957 and in that period they won no less that seven Oscars for their efforts.
In 1957 they left MGM and formed their own production company. They developed a system whereby their animators could use a computerized catalog of character movements. And by doubling frames, they reduced by half, the number of different images required to fill up one second of animation. Where Disney films, for example, used 24 images a second, an episode of the Flintstones would only use only twelve. Fluid motion was sacrificed-but the technique did take a bite out of production time.
The rest, they say, is television history-but perhaps Fred Flintstone puts it best when he says...
Copyright © 2002, Kevin Shortsleeve
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