Original Cartoons since 1998.


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Archive for the ‘Hanna-Barbera’

Cartoon stuff galore!

October 28th, 2009

The cartoonerati  are probably way ahead of me on Cartooncrazy, but I still drool when I see all the stuff that should have been in the Hanna-Barbera warehouse.

Blog History of Frederator’s original cartoon shorts. Part 22.

October 25th, 2009

Dexter's Laboratory in
Video frame grabs from Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Dexter’s Laboratory in ‘The Big Sister‘”

Blog History of Frederator’s original cartoon shorts.
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Part 9. Part 10. Part 11. Part 12. Part 13. Part 14. Part 15. Part 16. Part 17. Part 18. Part 19. Part 20. Part 21.

A server failure at our website caused the loss of our frame grab gallery of What A Cartoon! shorts. It seemed like a good push to add a post to our history.

What A Cartoon! was still an unnamed project of 48 “Looney Tunes length” shorts with more hope than actuality when we started taking pitches in earnest in 1993. No one had attempted anything like this before in the television animation era, and I wasn’t sure that anyone else shared my optimism at the beginning.

The Hanna-Barbera development team, led by Jeff Holder and Ellen Cockrill, with significant input from production head Buzz Potamkin, dug right in. They got the word out, literally all over the world, that the studio had entered an unprecedented phase, and that we were looking for the ideas from all corners. No longer would ours be a top down studio; animators had a better idea what cartoons should be than executives and we were out to support them in every way we could. Eventually, we received storyboards from all over the world, thousands of them. Many from within the studio and from the Los Angeles industry, but from also from schools and international centers of animation. (Occasionally, we even used the then brand new technology of video conferencing to take uncomfortable pitches from Turner Broadcasting’s London office.) In all, the development group estimated we received over 5000 pitches for the 48 slots we were planning.

I was hoping for an idealistic diversity in our filmmakers that could solve the inequities of our business overnight. It wasn’t just a uptopian hope either; I’d seen the direct benefits in other creative businesses like movies, television and music. The wider the palette of creative influences, the wider and bigger the audiences. It was time for cartoons to go in the same direction. And while we received a smattering of pitches from people of color, women, and international creators, it would take us at least 15 years before I really started seeing a clear progression. But, as it was, we had creators from Europe and Canada (like Bruno Bozetto), Asia (like Swamp & Tad), the heartland of the US (Jerry Reynolds), and colleges (like Seth MacFarlane). There were plenty of young series first timers (like Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCraken, Rob Renzetti, Butch Hartman, and John Dilworth), but veterans too (like Don Jurwich, Jerry Eisenberg, and Ralph Bakshi).

All in all, it was an incredible process with amazing results (yes, I’m aware of my justified hyperbole). 5000 pitches begat 48 shorts and seven series. No studio had attempted this scale in 30 or 40 years. Each creator was treated just so, as a filmmaker, not a factory worker with hands to do the bidding of management. And though our ends were definitely commercial, I think the results were almost like art films. Not too many voices in the mix, just one creator (or creating team), one film.

I’m very proud of the work everyone did on the What A Cartoon! shorts (eventually promoted as World Premiere Toons on Cartoon Network). Whether it was the development and production groups, marketing, PR, even accounting, we were all there to support the creators who put their asses on the line, pencils on the paper, and came up with original work in a business that hadn’t been interested for a very long time. Viva cartoons!

Video frame grabs from What A Cartoon!
What A Cartoon! titles The Powerpuff Girls in Courage the Cowardly Dog Yucky Duck in Jof in

Blog History of Frederator’s original cartoon shorts.
Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. Part 8. Part 9. Part 10. Part 11. Part 12. Part 13. Part 14. Part 15. Part 16. Part 17. Part 18. Part 19. Part 20. Part 21.

The Hanna-Barbera Pic-A-Nic Basket of Cartoon Classics.

November 1st, 2008

Hanna-Barbera Pic-a-Nic Box

Anyone who knows me is aware of my music habit, and close readers of this blog will pick up on my affection for cartoon music in particular.

So it was extremely gratifying when my friend, Rhino Records founder Richard Foos, agreed to indulge me in the 1990’s with a (now out-of-print) four CD boxed set of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons themes, underscores, sound effects, and other audio ephemera and artifacts of our historic studio. It was compiled and produced with passion and knowledge by cartoon writer/producer Earl Kress.

I’ve posted before about my worship and respect for the under appreciated HB music director and composer Hoyt Curtin but I’ve finally gotten around to scanning the great booklet Earl put together for the set. It not only includes a listing of all the sound in the box, but has great essays by Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, David Burd, Bill Burnett, and Barry Hansen (Dr. Demento). Plus Marty Pekar conducted an interview about the studio’s unique sound effects library with Joe, Bill, Greg Watson, and Pat Foley. (As we get around to it, you can look at separate transcripts of the essays here.)

For a quick preview, here’s a Quick Draw McGraw track from the box set, composed, arranged and conducted by Hoyt:

Hoyt Curtain & The Hanna-Barbera Studio Big Band >Quick Draw McGraw (Underscore & Syndicated End Titles)

Cartoon Music Week.

October 20th, 2008

The Carl Stalling ProjectQuick Draw McGrawTom & Jerry & Tex Avery Too!The Three LIttle PigsTerry S. Taylor's Imaginarium

Last week was a Cartoon Music Week over on my music blog. I tried to survey a bunch of approaches to the classic styles; maybe someday soon I’ll try a more contemporary take. Given your predilections I figure you might like it.

Another year, a bunch of cool cartoons.

August 21st, 2008

1997 Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

By the time this calendar was published in late 1997, I’d left Hanna-Barbera for Frederator. But, not without a lot of pride in the great, original series that were finally getting under way from our first shorts program, like Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow & Chicken, and Johnny Bravo. And, lo and behold, to this day Cartoon Network Studios has kept up my tradition of cool calendars for their friends.


1997 Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

Credits from the back cover:

Concept/Art Direction/Design: Patrick Raske / Barbis & Raske

Creative Directors: Julie Prendiville Roux /Jeff Gelberg

Contributing Art Directors: Mardel Castetter, Jim Scott / Night Network, Inc.

Production Manager: Ken Weisbrod
Production Coordinator: Karin Kittel
Production Artist: Andrew Theo
Executive Assistant: Dennis Delrogh

Printing: ColorGraphics, Jon Sobel

TM & ©1998 Hanna-Barbera Inc. A Time Warner Company. All rights reserved. All characters and related elements depicted herein are trademarks and copyrighted by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. or Cartoon Network Studios, Inc.

Cow and Chicken
Created by David Feiss

Johnn Bravo
Created by Van Partible

Dexter’s Laboratory
Created by Genndy Tartakovsky

What day is that?

August 20th, 2008

Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

Whenever I get a little free time (like now, on vacation) I pull crap off of my shelves and scan it for posterity. Like these two Hanna-Barbera Cartoons calendars from the 90s (I posted 1995 on last summer’s vacation).

Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

Over the years I’ve collected all sorts of stuff that have pop culture images printed on them (skateboards, glasses, calendars, et cetera) and when I got to Hanna-Barbera it seemed to me the studio was in need of some image repair. Calendars were my obsession of that moment, so we put together some incredible design talent and photographers (SpotCo and Mark Hill for 1994, HB in-house talent in 1995) and spiffed ourselves up a little.

Hanna-Barbera Studios, 1997

December 18th, 2007

Hanna-Barbera Studios, December 1997

Artist (and RAW member) Chris Battle posted this photo on RAW the other day with a few folks identified. The Sherlock Holmes in me was intrigued, because not only was this the last all studio portrait ever, but the first (and last) one after my tenure of running the studio. My colleague Eric Homan called upon his community of HB friends*, and between us all we’ve filled in the names of almost 100 of the intrepid. If you know any of the missing faces, please let us know.
This photograph is the last all-studio portrait taken at Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. Time Warner had bought Turner Broadcasting (owner of HB) and folded the studio into Warner Bros. Animation. WBA chief Jean MacCurdy made the decision to fold HB. Eventually, it resurrected as Cartoon Network Studios. Luckily, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera were able to sit for this last portrait of the company they founded.

1 Jim Hearn
2 Paula LaFond
3 Jim Stenstrum
4 Mark
6 Vaughn Tada
8 Nora Johnson
9 Vincent Davis
10 Paul McAvoy
11 Maxwell Atoms
12 Chris Bracher
13 Steve Marmel
14 Mike Ryan
15 Robert Alvarez
16 Patricia Gatz
17 Jeff Collins
18 Ed Collins
19 Carlton Clay
21 Hugh Saunders
22 Sergio
23 Gilbert Quesada
25 Gary Olson
26 Al Gmuer
27 Renaldo Jara Jara
28 Sandy Ojeda
29 Susan DeChristofaro
30 Mimi Magnuson
31 Harry Nicholson
33 Louis Cuck
34 Marc Perry
35 Linda Barry
36 Pat Foley
37 Kerry Iverson
38 Paul Douglas
39 Julie Humbert
40 Jim Moore
41 Tim Iverson
42 Van Partible
43 Bodie Chandler
44 Joseph A. Bova
45 I can’t count
46 Keith Copsin
47 Kris Lindquist
48 William Parrish
49 Colette Sunderman
50 Carol Iverson
51 Nancy Grimaldi
52 Davis Doi
53 Melissa Lugar
54 Joanne Halcon
55 Nelda Ridley
56 Diane Kianski
57 Sandy Benenati
58 Barbara Krueger
59 Alison Leopold
60 Linda Moore
61 Diana Stolpe
62 Eleanor Medina
63 Janet Mazzoti
64 Genndy Tartakovsky
65 Craig McCraken
66 Jean MacCurdy
67 Joe Barbera
68 Maggie Roberts
69 Frederick Flintstone
70 Bill Hanna
71 Iwao Takamoto
72 Wanda Smith
73 Paul Rudish
75 Andy Bialk
76 Chris Battle
77 Nancy Sue Lark
78 Michael Shapiro
79 Zita Lefebvre
82 Craig Kellman
83 Luz Leon
85 Diana Ritchey
86 John McIntyre
87 Pat Lawrence
88 Amy Wagner
89 Brian Miller
90 Victoria McCollum
91 Rob Romero
92 Sharra Gage
93 Charlie Desrochers
94 Iraj Paran
95 Sami Rank
96 Jason Butler Rote
97 Liza Ann Warren
98 Chris Savino
99 Scott Setterberg
100 Donna Castricone
101 Sue Mondt
102 Martin Ansolabehere
103 Kevin Kaliher
104 Summer Wells
106 Ray Garcia

* Photo supplied by Chris Battle,
kindly identified by Chris Battle, Eric Homan, Marc Melocchi, Fred Seibert & Amy Wagner

Frederator postcard series 6.19

December 8th, 2007

Mailed out the week of December 10, 2007

This card is the first in our series of “Original Cartoon Inspirations” (I’ve got no idea what the others will be or when we’ll publish them). Because on a few different levels Joseph Barbera & William Hanna fit that description to a tee.

Obviously, Eric and I started our cartoon careers at the Hanna-Barbera Studios, working alongside of Joe and Bill. There really wasn’t any better inspiration than that experience. To be able to have long, first hand, conversatons about making Tom & Jerry, or The Flintstones and The Jetsons gave us insight on everything from the creative process, to setting up the most successful production shop in history, to just the everyday interaction among the very talented and very human characters that populated the building over the decades. Sitting in a car or a plane with Bill for hours at a time, hearing him reminisce about going fishing every year with Tex Avery… there’s really nothing I can say to recreate those moments. And, of course, that’s on top of being glued to the TV set for days at a time when the original HB shows hit the air in the late 50s.

This photograph was taken in 1995 by Jeff Sedlik, as part of my ongoing effort to give Joe and Bill (and the whole studio) the respect they deserved. I knew Jeff as an LA based photographer primarily known for sittings with jazz musicians (I already owned Miles Davis and BB King portraits) and I think he did a fabulous job with the guys. I think the session was their last formal sitting.

PS: Eric scheduled this card because December 14th’s the 50th anniversary of the debut of the first Hanna-Barbera Productions TV series, The Ruff & Reddy Show. It’s worth commemorating.

Frederator Postcards Series 1, 1998
Frederator Postcards Series 2, 1999
Frederator Postcards Series 3, 2000
Frederator Postcards Series 4, 2003
Frederator Postcards Series 5, 2004-2005
Frederator Postcards Series 6, 2007-2008

Hanna-Barbera collectible cards.

November 25th, 2007

Click a card to see the whole set.

As I was getting together the post about The Hanna-Barbera Treasury, I realized I’d added some rarities from my collection to my personal website and never mentioned them here or at RAW.

My close colleagues from over the years can attest to my obsessions of collecting printed artifacts with pop culture illustrations or photographs, like posters, calendars or skateboards. So in the early 1980s, when Yazoo Records commissioned R. Crumb to come up with his “Heroes of Blues, Jazz, & Country” for collector card boxes I thought it would be cool to apply the concept to cartoons.

From Hanna-Barbera’s founding in 1956 until 1992 (the studio was effectively closed by it’s latest owner Warner Bros. in 1997) the studio had no sense of its place in popular culture. When Ted Turner bought the company in 1991 he and Scott Sassa installed me as the president and we started to blow the roof off the sucker. There were many of us working at the company who grew up with it’s radical and wonderful innovations and wanted to finally gather up the respect we thought the place was due.

I figured collector cards would be a quick way to gather up a lot of the wonderful characters in our library (while we were busily trying to come up with new ones) in a way that would show them off in the hippest, most contemporary way possible (short of Frank Kozik’s posters). They were never sold at retail; they were for our various business associates and staff. Actually, I had no idea how bloated the bureaucracy at the studio ahd become and that it would take over two years to get both these sets out.

It was particularly satisfying to me that we were able to go into the never publicaly seen before archives and pull presentation art, storyboard frames, and work sketches and include some in the adventure set.

In retrospect, my biggest disappointment with these boxes is that they happened before I gained full appreciation of the way the HB art had changed over the years. Starting in the mid 1960s the original, funky, post UPA, designs of the classic characters (like Huck, Yogi, The Flintstones, and the like) started to cute-ify and became rounder, less raw, and overall less distinctive. When I asked about it at first I was told there was a need to standardize the models because the original animation was all over the place. There are some who claimed the changes began with the ascent of Iwao Takamoto to design director, but, not being there at the time I don’t know; however, it’s clear to all that everything that was done happened with explicit consent from Joe (in particular) and Bill. Eventually, it became clear to me that the prevailing winds just disliked the original art and there was a 30 year effort to actually deny its existence. I wasn’t able to do all that much about it until near the end of my tenure when we hired Craig Kellman to vintage up The Flintstones; but that’ll be another day of scanning and posting.

By the way, I can’t for the life of me remember why I was convinced The Flintstones should be included in the “Adventure” cards. Maybe it something to do with the movie… Ah well, such are the paradoxes that make collectors happy.
Hanna-Barbera Trading Cards
Hollywood, 1993

Credits (from the box):

Special thanks to all those people who made The Hanna-Barbera Trading Cards possible!


Wiliam Hanna, Joseph Barbera

Roy Guzman, Bobbi Jankovich

David Burd, Marty Pekar


Linda Moore
Dana Granger
Barbara Kruger
Donna Zeller
Marcus Nickerson
Bob Onorato
Pete Alvarado

Star Wirth
Martin Corssley
Richard Wilson
Danny Conté

Ink & Paint
Alison Leopold
Suzette Darling
Joanne Plein
Christine Kingsland
Nelda Ridley
Lori Hanson
Lydia Swayne

Creative Services
Curt Covert
Lynn Domenico
Mary DeMarle
Shannon Dashiell
Jill Jones
Sue Doc
Betty Tropp

Iwao Takamoto
Hillary Dunchak
Glenn Leopold
Jerry Eisenberg

Fred Seibert
Sally Prendergast
Hanna-Barbera Adventure Cards
Hollywood 1995
©1994, Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc.
Credits (from the box):

Special thanks to Fred Seibert, William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, and to all those people who made The Hanna-Barbera Adventure Cards possible!

Jill Jones
Ray Guzman
Bobbi Jankovich

David Burd
Marty Pekar


Iwao Takamoto
Ric Estrada
Tony Sgroi
Ron Roesch
Barbara Krueger
Donna Zeller
Scott Awley

Star Worth
Martin Crossley

Ink & Paint
Alison Darling
Suzette Darling
Joanne Plein
Chirstine Kingsland
Nelda Ridley
Lori Hanson
Lydia Swayne

Bonnie Callahan
Jim Hickey
Ruben Chavez
Jerry Loveland
Craig Robertson
Richard Daskas

Art Services
Mary DeMarle
Shannon Dashiell
Liz Watson
Scott Miller
Betty Tropp

Creative Services
Sue Doc

Jeff Eckert
Hillary Dunchak
Scott Awley
Tom Barreca
Lance Falk

Sally Prendergast
Stephanie Sperber

The job I really wanted.

October 28th, 2007

When I was seven years old “The Huckleberry Hound Show” made me fall in love with Hanna-Barbera cartoons forever. So when I accidentally became President of the studio in 1992 I was naturally biased towards honoring the classic characters that made me a fan in the first place.

It took us a few years to get it together on a lot of fronts (saving the studio from extinction was job one) but by 1995 we had key initiatives in place, including licensing Creative Director Russell Hicks, Animation Art head Tom Barreca, and business head Alan Keith. The whole studio was constantly disappointed with the lack of cool stuff from our licensees so we decided to take matters into our own hands. We began with building and stocking a retail store right in the studio with the merchandised we wished someone else would do (maybe if we sent sample to a licensee they’d see the wisdom in our way and make the product for mass consumption). And soon, the idea percolated up, in those pre-Ecommerce days, we should have a high end catalog to make the best stuff available to the general public.

Russell, Tom, Animation Art Creative Director Eric Homan, and AA Director David Barenholtz put their teams to work developing contemporary merch we thought was worthy of our classic characters, and conceiving a catalog to showcase the stuff properly. I got heavily involved (frankly, I probably would’ve taken the job as catalog chief if they’d asked in 1992; I had an unhealthy obsession with catalog selling). By 1996 everything was ready.

And then Ted Turner sold the company.

The dingbats from Warner Bros. (the division Hanna-Barbera was attached to in the merger) were of a classic corporate take-over mold. They completely flamed everything Hanna-Barbera. Whatever we did was considered sub-standard, everything they did was great (of course, who could forget Histeria?). Dump the crap, shred the catalog, please listen to what we want you to do. It was little consolation that Peter Starrett, the head dingbat at the Warner Bros. stores, was summarily corporately executed as his grand vision of retail went down in flames.
Hanna-Barbera Creative Director: Russell Hicks
Animation Art Creative Director: Eric Homan
Written by Marty Pekar
Designed by Susan McIntyre

Animation Art Vice President: Tom Barecca
Animation Art Director: David Barenholtz