December 19, 2006
Remembering a Legend: Joseph Barbera
Joseph Barbera, the cartoon animation legend who, along with his partner William Hanna, created some of the best known names from cartoonland, died yesterday at 95.
I am sure almost everybody can remember his famous creations, from Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry to The Flintstones and The Jetsons. These are resounding names from all of our childhoods: what would Saturday morning have been without Barney Rubble?
Joel Keller at the TV Squad blog says Barbera and his partner "inspired many an animator in the last fifty-plus years." Funny enough, the name of their first effort was the clumsily named "Puss Gets The Boot," the precursor to "Tom and Jerry," while a forever lost cartoon named "Ruff and Ready" was the incubus for "The Huckleberry Hound Show."
The dynamic duo also brought us "The Smurfs." In 2000, when Barbera was 89, the Cartoon network launched "The Boomerang Network," which runs Hanna-Barbera cartoons 24/7.
In an excellent post on the Slice of Sci-Fi blog entitled "Joseph Barbera Remembered," Samuel Stone makes the point that "The Flintstones," an animated version of "The Honeymooners," was the first cartoon to bring adult themes into a cartoon, making it the precursor to "The Simpsons" and "Futurama." I would add "The Family Guy" too.
Stone says "their influence will continue to be felt for decades to come." No doubt about that.
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