A History

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About the Book

With careers spanning eight decades, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were two of the most prolific animation producers in American history. In 1940, the two met at MGM and created Tom and Jerry, who would earn 14 Academy Award nominations and seven wins. The growth of television led to the founding of Hanna-Barbera’s legendary studio that produced countless hours of cartoons, with beloved characters from Fred Flintstone, George Jetson and Scooby-Doo to the Super Friends and the Smurfs. Prime-time animated sitcoms, Saturday morning cartoons, and Cartoon Network’s cable animation are some of the many areas of television revolutionized by the team. Their productions are critical to our cultural history, reflecting ideologies and trends in both media and society. This book offers a complete company history and examines its productions’ influences, changing technologies, and enduring cultural legacy, with careful attention to Hanna-Barbera’s problematic record of racial and gender representation.

About the Author(s)

Jared Bahir Browsh is a cultural historian whose research examines U.S. media industries, the history of mass communication, and representation in popular culture, focusing on animation, television, and sports. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication at Thomas Jefferson University. He lives in Longport, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Jared Bahir Browsh

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 307
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7579-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4420-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Animation, Culture, and the Legacy of a Partnership 1
1. 1940–1957: The MGM Years 25
2. 1958–1962: Transitioning to Television 40
3. 1962–1964: A Page Right Out of (Television) History 56
4. 1964–1969: Equal Representation, Where Are You? 67
5. 1970–1975: Success Breeds Complacency 87
6. 1976–1978: Profits, Policy, and Popeye 113
7. 1978–1981: Holding On to the Past as the Future Approaches 129
8. 1981–1985: Trickle Down Animation 150
9. 1985–1990: Toys and Technology 172
10. 1990–1993: Corporate Changes and New Strategies 198
11. 1993–1996: Cable Connects Kids of All Ages to Cartoons 211
12. 1996 and Beyond: Digitization and Consolidation 232
Conclusion: Growth Does Not Mean Progress 245
Chapter Notes 253
Reference List 279
Index 297