Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Joseph Roland Barbera (March 24, 1911) was an animator, storyboard artist, director, producer and co-founder, together with William Hanna, of Hanna-Barbera Productions. The studio produced well-known cartoons such as The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Scooby-Doo.
Joseph Barbera was born in New York City. He started his career as an accountant for a law firm. During the Great Depression he tried unsuccessfully to become a magazine cartoonist. In 1932 he joined the Van Beuren Studio as an animator and scriptwriter, where he worked on Tom and Jerry (a series about human characters, not the cat-and-mouse), Cubby Bear, and Rainbow Parades cartoons. When Van Beuren closed down in 1936, Barbera moved over to the Terrytoons studio.
Lured by a substantive salary increase, Barbera left Terrytoons and New York for the new MGM cartoon unit and California in 1937. The following year he teamed up with William Hanna to direct cartoons; Barbera was the storyboard/layout artist, and Hanna was in charge of the timing. Their first venture was Puss Gets the Boot (1940), the first Tom and Jerry film, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject.
Hanna and Barbera's 17-year partnership on the Tom & Jerry series resulted in 7 Academy Awards for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject, and 14 total nominations, more than any other character-based theatrical animated series. Hanna and Barbera were placed in charge of MGM's animation division in late 1955; however this was short-lived as MGM closed the division in 1956. Following this they teamed up to produce the series The Ruff & Reddy Show, under the company name H-B Enterprises, soon changed to Hanna-Barbera Productions.
Hanna-Barbera Productions became by the late-1960s the most successful television animation studio in the business, producing hit programs such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! by the end of the decade. The studio thrived until 1991, when Hanna and Barbera sold it to Turner Entertainment. Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors and periodically worked on new Hanna-Barbera shows, including the What-a-Cartoon! series.
- Autobiography : My Life In Toons (1994), published by Turner Publishing
- Hanna Barbera Cartoons by Michael Mallory
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