5 classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons we still loveEntertainment The List
Hanna-Barbera cartoons are some of the most colorful, entertaining, and memorable TV shows we watched growing up, thanks to animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Their animation studio dominated our TVs for three decades and many of the shows they created are still entertaining us now. To honor animator Joseph Barbera's birthday, we're listing our five favorite classic H-B cartoons featuring our favorite prehistoric family, a beloved cowardly dog, and a few tiny friends in blue.
1. The Smurfs
The Smurfs first aired in 1981 and became one of the most successful and longest running Saturday morning cartoons in TV history. Since then, Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy Smurf, and even Gargamel have done pretty well for themselves, through toys and figurines, lunchboxes, and of course, their newest movies, featuring big stars like Katy Perry, Sofia Vergara, and Neil Patrick Harris.
Scooby-Doo has seen quite a few reincarnations since it first aired in 1970, but the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! was the first series following the group of teenage detectives and their cowardly dog. Creator Iwao Takamoto explained that before he designed Scooby, he talked to a Great Dane breeder to find out what the desirable characteristics of a pedigree Great Dane are. Then, he drew Scooby the exact opposite way with a hump back, spots, and bowed legs. As for his personality, creators Joe Ruby and Ken Spears said Scooby was inspired by the cowardly characters in Bob Hope's horror-comedies that showed true bravery when their friends were in danger.
By the way, if you know any dogs that need some encouragement, Scooby the dog does have his own brand of Scooby Snack treats…and if you've still got one of the songs from a Scooby episode's chase scene stuck in your head, see if you can remember it with this compilation.
3. The Flintstones
The Flintstones followed one of our favorite Stone Age families through their every day lives, not so different from ours. The family was headed by Fred Flintstone, a bronto-crane operator at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company. Animation historians say that what made the show so entertaining was how it was able to mimic our modern society in a prehistoric setting, from the animals that served as their cameras and TVs to the cars with big canopies that ran on feet power. After debuting in 1960 as the first animated series to be shown on primetime television, its popularity made it the most financially successful network animated franchise for three decades, until The Simpsons debuted years later.
And along with leaving their mark on TV history, The Flinstones also left their mark on cereal history, too! Can you say Fruity Pebbles, anyone??
4. The Jetsons
The Jetsons were the family with all the cool robot appliances you wanted at your house. Originally airing in 1962, the show gave us a look at what our future could be like: robot maids, flying saucer cars, and a two day work week! We might not have seen flying cars or that work week just yet, but we are slowly turning the Jetson life into real life with more advancements in artificial intelligence technology. Maybe someday soon we'll be making hologram telephone calls, just like George and the gang. And if you've missed them, don't worry. The Jetsons had a new direct-to-dvd animated film out this year called The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!, their first production in over 27 years. Yup, that's robots and wrestling, all in one movie. You're welcome.
5. Tom and Jerry
Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse are the cartoon grandfathers of the Hanna-Barbera universe. They've been chasing each other and getting hit with pies and mousetraps since 1940 when they could be seen in theaters. Their success as a duo was based on the simple fact that they just happened to work for what Hanna and Barbera needed at time: two characters, conflict, chase, and action. And while some writers had doubts about the tiredness of cat-and-mouse duos, Tom and Jerry were vindicated after becoming a favorite with theater owners and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Eventually, Tom and Jerry became one of MGM's most popular and successful cartoon series. In 1965, the show began to appear on television and has been watched and enjoyed by kids and adults ever since.
Which Hanna-Barbera cartoons were your favorites? Join the conversation on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.
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