I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

My Photo
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, December 22, 2006

Hanna and Barbera

This week saw the passing of Joe Barbera, one half of the successful duo of Hanna and Barbera. Barbera and William Hanna were responsible for a lot of my favorite childhood memories. They produced scores of cartoons, which in my opinion, are still some of the best ever made. They created Tom and Jerry, the cat and mouse duo featured in numerous shorts for MGM. MGM, just like Warner Brothers, eventually stopped making cartoon shorts, and the duo turned to TV.
Hanna and Barbera were responsible for TV's first prime-time cartoon show, "Huckleberry Hound" (1958-1962), about a hapless country canine who sang off-key. "The Flintstones" (1960-1966), "Jonny Quest" (1964-1965), "Where's Huddles?" (1970), and "Wait Until Your Father Gets Home" (1972-1974) were other prime-time fare they had on TV.

While well known for their popular series like "The Jetsons", "Scooby-Doo" and "The Smurfs", I fondly remember many of their other series that dominated Saturday mornings for years. Some of my favorites include:

"The Hillbilly Bears" (1965) - a family of backwoods bears, including Paw Rugg, who mumbled all the time. Here and there, you could catch a word and get the drift of what he was talking about.

"The Magilla Gorilla Show" (1964-1967) - a well meaning gorilla who lived in a pet shop often found himself in lots of trouble whenever he ventured into the outside world.

"The Secret Squirrel Show" (1965) - a take-off of the spy craze that was happening in the 1960s, followed the adventures of a courageous squirrel, and his sidekick, Morocco Mole, who sounded a lot like actor Peter Lorre. Also included were cartoon shorts featuring "Squiddly Diddly", a friendly octupus who lived at a Sea World-type attraction, and affable "Winsome Witch", who solved problems with her magic wand.

"Top Cat" (1961-1962) - Top Cat was the head of a gang of motely characters who forever irritated Officer Dibley with their constant schemes to make money. This series was a take-off of "Sgt. Bilko", a 1950s sitcom starring comedian Phil Silvers.

"Cattanooga Cats" (1969-1971) - about groovy felines who were members of a rock group. They wore the funkiest hats.

"The Funky Phantom" (1972) and "Goober and the Ghost Chasers" (1973-1975) - both variations on "Scooby-Doo", featuring teenagers solving crimes. "Phantom" had the ghost of a American Revolution patriot helping the young people, and "Goober" featured a dog that could turn invisible.

"Butch Cassidy" (1973-1974) and "Josie and the Pussycats" (1970-1972) -- both shows featured rock groups that traveled around the country and the world fighting crime.

"The Banana Splits Adventure Hour" (1968-1970) -- the live action segments featured a rock group made up of an elephant, a lion, a gorilla, and a dog who lived in an amusement part. Cartoon shorts liked "The Adventures of Gulliver" made up the rest of the show. Another live action segment was "Danger Island" which was directed by Richard Donner, who went on to make the Lethal Weapon movies.

Hanna and Barbera also did a few movies including The Man Called Flintstone (1966) and Hey, There, It's Yogi Bear (1964).


Post a Comment

<< Home