Hanna-Barbera’s writers loved to open cartoons with a shot of a background cell to establish the setting then pan or cut to another background cell. No doubt Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera liked this, too, because the camera-work substituted for costlier animation.
When Warren Foster et al finally decided to take Yogi away from the generic woods and other places he had been living and make him a permanent resident of Jellystone Park, a favourite way to set up a cartoon was to have some opening narration and feature a cell of the park entrance. Rarely was the same cell used in more than one cartoon, providing us with interesting variations.
My non-professional observation is the writer or a sketch artist drew a storyboard and then the layout artist worked from that. Below you see a sketch by Warren Foster from the opening of Booby Trapped Bear, a third season Yogi cartoon.
Tony Rivera was the layout artist on that cartoon. Here’s how he rendered Foster’s basic story drawing:
Remember this is a background. Dick Thomas was the background artist in this cartoon, so I’m presuming he stuck to Rivera’s layouts and drew the cell, then added the colours and decided on textures.
The very first shot of the entrance to Jellystone was in Yogi’s TV debut, Yogi Bear’s Big Break. Bick Bickenbach was the layout artist and Fernando Montealegre did the backgrounds.
Here are some others from Yogi’s first season (on the first season of the Huckleberry Hound Show). Not all the cartoons have credits, so I’m relying on the not-always-accurate Big Cartoon Database:
Big Brave Bear, Bick Bickenbach and Fernando Montealegre.
Brainy Bear, Bick Bickenbach and Fernando Montealegre.
Hide and Go Peek, Bick Bickenbach and Fernando Montealegre.
Here are a bunch from Yogi’s second season on the Huck show. Warren Foster had taken over from Charlie Shows as the writer:
Bear Faced Bear, Walt Clinton and Bob Gentle.
Papa Yogi, Walt Clinton and Joe Montell.
Stranger Ranger, Tony Rivera and Fernando Montealegre.
Rah Rah Bear, Tony Rivera and Bob Gentle.
Nowhere Bear, Ed Benedict and Bob Gentle.
Snow White Bear, Bick Bickenbach and Bob Gentle.
And here’s one from the third season of the Huck show, before Yogi was replaced by Hokey Wolf in 1961:
Gleesome Threesome, Tony Rivera and Dick Thomas.
Oh, you’re wondering about the drawing of the Jellystone entrance at the start of this post. Here it is with its starring cartoon bear.
Yes, there was a Jellystone Park in the MGM cartoon Barney Bear’s Hungry Cousin (1953), directed not by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, but by Dick Lundy (who eventually ended up at Hanna-Barbera a few years after it opened). The cartoon was written by Heck Allen and Jack Cosgriff. Lundy’s layout artist was a former Disneyite named Hal Doughty. The background was constructed by Johnny Johnsen, whose 3-D-style sets opened many a Tex Avery cartoon at Warners and Metro (as well as the Bob Clampett-credited 1941 short Wabbit Twouble, set in Jellostone Park).
Whether the Barney short was the source of Hanna-Barbera’s Jellystone, or whether it was coincidentally and independently invented by Lundy’s former directing colleagues from MGM is, perhaps, something we will never know.