Monday, 4 July 2011

How Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Are Made

50 years ago today, the CBC aired a profile of the Hanna-Barbera studio. Here’s the TV listing from the Montreal Gazette about it.

Cartoonists Star Hour-Long “Close-Up”
In Hollywood, Anoinette Bower examines the work of two men who turn out eight film cartoons a week; in Canada, Douglas Leiterman seeks out the secrets behind a vast network of eavesdropping by wire tapping; in England, Elaine Grand delves into the problems surrounding Paul Robeson.
These are some of the subjects that will be discussed when Close-Up moves into its hour-long summer format starting Tuesday, July 4 at 10 p.m. EDT on the CBC-TV network.
On the opening program of the summer edition, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera are hosts to Antoinette Bower amid the hectic but “big happy family” atmosphere of their vast studios in Hollywood. They discuss the teamwork involved in creating such famous characters as Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw and The Flintstones.
On the same program, Close-Up’s Bob Quintrell interviews Charlie Schultz [sic], creator of the comic strip, Peanuts, at his rural California estate.
A report on wiretapping, and interviews with people who make their living by this illicit trade, is being directed by Douglas Leiterman, for showing on Close-Up, July 11. Elaine Grand’s interview with Paul Robeson will be shown at the end of August.
Other subjects for Close-Up studies include two young entertainers, Anne Bancroft, star of the Broadway play The Miracle Worker, and Peter O’Toole, who has been selected to play the title role in the movie Lawrence of Arabia; Morocco; India; euthanasia; and June Callwood’s interview with Ethel Waters in California.
A series of profiles on prominent Canadians will be conducted by Percy Saltzman and shown on Close-Up throughout the summer.

You can watch part of the segment below. It’s a shame the CBC never posted the whole thing (or the segment with Schulz). The bald man taking a big drag off a smoke at the beginning is Alex Lovy, working on a storyboard. I don’t know who the Yogi animator or the left-handed Flintstones background guy are.


  1. Good find, Yowp. Enjoyed the film. Antoinette Bower. She was quite the staple of 60's, 70's. and 80's television. Especially the 1960's.

  2. No wonder Joe turned on the charm.

    The other interviewers I know better. Percy Saltzman was on national TV for years in Canada, June Callwood was an author who received the Order of Canada and Bob Quintrell did a bunch of TV out of CBUT Vancouver.

  3. Incredible video! I grew up watching Hanna Barbera cartoons, my favorite being "The Flintstones". Thank you for posting this. It was a real treat to see how our favorite cartoons were/are developed. I hope you post more videos like these :)

  4. Thanks for posting. It's incredible the amount of hard work and devices required required back then to produce a 7 min cartoon. Nowadays, almost all of that can be done in a single home computer... by VERY talented individuals only, that is. It's interesting that also back then, all that complex process was called "inexpensive TV", because the cartoons were made for about $3,000, a lot less than the $40,000 to $60,000 cartoons aired in theaters (when Hanna and Barbera worked for MGM) used to cost.

  5. Thanks for the post! I loved it.
    Alex Lovy can also be seen in the behind the scenes extras on the Woody Woodpecker dvd box set.
    Check it out! It's wonderfully staged.