Joseph Roland Barbera
March 24, 1911
Little Italy, Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Died||December 18, 2006 95) (aged|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California|
(m. 1935;div. 1963)
Joseph Roland Barbera ( /, / bar-BAIR-ə, BAR-bər-ə; Italian: [barˈbɛːra] ; March 24, 1911 – December 18, 2006) was an American animator, director, producer, storyboard artist, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of fans worldwide for much of the 20th century.
He was born to Italian immigrants in New York City, where he lived, attended college and began his career through his young adult years. After working odd jobs and as a banker, Barbera joined Van Beuren Studios in 1927 and subsequently Terrytoons in 1929. In 1930, he moved to California and while working at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Barbera met William Hanna. The two men began a collaboration that was at first best known for producing Tom and Jerry . In 1957, after MGM dissolved their animation department, they co-founded Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio in the business, producing programs such as The Flintstones , Yogi Bear , Scooby-Doo , Top Cat , The Smurfs , Huckleberry Hound , and The Jetsons . In 1967, Hanna-Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12 million, but Hanna and Barbera remained heads of the company. In 1991, the studio was sold to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn was merged with Time Warner, owners of Warner Bros., in 1996; Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors.
Hanna and Barbera directed seven Academy Award films and won eight Emmy Awards. Their cartoon shows have become cultural icons, and their cartoon characters have appeared in other media such as films, books, and toys. Hanna-Barbera's shows had a worldwide audience of over 300 million people in the 1960s and have been translated into more than 28 languages.
Joseph Barbera was born at 10 Delancey Street in the Little Italy (Lower East Side) section of Manhattan, New York, 17–18, 58, 128, 208 His family moved to Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York when he was four months old. :17–18, 58 He had two younger brothers, Larry (1912–1999) and Ted (1914–2000), both of whom served in World War II. As a member of the United States Army, Larry participated in the invasion of Sicily. Ted was a fighter pilot with the United States Army Air Forces and served in the Aleutian Islands Campaign. :91–95 Barbera's father, Vincent, was the prosperous owner of three barbershops who squandered the family fortunes on gambling. :19 By the time Barbera was 15, his father had abandoned the family and his maternal uncle Jim became a father figure to him. :22–24to Sicilian immigrants Vincent Barbera (1884–1969), born in Castelvetrano (of Lebanese origin ) and Francesca Calvacca Barbera (1885–1973), born in Sciacca. He grew up speaking Italian. :
Barbera displayed a talent for drawing as early as the first grade. 25–26 He graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn in 1928. :23 While in high school, Barbera won several boxing titles. He was briefly managed by World Lightweight Boxing Champion Al Singer's manager but soon lost interest in boxing. :30–32 In 1935, Barbera married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Earl. In school, they had been known as "Romeo and Juliet". :28:
Barbera and his wife briefly separated when he went to California. They reunited but were on the verge of another separation when they discovered that Dorothy was pregnant with their first child. They had four children: two sons (Neal and an infant boy who died two days after his birth) and two daughters (Lynn and Jayne, who has been a producer in her own right 58, 61, 66, 90, 129 Shortly after his divorce, Barbera met his second wife, Sheila Holden, sister of British rock and roll singer Vince Taylor at Musso & Frank's restaurant, where she worked as bookkeeper and cashier. Unlike Dorothy, who had preferred to stay at home with the children, Sheila enjoyed the Hollywood social scene that Barbera often frequented. :137–139, 147). The marriage officially ended in 1963. :
During high school, Barbera worked as a tailor's delivery boy. 28 In 1929, he became interested in animation after watching a screening of Walt Disney's The Skeleton Dance . During the Great Depression, he tried unsuccessfully to become a cartoonist for a magazine called The NY Hits Magazine. He supported himself with a job at a bank, and continued to pursue publication for his cartoons. His magazine drawings of single cartoons, not comic strips, began to be published in Redbook , Saturday Evening Post , and Collier's —the magazine with which he had the most success. :35–36 Barbera also wrote to Walt Disney for advice on getting started in the animation industry. :105 Disney wrote back, saying he would call Barbera during an upcoming trip to New York, but the call never took place. :38:
Barbera took art classes at the Art Students League of New York and the Pratt Institute and was hired to work in the ink and paint department of Fleischer Studios. In 1932, he joined the Van Beuren Studios as an animator and storyboard artist. 38–42 He worked on cartoon series such as Cubby Bear and Rainbow Parades, and an earlier Tom and Jerry . This Tom and Jerry series starred two humans; it was unrelated to Barbera's later cat-and-mouse series, although both of these cartoons are adopted the name that created in 1821 book titled Life in London, written by Pierce Egan. When Van Beuren closed down in 1936, Barbera moved over to Paul Terry's Terrytoons studio. :53–54:
In 1935, Barbera created his first solo-effort storyboard about a character named Kiko the Kangaroo. The storyline was of Kiko in an airplane race with another character called Dirty Dog. Terry declined to produce the story. In his autobiography, Barbera said of his efforts ...
"I was, quite honestly, not in the least disappointed. I had proven to myself that I could do a storyboard, and that I had gained the experience of presenting it. For now, that was enough."
The original storyboard, which had been passed down through the Barbera family, went on sale at auction in November 2013.
Lured by a substantial salary increase, Barbera left Terrytoons and New York for the new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio in California in 1937. 58–59 :106 He found that Los Angeles was suffering just as much from the Great Depression as Brooklyn and almost returned to Brooklyn. :201:
Barbera's desk was opposite that of William Hanna. The two quickly realized they would make a good team. Foreword By 1939, they had solidified a partnership that would last over 60 years. Barbera and Hanna worked alongside animator Tex Avery, who had created Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny for Warner Bros. and directed Droopy cartoons at MGM. :33 :18:
In 1940, Hanna and Barbera jointly directed Puss Gets the Boot , which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best (Cartoon) Short Subject. 75–76 Surprised by the success of Puss Gets the Boot, Barbera and Hanna ignored Quimby's resistance :45 and continued developing the cat-and-mouse theme. By this time, however, Hanna wanted to return to working for Ising, to whom he felt very loyal. Barbera and Hanna met with Quimby, who discovered that although Ising had taken sole credit for producing Puss Gets the Boot, he never actually worked on it. Quimby, who had wanted to start a new animation unit independent from Ising, then gave Hanna and Barbera permission to pursue their cat-and-mouse idea. The result was their most famous creation, Tom and Jerry. :78–79The studio wanted a diversified cartoon portfolio, so despite the success of Puss Gets the Boot, Barbera and Hanna's supervisor, Fred Quimby, did not want to produce more cat and mouse cartoons believing that there were already enough cartoons of those in existence. :
Modeled after the Puss Gets the Boot characters with slight differences, the series followed Jerry, the pesky rodent who continuously outwitted his feline foe, Tom. 46 Over the next 17 years, Barbera and Hanna worked exclusively on Tom and Jerry, directing more than 114 popular cartoon shorts. During World War II, they also made animated training films. :92–93Tom and Jerry relied mostly on motion instead of dialog. Despite its popularity, Tom and Jerry has often been criticized as excessively violent. :42 :134 Nonetheless, the series won its first Academy Award for the 11th short, The Yankee Doodle Mouse (1943)—a war-time adventure. Tom and Jerry was ultimately nominated for 14 Academy Awards, winning 7. No other character-based theatrical animated series has won more awards, nor has any other series featuring the same characters. Tom and Jerry also made guest appearances in several of MGM's live-action films, including Anchors Aweigh (1945) and Invitation to the Dance (1956) with Gene Kelly, and Dangerous When Wet (1953) with Esther Williams.Hanna said they settled on the cat and mouse theme for this cartoon because "we knew we needed two characters. We thought we needed conflict, and chase and action. And a cat after a mouse seemed like a good, basic thought." The revamped characters first appeared in 1941's The Midnight Snack . :
In addition to his work in animated cartoons, Barbera and Tom and Jerry layout artist Harvey Eisenberg moonlit to run a comic book company named Dearfield Publishing.Active from 1946 to 1951, Dearfield's titles included "Red" Rabbit Comics, Foxy Fagan, and Junie Prom.
Quimby accepted each Academy Award for Tom and Jerry without inviting Barbera and Hanna onstage. The cartoons were also released with Quimby listed as the sole producer, following the same practice for which he had condemned Ising. 83–84 Quimby once delayed a promised raise to Barbera by six months . :82 When Quimby retired in late 1955, Hanna and Barbera were placed in charge of MGM's animation division. As MGM began to lose more revenue on animated cartoons due to television, the studio soon realized that re-releasing old cartoons was far more profitable than producing new ones. :2–3, 109 In 1957, MGM ordered Barbera and Hanna's business manager to close the cartoon division and lay off everyone by a phone call. :2–3, 109 Barbera and Hanna found the no-notice closing puzzling because Tom and Jerry had been so successful.:
In 1957, Barbera reteamed with his former partner Hanna to produce cartoon films for television and theatrical release. 120 :77, 146 A coin toss determined that Hanna would have precedence in the naming of the new company, :Foreword first called H-B Enterprises but soon changed to Hanna-Barbera Productions. Barbera and Hanna's MGM colleague George Sidney, the director of Anchors Aweigh, became the third partner and business manager in the company, and arranged a deal for distribution and working capital with Screen Gems, the television division of Columbia Pictures, who took part ownership of the new studio. :81–83As they had at MGM, the two brought their different skills to the company; Barbera was a skilled gag writer and sketch artist, while Hanna had a gift for timing, story construction, and recruiting top artists. Major business decisions would be made together, though each year the title of president alternated between them. :
The first offering from the new company was The Ruff & Reddy Show ,a series which detailed the friendship between a dog and cat. Despite a lukewarm response for their first theatrical venture, Loopy De Loop , Hanna-Barbera soon established themselves with two successful television series: The Huckleberry Hound Show and The Yogi Bear Show . A 1960 survey showed that half of the viewers of Huckleberry Hound were adults. This prompted the company to create a new animated series, The Flintstones. A parody of The Honeymooners , the new show followed a typical Stone Age family with home appliances, talking animals, and celebrity guests. With an audience of both children and adults, The Flintstones became the first animated prime-time show to be a hit. Fred Flintstone's signature exclamation "yabba dabba doo" soon entered everyday usage, and the show boosted the studio to the top of the TV cartoon field. The company later produced a futuristic version of The Flintstones, known as The Jetsons. Although both shows reappeared in the 1970s and 1980s, The Flintstones was far more popular.
By the late 1960s, Hanna-Barbera Productions was the most successful television animation studio in the business. The Hanna-Barbera studio produced over 3000 animated half-hour television shows. Among the more than 100 cartoon series they produced were The Quick Draw McGraw Show , Top Cat , Jonny Quest , The Magilla Gorilla Show , The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show , Scooby-Doo , Super Friends , and The Smurfs . The company also produced animated specials based on Alice in Wonderland , Jack and the Beanstalk , and Cyrano de Bergerac , as well as the feature-length films Charlotte's Web and Heidi's Song . :228–230
As popular as their cartoons were with 1960s audiences, they were disliked by artists. 75 :54 which allowed television animation to be more cost-effective, but often reduced quality. Hanna and Barbera had first experimented with these techniques in the early days of Tom and Jerry. :74, 115 To reduce the cost of each episode, shows often focused more on character dialogue than detailed animation. The number of drawings for a seven-minute cartoon decreased from 14,000 to nearly 2,000, and the company implemented innovative techniques such as rapid background changes to improve viewing. Critics criticized the change from detailed animation to repetitive movements by two-dimensional characters. Barbera once said that their choice was to adapt to the television budgets or change careers. :75 :54 The new style did not limit the success of their animated shows, enabling Hanna-Barbera to stay in business, providing employment to many who would otherwise have been out of work. Limited animation paved the way for future animated series such as The Simpsons , SpongeBob SquarePants , and South Park .Television programs had lower budgets than theatrical animation, and this economic reality caused many animation studios to go out of business in the 1950s and 1960s, putting many people in the industry out of work. Hanna-Barbera was key in the development of an animation technique known as limited animation, :
In December 1966, Hanna-Barbera Productions was sold to Taft Broadcasting (renamed Great American Communications in 1987) for $12 million. :162, 235–236 Barbera and Hanna remained at the head of the company until 1991. :16 :151 At that point, the company was sold to the Turner Broadcasting System for an estimated $320 million. Turner began using Hanna-Barbera's television catalog as material for its new Cartoon Network cable channel in 1992, and by the mid-1990s Hanna-Barbera was producing several original series for Cartoon Network, among them Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls . In 1996, Turner merged with Time Warner, owners of Warner Bros., who would eventually absorb Hanna-Barbera into Warner Bros. Animation.
Barbera and Hanna continued to advise their former company and periodically worked on new Hanna-Barbera shows, including shorts for the series The Cartoon Cartoon Show and feature film versions of The Flintstones (1994) and Scooby-Doo (2002).In a new Tom and Jerry cartoon produced in 2000, The Mansion Cat , Barbera voiced the houseowner.
After Hanna's death from throat cancer in March 2001, Hanna-Barbera was absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation, with the unit dedicated to the Cartoon Network original series spun off into Cartoon Network Studios. Barbera remained active as an executive producer for Warner Bros. on direct-to-video cartoon features as well as television series such as What's New, Scooby-Doo? and Tom and Jerry Tales .He also wrote, co-storyboarded, co-directed and co-produced The Karate Guard (2005), the return of Tom and Jerry to the big screen. His final animated project was the direct-to-video feature Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale (2007).
Most of the cartoons Barbera and Hanna created revolved around close friendship or partnership; this theme is evident with Fred and Barney, Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble, Dick Dastardly and Muttley, Tom and Jerry, Scooby and Shaggy, Ruff and Reddy, Jake Clawson/Razor and Chance Furlong/T-Bone, The Jetson family and Yogi & Boo-Boo. These may have been a reflection of the close business friendship and partnership that Barbera and Hanna shared for over 60 years. 214 Professionally, they balanced each other's strengths and weaknesses very well, but Barbera and Hanna traveled in completely different social circles. Hanna's circle of personal friends primarily included other animators; Barbera socialized with Hollywood celebrities—Zsa Zsa Gabor was a frequent visitor to his house. :52–53, 137–139, 147, 222–224 Their division of work roles complemented each other but they rarely talked outside of work since Hanna was interested in the outdoors and Barbera liked beaches and good food and drink. :120–121 Nevertheless, in their long partnership, in which they worked with over 2000 animated characters, Barbera and Hanna rarely exchanged a cross word. Barbera said: "We understood each other perfectly, and each of us had deep respect for the other's work." Hanna once said that Barbera could "capture mood and expression in a quick sketch better than anyone I've ever known.":
Barbera and Hanna were also among the first animators to realize the enormous potential of television. their characters are not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture". They are often considered Walt Disney's only rivals in cartoon animation.Leonard Maltin says the Hanna–Barbera team "held a record for producing consistently superior cartoons using the same characters year after year—without a break or change in routine
Barbera and Hanna had a lasting impact on television animation. 16 Cartoons they created often make greatest lists. Many of their characters have appeared in film, books, toys, and other media. Their shows had a worldwide audience of over 300 million people in the 1960s and have been translated into more than 20 languages. The works of Barbera and Hanna have been praised not only for their animation, but for their music. The Cat Concerto (1946) and Johann Mouse (1952) have both been called "masterpieces of animation" largely because of their classical music. :34 :133:
In all, the Hanna–Barbera team won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards, 32 including the 1960 award for The Huckleberry Hound Show, which was the first Emmy awarded to an animated series. They also won these awards: Golden Globe for Television Achievement (1960), Golden IKE Award – Pacific Pioneers in Broadcasting (1983), Pioneer Award – Broadcast Music Incorporated (1987), Iris Award – NATPE Men of the Year (1988), Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association award for Lifetime Achievement (1988), Governors Award of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (1988), Jackie Coogan Award for Outstanding Contribution to Youth through Entertainment Youth in Film (1988), Frederic W. Ziv Award for Outstanding Achievement in Telecommunications – Broadcasting Division College – Conservatory of Music University of Cincinnati (1989), stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1976), several Annie Awards, :170 several environmental awards, and were recipients of numerous other accolades prior to their induction into the Television Hall of Fame in 1994. :171 In March 2005 the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and Warner Bros. Animation dedicated a wall sculpture at the Television Academy's Hall of Fame Plaza in North Hollywood to Hanna and Barbera.:
In 1992, Barbera met with pop musician Michael Jackson, an avid cartoon fan, in an unsuccessful attempt to arrange for him to sing in Tom and Jerry: The Movie . Barbera drew five quick sketches of Tom and Jerry for Jackson and autographed them. Jackson autographed a picture of himself and his niece Nicole for Barbera with the words: "To my hero of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, with many thanks for all the many cartoon friends you gave me as a child. They were all I had. – Michael" 236–237:
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc., also variously known as H-B Enterprises, H-B Production Co., and Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc., is a former American animation studio and production company that was founded in 1957 by Tom and Jerry creators and former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, and remained active until 2001.
Frederick Clinton Quimby was an American animation producer and journalist, best known for producing the Tom and Jerry cartoon series, for which he won seven Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film. He was the film sales executive in charge of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio, which included Tex Avery, as well as William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the creators of Tom and Jerry.
The golden age of American animation was a period in the history of U.S. animation that began with the popularization of sound cartoons in 1928 and gradually ended in the late 1960s, where theatrical animated shorts began losing popularity to the newer medium of television animation, produced on cheaper budgets and in a more limited animation style by companies such as Hanna-Barbera, UPA, Jay Ward Productions, and DePatie-Freleng.
The Television era of American animation was a period in the history of U.S. animation that slowly set in with the decline of theatrical animated shorts and the popularization of television animation during the late 1950s to 1960s, and was in full swing by the 1970s to 1980s.
Jerry Mouse is a fictional character and one of the two titular main protagonists in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's series of Tom and Jerry theatrical animated short films. Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Jerry is a brown mute anthropomorphic house mouse, who first appeared as a mouse named Jinx in the 1940 MGM animated short Puss Gets the Boot. Hanna gave the mouse's original name as "Jinx", while Barbera claimed the mouse went unnamed in his first appearance.
Tom and Jerry is an American animated media franchise and series of comedy short films created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Best known for its 161 theatrical short films by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the series centers on the rivalry between the titular characters of a cat named Tom and a mouse named Jerry. Many shorts also feature several recurring characters.
William Denby Hanna was an American animator, voice actor, cartoonist, and musician.
The Ruff and Reddy Show is a 1957–1960 American animated series and the first made by Hanna-Barbera Productions for NBC. The series follows the adventures of Ruff, a smart and steadfast cat; and Reddy, a good-natured and brave dog. It was presented by Screen Gems, the television arm of Columbia Pictures. It premiered in December 1957 and ran for fifty episodes until April 1960, comprising three seasons.
The Yankee Doodle Mouse is a 1943 American one-reel animated cartoon in Technicolor. It is the eleventh Tom and Jerry short produced by Fred Quimby, and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with musical supervision by Scott Bradley and animation by Irven Spence, Pete Burness, Kenneth Muse and George Gordon. Jack Zander was credited on the original print, but his credit was omitted in the 1950 reissue. It was released to theaters on June 26, 1943 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. The short features Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse chasing each other in a pseudo-warfare style, and makes numerous references to World War II technology such as jeeps and dive bombers, represented by clever uses of common household items. The Yankee Doodle Mouse won the 1943 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, making it the first of seven Tom and Jerry cartoons to receive this distinction.
Dan Gordon was an American storyboard artist and film director, best known for his work at both Famous Studios and Hanna-Barbera Productions. Gordon was one of Famous' first directors, and he wrote and directed several Popeye the Sailor and Superman cartoons. Later, at Hanna-Barbera, Gordon worked on several cartoons featuring Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and others. His younger brother, George Gordon (animator) worked for Hanna-Barbera.
Puss Gets the Boot is a 1940 American animated short film and is the first short in what would become the Tom and Jerry cartoon series, though neither were yet referred to by these names. It was directed by William Hanna, Joseph Barbera and Rudolf Ising, and produced by Rudolf Ising and Fred Quimby. It was based on the Aesop's Fable, The Cat and the Mice. As was the practice of MGM shorts at the time, only Rudolf Ising is credited. It was released to theaters on February 10, 1940, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Spike and Tyke is a short-lived theatrical animated short subject series, based upon the American bulldog father-and-son team from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Tom and Jerry cartoons. The characters first appeared in the Tom and Jerry series, in 1942's Dog Trouble.
This is a complete list of the 164 shorts in the Tom and Jerry series produced and released between 1940 and 2014. Of these, 162 are theatrical shorts, one is a made-for-TV short, and one is a 2-minute sketch shown as part of a telethon.
The Little Orphan is a 1949 American one-reel animated cartoon and the 40th Tom and Jerry cartoon, released in theaters on April 30, 1949 by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. It was produced by Fred Quimby and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with music by Scott Bradley. The cartoon was animated by Irven Spence, Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge and Ray Patterson. The short features Nibbles, a young mouse who is insatiably hungry.
The Night Before Christmas is a 1941 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the third Tom and Jerry short directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, produced by Fred Quimby and animated by Jack Zander, George Gordon, Irven Spence and Bill Littlejohn. It was nominated for the 1941 Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons, but lost to the Mickey Mouse short film Lend a Paw, making it the only Tom and Jerry cartoon to lose to a Disney film.
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio was the in-house division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio in Hollywood during the Golden Age of American animation. The studio was responsible for producing animated shorts to accompany MGM feature films in Loew's Theaters. Active from 1937 until 1958, the cartoon studio created some popular cartoon characters, including Tom and Jerry, Droopy and Barney Bear.
Kenneth Lee Muse was an American animator. He is best known for his work on the Tom and Jerry series at MGM.
Jerry Beck is an American animation historian, author, blogger, and video producer.
Events in 1947 in animation.