William Hanna


Director, Executive, Producer
William Hanna

About

Also Known As
William Denby Hanna, Bill Hanna
Birth Place
Melrose, New Mexico, USA
Born
July 14, 1910
Died
March 22, 2001

Biography

One half of the most celebrated animation-producing duos in history, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's company, Hanna-Barbera Productions, created some of the best-loved animated television programming of the 20th century and beyond, including "The Huckleberry Hound Show" (syndicated, 1958-1961), "The Yogi Bear Show" (syndicated, 1961-62), "The Flintstones" (ABC, 1960-66), "The Jetsons"...

Family & Companions

Violet Blanch Hanna
Wife
Married on August 7, 1936; survived him.

Notes

About his relationship with Joseph Barbera: "One thing that has probably kept us together is that, while we work very closely here at the studio, his outside interests are entirely different from mine, and we never see each other socially. We have had strictly a business relationship all along."When Joe and I did the Tom and Jerry cartoons at MGM, Joe did all the drawing, and I did all the timing and directing. We'd sit across a big desk and together we'd develop all the material ... My talent, I believe, has been in organization. I'm still directing pictures, but I'm also directing the work of other people. And I also spend a lot of time with the writers. My own efforts have always been in writing: I have written the main titles and lyrics for over one hundred series." --William Hanna, in "Cartoons Today"

"As it is now, we're turning out eight half-hour shows a week. One person works on more footage per day than all of us combined used to. Back in the Tom and Jerry days, I personally did a minute and a half of film a week; now I do as much as thirty-five minutes a week. So you can see the quantity produced is much greater today. The economics has a lot to do with it, of course. The economics of TV dictates the quality. I think we do a fair job on character design and we do a good job on voice casting and in backgrounds, but we fall short in actual animation. It is unfortunate that more money cannot be spent on animation. The cost per foot of Tom and Jerry-type animation would be prohibitive, even for theatrical shorts. I think that to achieve the same standards today, a six-minute Tom and Jerry would cost in the area of $100,000. They only cost $30,000 to make in the forties." --Wiliam Hanna, in "Cartoons Today"

Biography

One half of the most celebrated animation-producing duos in history, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's company, Hanna-Barbera Productions, created some of the best-loved animated television programming of the 20th century and beyond, including "The Huckleberry Hound Show" (syndicated, 1958-1961), "The Yogi Bear Show" (syndicated, 1961-62), "The Flintstones" (ABC, 1960-66), "The Jetsons" (ABC, 1962-63), "Jonny Quest" (ABC, 1964-65), "Super Friends" (ABC, 1973-1986) and "The Smurfs" (NBC, 1981-89). With Barbera, Hanna began his career with the Oscar-winning Tom and Jerry animated shorts for MGM. When the company shuttered its animation division, the duo launched their own company, striking pay dirt almost immediately with "Huckleberry Hound" and "The Flintstones," their first primetime series. Hanna-Barbera's cartoons, driven largely by bright, simple artwork, clever writing, and memorable characters, led the television animation field until the 1980s, when financial difficulties resulted in their sale to a variety of companies. They rebounded in the 1990s as part of Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network, for which they oversaw such cutting-edge cartoons as "The Powerpuff Girls" (1998-2005) before Hanna's death in 2001. William Hanna's vast output of animated fare over the course of his six-decade career contained so many beloved characters and shows that his position as one of the dominant forces in American animation was assured for eternity.

Born July 14, 1910 in Melrose, NM, William Denby Hanna was the third of seven children and the only son of construction superintendent William John Hanna and his wife, Joyce. His father worked on both the railway and water and sewer systems in the western states, which required him to move the family on frequent occasions. During his first years, Hanna moved from Oregon to Utah to California, eventually settling in Watts, CA in 1919. There, he cultivated a number of skills, including music, art and writing that would come into play during his career in animation. He studied journalism and structural engineering at Compton City College, but was forced to drop out at the onset of the Great Depression. Hanna subsequently found work as an engineer on the construction of the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, but the country's economic spiral also cost him that job. At the encouragement of his sister's boyfriend, he applied for a job at Pacific Title and Art, where his talent for art, though formally untrained, earned him a job at the Harman and Ising animation studio, which produced the "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" shorts for Warner Bros in conjunction with Pacific Title and Art. The studio became a separate entity from the title company in 1933, and Hanna joined them in their new capacity as animation producers for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Hanna earned his first directorial credit on the 1936 animated short "To Spring" shortly before MGM wooed him to their own in-house animation division. There, he met and forged a close relationship with artist Joseph Barbera, with whom he worked alongside the legendary animation director Tex Avery. In 1940, they co-directed "Puss Gets the Boot" (1940), which concerned the pursuit of a clever mouse by an energetic if easily foiled cat. The project was nominated for a Best (Cartoon) Short Oscar, which marked the beginning of the long-running and wildly successful Tom and Jerry series. For the next 17 years, Hanna and Barbera worked almost exclusively on the series, which netted 14 Academy Award nominations and won seven between 1943 and 1952. The characters' popularity also translated into appearances in some of MGM's live-action films, most notably "Anchors Aweigh" (1945) and "Invitation to the Dance" (1955), both with Gene Kelly. Though Hanna and Barbera were the series' creators and chief architects, the shorts were credited to their supervisor, Fred Quimby, who accepted each of its Oscars without inviting the animation pair to the stage. Eventually, Hanna and Barbera would replace Quimby as heads of MGM's animation division. Unfortunately, their ascent preceded the studio's decision to close the department in 1957. MGM had been steadily losing revenue to television, and found that licensing their old material was more cost effective that creating new cartoons. Hanna and Barbera quickly launched their own short-lived company, Shield Productions, with animator Jay Ward, creator of Rocky & Bullwinkle. After this entity folded, Hanna and Barbera launched their own production company, initially called H-B Enterprises, which was soon redubbed Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Hanna's talent for story construction and connections to top artists was key in the creation of their first series, "The Ruff & Reddy Show" (NBC, 1957), which concerned a cat and dog voiced by Daws Butler and Don Messick, who would go on to provide the voices for nearly all of Hanna-Barbera's programs. Though only a modest success, "Ruff & Reddy" proved that Hanna-Barbera could produce quality animation for television on a small budget, and soon led to their first substantial hits, "The Huckleberry Hound Show," which also featured a segment devoted to a scheming bear named Yogi, who starred on his own syndicated series from 1961 to 1962. The program became the first animated series to win an Emmy for Best Children's Program in 1959, and was quickly followed by "The Quick Draw McGraw Show" (syndicated, 1959-1961). When Hanna and Barbera discovered that nearly half of the viewing audience for "Huckleberry" was comprised of adults who were drawn to the show by its wry humor, they decided to expand their efforts to a primetime animated series.

The result was "The Flintstones," a parody of "The Honeymooners" (CBS, 1955-56) that concerned the comic adventures of a Stone Age family. A Top 30 hit during its first three seasons on air, it was followed by a futuristic variation on the same premise called "The Jetsons." Both programs proved extremely popular in syndication, while "The Flintstones" would enjoy three decades of spin-offs and theatrical features while reaping considerable financial rewards through numerous product tie-ins and licensing efforts. By the end of the decade, Hanna-Barbera was unquestionably the most prolific and successful television animation studio in the business, with such series as "Top Cat" (ABC, 1961-62), "Wally Gator" (ABC, 1962-63), "Jonny Quest," "Space Ghost" (CBS, 1966-68) and the live-action "Banana Splits Adventure Hour" (NBC, 1968-1970) populating the airwaves. One of their most enduring characters, the mystery-solving Great Dane Scooby-Doo, would premiere during this period with "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" (CBS, 1969-1972), and like "The Flintstones," would be revived in various iterations over the next three decades.

These and other Hanna-Barbera series followed a basic story formula that revolved around a close partnership between two or more friends, often with divergent personalities, as seen in the relationships between Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, Scooby-Doo and Shaggy and countless others. The friendship (or friendly competition) between the characters was seen as reflective of Hanna's own relationship with Barbera, which remained close and unchanged for nearly six decades. Part of the reason for their successful collaboration was due to the fact that both men rarely socialized with each other outside of their work; Hanna preferred the company of other animators and loved the outdoors, while Barbera could be frequently seen with other celebrities at fine restaurants or upscale locations. Regardless of their different interests, both men worked together in harmony, complementing each other's strengths while balancing their respective weaknesses. Their compatibility was often seen as the key to the longevity of their business. Despite stiff competition from other television animation companies like Filmation, Rankin-Bass and Ruby-Spears, Hanna-Barbera continued to reign as the dominant producers of TV cartoons in the 1970s. A combination of shows featuring new characters like "Hong Kong Phooey" (ABC, 1974) and "Josie and the Pussycats" (CBS, 1970-72) with established characters from their catalog like "The New Scooby-Doo Movies" (CBS, 1972-74) and new programs featuring characters from the past like "The Tom and Jerry/Grape Ape/Mumbly Show" (ABC, 1975-76), helped to secure their position within the industry. One of their greatest successes of the decade was "Super Friends," which showcased DC Comics' iconic stable of superheroes, including Superman and Batman.

Hanna-Barbera also experimented with theatrical and made-for-TV features during this period, earning hits with the feature-length adaptation of "Charlotte's Web" (1973) and the Emmy-winning ABC drama "The Gathering" (1977). But their grip on the market weakened in the 1980s, due in part to the success of Filmation's "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" (syndicated, 1983-85) and financial difficulties on the part of their parent company, Taft Broadcasting, which had purchased them in 1966. As a result, Hanna-Barbera was forced to outsource much of their animation, which affected the quality of their product. They enjoyed some success during this period, most notably with the Emmy-winning "Smurfs," a joint effort with Belgian companies Dupuis Audiovisual and SEPP International S.A. But the end of the decade found the company on the auction block as a result of the debts incurred by Great American Broadcasting, which had purchased Taft Broadcasting in 1987. Most of Hanna-Barbera's animation staff moved to Warner Bros. during this period, leaving the company as a shell of its former self.

In 1991, Turner Broadcasting and the Apollo Investment Fund purchased Hanna-Barbera in a joint venture for $320 million. Former MTV executive Fred Seibert was put in charge of Hanna-Barbera, which soon changed its name to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, with Hanna and Barbera remaining as co-chairmen. Seibert hired a host of up-and-coming animation talent, including Craig McCracken, Seth McFarlane and Genndy Tartakovsky, to produce a slate of new programming, while re-launching established brands like Tom and Jerry and "The Flintstones" in new series. Feature-length versions of "Tom and Jerry" (1993) and a trio of animated films, including "The Pagemaster" (1993) and "Cats Don't Dance" (1993), were box-office failures, but Hanna-Barbera's product received a sparkling new showcase with The Cartoon Network, which launched in 1992. The company's vast library of animated work was introduced to a whole new audience, while new programming, including "The Powerpuff Girls," "Dexter's Laboratory" (Cartoon Network, 1995-2004) and "Johnny Bravo" (Cartoon Network, 1997-2004) established Hanna-Barbera as a viable production house in the 21st century. New direct-to-video movies featuring Scooby-Doo and revived series for "Jonny Quest" and Tom and Jerry, as well as live-action versions of "The Flintstones (1994) and "Scooby-Doo" (2004) also continued to reach viewers.

In 1996, Hanna-Barbera became part of Time Warner as a result of the merger between the company and Turner Broadcasting. Two years later, their lot on Cahuenga Boulevard in Studio City was closed, and operations were moved to the Warner Bros. Television Animation division in nearby Sherman Oaks. Hanna and Barbera continued to supervise Warner Bros. animated projects until Hanna's death from throat cancer on March 22, 2001. Barbera would remain a fixture of the company until his own death in 2008. At the close of their careers, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were among the most honored animation producers in Hollywood, with seven Oscars and eight Emmys to their name, as well as a 1960 Golden Globe, the 1988 Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and several Annie Awards, among countless other tributes. In 2005, a wall sculpture at the Television Academy's Hall of Fame Plaza was dedicated to Hanna and Barbera.

By Paul Gaita

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

I Yabba Dabba Do (1993)
Director
Dirty Droopy (1991)
Creator
Eradicator Droopy (1991)
Creator
Jetsons: The Movie (1990)
Director
Dakota Droopy Returns (1990)
Creator
McWerewolf of London (1990)
Creator
Dakota Droopy (1990)
Creator
Maltese Poodle (Do Not Use) (1990)
Creator
Wild Goes Cuckoo (1989)
Creator
The Clumsy Genie (1989)
Creator
The Golden Rhino (1989)
Creator
Lost in the Ages (1989)
Creator
Cave Smurfs (1989)
Creator
Painter's Egg-Cellent Adventure (1989)
Creator
Hogapatra's Beauty Sleep (1989)
Creator
Smurfs That Time Forgot (1989)
Creator
Fortune Cookie (1989)
Creator
Gnoman Holiday (1989)
Creator
Karate Clumsy (1989)
Creator
The Monumental Grouch (1989)
Creator
Papa Loses His Patience (1989)
Creator
Small Minded Smurfs (1989)
Creator
Curried Smurfs (1989)
Creator
A Fish Called Snappy (1989)
Creator
Grandpa's Fountain of Youth (1989)
Creator
Bananas Over Hefty (1989)
Creator
Brainy's Beastly Boo-Boo (1989)
Creator
Shamrock Smurfs (1989)
Creator
Mummy Dearest (1989)
Creator
Imperial Panda-Monium (1989)
Creator
Swashbuckling Smurfs (1989)
Creator
Smurfette's Green Thumb (1989)
Creator
G'day Smoogle (1989)
Creator
Scary Smurfs (1989)
Creator
Jungle Jitterbug (1989)
Creator
Big Shot Smurfs (1989)
Creator
Like It or Smurf It (1989)
Creator
Papa's Big Snooze (1989)
Creator
The Smurf Odyssey (1989)
Creator
The Smurfs of the Round Table (1989)
Creator
Phantom Bagpiper (1989)
Creator
No Reflection on Vanity (1989)
Creator
Greedy's Masterpizza (1989)
Creator
Hefty Sees a Serpent (1989)
Creator
Sky High Surprise (1989)
Creator
A House for Nanny (1988)
Creator
Archives of Evil (1988)
Creator
Don Smurfo's Uninvited Guests (1988)
Creator
Shutterbug Smurfs (1988)
Creator
Grandpa's Walking Stick (1988)
Creator
Denisa's Greedy Doll (1988)
Creator
Smurf the Presses (1988)
Creator
Big Mouth's Roommate (1988)
Creator
Smoogle Sings the Blues (1988)
Creator
Land of Lost and Found (1988)
Creator
Grandpa's Nemesis (1988)
Creator
Memory Melons (1988)
Creator
A Maze of Mirrors (1988)
Creator
A Smurf for Denisa (1988)
Creator
Clumsy in Command (1988)
Creator
Stealing Grandpa's Thunder (1988)
Creator
Long Live Brainy (1988)
Creator
Denisa's Slumber Party (1988)
Creator
Pappy's Puppy (1988)
Creator
Bungling Babysitters (1988)
Creator
Lost Smurf (1988)
Creator
It's a Smurfy Life (1988)
Creator
Nanny's Way (1988)
Creator
Clockwork's Power Play (1988)
Creator
Smurf on the Wild Side Part 2 (1987)
Creator
Smurf on the Wild Side Part 4 (1987)
Creator
Smurf on the Wild Side Part 3 (1987)
Creator
Smurf on the Wild Side Part 1 (1987)
Creator
Fire Fighting Smurfs (1986)
Creator
Essence of Brainy (1986)
Creator
The Enchanted Quill (1986)
Creator
Papa Smurf, Papa Smurf (1986)
Creator
The Prince and the Hopper (1986)
Creator
Greedy Goes on Strike (1986)
Creator
Bookworm Smurf (1986)
Creator
Lazy's Nightmare (1986)
Creator
The Littlest Viking (1986)
Creator
The Royal Drum (1986)
Creator
Gargamel's New Job (1986)
Creator
The Lure of the Orb (1986)
Creator
Papa's Family Album (1985)
Creator
The Dark Ness Monster (1985)
Creator
Baby's First Word (1985)
Creator
The Comet Is Coming, the Comet Is Coming (1985)
Creator
Marco Smurf and the Pepper Pirates (1985)
Creator
Alarming Smurfs (1985)
Creator
Things That Go Smurf in the Night (1985)
Creator
Kow Tow We Won't Bow (1985)
Creator
Smurf a Mile in My Shoes (1985)
Creator
Little Orange Horse with Gold Shoes (1984)
Creator
Smurf on Wood (1984)
Creator
Never Smurf Off 'Til Tomorrow (1984)
Creator
A Circus for Baby (1984)
Creator
The Master Smurf (1984)
Creator
Hopping Cough Smurfs (1984)
Creator
The Incredible Shrinking Wizard (1984)
Creator
Lazy's Slumber Party (1984)
Creator
The Pussywillow Pixies (1984)
Creator
Papa's Worrywarts (1984)
Creator
Every Picture Smurfs a Story (1983)
Creator
Escape From Grumble Gulch (1983)
Director
The Smurfs' Time Capsule (1983)
Creator
Baby's First Christmas (1983)
Creator
Handy's Sweetheart (1983)
Creator
The Golden Smurf Award (1983)
Creator
The Noble Stag (1983)
Creator
Once in a Blue Moon (1983)
Creator
The Last Smurfberry (1983)
Creator
The Miracle Smurfer (1983)
Creator
The Prince and the Peewit (1982)
Creator
The Raven Wizard (1982)
Creator
The Smurf Who Couldn't Say No (1982)
Creator
Smurfs at Sea (1982)
Creator
All's Smurfy That Ends Smurfy (1982)
Creator
The Lost City of Yore (1982)
Creator
The Cursed Country (1982)
Creator
The Black Hellebore (1982)
Creator
The Imposter King (1982)
Creator
The Good, the Bad, and the Smurfy (1982)
Creator
The Haunted Castle (1982)
Creator
A Mere Truffles (1982)
Creator
The Three Smurfketeers (1982)
Creator
The Enchanted Baby (1982)
Creator
The Adventures of Robin Smurf (1982)
Creator
The Return of Clockwork Smurf (1982)
Creator
The Ring of Castellac (1982)
Creator
Johan's Army (1982)
Creator
The Littlest Giant (1982)
Creator
The Goblin of Boulder Wood (1982)
Creator
The Magic Fountain (1982)
Creator
The Sorcery of Malthrochu (1982)
Creator
A Clockwork Smurf (1981)
Creator
The Smurfette (1981)
Creator
St. Smurf and the Dragon (1981)
Creator
Bewitched, Bothered, and Be-Smurfed (1981)
Creator
Soup a la Smurf (1981)
Creator
Poet and Painter (1981)
Creator
Smurfette's Dancing Shoes (1981)
Creator
Romeo and Smurfette (1981)
Creator
Sideshow Smurfs (1981)
Creator
The Fountain of Smurf (1981)
Creator
The Astrosmurf (1981)
Creator
Sir Hefty (1981)
Creator
The Smurfs and the Howlibird (1981)
Creator
The Count of Monte Cristo (1973)
Director
Cannery Rodent (1967)
Creator
Purr-Chance to Dream (1967)
Creator
Shutter Bugged Cat (1967)
Director
The Man Called Flintstone (1966)
Director
Matinee Mouse (1966)
Director
Catty Cornered (1966)
Creator
O-Solar-Meow (1966)
Director
Jerry, Jerry, Quite Contrary (1966)
Creator
The Year of the Mouse (1965)
Creator
The Cat's Me-Ouch (1965)
Creator
Hey There, It's Yogi Bear (1964)
Director
Cat Above and the Mouse Below (1964)
Creator
The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit (1962)
Creator
Sorry Safari (1962)
Creator
High Steaks (1961)
Creator
Dicky Moe (1961)
Creator
Tops with Pops (Do Not Use) (1957)
Creator
Feedin' the Kiddie (Do Not Use) (1957)
Creator
The Egg and Jerry (Do Not Use) (1956)
Creator
Busy Buddies (1956)
Director
Timid Tabby (1956)
Director
Muscle Beach Tom (1956)
Director
Tom and Cherie (1955)
Director
Good Will to Men (1955)
Director
Smarty Cat (1955)
Director
That's My Mommy (1955)
Director
Southbound Duckling (1955)
Director
The Flying Sorceress (1955)
Director
Mouse for Sale (1955)
Creator
Touche, Pussy Cat! (1954)
Director
Pet Peeve (1954)
Director
Baby Butch (1954)
Creator
Baby Butch (1954)
Director
Hic-Cup Pup (1954)
Director
Posse Cat (1954)
Director
Mice Follies (1953)
Director
Pecos Pest (1953)
Director
Designs on Jerry (1953)
Director
That's My Pup (1953)
Director
Downhearted Duckling (1953)
Director
Neapolitan Mouse (1953)
Director
The Missing Mouse (1953)
Director
Life with Tom (1953)
Director
Two Little Indians (1953)
Director
Jerry and Jumbo (1953)
Director
Puppy Tale (1953)
Director
Pup on a Picnic (1953)
Director
The Dog House (1952)
Director
Little School Mouse (1952)
Director
The Two Mouseketeers (1952)
Director
Push-Button Kitty (Do Not Air) (1952)
Director
The Duck Doctor (1952)
Director
Johann Mouse (1952)
Director
Little Runaway (1952)
Director
Fit to Be Tied (1952)
Director
Smitten Kitten (1952)
Director
Triplet Trouble (Do Not Air) (1952)
Director
Jerry and the Goldfish (1951)
Director
Jerry's Cousin (1951)
Director
Cruise Cat (Do Not Air) (1951)
Creator
Slicked-Up Pup (1951)
Director
Just Ducky (1951)
Director
Casanova Cat (Do Not Air) (1951)
Creator
Casanova Cat (Do Not Air) (1951)
Director
The Flying Cat (1951)
Director
Cat Napping (1951)
Director
Nit Wit Kitty (Do Not Air) (1951)
Director
His Mouse Friday (1951)
Director
Sleepy-Time Tom (Do Not Air) (1951)
Creator
Cruise Cat (Do Not Air) (1951)
Director
Texas Tom (Do Not Air) (1950)
Director
Little Quacker (1950)
Director
The Hollywood Bowl (1950)
Director
Jerry and the Lion (1950)
Director
Saturday Evening Puss (Do Not Air) (1950)
Director
Safety Second (1950)
Director
Cue Ball Cat (1950)
Director
The Framed Cat (Do Not Air) (1950)
Director
Heavenly Puss (1949)
Director
Jerry's Diary (Do Not Air) (1949)
Director
Hatch Up Your Troubles (1949)
Director
The Little Orphan (Do Not Air) (1949)
Director
Bad Luck Blackie (1949)
Creator
Tennis Chumps (Do Not Air) (1949)
Director
Love That Pup (1949)
Director
The Cat and the Mermouse (1949)
Director
Mouse Cleaning (Do Not Air) (1948)
Director
Half-Pint Pygmy (Do Not Use) (1948)
Creator
Professor Tom (1948)
Director
Old Rockin' Chair Tom (Do Not Air) (1948)
Director
Polka-Dot Puss (Do Not Air) (1948)
Director
What Price Fleadom (1948)
Creator
Mouse in the House (Do Not Air) (1947)
Director
Part Time Pal (Do Not Air) (1947)
Director
Kitty Foiled (1947)
Director
The Invisible Mouse (1947)
Director
The Truce Hurts (1947)
Creator
Salt Water Tabby (1947)
Director
Springtime for Thomas (1946)
Director
Trap Happy (1946)
Director
The Milky Waif (1946)
Director
Solid Serenade (1946)
Director
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse (1946)
Director
Cat Fishin' (1946)
Director
Flirty Birdy (1945)
Director
Quiet Please (1945)
Creator
Mouse in Manhattan (1945)
Director
The Mouse Comes to Dinner (Do Not Air) (1945)
Creator
Tee for Two (1945)
Director
The Bodyguard (1944)
Director
Puttin' on the Dog (1944)
Director
Mouse Trouble (1944)
Director
The Million Dollar Cat (1944)
Director
The Zoot Cat (1944)
Director
The Lonesome Mouse (Do Not Air) (1943)
Director
The Yankee Doodle Mouse (1943)
Director
War Dogs (1943)
Director
Baby Puss (1943)
Director
The Bowling Alley-Cat (1942)
Director
Dog Trouble (Do Not Air) (1942)
Director
Fraidy Cat (Do Not Air) (1942)
Director
Sufferin' Cats (1942)
Director
Puss 'n Toots (Do Not Air) (1942)
Director
Fine Feathered Friend (1942)
Director
The Night Before Christmas (1941)
Creator
The Goose Goes South (1941)
Director
The Midnight Snack (Do Not Air) (1941)
Director
Gallopin' Gals (1940)
Director
Drag-A-Long Droopy (1940)
Creator
Puss Gets the Boot (Do Not Air) (1940)
Creator
What a Lion (1938)
Director
Blue Monday (1938)
Director
Old Smokey (1938)
Director
To Spring (1936)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
Voice (Special Appearance)
The Flintstones (1994)
I Yabba Dabba Do (1993)
Voice
MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992)
Tom & Jerry's 50th Birthday Bash (1990)
Himself
Trap Happy (1946)
Tom Cat
Quiet Please (1945)
Tom Cat
The Million Dollar Cat (1944)
Tom Cat
The Zoot Cat (1944)
Tom Cat

Writer (Feature Film)

Jetsons: The Movie (1990)
Characters As Source Material
Liar's Moon (1982)
Story By
The Man Called Flintstone (1966)
Addl story material
Hey There, It's Yogi Bear (1964)
Screenwriter
Just a Wolf at Heart (1962)
Characters As Source Material
Life With Loopy (1960)
Characters As Source Material
One Droopy Knight (1957)
Characters As Source Material
Good Will to Men (1955)
Characters As Source Material

Producer (Feature Film)

Scooby-Doo (2002)
Executive Producer
The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
Executive Producer
Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects (1995)
Executive Producer
The Flintstones (1994)
Executive Producer
A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)
Executive Producer
Once Upon a Forest (1993)
Executive Producer
Jonny's Golden Quest (1993)
Executive Producer
I Yabba Dabba Do (1993)
Executive Producer
Jetsons: The Movie (1990)
Producer
Rockin' with Judy Jetson (1988)
Executive Producer
Stone Fox (1987)
Executive Producer
Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords (1986)
Executive Producer
Liar's Moon (1982)
Executive Producer
Heidi's Song (1982)
Producer
Charlotte's Web (1973)
Producer
Shootout In A One Dog Town (1973)
Executive Producer
Hardcase (1972)
Executive Producer
Project X (1968)
Prod of special sequence
Jack and the Beanstalk (1967)
Executive Producer
The Man Called Flintstone (1966)
Producer
Hey There, It's Yogi Bear (1964)
Producer
Just a Wolf at Heart (1962)
Producer
Life With Loopy (1960)
Producer
One Droopy Knight (1957)
Producer
Good Will to Men (1955)
Producer

Music (Feature Film)

Curse of La Llorona (2019)
Song
The Incredibles 2 (2018)
Song
Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017)
Song
Pixels (2015)
Song
The Smurfs 2 (2013)
Song
Dark Shadows (2012)
Song
The Smurfs (2011)
Song
Speed Racer (2008)
Song
Zodiac (2007)
Song
Firewall (2006)
Theme Song
Son of the Mask (2005)
Song
The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000)
Song
The Flintstones (1994)
Song
Crooklyn (1994)
Song
Jonny's Golden Quest (1993)
Song
I Yabba Dabba Do (1993)
Theme Music
Jetsons: The Movie (1990)
Song
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Song
St. Elmo's Fire (1985)
Song
Bring on the Night (1985)
Song

Visual Effects (Feature Film)

Invitation to the Dance (1956)
Cartoon seq

Animation (Feature Film)

Just a Wolf at Heart (1962)
Animator
Life With Loopy (1960)
Animator
One Droopy Knight (1957)
Animator
Good Will to Men (1955)
Animator
Dangerous When Wet (1953)
<I>Tom and Jerry</I> cartoon seq by

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects (1995)
Other
Jetsons: The Movie (1990)
Other
Bat 21 (1988)
Assistant

Cast (Special)

The 10th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame (1994)
Hanna-Barbera 50th Anniversary Special (1989)
The 40th Annual Emmy Awards (1988)
Performer

Producer (Special)

Hanna-Barbera 50th Anniversary Special (1989)
Executive Producer
The Hanna-Barbera Hall of Fame: Yabba Dabba Doo! II (1979)
Executive Producer
Crazy Comedy Concert (1974)
Executive Producer

Director (TV Mini-Series)

My Smurfy Valentine (1984)
Creator
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Director
The Man Called Flintstone (Do Not Use) (1966)
Director

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

The Last Halloween (1991)
Narrator

Writer (TV Mini-Series)

Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000)
Characters As Source Material
Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost (1999)
Characters As Source Material
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
Characters As Source Material

Producer (TV Mini-Series)

Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000)
Executive Producer
Scooby-Doo's Arabian Nights (1994)
Executive Producer
Arabian Nights (Do Not Use) (1994)
Executive Producer
Hagar the Horrible (1990)
Executive Producer
Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1989)
Producer
Flintstone Kids: Just Say No (1988)
Executive Producer
Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)
Executive Producer
Yogi's Great Escape (1987)
Executive Producer
'Tis the Season to Be Smurfy (1987)
Executive Producer
The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987)
Executive Producer
The Flintstones 25th Anniversary Celebration (1986)
Executive Producer
Flintstones 25th Anniversary Special (1986)
Executive Producer
Smurfily Ever After (1985)
Executive Producer
The Secret World of Og (1983)
Executive Producer
Christmas Comes to Pacland (1982)
Executive Producer
The Smurfs Christmas Special (1982)
Executive Producer
Daniel Boone (1981)
Executive Producer
The Popeye Valentine Special: Sweethearts at Sea (1979)
Executive Producer
Casper's First Christmas (1979)
Executive Producer
Yogi's Space Race (1978)
Executive Producer
Cyrano (1974)
Executive Producer
Gidget Makes the Wrong Connection (1973)
Executive Producer
Lost in Space (1973)
Executive Producer
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Producer
Last of the Curlews (1972)
Producer
The Man Called Flintstone (Do Not Use) (1966)
Producer

Music (TV Mini-Series)

Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988)
Song
The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones (1987)
Theme Lyrics
Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)
Theme Music
Yogi's Great Escape (1987)
Theme Lyrics
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Music

Animation (TV Mini-Series)

The Last Halloween (1991)
Animation Supervisor

Life Events

1913

By age three, lived in Baker, OR where his father was assigned to build a dam

1917

At age seven, moved with family to San Pedro, CA

1919

Moved to Los Angeles

1922

At age 12, began a lifelong association with the Boy Scouts of America (date approximate)

1929

Left college to look for work after the economic collapse (date approximate)

1930

Hired as a cel-washer by Harman-Ising studios, then working with producer Schlesinger on the Looney Tunes cartoon series for Warner Bros.; worked with future animation director Friz Freleng

1933

Continued to work for Harman-Ising when they severed ties with Schlesinger and left Warner Bros. over budget disputes; Harman-Ising contracted to produce cartoons for MGM

1934

Began directing cartoon shorts for Harman-Ising

1937

Hired by MGM as a director and story editor when the studio began its own animation unit under the supervision of Fred Quimby; Joe Barbera hired initially as an animator but soon became a storyman

1938

First meeting with Barbera

1940

First collaboration with Barbera "Puss Gets the Boot"; first Tom and Jerry cartoon (though Tom Cat is initially named Jasper), neither Hanna nor Barbera received screen credit; sole producing credit went to Rudolf Ising; nominated for a 1940 Oscar

1945

Major supporting character Spike the Dog introduced in "Quiet, Please"

1945

With Barbera, assigned to direct a live-action/animated sequence in which Jerry the mouse dances with sailor Gene Kelly in the musical feature "Anchors Aweigh"

1946

With Barbera, directed the animated opening credits for the musical "Holiday in Mexico"

1953

Animated the lengthy "Sinbad the Sailor" segment of Gene Kelly's multi-part dance film "Invitation to the Dance" in which Kelly danced in an elaborate cartoon environment (shelved until 1956)

1953

With Barbera, animated a sequence for the musical "Dangerous When Wet" in which Tom and Jerry dance with Esther Williams

1955

With Barbera, named production heads of the MGM animation department after Fred Quimby retired due to health reasons; picked up first Oscar nomination (along with Quimby and Barbera) for "Good Will to Men"

1957

Contracted with NBC-TV to create a six-minute cartoon on a budget of $2,800 (as compared to the minimum budget of $50,000 alloted by MGM for a theatrical cartoon short of the same length)

1957

Co-founded production company Hanna-Barbera (with Barbera)

1957

MGM, hurt badly by the growing competition form TV, eliminated the studio's entire animation department

1958

Produced (with Barbera) "The Huckleberry Hound Show" (syndicated), TV's first all-animation TV show; introduced the character of Yogi Bear who would star in his own series, "The Yogi Bear Show", beginning in 1961

1959

With Barbera, produced and directed "The Quick Draw McGraw Show", a syndicated cartoon series

1960

"The Huckleberry Hound Show" became Hanna-Barbera's first Emmy-winner (Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Children's Programming), the first cartoon to win an Emmy

1964

Feature producing and directing debut (both with Barbera), "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear", a theatrical feature spin-off of the TV series; also feature screenwriting debut (with Barbera and Warren Foster)

1964

Produced and directed (both with Barbera) "The Man Called Flintstone", a theatrical feature spin-off of the TV series

1967

With Barbera, sold studio to Taft Broadcasting

1972

Executive produced (with Barbera) the studio's first live-action TV-movie "Hardcase" (ABC), a Western

1972

Produced (with Barbera) "Wait Til Your Father Gets Home", a syndicated "adult" cartoon series dealing with similar issues as those on "All in the Family"

1973

With Barbera, produced "Charlotte's Web", a feature musical based on E B White's classic book; earned the studio an Annie Award

1976

Earned star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; honored with Joseph Barbera

1977

Hanna-Barbera Productions produced the acclaimed CBS live-action TV-movie, "The Gathering", a 1978 Emmy winner for Outstanding Special (Drama or Comedy), Barbera listed as executive producer (Hanna did not not take an individual credit), generated a sequel "The Gathering, Part II" (NBC, 1979)

1978

"The Hanna-Barbera Happy Hour", a short-lived live-action comedy variety series (with high-tech puppet hosts) aired on NBC in primetime

1978

Hanna-Barbera produced its first live-action feature film, "C.H.O.M.P.S.", starring Valerie Bertinelli

1980

Various entertainment subsidiaries of Taft Broadcasting reorganized into the Taft Entertainment Company with Hanna-Barbera as a division; Hanna served as senior vice president (and Barbera as president) of Hanna-Barbera Productions

1982

Produced (with Barbera) "Heidi's Song", an animated feature

1988

Taft Broadcasting, Hanna-Barbera's parent company, sold to the Great American Broadcasting Company; did not affect day-to-day operation of studio

1990

Directed and produced (both with Barbera) "Jetsons: The Movie"

1993

Provided his voice for ABC movie "I Yabba Dabba Do!"; also directed (solo) and produced (with Barbera)

1994

Executive produced (with Barbera and three others) "The Flintstones" feature film

1994

Inducted into the TV Hall of Fame by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

Family

William John Hanna
Father
Superintendent of construction. Worked on early Santa Fe railway stations.
Avice Joyce Hanna
Mother
Wrote poetry.
Marion Hanna
Sister
Author. Younger; had short stories published.
David William Hanna
Son
Bonnie Jean Hanna
Daughter

Companions

Violet Blanch Hanna
Wife
Married on August 7, 1936; survived him.

Bibliography

Notes

About his relationship with Joseph Barbera: "One thing that has probably kept us together is that, while we work very closely here at the studio, his outside interests are entirely different from mine, and we never see each other socially. We have had strictly a business relationship all along."When Joe and I did the Tom and Jerry cartoons at MGM, Joe did all the drawing, and I did all the timing and directing. We'd sit across a big desk and together we'd develop all the material ... My talent, I believe, has been in organization. I'm still directing pictures, but I'm also directing the work of other people. And I also spend a lot of time with the writers. My own efforts have always been in writing: I have written the main titles and lyrics for over one hundred series." --William Hanna, in "Cartoons Today"

"As it is now, we're turning out eight half-hour shows a week. One person works on more footage per day than all of us combined used to. Back in the Tom and Jerry days, I personally did a minute and a half of film a week; now I do as much as thirty-five minutes a week. So you can see the quantity produced is much greater today. The economics has a lot to do with it, of course. The economics of TV dictates the quality. I think we do a fair job on character design and we do a good job on voice casting and in backgrounds, but we fall short in actual animation. It is unfortunate that more money cannot be spent on animation. The cost per foot of Tom and Jerry-type animation would be prohibitive, even for theatrical shorts. I think that to achieve the same standards today, a six-minute Tom and Jerry would cost in the area of $100,000. They only cost $30,000 to make in the forties." --Wiliam Hanna, in "Cartoons Today"

"In the early days, I had bar sheets. Did you ever see those? I had [music] bar sheets and I would set established tempos--2/10 frame beats to the bar, 2/12, 2/14. Whatever the click was ... The reason ours [characters] worked so well with the music is because we had bar sheets there and would establish a tempo that would suit a chase, or a spooky scene, or whatever it was and you'd establish that tempo and record it to that ... For me it was a godsend. The music that I had studied." --Hanna quoted in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER 1994 ANIMATION SPECIAL ISSUE