Friday, June 30, 2006

Hanna-Barbera Glory Days

In 1979 Cartoonist Profiles magazine ran this little photo feature on Animation Production at Hanna-Barbera. If nothing else it drives home just how much the industry has changed in the past 27 years. Here longtime animation veteran Harry Love gives a lesson in timing to a room teaming with eager young students. (See anybody you know --or perhaps even yourself in this photo?) ...And you know the lesson must involve the Flintstones 'cause he's holding a Fred and Barney model sheet!
Wow, check out all the "That '70's Show" fashions and hair in this shot. (Looks like my High school annual actually...)

Now what character is this...and who's he designing? (Kinda looks like George Clooney on the right.)

"Animator" hell! Isn't that the great Carlo Vinci animatin' classic Flintstone here? (This shot obviously came from deeper in the archives --just look at the cars in the parking lot outside!)

Cartoon geniuses still in their prime.

Today's generation of animation student might well wonder what any of the equipment in this room is actually used for.

Joe, here apparently wearing John Travolta's suit from Saturday Night Fever, keeps 'em enthralled! (Yet another fine group of animation students on the road to wealth and fame!)

Ah, one of the lovely ink-and-paint girls! Anybody know who this is? (I'm guessing this is probably an older shot too, since the character on the cel she's holding up looks suspiciously like ol' Injun Joe from 1968's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.)
As much as I would've liked to have been, I wasn't around H-B back then...but I bet somebody reading this probably was. Any further insight or clarification concerning the folks and rooms presented in this photo essay would be greatly appreciated.
Otherwise, my thanks to Jud Hurd for the original article and photos, and Joe and Bill for the original inspiration.


Blogger Dr. Strange-Q said...

Wow, I was still married to my 1st wife then! I wonder if Bill Hanna had big red silver dollar size nipples like Uncle Kenny?

10:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: The group photo captioned "BOTTOM PHOTO - Students practice at lighted animation boards during a class of Hanna-Barbera Productions' Animation College." I can identify five of the people therein. The seated fellow at upper left is Barry Temple, a talented animator who later went to Florida to work on several Disney projects. The long-haired guy with his face away from camera at top center is probably Tom Minton, later a storyboard artist, writer and producer, best known for his many years at Warner Bros. The central seated figure wearing the horizontal striped shirt is Ben Burgess, later an animator for Disney and for Bluth in Ireland. The guy with the beard at bottom is Chuck Eyeler, who went to San Francisco and had a career animating computer games. The long haired hippie dude at top right against the wall is Warren Greenwood, creator of "Space Dog", a character he used in his animated pencil test that was, for reasons too lengthy to detail here, published in a comic book. Greenwood later worked for Disney and Warner Bros. Notice that none of the people H-B trained, with such fanfare, stayed at H-B. This photo was most likely made in late 1977, when everyone was toiling away at their individual pencil tests. The brief tests were later screened, in December 1977, for Joe Barbera himself.

The group picture where Mr. Barbera is explaining the Heidi's Song pitch art features Barry Temple at far right and Cathy Vaslett (later Hart), who was then helping Barry run Harry Love's animation college. Most of the other photos here, as you note, are indeed much older, (the ones of Carlo Vinci and of the morgue Alex Toth character designs appeared in Dr. Roy Madsen's book "Animated Film: Its Concepts, Methods and Uses", published in the late 1960's and long since out of print) except for the one at top, where Harry Love is probably recalling some incident that happened to him at the Harrison-Gould Studio in New York when he was still young and virile. Harry was quite a character, to say the least. "My job", he would tell anyone who listened, "is to keep people with guitar cases the hell out of this building!" In some ways I miss the seventies - things were simpler then.

Tom Minton

8:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A CORRECTION: Cathy Vaslett's married name is Carr, not Hart. She later worked as a storyboard artist at Ruby-Spears, moved to Kansas for several years, then returned to L.A. and is again working in the animation industry.

Tom Minton

9:34 PM

Blogger Brad Frost said...

I was in the class, but not in the picture that I can see. The "hippie" against the wall is not Warren Greenwood, although he is in the photo. It's Disney key assistant animator Don Parmele. Warren is peering out from behind someone else to Harry Love's right and he's sporting a mustache. Behind him is Simpson's character designer Dale Hendrickson (longhair in white shirt) and I think that the dark haired young woman sitting behind Harry was named Merle. Is that animator Richard Coleman staring up at Harry? And the long haired lass at the extreme left was a Panamanian beauty for whom I had a crush, but whose name I've sadly forgotten.

My soon to be animator friends John Shook (now deceased,) Carl hall and I usually sat in the back of the room. John, Don Parmele and I were the first hired out of the class and put into production on "Super Friends" in '76-77.

Brad Frost

9:18 PM


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