Happy 60th Birthday Hanna-Barbera

Happy 60th Birthday Hanna-Barbera

Happy 60th Birthday Hanna-Barbera: The Animation Studio That Started It All And Entertained Kids (And Adults) For Six Decades

Today, 60 years ago on 7th July 1957, the creators of Tom and Jerry – William Hanna and Joseph Barbera opened their very own animation studio. The new studio known as Hanna-Barbera (a combination of the founder’s surnames) was groundbreaking as it was one of the few animation studios that specifically made animated TV shows at the time, before Hanna-Barbera, most animation that aired on television were theatrical shorts. Hanna and Barbera were pioneers in the animation industry (and the media industry as a whole) and created cartoons that were both high-quality and affordable for television broadcasters. On 14th December 1957, Hanna-Barbera’s first ever production – The Ruff and Reddy Show aired on NBC in the United States, an animated show about two friends, a cat named Ruff and a dog named Reddy. It only took two months to get a studio running after the closure of the animation unit at Tom and Jerry’s animation studio – MGM and with the help of a director named George Sydney, a friend of Hanna and Barbera, they were able to reach a deal with Screen Gems (a part of Columbia Pictures), the deal laid a solid foundation for the new studio.

The Huckleberry Hound Show was the studio’s first big hit which premiered in 1958, Yogi Bear soon followed with his own show in 1961, also Top Cat debuted in 1961. The most important milestone (pun intended) for Hanna-Barbera was The Flintstones, based on the sitcom – The Honeymooners but in a stone age setting, the show was the studio’s biggest primetime hit and made Fred Flintstone and Hanna-Barbera a household name. Before Fox’s The Simpsons broke the record – The Flintstones was the longest running animated sitcom in the world, and aired between 1960 to 1966, quite an achievement considering this was still the early days of television animation. In 1962, came The Jetsons, which followed a similar formula to The Flintstones but this time in a futuristic setting.

In 1963, Hanna-Barbera Studios moved to their new state-of-the-art studios at 3400 Cahuenga Boulevard West in Hollywood, Los Angeles, after the studio’s opening, the science-fiction adventure show Jonny Quest and The Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show soon followed, along with Wacky Races (which has been rebooted by Warner Bros. Animation) and its spinoff series’ The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines in the late 1960’s.

At the start of the 1970’s, Hanna-Barbera controlled 80% of the children’s programming in the United States, by this point it was the biggest animation company in the world, Disney may of ruled the theatrical animation business (and arguably still does), but Hanna-Barbera ruled children’s television, the very form of audiovisual media that kids were most exposed to in their own homes.

In 1970’s the studio was in full-production, with Josie and the Pussycats, Help!… It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!, Hong Kong Phooey, Captain Caveman being produced, but the most influential cartoon that was produced at Hanna-Barbera (and still being produced today with several re-versions and movies) is Scooby-Doo!, created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears in 1969, the series remains to be one of Boomerang’s biggest hits (alongside Tom and Jerry). Scooby-Doo! centres on four teenagers and the eponymous talking Great Dane who go solving spooky supernatural mysteries.

In the 1980’s, the studio started to decline, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom though, aside the odd spinoff and prequel such as The Flintstone Kids and The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show, there was one hit that stood out – The Smurfs, an animated show about small blue human-like creatures that live in a forest, the show’s concept wasn’t created by Hanna-Barbera but rather by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo (real name Pierre Culliford).

The studio changed ownership a few times, but it wasn’t until 1991 that will completely change the course of the studio’s history and it’s so important that if it didn’t happen I wouldn’t be writing this blog today – Turner Broadcasting System brought 50% of the studio (as well as the all important archive) with the Apollo Investment Fund, at the time, Turner already owned the MGM catalogue which includes Tom and Jerry and for the first time the studio’s IP’s and Tom and Jerry are united under one company. In 1994, Turner fully owned the studio.

Both, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera carried on at the studio as creative consultants. The studio hired new animators, most notably – Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls), Donovan Cook (2 Stupid Dogs), Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory), David Feiss (Cow and Chicken), Seth MacFarlane (worked on multiple productions as well as his What A Cartoon! animated short – Larry and Steve which was the prototype for his later creation – Family Guy), Van Partible (creator of Johnny Bravo) and Butch Hartman (worked on several shows at Hanna-Barbera, later created The Fairly OddParents for Frederator and Nickelodeon).

Turner Broadcasting System hired Fred Seibert as the president of Hanna-Barbera and to oversee its What A Cartoon! animated short development programme, Seibert later founded Frederator Studios, the co-producer of Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. During this time Cartoon Network Studios was only a brand name used by Hanna-Barbera.

People were originally sceptical of Ted Turner’s 24-hour news network CNN (Cable News Network) before it launched, but he proved the critics wrong, and he was about to prove them wrong yet again, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. or TBS for short decided to make use of its newly acquired catalogue of animated shows from Hanna-Barbera and MGM as well as new productions from the new studio, finally in the United States on 1st October 1992, the newest network from TBS – Cartoon Network launched, the world’s first ever 24-hour channel dedicated to nothing but cartoons. Cartoon Network quickly spread internationally with a focus on distribution as opposed to full-localisation, with the Latin American version launching in April 1993, the European launch in September 1993 from TBS’s base in London and the Asian feed launching in 1994.

Luckily, Cartoon Network already had a large library of cartoons to keep the channel going during its formative years while production on new shows such as Dexter’s Laboratory and Cow and Chicken were on-going. The 1996 merger between TBS and Time Warner was also important, especially as Cartoon Network now has full access to one of the biggest movie studios in Hollywood – Warner Bros. as well as content from Warner’s post-1948 animation library (Turner already owned the pre-1948 library). By 2001, Hanna-Barbera ceased to exist in its own right within the media conglomerate, with Warner Bros. Animation owning the Hanna-Barbera name and archive. Warner Bros. Animation is now responsible for modern remakes of its animated classics such as Be Cool, Scooby-Doo.

Sadly, William Hanna died in 2001, Joseph Barbera remained at Warner Bros. Animation as an executive producer and director until his death in 2006. William Hanna’s and Joseph Barbera’s studio and their legacy continues to this very day, the studio itself was renamed Cartoon Network Studios and continues to produce many of your favourite cartoons. There is so much to write about the history of Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network, so I’m leaving part two for the channel’s 25th Anniversary on 1st October this year. Hanna-Barbera has produced some of the most loved cartoon characters, its influence is still present today and it will carry on well into the future.

http://www.cartoonnetworkstudios.com
http://www.warnerbros.com
http://www.timewarner.com

Dorothy And The Wizard of Oz And Wacky Races To Air On Boomerang’s International Channels From June 2017

Dorothy And The Wizard of Oz And Wacky Races To Air On Boomerang's International Channels From June 2017

Dorothy And The Wizard of Oz And Wacky Races To Air On Boomerang’s International Channels From June 2017

Today (11/05/2017), Turner International has announced that Dorothy And The Wizard of Oz and the new Wacky Racers reboot will premiere on Boomerang’s international channels starting from June this year. In the United States, both shows are exclusive to the brand new Boomerang streaming service which launched this April.

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz is an animated series by Warner Bros. Animation, the show is a fantasy-comedy series based on the literary works of L. Frank Baum, one of his children’s novels – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was adapted into a movie – The Wizard Of Oz, the film became an all-time classic. The events in the new series takes place after Dorothy and her friends defeated the Wicked Witch of the West. In the show, Queen Ozma appoints Dorothy as the Princess of Emerald City, a role with a lot of responsibility especially as there are witches, wizards, munchkins, flying monkeys and a plethora of mythical creatures to deal with, also magic falling into the wrong hands is a disaster waiting to happen. For Dorothy, life in the Kansas countryside was a lot simpler, but make a mistake in Oz, you’ll end up with evil witches tracking you down.

Wacky Racers is a reboot of the late 1960’s Hanna-Barbara animated classic series of the same name, everyone favourite racers have returned to the track to race again. A Wacky Racers race isn’t any ordinary race, every car has unique race-winning abilities, it’s not necessary the fastest racer who wins. Returning to the reboot include Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat, the girl with Southern charm and always willing to help out the other racers. Penelope’s best friend is Peter Perfect he has a big heart (and not forgetting a big ego), but he’s always positive and determined to do his best. Everyone’s favourite racing villains – Dick Dastardy and Muttley are back yet to scheme again; they always attempt to sabotage the race, but their dastardly plans always backfire on them. The Gruesome Twosome are racing once again in the Doombuggy, practically a small haunted house on wheels, it can literally be referred to as a “Monster” truck. The new series will also feature new racers, new vehicles and different race locations from all over the world. The new series will have the same slapstick humour and high-octane craziness of the original series.

From The Turner EMEA Press Release: Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz and Wacky Racers headed for Boomerang International: Latest original content from Warner Bros. Animation – Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz and all-new Wacky Races – to make international debut on Boomerang linear channel from June 2017

Following the recent announcement of a stand-alone US Boomerang premium subscription streaming service, Turner International has today revealed details of two highly-anticipated WB Animation original new series, Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz and Wacky Races. The two series will join the line-up of classic and contemporary animation for the company’s second flagship international kids channel Boomerang from June 2017. In the US, they will exclusively be shown on the US streaming subscription service.

Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz is an uplifting comedic fantasy series based on the classic L. Frank Baum book series, and set soon after Dorothy and her friends have defeated the Wicked Witch of the West. Following the original story, Queen Ozma has appointed Dorothy the Princess of Emerald City and, practically born for the role, Dorothy tackles her royal duties with enthusiasm, bravery and farm girl feistiness.

But it’s also a whole lot of responsibility because Oz is pretty chaotic. There are Witches, Wizards, Munchkins, Flying Monkeys and a whole menagerie of mystical creatures. More often than not, magic falls into the wrong hands and that’s where Dorothy comes in! As Princess of Emerald City, Dorothy feels responsible for reining in the chaos. She loves to track down whichever magical person, place, or thing is causing mischief in Oz and put a stop to it. But it’s not always easy: make a mistake in Kansas and it’s usually not a big deal; make a mistake in Oz and a Wicked Witch or two come after you.

Then, calling all racers back to the track, Wacky Races a full-engine overhaul of the Hanna-Barbera classic series that will see the return of everyone’s favourite racers and, of course, their wacky cars! Penelope Pitstop in the Compact Pussycat is the sassy Southern belle whose charm and intelligence make her a formidable racer, but most of the time she’s taking a detour to save the other racers. Penelope’s best friend, Peter Perfect in the Turbo Terrific, has a big heart and an even bigger ego, which fuels his super positive “can-do” attitude. Meanwhile, in the Mean Machine, Dick Dastardly and his accomplice, Muttley, continue to stop at nothing to win the race by any means necessary. And if it’s bizarre, creepy, slimy or just plain weird, The Gruesome Twosome — Tiny and Bella — are either related to it or keep it in their “monster” truck, the Doombuggy.

Joining these familiar faces will be a whole new roster of racers ready to take to the track and race to strange and exotic locales around the world — and beyond! With new racers, new vehicles and spectacular new locations, Wacky Races is not just a tune-up, it’s a full-engine overhaul filled with fast-paced slapstick comedy, high-octane thrills and pure zany fun from start to finish.

Patricia Hidalgo, Chief Content Officer, EMEA Kids & International Kids Strategy, Turner commented: “The introduction of these iconic shows and stories is very well timed, as we continue to build Boomerang as our second flagship to Cartoon Network and a strong kids and family brand across international markets. Dorothy and Wacky both perfectly capture the inherent values of Boomerang and we’re confident that new and existing fans of the channel will love this latest offering from our sister-company.”

https://www.turner.com/pressroom/%E2%80%9Cdorothy-wizard-oz%E2%80%9D-and-%E2%80%9Cwacky-races%E2%80%9D-headed-boomerang-international

Cartoon Network Africa And Boomerang Africa 2017 Upfront

Cartoon Network Africa And Boomerang Africa 2017 Upfront

Cartoon Network Africa And Boomerang Africa 2017 Upfront

Today (23/03/2017) Turner Africa has announced their Cartoon Network and Boomerang upfront for this year and beyond. In 2018, Cartoon Network Africa will premiere a brand new Cartoon Network original – Summer Camp Island. Summer Camp Island is a highly imaginative cartoon created by British animator and illustrator – Julia Pott. The show follows Oscar and his best friend Hedgehog during their first time at summer camp. But this isn’t any ordinary summer camp, where else can you swim with a talking shark, go to a different universe by going under your bed or make friends with the moon?. Summer Camp Island will premiere on Cartoon Network Africa (and the rest of EMEA) sometime in 2018.

This year, Turner’s second animation flagship channel, Boomerang will premiere a whole bunch of new shows, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Animated Series, which is based upon Sony Pictures Animation’s animated film (and sequel) of the same name. The events that happen in the new show takes place before the first movie and features a younger Flint Lockwood and Sam Sparks. The show follows Flint and Sam who try to save the world, one invention at a time. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The Animated Series will premiere on Boomerang Africa (and the rest of EMEA) in 2017.

Boomerang will premiere another show called Pat the Dog, the animated series is based on popular French mobile game – Paf le Chien. The new show combines action and comedy, Pat is only a small dog but he is very brave. Pat the Dog will premiere on Boomerang Africa (and the rest of EMEA) in 2017.

Boomerang Africa will also premiere two new animated shows from sister animation studio – Warner Bros. Animation, Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz and a reboot of the classic 1960’s Hanna-Barbara cartoon – Wacky Racers. Both Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz and Wacky Racers will premiere on Boomerang Africa from October 2017.

Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz is an inspirational magical fantasy based on the classic series of books by L. Frank Baum, which sees Dorothy and her friends embark on a journey to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West. Following the original story, Queen Ozma appoints Dorothy as the Princess of Emerald City, a role she was destined for. Dorothy embraces her position and tackles her royal duties with enthusiasm, bravery and feistiness.

Wacky Racers is a rebooted version of the late-1960’s Hanna-Barbara animated comedy classic, featuring reworked versions of Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect, the Ant Hill Mob, the Gruesome Twosome and antagonists Dick Dastardly and Muttley who plot to stop the competition but their dastardly plans always backfire. The new series will also feature a bunch of new racers. Wacky Racers isn’t just any ordinary racing show, each race car has a different theme and has unique race winning abilities.

From The Turner Africa/Burson-Marsteller Press Release: Turner’s kid-focused channels are BOOMING with new content!

With 348 hours of fresh content, 10 new family-focused series’ and an estimation of 1,323 new episodes, Turner, the leading expert in family entertainment, is pleased to unveil its line-up of hot, new content that promises to have viewers on the edge of their seats.

On Cartoon Network, DStv channel 301, viewers can look forward to a number of steamy new shows including Summer Camp Island.

Summer Camp Island is a wildly imaginative series based on the original short created by British animator and illustrator, Julia Pott, whose credits include Adventure Time and was named one of three animators to watch by Creative Review in 2013. The show, now extended into a series, follows Oscar and his best friend Hedgehog, who have just been dropped off at their very first summer camp. Not all camps offer the opportunity to swim with a talking shark in the swimming pool, crawl under the bed into a different universe, or make friends with the moon, but on Summer Camp Island, anything can happen. Premieres: 2018.

On Boomerang, DStv channel 302, viewers can look forward to carefully selected content that will reiterate that Tom & Jerry is not the only cool show to watch on the channel.

One of these new shows includes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a juicy, mouthwatering new series based on Sony Pictures Animation’s Critically-Acclaimed Blockbuster Film with the same name and its 2013 sequel. The series, set to premiere on Boomerang, follows a much younger teenage version of Flint Lockwood and Sam Sparks, in a time before food begins to rain down on Swallow Falls. The adventure follows the two teenage kids trying to save the world one invention at a time. Premieres: 2017.

Another epic new show airing on Turner’s second flagship kids’ channel, Boomerang, is Pat the Dog – an adaption of the successful game for tablets and smartphones across the globe. Currently, the video game has over 27 million players in the world, more than two million games played per day and has over 1.5 million active players per month. Soon to launch on Boomerang, this series follows the famous digital pooch on an adventure filled with breath-taking action and comedy. Despite Pat’s tiny size and playful attitude, it soon becomes clear that behind every ‘zero’ there is indeed a hero! Premieres: 2017.

“We live in an age where kids are spoiled for choice when it comes to consuming content,” says Pierre Branco, Vice President and General Manager of Southern Europe and Africa. “At Turner, we feel that it is crucial to attract new fans in order to build on to our strong, loyal fan base through the investment of attractive new content that can be enjoyed on multiple platforms that stretch beyond the television screens.”

http://www.cartoonnetworkafrica.com

http://www.boomerangafrica.com