We've decided to take a break from our Christmas themes today to mention the passing of one of animation's great contributors, Joseph Barbera.
You know the name because of his partnership with William Hanna (Hanna-Barbera). Barbera was the actual cartoonist of the two. Hanna had a very good sense of comedic timing, but apparently wasn't much of an artist. Together they produced some of the most popular, long-lasting and award winning cartoons in animation history. Their first joint project was Puss Gets the Boot (the very first Tom and Jerry film from 1930). This was the first of fourteen Tom and Jerry cartoons to be nominated for Academy Awards.
The team was put in charge of MGM's animation department in 1955 and two years later they formed their own animation studio (due to the fact that MGM closed their animation division). As Hanna-Barbera Productions they produced The Flinstones, Jonny Quest, and The Jetsons along with many others. They perfected the technique of limited animation which made production faster and allowed them to charge the networks less money for their cartoons.
Joseph Barbera died on December 18th, 2006 at the age of 95 after an amazing 70 year animation career. His cartoons are some of the most recognizable and popular animation icons of the past 50 years, and they will continue to be watched and loved for many years to come.