December 19, 2006
Cartoon legend passes
Joseph Barbera, half of the team that founded the Hanna-Barbera Studios in 1954, died today. I would imagine that most kids today have never heard of Hanna-Barbera but my generation sees these two men as the creators of some of the most lovable icons of pop culture- Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Smurfs, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Johnny Quest, Huckleberry Hound, Top Cat, Quick Draw McGraw, Mogilla Gorilla, Scooby-Doo, The Snorks, Atom Ant, Secret Squirrel, Space Ghost, Birdman, The Banana Splits, Josie and the Pussycats, the animated Harlem Globetrotters, Superfriends, Jabberjaw, Captain Caveman, Hong Kong Fooey, The Snorks and even the Go-Bots.
To this day, at the age of 37, I have stop channel surfing when I come across Tom & Jerry. It is refreshing to still see animation showing good old fashioned animal-on-animal violence that hasn't been censored by an overly sensitive minority who hates the cartoon. I do have my current favorite animation shows like Family Guy, Futurama, and South Park and I enjoy watching Spongebob with my son (admittedly, I religiously watched Beavis & Butthead and most of the Simpson) but most of the cartoons today seem to be lacking something that made watching them fun- something that made me jump out of bed on Saturday mornings, even earlier than when I got up for school, and sit for hours until my mother kicked us out of the house.
Bravo, Mr. Barbera. You will be missed.