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Overview for William Hanna
William Hanna

William Hanna


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Also Known As: Died: March 22, 2001
Born: July 14, 1910 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Melrose, New Mexico, USA Profession: Director ...


As the son of a construction superintendent for the early Santa Fe railroad stations, moved with family from train stop to train stop
By age three, lived in Baker, OR where his father was assigned to build a dam
Began attending school in Logan, UT
At age seven, moved with family to San Pedro, CA
Moved to Los Angeles
At age 12, began a lifelong association with the Boy Scouts of America (date approximate)
Began taking lessons on the alto saxophone; performed with a group of local children (subsequently studied piano, composition and harmony)
Left college to look for work after the economic collapse (date approximate)
Took a job with the engineers building the Pantages Theater on Hollywood Boulevard
Referred to a newly formed animation company, Harman-Ising Studios, by his brother-in-law Jack Stevens (himself an employee of Leon Schlesinger's Pacific Title, an art studio that crafted titles and artwork for film companies)
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
Developed story material for "Bosko" cartoons while washing paint off animation cells
Painted cels and punched animation paper
Ran inking and painting department during the day; worked with Ising on story material at night
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
Joined the writing staff; wrote lyrics and music as needed; with artist Paul Fennell, formed a unit to produce cartoon musicals
Began directing cartoon shorts for Harman-Ising
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
First meeting with Barbera
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
Wrote and directed only "Tom and Jerry" cartoons for 17 years; the series won an unprecedented seven Academy Awards between 1943 and 1952; unit head Fred Quimby took home the statuettes
Major supporting character Spike the Dog introduced in "Quiet, Please"
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"
With Barbera, directed the animated opening credits for the musical "Holiday in Mexico"
With Barbera, animated a sequence for the musical "Dangerous When Wet" in which Tom and Jerry dance with Esther Williams
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)
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"
MGM, hurt badly by the growing competition form TV, eliminated the studio's entire animation department
Co-founded production company Hanna-Barbera (with Barbera)
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)
Premiered their first animated TV series, "Ruff and Reddy" (NBC), starring a quick-thinking cat (Ruff) and a dimwitted dog (Reddy) in six-minute "bookends" for vintage cartoons
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
With Barbera, produced and directed "The Quick Draw McGraw Show", a syndicated cartoon series
"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
With Barbera, produced and directed the hugely successful ABC cartoon sitcom, "The Flintstones", the longest running animated series in primetime until Fox's "The Simpsons" broke its record
In tandem with Barbera, produced and directed "Top Cat", an ABC primetime series; although Top Cat's primetime stay was short, he would later star as the treasure master in "Yogi's Treasure Hunt" of "The Futuristic World of Hanna-Barbera"
Produced and directed (both with Barbera) the sci-fi-flavored ABC cartoon sitcom "The Jetsons"; only 24 episodes produced originally; 41 additional episodes produced in 1985 to make the series more viable in the syndication market
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)
Produced and directed (both with Barbera) "The Man Called Flintstone", a theatrical feature spin-off of the TV series
With Barbera, executive produced and directed "The Adventures of Jonny Quest", their first successful animated adventure series and the last to be created for primetime; reputedly the first animated show to use realistic human figures; after a season in primetime, the show subsequently played on Saturday mornings on each of the networks; new episodes produced in 1986 for inclusion in the expanded syndicated Sunday morning series "The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera"
Revived (and revised) the popular characters Tom & Jerry for CBS's "Tom and Jerry Show"
With Barbera, sold studio to Taft Broadcasting
Executive produced and directed (both with Barbera) "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" (ABC), a cartoon comedy mystery series which remained in continuous production--under various titles--for 17 years (end date approximate)
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"
Executive produced (with Barbera) the studio's first live-action TV-movie "Hardcase" (ABC), a Western
With Barbera, produced "Charlotte's Web", a feature musical based on E B White's classic book; earned the studio an Annie Award
Earned star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; honored with Joseph Barbera
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)
Hanna-Barbera produced its first live-action feature film, "C.H.O.M.P.S.", starring Valerie Bertinelli
"The Hanna-Barbera Happy Hour", a short-lived live-action comedy variety series (with high-tech puppet hosts) aired on NBC in primetime
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
Executive produced (with Barbera) "The Smurfs", a hugely successful cartoon series based on the Belgian comic strip by Peyo Culliford (end date approximate)
Produced (with Barbera) "Heidi's Song", an animated feature
Taft Broadcasting, Hanna-Barbera's parent company, sold to the Great American Broadcasting Company; did not affect day-to-day operation of studio
Directed and produced (both with Barbera) "Jetsons: The Movie"
Provided his voice for ABC movie "I Yabba Dabba Do!"; also directed (solo) and produced (with Barbera)
Inducted into the TV Hall of Fame by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Executive produced (with Barbera and three others) "The Flintstones" feature film
TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network aired "The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest"

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