Book Description

From Publishers Weekly Dubbed by 60 Minutes 'the sultan of Saturday morning,' Barbera, along with his partner Bill Hanna, pioneered the concept of television animation, delighting generations of kids with such shows as The Jetsons , Scooby Doo , The Smurfs and The Flintstones . In their heyday, the Hanna-Barbera team was responsible for up to 70% of the cartoon programming on American airwaves, and their vast corpus continues to be widely circulated in syndication today. Here Barbera, writing with Axelrod ( The War Between the Spies ), provides a chatty and lucidly detailed inside look at the 'toon biz, chronicling his rise through the ranks from inker to studio head and recounting the history of his legendary partnership with Hanna, which began at MGM in 1940 with the creation of the immensely popular 'Tom and Jerry' movie shorts and lasted for more than 50 years. Particularly interesting are Barbera's accounts of the various technical innovations and marketing strategies that were necessary to launch cartoons on the small screen. The Flintstones , for example, almost died before the show was born for want of corporate sponsorship. Clearly a shrewd and hard-working businessman as well as a talented artist, Barbera emerges here as a quintessential American success story, a Brooklyn boy whose persistent faith in his creative vision led him to the top ranks of the entertainment industry. His memoirs are almost as much fun as his 'toons. Photos not seen by PW. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more From Library Journal Had Barbera and partner William Hanna stopped after their first success in animation-the creation of Tom and Jerry-their place in movie history would still be secure. After all, that warring cat and mouse team won seven OscarsR-more, Barbera is proud to claim, than his more esteemed colleagues at Disney or Warner Brothers earned for any of their individual creations. But Barbera really hit the jackpot with television, beginning in 1960 when he got the green light for a prime-time show called The Flintstones. (It's no coincidence that this book and the live-action film based on the series are enjoying simultaneous release.) Hanna-Barbera went on to become the General Motors of animation, churning out dozens of shows of varying quality. Barbera is an unassuming man, and this memoir is like most of his creations: amusing but hardly memorable. For popular collections.Thomas Wiener, formerly with 'American Film'Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more See all Editorial Reviews