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Today, you will be learning about Joseph Barbera, a famous animator who made many classic cartoons, in the face of hard times.

By: Jordan Andrews

Joseph Barbera


Joseph Barbera was born in 1911 in New York City. You may have seen some of his cartoons on Boomerang, a channel that shows old cartoons. I know what you all are saying here at your computer, "I thought it was called Hannah Barbera!!!"

Well, you are right on that part. The company is called Hannah Barbera, but the creator of it is not with the same name. A young Joseph Barbera, and his creative partner, William Hannah, worked together to make the well known company.

The dynamic duo is credited for creating The Flintstones, The Smurfs, Tom and Jerry, The Ruff and Ready show, and the Huckleberry Hound show. They have also made many other shows, but it would take me longer than this whole presentation to name them all, so I restrained myself to just these few.

Joseph was married in 1935, and had children, but had a divorce in 1963. When asked, his reason was that he thought that his marriage was rushed and wouldn't work out. Most of his cartoons were seen in the 60's, but there were some before and afterwards. The first film that Joseph Barbera and William Hannah did together was Puss gets the Boot, in 1940. We call that a collaberation. Together they took control of MGM, but then it shut down in 1957. They have won Emmy awards and many Academy award nominations. William Hannah died in 2001, while the main focus of this presentation, Joseph Barbera, remained active until his death in Studio City, California on December 18th, 2006. He died from natural causes. He was 95 years old. 

Who Is Joseph Barbera???


Scooby Doo "Scooby Doo where are you?" 1969-1978

Fred Flintstone

"The Flintstones" 1960-1966

Papa Smurf

"The Smurfs"


Joseph Barbera and William Hannah had a good reason to make those cartoons, that have grown so popular over the years: War times.  Families had no time for fun or relaxation. They fought for breath after breath.

This left kids depressed, afraid, and upset. 

They felt understandably very bad about this, and wanted to do all they could do to help. They decided that laughter was the best help they could give. They did it well, in the form of these cartoons.

The Real Reason

"That's what keeps me going: dreaming, inventing, then hoping and dreaming some more in order to keep dreaming." -Joseph Barbera


“Animation is a relief from what's going on in the world. You get up in the morning and turn on the radio and you hear a bridge goes out in Albany, a bomb has exploded here and there's a flood on the East Coast. Then you turn on the TV and see it all visualized. In living color, no less. Where's the relief? That's what we do: Provide relief in fantasy product. It's important to make people forget what's really happening.” -Joseph Barbera