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The Hanna-Barbera Treasury [Hardcover]

Jerry Beck
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2009
Here, for the first time, is a showcase presentation of the best of the art from the legendary Hanna-Barbera studio.

The Hanna-Barbera Treasury celebrates the legacy of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera through more than five decades of rare drawings, storyboards, concept art, and memorabilia from studio archives and private collections. It includes more than 24 removable artifacts and facsimile reproductions, as well as photographs, sketches, comic book covers, brochures, and posters. Vintage art, rare merchandising images, retro product packages, and archival newspaper and magazine ads transport the reader back in time to an era when a brave new medium invaded our living rooms to create a new art form: the prime-time family cartoon.

In a world flooded by rapidly changing images, few are able to maintain the appeal that has defined the characters of Hanna-Barbera for more than 50 years. Since first joining forces as a pair of young animators, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera won the hearts of more than three generations. The duo won seven Academy awards at MGM during the golden age of the Hollywood cartoon, and still, decades later, their best-loved characters, having made their debut in television's early days, are household names.

Today, it is not uncommon for three generations to share the joy of Hanna-Barbera's creations, including such classics as Huckleberry Hound, Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Magilla Gorilla, Top Cat, and Space Ghost. Written by animation historian Jerry Beck, The Hanna-Barbera Treasury will be eagerly sought by those who grew up with these characters as well as a new generation of cartoon fans.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 155 pages
  • Publisher: Insight Editions, Div of Palace Publishing Group, LP (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933784288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933784281
  • Product Dimensions: 28.8 x 26.2 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 743,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Treasure 29 Sep 2009
Format:Hardcover
Ok, I'll be honest, I was never the biggest fan of the many animation shows that were produced by the Hanna-Barbera studios. Even as a kid I often thought the shows were cheaply produced with shoddy painted backgrounds and characters displaying animated movement of sub-standard quality (yeah, I guess I must have been a pretty exacting child!) After enjoying the beautiful chaos of the Warner Bros shorts and admiring their breathtaking creativity and technical skill, the production line output of Hanna-Barbera just didn't cut the mustard with me.

However, what is undeniable is the lovely quality of the peripheral ephemera that was a by-product of these shows. The character designs and 2D rendered artwork that was produced during the planning stages of The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, and the myriad other programmes that the studio created remained a hidden treasure of beautiful cartoon art. Often these "extras" belied a skill and beauty sadly lacking in the animated series that was the final product of all this work.

This treasury is beautifully designed itself; containing envelopes and pockets glued to certain pages throughout the book, holding reproductions of contemporary adverts, bubblegum cards, storyboards and many other delightful pieces of art that were created with obvious love, a gorgeous sense of colour and an attention to detail that I guess could not be carried through to the completed shows themselves due to deadline or budgetary constraints.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hanna & Barbera's touch 25 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This artbook for me is like a brick that made complete the great wall of animation television's history. It's like a great ride of colours that shows an extraordinary sequence of pieces of art: chara model sheets, scketch drawings, advertising photographs, action figures and all the various types of memorabilia produced during the years around the pleasants characters that were born from the genial brains of Hanna & Barbera. Everybody who has loved this world full of ideas, amusing side and adventures cannot miss this item!
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice To Look At, But There Are MANY Factual Errors!! 30 Dec 2007
By Hanna-Barberian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I should preface this review by stating that I have been a fan of the Hanna-Barbera studios since I was old enough to sit in front of the television. I've worked in the animation industry for 15 years, and consider myself an expert on the studio and it's characters.

Like most other fans of the Hanna-Barbera library, I was excited to hear that animation historian Jerry Beck was writing a book about Hanna-Barbera's early years. After being disappointed in other H-B coffee-table-type books, I thought, "Finally! Someone who knows his stuff is going to get it right!" Well, guess what? He didn't. There are TONS of factual errors in this book. I'm starting a list and will forward it to anyone that cares, but to start:

1. Page 61, photo 15 is called out in the caption text as a Limited Edition recreation of a Quick Draw McGraw cartoon episode title card. This is wrong. It's the actual title card used in production, which was signed by Bill & Joe. The H-B Animation Art division never re-created this piece.

2. Since Snagglepuss was given his own segment on "The Yogi Bear Show," his fur color has always been pink (except when he first appeared on "The Quick Draw McGraw Show," in which case it was more of an orange color). Jerry Beck states (Caption text, Page 67) that the color is actually purple. Huh? Purple? Other than the covers of a few Coloring and/or Sticker Books released by Western Publishing, it's always been pink. The Hanna-Barbera studio paint code, since 1961 has always been: XRR-1, which is pink. Perhaps the proof reader was sick that day.

3. Page 75 calls out a background layout as being art for a collectible plate. Wrong. It's the original background layout for the Flintstones episode titled, "The Gruesomes." (The book's designer put it in a circular shape.)

4. Pages 76 & 77 are called out as "Model Sheets For the later episodes" of "The Flintstones." Wrong. Drawings on Page 77 are the construction drawings created by Iwao Takamoto in 1993/94 for a Licensing and Merchandising Style Guide, released to coincide with Universl Pictures' live action feature film starring John Goodman.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. The list of factual errors is long. The number of series produced between 1957 and 1969 (which is the year Jerry Beck decided to stop his book) is incomplete. The character line art used on many pages isn't vintage art from the archives (which do exist, as I have copies.) They are, in fact, current licensing and merchandising drawings created by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and drawn off-model. Why, I have to wonder, with all the original vintage character art that exists in the archives, created by legends such as Iwao Takamoto, Jerry Eisenbery, Willie Ito, Dick Bickenbach, etc. etc., did they use this new crop of inconsistant character art? The world may never know.

Am I being picky? Perhaps. But the author should have proofread his own copy and checked it for factual inaccuracies. I have found quite a few more than mentioned above, just perusing the book in the store. Someone with Jerry Beck's reputation and credentials should have tried harder. This is the only chance a book like this will be released and the studio, it's co-founders and it's fans deserved much more respect.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They finally got it RIGHT! Hanna barbera's golden years! 28 Nov 2007
By Sherm Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
After years of dreaming, and having those dreams crushed by earlier, horrible attempts at a proper Hanna-Barbera coffee-table art book, THIS wonderful, colorful, artiful (?) book has made my dreams come true.

This book may not sound that big at 157 pages, but what you can't tell from that number is that every oversized page is PACKED with photos of REAL production artwork (not those awful fakey-fake publicity "cels.") -- most of which was apparently photographed from original archival artwork! There are pictures of storyboards, layouts, animation drawings, model sheets, development sketches, character designs, etc...stuff that has never seen the light of day until now. I've been waiting for someone to put together this kind of book for ages.

There are also tons of beautiful photos of vintage H-B collectable and toys, like plastic dolls and View-Master reels. If you remember the groundbreaking art direction in Chip Kidd's Batman Animated art book from the nineties, you can imagine what this looks like.

The other feature that really expands the page-count is that there are tons of little envelopes and pockets and pamphlets bound into this book that contain beautiful facsimiles of trading cards, full-color 12-page mini-comic book reprints, Model sheets, storyboard sequences and vintage activity-book pages.

There are separate chapters for all of the early Hanna Barbera stars (in chronological order), including a chapter EACH devoted to:

* Tom and Jerry
* Ruff and Reddy
* Huckleberry Hound
* Pixie and Dixie
* Yogi Bear
* Quick-Draw McGraw
* Augie Doggie
* Snagglepuss
* The Flintstones
* Top Cat
* The Jetsons
* Magilla Gorilla
* Peter Potamus
* Sqiddly Diddly
* Touche Turtle
* Lippy The Lion
* Jonny Quest
* Space Ghost
* Atom Ant
* Secret Squirerel and Morocco Mole
* Frankenstein, Jr and the Impossibles
* Birdman
* Wacky Races
* Space Ghost
* Scooby Doo

...and THEY STOP RIGHT THERE! Oh, happy day!

There's no need to pretend that the entire history of Hanna Barbera is totally golden...most of their output after the late sixties was totally forgettable. But they wisely chose to focus on the best of the best!

If you felt horribly cheated by the awful Hanna Barbera Cartoons coffee-table book from 1999, this new book should make you forget all about that publishing nightmare. This new book a winner through and through! Caveat: I haven't READ the text yet, so I'm looking at this purely from a visual standpoint. I'm guessing that based on the love and devotion that obviously went into the art direction of this book, they probably didn't skimp on the textual accuracy either.

The text is written by animation historian and Cartoon Brew-meister Jerry Beck, so I'm looking forward to reading it and posting another review later to complete the full review.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing and Truly Unique Book! 5 Dec 2007
By Will Morton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was blown away when I first cracked this book open. It's overflowing with amazing visuals from everything Hanna Barbera. All of the added extras like mini comics, cards and cels are so cool. We can only hope that Jerry Beck has a similar Looney Tunes book in the works. BUY THIS!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC CARTOONS OF HANNA BARBERA 14 April 2008
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
On of the trends among higher end collector's books over the past couple of years have been to pack them with all sorts of extra treasures and trinkets. I guess since if DVD's have extra features, why not books as well. The latest such book is Insight Editions' The Hanna-Barbera Treasury which spotlights the legendary animation company with a look at their history, its many famous cartoons and characters, and including all types of interesting memorabilia.

The studio was formed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera in 1944 as they worked for the MGM studios producing the Tom & Jerry series of cartoons. The HB animation of that time period easily rivals the best animation being produced by Disney or Warner Brothers and the Tom & Jerry cartoons still hold up well sixty years later. But what really made HB great was their embrace of the new medium of television, and their realization that they had to sacrifice some quality to remain profitable. Many animation studios folded in the 1950's when it became so cost prohibitive to produce cartoons.

Hanna-Barbera decided to start stressing characters over animation. It gave them a bit of an undeserved bad rap from animation snobs who frowned upon their repetitive animation techniques. But, simply put, they did what they had to do to remain profitable and as a result, created some of the most memorable characters in animation history. Even Disney cannot boast as many notable characters as the HB studio. The book takes a look at two dozen of their most famous characters in chronological order, beginning with Tom & Jerry in the 1940's. The history and creation of each show is covered with all sorts of interesting stories and anecdotes. Rare photos of period merchandise are also pictured as well as those "extras" I spoke of earlier.

The studio's most prolific period was the 50's and 60's and leading things off was that irresistible, laid-back pooch, Huckleberry Hound. Huck was literally the first prime time cartoon star, often rating in the top 10 TV shows in many cities. Huck also produced the first animated spin-off series, Yogi Bear. The extras in this section are reproductions of puzzle cards, which reflect Huck's many different occupations.

Yogi Bear appeared on the Huckleberry Hound show in 1957 and got his own TV show in 1961, and his own big screen theatrical film "Hey There, it's Yogi Bear" in 1964. You'll see early production sketches of the character which vary fairly radically from the finished product. The Yogi section comes packed with a mini, facsimile coloring book.

The 1960's was simply incredible for the Hanna-Barbera studio. The 60's saw the birth of characters such as Snagglepuss, The Jetson's, The Flintstones, Top Cat, Jonny Quest, Atom Ant, Birdman, Space Ghost, and Wacky Races.

The Flintstones remain one of the great pop culture Icons of the 60's, with a plethora of mass-merchandising products, everything from books to toys and comic books to vitamins. The Flintstones section includes a repro animation cell, sketch guides, and more puzzle cards.

The 70's saw the rise of perhaps the studios most popular and enduring character, Scooby Doo! It's also here that the book unfortunately concludes. This is the one drawback to the book. The 70's featured a lot of memorable characters who are omitted: Hong Kong Phooey, Captain Caveman, Josie & the Pussycats, and Dynomutt are all left out of the book. The Hanna-Barbera Treasury is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to all their shows but rather a spotlight on their biggest stars. While I would have liked to have seen more coverage of the 1970's, hopefully this means there will eventually be a volume 2.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome 1 April 2014
By MIKE JACOBSEN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If Your A Fan Get This Book. It Includes So Many Reproduction Of Souveniers At The Time Its Worth It For That Alone. Simply A Amazing Book.
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