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William Hanna and Joseph Barbera: A Dynamic Duo

by Legacy Staff

It’s the yabba dabba duo who brought us the town of Bedrock, Jellystone Park, and the Mystery Machine.

Joseph Barbera. His name may not be recognizable on its own, but what about when you pair it with that of his good friend, William Hanna? A bell should be ringing now — or perhaps a whistle blowing at the prehistoric rock quarry — reminding you of the yabba dabba duo who brought us the town of Bedrock, Jellystone Park, and the Mystery Machine.

William Hanna (1910–2001) and Joseph Barbera (1911–2006) were more than just coworkers — they forged a 60-year partnership based on a deep respect for each other, both as friends and as animators. And their friendship showed in their work and the iconic buddies they created in their cartoons.

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Hanna and Barbera met in 1937 at MGM where they would produce a series of shorts about a pair of unlikely pals. As “frenemies,” Tom and Jerry were ahead of their time. 

After founding Hanna-Barbera in 1957, they created one of the all-time classic duos. Even now in the 21st century, there’s no friendship quite like the stone-age friendship of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.

Fred and Barney were quickly followed by a suspiciously similar pair… Yogi and Boo Boo sometimes seem a bit like Fred and Barney in bear suits.

As the ’60s got groovier, Hanna-Barbera brought us the groovy duo of Scooby and Shaggy.

Years after the deaths of Hanna and Barbera, their great friendship lives on in dozens of cartoon classics.

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