Tom and Jerry
Directed by William Hanna & Joseph
produced by Fred Quimby.
Tom & Jerry DVDs from Amazon.com.
Added on December 19, 2006
After William Hanna in March
2001, Joseph Barbera died of natural causes in his home in Los Angeles on
December 19, 2006. During their collaboration
which lasted more than 60 years, in addition to Tom and Jerry, Hanna and Barbera created cartoon
characters such as
Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear.
Article added on March 31,
William Hanna, who together with
Joseph Barbera, created cartoon characters
such as as Huckleberry Hound,
Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, Scooby Doo and
the Jetsons, died in March 2001, at the age
of 90. He was the the co-chairman and co-founder of
Hanna Barbera Studios, founded in 1957,
when MGM closed its cartoon division.
Born in 1910 in Melrose, New Mexico, as the son of a construction superintendent for the
Sante Fe railway stations, William Hanna majored in journalism and engineering
at Compton (California) Junior College.
He began his animation career during the
Depression in 1930 when he dropped out of UCLA and took a position
at Hollywood's Harman-Ising studios where he worked in the story and
layout departments. From 1931
to 1937, Hanna contributed story ideas to Harman-Ising's Looney Tunes and
Melodies series, produced on behalf of Leon Schlesinger and Warner Bros.
He also wrote the music and lyrics for
several of the catchy tunes heard in these cartoons. When
Harman-Ising moved to MGM, they took Hanna along as a story editor. And when
MGM formed its own animation department in 1937, Hanna was hired by department
head Fred Quimby, who later became the producer of Tom And Jerry. At MGM,
Hanna met his future
partner for 60 years, Joseph Barbera.
Born in 1911 in New York City, Joseph Barbera had
worked in a bank before
working for Fleischer Studios, painting and inking cells for characters of Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor Man.
After a short job at Van Beuren Studios which went out of business due to the success of
the Disney studios. He worked for the MGM cartoon studios, where he met
At MGM, Hanna directed many of The Captain and the Kids cartoons in 1938-39 with William
Allen. In 1938, he worked with Joseph Barbera for the first time, on
Afterwards, they collaborated on Puss Gets the Boot, the first in the Tom and Jerry series in 1939.
By the way, in the first episode, Tom was called "Jasper". With Tom and Jerry, Hanna
and Barbera were able to break Disney's Oscar monopoly for cartoons. In
twenty years, they won seven Oscars for their films with Tom and Jerry. Hanna was more the director and invented
the stories, whereas Barbera preferred to work out the gags.
In the 1940s, their cartoon characters Tom and
Jerry danced with Gene Kelly in the motion picture
Anchors Away and Invitation to Dance as well as with Esther Williams in
Dangerous When Wet. In 1957, MGM
closed its animation unit. Cartoons had became relatively expensive. Hanna and Barbera
formed their own company which produced TV animation. Among the cartoon characters created by Hanna
and Barbera are Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo, The
Flinstones (in German: Familie Feuerstein), The Jetsons, Jonny Quest,
The Banana Splits and Scooby-Doo. They also created theatrical-feature work, including
A Man Called Flintstone in 1966, Charlotte's Web in 1972 and Heidi's
Song in 1982.
From 1961 to 1967, MGM revived the Tom and
Jerry series. Gene Deitch produced
produced 13 new cartoons
with Czech graphic artists. The quality of the animation, the story as well as the
soundtrack was poorer. Then, Chuck Jones and Les Goldman
took over the Tom and Jerry series. Although they managed to improve
the cartoons, they were not able to reach the quality of the work or Hanna &
Barbera's sense of fun. From 1975 to 1977, after having purchased
the rights from MGM to produce new Tom and Jerry cartoons for TV,
Hanna and Barbera also tried to revive their heroes, this time for ABC Saturday Morning.
After years of
rivalry, Tom and Jerry had become best friends. The films were not as violent
as the early ones - a concession to political correctness.
In 1976, Hanna and Barbera received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame and,
in 1993, were inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Hanna leaves
behind his wife Violet, two children and seven grandchildren. - Tom & Jerry DVDs
Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases, 2000.
Get it on DVD from Amazon.com,
Deutsch: Tom und Jerry. Ihre grössten Jagdszenen. DVD bestellen bei
En français: Tom et Jerry: Les meilleures courses poursuites chez Amazon.fr.
Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases contains 14 of the best and earlier
cartoons directed by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera, all produced by Fred
Quimby. Among them are the
Oscar winning Yankee Doodle Mouse, Johann Mouse (luckily the
only one on the DVD with a narrator, speaking with an Austrian accent because
of Johann Strauss), The Cat Concerto and
The Little Orphan. The last two cartoons are among my favorites,
together with the Oscar nominated Dr. Jekyll And Mr Mouse as well as Mouse in Manhattan and Kitty Foiled (Kitty is the
little yellow bird), two of the nine non-Oscar nominated and/or winning cartoons on
the DVD. A delight!
Some of the most successful Tom and Jerry
- Puss Gets The Boot 2/20/40 Academy Award Nomination
- The Midnight Snack 7/19/41
- The Night Before Christmas 12/6/41 Academy Award Nomination
- The Yankee Doodle Mouse 6/26/43 Academy Award
- Mouse Trouble 11/23/44 Academy Award
- Quiet Please 12/22/45 Academy Award
- The Cat Concerto 4/26/47 Academy Award
- Dr Jekyll And Mr Mouse 6/14/47 Academy Award Nomination
- The Little Orphan 4/30/49 Academy Award
- Hatch Up Your Troubles 5/14/49 Academy Award Nomination
- Jerry's Cousin 4/7/51 Academy Award Nomination
- The Two Mousketeers 3/15/52 Academy Award
- Johann Mouse 3/21/53 Academy Award
- Touche, Pussy Cat! 12/18/54 Academy Award Nomination
- Tot Watchers 8/1/58
(the last of the early Tom and Jerry cartoons directed by Hanna & Barbera;
the cartoons of the 1960s were first made by Gene Deitch and later by Chuck
Jones; from 1975-77, Hanna & Barbera revived Tom and Jerry).
This article is in commemoration of William Hanna, 1910-2001.