The Funtastic World of Hanna Barbera

We posted the centerpiece of this animation back in 2006, but here is an expanded version featuring the pre-show with Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. Boy is this script corny, but the animation is fantastic, full (maybe too full) and at this point, quite nostalgic. The character animation for The Funtastic World of Hanna Barbera ride at Universal Studios Florida was produced at Sullivan Bluth Studios in 1990, and was directed by David Steinberg. The ride ended its run at the Orlando theme park in 2002. Thankfully someone had the foresight to photograph this bootleg video:

(Thanks, Matthew Gaastra)


  • Ben

    Damn, I loved that ride! I remember they were selling “I saved Elroy” T-shirts in the gift shop afterwords.

  • uncle wayne

    Man….that is SPOOKY! I was just THINKING of that ride 2 days ago, too!!

    And, Honey, it was THEEE BEST! (And if you’re a true Hanna-Barbarian…..the icing on the cake was the come-out-of-the-ride goodies…with hands-on stuff….and, yes, an actual full-fledged H-B SOOVIE Shop! Whoa!! Alas Alas!! How MUCH do i miss it!! I was VERY sad to have seen it go adios!!

  • uncle wayne

    Ohhhhhhhhh, my God! What a grand memory! Thank goodness for this vid. But to have “experienced” it (with the moving simultaneous seats, the wind, water, etc.) was just too TOO cool. I was proud as punch over it!!! Must’ve ridden it 20 times at least!!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    For someone who never been to a REAL theme park in his life, it’s a real shame I missed out on this one.

  • David Breneman

    I guess having never seen the ride I’m missing something, but every time I see an attempt to “plus” HB stuff, it’s always lipstick on a pig. Anyone for a “Barney” ride? (And I don’t mean Rubble.)

  • http://www.oddballcomics.com Scott Shaw!

    I never had a chance to experience the ride, so I’m happy to see this turned out so well.

    The animation may have been done by Sullivan, but it was storyboarded at H-B. Iwao supervised the boards, which Scott Jeralds, Don Jurwich and I drew.

  • Donald C.

    What a team.

  • scott Jeralds

    ….yeah…i storyboarded the ride’s pre-show….the yogi and boo boo parts as well as the live action/animated part with bill and joe….it was great to see those characters animated so well….i never got to experience the ride either…. but i did get to see a copy of the final animation….

    • Brooks

      I loved this ride as a little kid. I drew pictures of Elroy getting kidnapped everyday. I would watch the video footage on my Universal Studios vacation planner VHS everyday. I asked my mom for the ride tapes every Christmas and never knew why I couldn’t get them. I remember the day I found out it was closing and I cried. It’s sounding like an unhealthy obsession at this point, but that’s how much one ride affected my life. It also inspired me to look into the field of animation as a life’s work. If you are still in hold of any copies of the storyboards you did for this masterpiece, I would like to have copies. If that’s a yes, I’ll give you my e-mail address. Thank you for your time in reading this.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    I can’t remember exactly, but it seems like they ran this for a short time in the old Mystery Mine ride at the old Camp Snoopy at Mall of America in MN. After it was long gone in Orlando I suppose. I might be wrong though.

    • Funkybat

      They did indeed have it at the former “Camp Snoopy” at the Mall of America. I saw it there in the summer of 07. I was disappointed that it was no longer Camp Snoopy, but seeing this ride was an unexpected treat, as I was unaware of its existence.

      I grew up loving H-B cartoons, and enjoyed the ride. Still, there was something about it that felt very dated, very specific to that late 80s/early 90s era. I enjoyed it on the “throwback” level as well, but could tell this was not a recent ride.

      I find it interesting that, for all the criticism that HB was not “creative” enough, the studio had several distinct stylistic eras. I’d say between ’59 and ’98, there were at least 5 or 6 “eras”, each with their own feel. I miss H-B, but then, without Bill and Joe, it wouldn’t really be the same anyway.

  • http://rwentworthmusic.blogspot.com Sir Richard Wentworth

    Cool… would have also made a great laserdisc arcade game!

    • Funkybat

      They could probably make a decent profit if they reissued it on digital media. If they used online distribution they wouldn’t have much upfront cost, mostly just digitizing the footage. If they wanted an “interactive” element, they could program it to signal motion-controllers with rumble modules in them.

  • Some N.I.M.H. Escapee

    And on today’s episode of “Things that Demand Elaboration”,

    “The character animation for The Funtastic World of Hanna Barbera ride at Universal Studios Florida was produced at Sullivan Bluth Studios in 1990…”

    As a Don Bluth fan, I never knew this. Anyone know more details? This probably would have been just after “Land Before Time” right?

  • Michael E

    The Former Paramount Parks ran the film for one season in 2007. I believe Six Flags ran it as well. I never rode the ride at Universal Orlando but I rode it at Kings Island in 07. they had the preshow and the old Hanna barbara song from the old dark ride “Friends in my TV”.

  • Donald Benson

    Another siting: Great America in California has a two-screen simulator theater, originally built and themed for race car footage from Days of Thunder. That was replaced by a James Bond-themed film, a CG animation of a Stan Lee internet comic, and finally Sponge Bob who was still there as of 2009 — although one of the screens has been closed for a few years and had signage for the HB ride. I don’t know if they ever actually showed it.

  • Hooper

    My favorite theme-park simulator ride of all time! Boy, do I miss it, AND the H-B shop attached to it!! The logo for the ride, as well as the animation the riders saw while standing in line, featured Top Cat in the rocket ship with Fred, Scooby, and Yogi. This led me to believe that perhaps a Top Cat segment was produced but edited out for time, etc. Unfortunately, Scott Shaw!…who should know…told me he didn’t recall any TC segment being storyboarded. Oh, well. One more memory: My girlfriend (at the time) wondered why the Jetsons thanked Yogi at the end, when he didn’t really DO anything; Elroy was rescued by George and Rosie!! LOL

  • Brendan Spillane

    Jane, stop this crazy ride!

  • bob kurtz

    just a note-we, kurtz and friends, wrote, story boarded and directed the
    animation on the simulator ride. it actually was a fun ride.

  • Michael E

    Bob,

    Was this made, when H-B was owned Taft in Cincy or when Turner owned them?

  • bob kurtz

    michael, i believe that h-b was owned by taft.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Hearing that this ride has been sighted elsewhere in the country is a nice thing. I wish it appeared at a local theater ride simulator in my hometown’s hands-on science center personally! There was a rumor that went around that if Universal had released Jetsons The Movie on DVD, the ride film would be included as an extra but it never happened, so now those are hoping they’ll get around to doing so if a Blu-ray of the film ever comes out. It would be the ONLY excuse to ever buy the film for myself just so I can freeze-frame through that great animation seen here.

  • Kevin Martinez

    The animation’s decent, but what is up with Dastardly’s voice? Mel Blanc and George O’Hanlon were already dead by the time this was being made, but Paul Winchell was still alive and well and doing Tigger.

    Did H/B simply not want to pay for him?

  • scott jeralds

    …..i worked on the ride and paul not doing the voice bugged me too….the last thing we got him to do dastardly’s voice on was “fender bender 500″ in 1990…to watch him and don messick do dastardly and muttley together was a career high point for me….loved those guys….i don’t think it was a money issue with paul….i think he was just kind of done doing it by then….

  • Michael E

    I believe that there one piece of animation missing from the video. A Yogi and Boo boo opening segment introducing Joe and Bill.

    p.s.

    Iwerks has the film on it’s site but it called Yogi’s Wild Ride.

    http://www.simex-iwerks.com/Default.asp?id=4&l=1&mcat_rec=101&mcat_gid=0&mcat_pid=9&mcat_cid=0

  • Michael E

    Here is a real treat, A Yabba-Dabba-Doo Celebration!: 50 Years of Hanna-Barbera

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff6Bhir1LYo

  • http://gagaman.blogspot.com Gagaman

    Oh sweet, this brings back memories! The first time I went to Florida as a kid in 1993 I saw this, and again in 2000 but when i went in 2002, it was replaced with the Nickelodeon ride which mostly starred characters I didn’t know very well (though Ren & Stimpy and Invader Zim make very tiny cameos in it).

    I remember this ride having an awesome play area after it that I have home video of me playing about in. In fact i think my mum even tried to film some of the ride itself too, haha.

  • Garnersphere

    This animation might enjoy an afterlife if shown in buildings scheduled for demolition with the audience wearing protective suits and hard hats as the whole shebang comes crashing down. It’s the cheap way to do motion simulation and one that Bill, Joe and Taft would have heartily approved of. “The Hanna-Barbera Controlled Demolition Experience” has got legs if any investors have the guts.