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Yowp, the Early Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Blog

Huckleberry Hound

Yowp: Stuff about Early Hanna-Barbera Cartoons is a blog that’ll tell you more about Hanna-Barbera cartoons than you probably cared to know. The blog creator, who is anonymous, knows his stuff, and gives us insidery opinions of this sort: “Here’s where you wish someone like Foster or Maltese was guiding the dialogue because Shows’ lines come off as trite and obvious.” His obsessiveness (I can only assume a guy does this blog because no girl would ever obsess over early H-B like this) is not entirely without merit. He also highlights pieces of animation that serve as fine lessons for anybody creating limited animation, such as this lovely two-drawing cycle of Doggie Daddy driving a car.

  • That’s Jim Bennie’s blog, who’s done excellent work scouring newspaper archives for tidbits on the faceless names of animation. Who knew that Frank Graham (Tex Avery’s wolf, The Fox & Crow) committed suicide (by carbon monoxide poisoning)?

  • Christopher Cook

    It was quite enjoyable. It critically dissected the early H-Bs without trashing it for the sake of trashing H-B. (Not that 98.5% of the 1970s and 80s stuff deserved it, mind you…) I do agree with Charles Shows’ uninspired dialogue–“Ruff & Reddy” was cluttered with it.

  • In the early days, Hanna-Barbera actually made cartoons. By the time I got there, all that had ended.

  • Hoyt

    The framegrab at the top of this piece has it all: guns and meat on the hoof.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    “Yowp” is an invaluable resource, actually. The blog creator identifies each and every music cue to every cartoon score, by title and composer – and even provides whole tracks, (not just sound bytes or snippets). I unashamedly spent hours on the site listening to great old cartoon soundtracks by Hoyt Curtin and others, almost none of it released. Amazing.

  • I like this blog because Jim give concrete informations about the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons to credited the writers, animators and the genuine pre-recorded music from Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw Show. It gives a fresh source from a studio well know for their sadness cartoons in the 70’s and 80’s than the ones they created in the origins. It’s a great blog you sure added in your list.

  • Katella Gate

    I spent about 90 mins on the site and I just skimmed the surface, the blog explores those few years when HB was making cartoons “good but cheap” and before their slide into the abyss of just “good’n’cheap”.

    The early HB cartoons are covered with a lot of insight and love of subject, but never gets egg-headed, maudlin, or promotional.

  • TheGunheart

    I gotta say, I love those model sheets for the early HB characters. Kinda a shame they couldn’t have had better animation to do them justice. I’d love it if they were at least briefly brought out of retirement for a mid-budget DTV special or two.

  • Scorrrrre! Can’t wait to dig into this. Thanks for posting about it.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Thanks. The old HB methods can be applied today in Flash.

  • Amid, thanks for your kind comments. It’s surprising the blog has any kind of readership, let alone the high calibre of people who stop by.

    I don’t consider myself an expert by any means and I’m always hoping someone can add historical, biographical or even here’s-how-the-art-was-done comments. I’ve never worked in animation (unless you count one voice on a cartoon soundtrack that was later scrapped). I can’t even draw. I’m a radio announcer who grew up watching these cartoons on a small TV station across the border in Bellingham, Washington almost 50 years ago.

    And even after all that time, I still laugh at some of the cartoons. Others are average, and some miss the mark. But I enjoy them. The characters are strong enough, some of the designs can be interesting to my untrained eye and Daws Butler is wonderful. Considering some of the dreck on TV circa 1959 .. and I’m talking live action .. no wonder these cartoons were deemed fresh and amusing at the time.

    I feel bad for the talented people who went from the beautiful flowing character animation at MGM to these, though some of the last theatricals there don’t do a lot for me. But I feel even worse for the soulless stuff they were saddled with in the 1970s and onward.

    It’s been a revelation to find others who like campy industrial music of the 1950s, too. I only wish I could track down more of the
    cues that I haven’t been able to positively identify; finding Jack Shaindlin’s material is a challenge.


  • Glad to see the blog, and you can go to mine, Your Pony Pal Pokey,too, about the 1950s-60s Gumby blog.. btw Thad, you just blew the Yowpster’s cover!

  • nice blog…good job

  • tony benedict

    I find Jim Bennie’s blog to be very well informed, accurate, entertaining and for me
    in particular, intensely nostalgic.

  • tony benedict

    Yowp is my go to place for info on early Hanna-Barbera. I went to visit 93 year old Bob Givens (Hanna-Barbera 1958-) in the hospital last week for some surgery. With me a cache of old images from the early Hanna-Barbera period. We had a most enjoyable and nostalgic conversation about the animation days of old versus this brave new digital world. At one point Bob went into a hilarious anti computer generated animation rant and how it is destroying the cartoon business. He wanted no part of it. I did not dare break out my Ipad loaded with images. I’ll see him again next week and try once more.