Popular Mechanics on Hanna Barbera (1960)

Here’s another one of those wonderful articles from Popular Mechanics magazine (September 1960) explaining the tricks behind creating animated cartoons: “TV Hit From A Cartoon Factory” by Thomas E. Stimson, Jr.

The piece includes a Huckleberry Hound storyboard sequence, character mouth chart and some great behind the scenes photos. Check out Carlo Vinci animating on the article’s second page (page 121). Read the whole piece through this link to Google Books.

(Thanks, Wynn Hamonic)


  • John Vinci

    Grandpa!

    • eeteed

      lucky YOU!

  • http://www.perennialpictures.com Brian Reynolds

    Cannot begin to say how important this article was to me when I was growing up. In the early ’60′s, there wasn’t much information about animation to be had. I was a huge Hanna-Barbera fan, so when I found this magazine at the public library, I checked it out over and over again, and then finally lost it! The libarary probably didn’t care, but I did.

    I taught myself how to animate from books and from watching cartoons on TV, so articles like this were a wellspring of information – not even so much for the text as the pictures.

    From this, I learned that they were painting cels with latex house paint, and I had been using Testor’s Model Paint. Latex house paint had just come out – and later I found out that their latex paint wasn’t the kind you bought off the shelf at the paint store, but I did, and it worked.

    I knew that was Carlo Vinci animating, but can anybody tell me who the BG artist is? Or the inker for that matter? My mother had a hair dryer exactly like the one in the BG picture, and I immediately appropriated it for myself. Likewise, muffin pans.

    What I could see of the camera stand fascinated me. Many, many years later, we were to buy a Richardson-Bowlds ourselves.

    And now it gathers dust as we made the switch to Flash several years ago. One the one hand, I miss the old desks and discs and racks and film, and on the other, I wouldn’t go back. Comp’ing paint, rotten cels after Anitech stopped making them, one mistake and a 25 ft. scene was ruined and on and on. Magic time, though…

    • http://yowpyowp.blogspot.com Yowp

      Good question about the BG artist. He’s too young to be Bob Gentle or Dick Thomas, who were working in the ’30s, and Art Lozzi was right-handed. Joe Montell left HB before ‘The Flintstones’ went into production. That leaves Monty, unless I’m missing someone.

      • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.j.bryan Wayne Jimmy Bryan

        I’m 99.9 sure the background artist in that picture is the great, Fernando Montealegre AKA Monty. There’s another photo online with Bill Hanna, Art Lozzi and Monty and this a lot like Monty in that picture.

  • snip2346

    “Animation is no pastime for a man who likes to let somebody else handle the details.”

    ….. WOW. Just WOW.

  • http://MrFun'sBlog Floyd Norman

    Today’s animated film making is faster and more efficient because of all the tech tools at our disposal. However, the cost of progress was loss of the magic.

  • Donomator

    Great article, but I think I remember Jerry posting a link to this article in 2008; http://www.cartoonbrew.com/internet-blogs/google-magazine-search.html.

  • http://www.toonocity.com fremgen

    Awesome look back! Very interesting to find an article on HB BEFORE the Flintstones hit :)

  • http://steve-hogan.com Steve Hogan

    Interesting peek into the past! Seems like they screwed up though, as the article has Ruff N’ Reddy coming out AFTER Huck and Quick Draw.