Legendary animator Joe Barbera dies

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Tuesday December 19, 2006

Los Angeles- Joseph Barbera, who together with partner Bill
Hanna came up with Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and The Flintstones, has
died aged 95 at home in California, according to a Warner Bros
Barbera died of natural causes late Monday. Hanna died in 2001
aged 90.

Born in Manhattan in 1911 to immigrant parents, Barbera became
interested in animation after watching Walt Disney's The Skeleton
Dance in 1929. He worked at animation studios in the New York City
area, before moving to Los Angeles in 1937 to join MGM's cartoon

There he met Hanna, who put stories to his pictures, which led
them to create a film of their own featuring a hot-tempered cat and
an unnamed chubby-cheeked mouse. The 1940 short earned Hanna and
Barbera their first Oscar nomination in the cartoon short category.

In their next short, The Midnight Snack (1941), the cat was
renamed Tom and the mouse was christened Jerry. The feuding pair
became one of the most popular in cartoon history, winning Hanna and
Barbera seven Academy Awards between 1943 and 1952.

In 1957 Hanna and Barbera formed a production company and began
making cartoons for television and went on to a whole new realm of
success in the 1960s with a witty series of animated TV comedies.

Barbera worked to create the Flintstones, the Sitcom-style show
that tracks the life of "the modern Stone Age family" has aired
in more than 80 countries.

His adventures of a group of detective teens and their scared dog,
Scooby-Doo Where are You?, ran for 17 years and is the longest-ever
running animated television programme.

Other animated shows to their credit include The Jetsons, the
Huckleberry Hound Show and the Smurfs.

"Joe Barbera was a passionate storyteller and a creative genius
who, along with his late partner Bill Hanna, helped pioneer the world
of animation," Sander Schwartz, president of Warner Bros Animation,
said in a statement.

"Bill created a landmark television production model and Joe
filled it with funny, original show ideas and memorable characters
that will stand for all time as his ultimate legacy."

© 2006 - dpa German Press Agency