The Best Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Ranked

When it comes to classic cartoons of yesteryear, few animators were quite as prolific as William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. The two founded the Hanna Barbera company and were responsible for some of the most beloved cartoons of all time.

The duo wrote, produced, animated, and in some cases voiced their creations and created a lasting impact that has influenced generations. Whether original creations or adaptations, Hanna-Barbara cartoons are sure to have something for everyone. There are countless classic cartoons to their name, but today we will be looking over some of the best. From Yogi to Batman, here are some of the best Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

8 spaceghost

While the original spaceghost show isn’t extremely well remembered, the character and his bizarre legacy are. The show followed a superhero named Space Ghost, who was essentially an animated version of some of the science fiction serials of the time. The titular hero traveled through space and righted wrongs alongside his sidekicks Jan, Jace, and Blip the monkey. spaceghost is a fun space adventure that quickly rose through the ranks of favorites for children of the era.

The true legacy of the character didn’t take shape until the ’90s, however. Then Cartoon Network VP took some original animations from the show and dubbed them. He gave Space Ghost his own truly weird late night talk show and named it Space Ghost Coast to Coast. This bizarre parody of sorts was one of the first shows on Adult Swim and, alongside the work of Abso Lutely Productionsput the channel on the map.


7 SuperFriends

The DC superheroes were at the top of the world in the ’70s. Batman and Superman had both already enjoyed some success on the small and big screen, and the comics were more popular than ever. This little show just propelled that success to new levels. SuperFriends is wonderfully cheesy in the best ways possible.

The show seemed like if the corny nature of ’70s comics leaped onto the screen. Everything from the acting to the animation is beautifully cheesy. This show is also responsible for Aquaman’s less than stellar reputation he had for some time. While silly by today’s standards, SuperFriends helped pave the way for other superhero media and helped new fans discover these timeless characters.

6 Hong Kong Phooey

While not as groundbreaking as some of their other shows, Hong Kong Phooey is still a beloved addition to the Hanna-Barbera library. The show follows a dog janitor who has operations of being a Kung-Fu master. Using his mail-order skills, he attempts to bring bad guys to justice. With the unknowing help of his friends, these often wacky criminals are typically reprimanded, with Phooey saving the day.

This is a show that still has a loyal fanbase who fondly remembers the zany antics of the titular character. The show was even going to receive a theatrical movie starring Eddie Murphy, although this was later canceled. While Phooey is unlikely to make his big-screen debut anytime soon, his cartoons are still worth a watch.

5 The Yogi Bear Show

One of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time is the lovable nuisance Yogi Bear. Yogi lives in Jellystone Park and is on a constant mission to steal campers’ picnic baskets. This classic show had many spin-offs and a live-action film to boot. Yogi became so popular, that he became the unofficial mascot for Hanna-Barbera.

In later years when Hanna-Barbera’s characters would have crossovers, Yogi was more often than not front and center. Even today his influence is felt, as many campgrounds around the country are named Jellystone, with Yogi happily welcoming characters. To truly see the effect this show had, ask a group of people to say “picnic sneakers.” Odds are most of them will say “pic-a-nic basket” using their best Yogi voice.

4 The Jetsons

While this show is essentially the same plot as The Flintstones, The Jetsons is still a beloved cartoon featuring a hopeful look into the future. The show was a satire of then-modern culture and serves ironically enough as a time capsule. The show follows George Jetson and his family as they navigate through life in the distant future.

RELATED: Robert Zemeckis Will Direct The Jetsons Live-Action TV Show Pilot

While Jetsons didn’t invent the idea of ​​the flying car, it more than likely popularized it. The show is still watched religiously by fans today, and is considered by some as one of the most important sci-fi TV shows of all time. The show features the classic Hanna-Barbara wit, and the animation is of course top-notch. The future seen in the show is not that far away either, as canonically George Jetson is set to be born in August of this year.

3 Tom & Jerry

While many may associate the classic cat and mouse duo Tom and Jerry with legendary cartoonist Chuck Jones, they are actually the brainchildren of Hanna-Barbera. Even after MGM bought the rights to the characters, Hanna-Barbera wrote the shorts and even supplied the voices. The classic scream of agony from Tom is none other than William Hanna.

The cartoon featured the titular cat and mouse in various situations as they try to outwit one another. This is one of those cartoons that has bridged generations. Everyone from 9 to 99 has at the very least heard of Tom and Jerry. Over the top cartoony violence was a staple of early animation, and few did it better than this cartoon (the influence for the fictional Itchy and Scratchy Show within The Simpsons). One of the earliest projects between Hanna and Barbera, their work on Tom and Jerry actually won them a whopping seven Academy Awards for Best Cartoon Short, out of 14 Oscar nominations.

2 The Flintstones

Like Tom & Jerryit isn’t a stretch to assume that most people alive today have at least heard of The Flintstones. The modern stone-age family was the blueprint for other animated nuclear families such as The Simpsons and The Griffins. This primetime cartoon followed the antics and mishaps of Fred and Wilma Flinstone and their friends Barney and Betty Rubble. The show was ahead of its time in many ways. For starters, it wasn’t explicitly a children’s show.

The series had a laugh track, extensive dialogue, and situations similar to classic sitcoms of the day like I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show, something very different from most cartoons. It even aired on primetime. In addition to this, the show had a partnership with Winston cigarettes, and there were several commercials showing the characters lighting up. While the show is incredibly tame, it still showed that cartoons aimed at audiences of all ages were very possible, and opened the door for later success such as family guy.

1 Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!

Scooby Doo is one of those cartoons that will never fade from public memory. Since its original run, there have been countless Scooby Doo movies, from live-action to animation, along with TV revivals and even some video games. This entire phenomenon began with this classic cartoon created by Hanna-Barbera. The show followed a (kind of) talking dog and a group of teens as they solve various mysteries, typically involving the paranormal.

While the show follows a very predictable formula, it has gone down as one of the best-known cartoons of all time, and was one of the first cartoons to attract popular actors and musicians as guest stars, including Mama Cass, Dick Van Dyke, Davy Jones, Don Knotts, Phyllis Diller, Sonny and Cher, the Harlem Globetrotters and many more. While most people are sure to have at least heard of Tom & Jerry and The Flintstonesnearly everyone has watched some form of Sooby Doo media. This landmark series is introduced to new fans every day, and this is unlikely to stop anytime soon.

Spread the love