Why Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Characters Always Had Collars and Ties

Animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were the gold standard for cartoon characters from the 1940s to the 1990s. Their series included classic shows like Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo and The Smurfs. They had a global audience of more than 300 million people, and their shows were translated into more than 20 different languages. However, no matter how popular Hanna-Barbera's cartoons were with audiences in the 1960s, they were despised by artists because of the amount of work required. While the duo realized that as movie audiences dwindled, their cartoons would find a natural home on television, they also knew they could never match the $45,000 budgets they had enjoyed when they created Tom and Jerry in the 1940s. That’s when they pioneered the technique of “planned animation,” which featured minimal movement and frequent recycling of backgrounds. If you look at many of Hanna-Barbera's most popular characters - Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear and Scooby Doo — you will see that they wear a necktie or have a prominent collar. This meant that the body could remain static when the character was speaking, and the artists would only have to re-draw the character's face in each frame. As a result of cost-cutting measures like these, the company reduced the number of separate drawings required for a 7-minute cartoon from 14,000 to nearly 2,000, which translated into gigantic savings for the cartoon duo.