Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicComics & Animation · 1 decade ago

I mean Hanna-Barbera characters were supposed to protray real people in Politics and the Press of those days?

Like "Mr. Clean" is supposed ro be a satire on Dwight Eisenhower. If you look at his face closely, he really does look like Dwight Eisenhower. Don't forget, the '50's were also a time of McCarthyism. Speaking out directly could land someone into a great deal of trouble.

So, maybe the '50's did seem complacent and boring on the surface, but right under the surface there was a lot of tensions brewing, and expressed in subtle ways. I just wonder who some of those cartoon characters portrayed.

And, in fact, every one of them portrayed somebody. Isn't that funny, a cartoon empire founded upon people trying to get even with what was going on at the time that they found just as absurd, William Hanna and Joe Barbera, the Michael Moores of their day.


Well, that is known as a, "delayed reaction", a fact of life. Just like December 22 is never the coldest day of the year, but January and February, up to two months after the shortest day, are.

In the same way, I wouldn't expect reactions in the media lampooning the McCarthy Era to go on right as they were happening, but maybe four or five years later. That explains why it took them time to make most of those cartoons, too.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Possibly. However, look at the most famous of Hanna-Barbara cartoons - they are adaptions of TV shows:

    The Flintstones - The Honeymooners (Fred Flintstone is Ralph Kramden and Barney is Ed Norton)

    Top Cat - Sgt. Bilko.

    Yogi Bear - Ed Norton from the Honeymooners

    The Jetsons - a reworking of the Flintstones and other shows (Notice how Mr. Spacely looks like the Pet Store owner Mr. Peebles in Maguilla Gorrilla, while Mr. Cogswell looks lik Mr. Slate)

    Even Huckleberry Hound, which does sound like Andy Griffith, was a success really before he became big.

    Yes Hanna and Barbara did do a lot of work in the late 40s and 50s (mainly commercials and some TV show openings), their fame really came for Cartoons after the McCarthy era had ended.

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