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A Cast of Friends
For more than sixty years, Bill Hanna has made entertaining children and the young at heart his "business". In A Cast of Friends, he offers an engaging look at his decades in animation and at the people who helped make it all possible. Hanna shares his memories of the tough and wild years at the beginning of animation, working with such legendary colleagues as Tex Avery an ...more
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published December 1st 1996 by Taylor Publishing Company (TX)
(first published April 1996)
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"Along with longtime partner Joe Barbera, William Hanna created The Flintstones, Yogi Bear and about a million interchangeable cartoons (remember Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels?) that sucked many a Saturday morning for the kiddie me. This book was a short, sometimes interesting look into the animation biz as he and Barbera adapted it to the TV age. Hanna was more of a businessman than a true creative, however, and it shows in the way he approaches this memoir. At times, his bland affirmatio ...more
I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to reading the other half of the legendary partnership, Joe Barbera's book. This is a very humble, avuncular account of Bill Hanna's life, including obviously the formation of Hanna-Barbera studios. It's truly staggering to read the filmography in the back of the book and I was left with a strong desire to rewatch the HB back catalog to revisit so many favorites of my youth. Highly recommended.
Having read Joe Barbera's autobiography, I was hoping for of Bill's side of the cartoon business. Unfortunately, most of the book mirrored precisely what Barbera had said, and Hanna went into vivid yet inspid details about his family and love for the outdoors. I've learned Mr. Hanna is a great human being, but now I know why Barbera was the primary story generator for Hanna-Barbera. Though, it's definitely worth the read for any animation fan.
This was a very enjoyable look into the life and work of cartoon director Bill Hanna. I would have liked more facts and history about the many Saturday morning cartoons that his company made. Overall, it's a fun look into the world of cartoon production. If you are a "toonhead" like I am, I think you will enjoy reading it.