Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. (simply known as Hanna-Barbera and also referred to as H-B Enterprises, H-B Production Company and Hanna-Barbera Cartoons) was an American animation studio that dominated American television animation for three decades in the mid-to-late 20th century. It was founded in 1957 by former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (creators of Tom and Jerry) and live-action director George Sidney in partnership with Screen Gems, television arm of Columbia Pictures.
Sold to Taft Broadcasting in late 1966, it spent the next two decades as its subsidiary. Hanna-Barbera was known not only for its characters, but building upon and popularizing the concepts and uses of limited animation. Over 30 years, successful cartoons were produced, including The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo and The Smurfs. For their achievements, the Hanna and Barbera duo won seven Academy Awards, eight Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a star on theHollywood Walk of Fame among other merits.
Its fortunes declined in the mid-1980s when the profitability of Saturday morning cartoons was eclipsed by weekday afternoon syndication. In late 1991, the studio was purchased from Taft (by then named Great American Broadcasting) by Turner Broadcasting System, who used much of its back catalog to program its new channel, Cartoon Network.
After Turner purchased the company, both Barbera and Hanna continued to serve as creative consultants and mentors. Turner merged with Time Warner in 1996 and the studio became a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Animation, in which Hanna-Barbera was absorbed into after Hanna died in 2001. Cartoon Network Studios continued the projects for the channel's output. Barbera went on to work for Warner Bros. Animation until his death in 2006.
Today, the studio exists as an in-name-only unit used to market properties and productions associated with the Hanna-Barbera library, specifically its "classic" works. In 2005, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored Hanna and Barbera with a bronze wall sculpture of themselves and their characters.