“Yabba-dabba-doo!” - December 30th, 2006

“Yabba-dabba-doo!”  “I hate those meeces to pieces!”  “Smarter than the average bear!” These catch phrases are well known among the crowd who grew up on Joe Barbera’s and Bill Hanna’s.  Any bells ringing?  These two guys wrote Tom and Jerry. What’s not much known about them is that despite accolades, 13 Oscar nominations and seven wins, they lost their jobs at MGM when the cartoon studio closed in the late ‘50s

One of life’s long perplexing questions: What to do when given lemons? Some make lemonade, but there is lemonade and there is lemonade. These guys persisted, adapted, and went on to make Augie Doggy and Doggie Daddy, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, Pixie and Dixie, Ruff and Reddy or the Flintstones and the Jetsons. It seemed that their formula for success was the dynamics of the ‘buddy system’ or the workings of a team.

What strikes me is how they pioneered markets and forged formats, styles, shows, characters that work on various outlets games, iPods, and gadgets not even conceived. That quality of being adaptable, the quality of connectivity, and the quality of being brandable. . . seems directly correlated with longevity.

Perhaps Mr. Barbera who past away this December 2006 really walked the talk. Why? He was 95 years old and was working tenaciously on a project, like all those preceeding, when he died. Joe adapted his animation to different technologies. He connected to his characters, portraying their antics in genuine form. He collaborated with Hanna bringing out the best in each other. He connected with audiences, young and old, from all over the world. You can recognize a Joe Barbera character. . . they are branded.

What are your thoughts and feelings about – adaptability, connectivity, and branding? How do they impact your life or the lives of those around you?

posted by Fran Deutsch at 01:51:32 PM permalink | comments