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The Genius Reason All Your Favorite ’60s Cartoon Characters Have Collars

Madeline Hiltz
(Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

It wasn’t until we were adults that we realized our favorite cartoon characters all seemed to wear neck accessories. Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, and many more of the most iconic cartoon characters all seem to have one thing in common – they all have something tied around their neck. Here’s the real reason Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters all accessorized with scarves, necklaces, collars, and ties in the 1960s.

The Flintstones

The Flintstones, circa 1960s. (Photo Credit: MovieStills DB)

Before the rise of cable, satellite television, and different streaming platforms like Netflix, Saturday mornings for American children typically consisted of watching cartoons on one of the three available television channels. Starting in 1958 through to the 1980s, a vast majority of the most popular cartoons were produced by the animation powerhouse, Hanna-Barbera.

Hanna-Barbera was responsible for a number of famous cartoons that were all on-air at the same time, including The Huckleberry Hound Show (1958-1962), The Flintstones (1960-1966), The Jetsons (1962-1963), Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (1969-1970), and The Berenstain Bears (1985-1987), just to name a few.

Hanna, Barbera, and the Jetsons

Joseph Barbera and William Hanna posing with cartoon characters from the Jetsons, circa 1990. (Photo Credit: Fotos International/ Getty Images)

Despite having so many hit cartoons on the air simultaneously, Hanna-Barbera was ridiculed by other animation companies for their technique of “planned animation” (also known as limited animation) – an approach that featured minimal movement for the characters and frequent reuse of backgrounds.

Characters such as Yogi Bear and Fred Flintstone feature a necktie because the character’s body could remain unchanged while the character is speaking. The cartoon artists would only have to redraw the character’s face in each frame.

Yogi Bear, 1964

Yogi Bear Lobby Card, circa 1964. (Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures/ MovieStills DB)

Although other animation studios despised the planned animation technique, it allowed for Hanna-Barbera to not only save money but produce several different cartoons in record time. The company reduced the number of separate drawings required for a seven-minute cartoon from 14,000 to nearly 2,000.

Hanna-Barbera had to resort to these money-saving techniques because, according to Joe Barbera’s autobiography, My Life In ‘Toons, there was “absolutely no money” in animation.

William Hanna and Joseph Barbera with Fred Flintstone

William Hanna (left) and Joseph Barbera (right) holding up a drawing of Fred Flintstone, circa 1980. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

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Other animation studios attempted to employ the planned animation technique, but few could equal the wit of Hanna-Barbera’s characters.

William Hanna passed away in 2001, and Joseph Barbera passed away in 2006. After Hanna’s death in 2001, Hanna-Barbera was absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation, which has continued to produce new material based on Hanna-Barbera’s iconic cartoons.