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Nice To Look At, But There Are MANY Factual Errors!!
on December 30, 2007
I should preface this review by stating that I have been a fan of the Hanna-Barbera studios since I was old enough to sit in front of the television. I've worked in the animation industry for 15 years, and consider myself an expert on the studio and it's characters.
Like most other fans of the Hanna-Barbera library, I was excited to hear that animation historian Jerry Beck was writing a book about Hanna-Barbera's early years. After being disappointed in other H-B coffee-table-type books, I thought, "Finally! Someone who knows his stuff is going to get it right!" Well, guess what? He didn't. There are TONS of factual errors in this book. I'm starting a list and will forward it to anyone that cares, but to start:
1. Page 61, photo 15 is called out in the caption text as a Limited Edition recreation of a Quick Draw McGraw cartoon episode title card. This is wrong. It's the actual title card used in production, which was signed by Bill & Joe. The H-B Animation Art division never re-created this piece.
2. Since Snagglepuss was given his own segment on "The Yogi Bear Show," his fur color has always been pink (except when he first appeared on "The Quick Draw McGraw Show," in which case it was more of an orange color). Jerry Beck states (Caption text, Page 67) that the color is actually purple. Huh? Purple? Other than the covers of a few Coloring and/or Sticker Books released by Western Publishing, it's always been pink. The Hanna-Barbera studio paint code, since 1961 has always been: XRR-1, which is pink. Perhaps the proof reader was sick that day.
3. Page 75 calls out a background layout as being art for a collectible plate. Wrong. It's the original background layout for the Flintstones episode titled, "The Gruesomes." (The book's designer put it in a circular shape.)
4. Pages 76 & 77 are called out as "Model Sheets For the later episodes" of "The Flintstones." Wrong. Drawings on Page 77 are the construction drawings created by Iwao Takamoto in 1993/94 for a Licensing and Merchandising Style Guide, released to coincide with Universl Pictures' live action feature film starring John Goodman.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. The list of factual errors is long. The number of series produced between 1957 and 1969 (which is the year Jerry Beck decided to stop his book) is incomplete. The character line art used on many pages isn't vintage art from the archives (which do exist, as I have copies.) They are, in fact, current licensing and merchandising drawings created by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and drawn off-model. Why, I have to wonder, with all the original vintage character art that exists in the archives, created by legends such as Iwao Takamoto, Jerry Eisenbery, Willie Ito, Dick Bickenbach, etc. etc., did they use this new crop of inconsistant character art? The world may never know.
Am I being picky? Perhaps. But the author should have proofread his own copy and checked it for factual inaccuracies. I have found quite a few more than mentioned above, just perusing the book in the store. Someone with Jerry Beck's reputation and credentials should have tried harder. This is the only chance a book like this will be released and the studio, it's co-founders and it's fans deserved much more respect.