Hanna-Barbera Productions gifted the world with numerous exceptional shows and characters. But, one may wonder, which among them truly stands out as the cream of the crop?
Iconic Hanna Barbera cartoon characters include Fred Flintstone, Shaggy Rogers, Barney Rubble, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear, and George Jetson.
William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, two powerhouses from MGM Studio, birthed the colossal entity in the animation realm. Gaining initial recognition with their legendary creation, Tom and Jerry, this creative pair took a leap of faith to form their venture in 1957.
From its inception, until it ceased operations in 2001, the prolific animation studio produced a staggering array of 175 different animated series and shows.
Who’s Your Favorite Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Character?
Hanna-Barbera’s vast repertoire includes some of the most iconic cartoon characters ever graced the screen, with many still appearing in Warner Bros’ productions today. However, picking the absolute best from this vast array of memorable characters is no easy feat.
30Jabberjaw: The Aquatic Joker
Diving into the underwater world of Hanna-Barbera, we encounter Jabberjaw, the fast-talking shark who’s as friendly as he is hilarious. Jabberjaw and his band, The Neptunes, take us on deep-sea adventures that often end up in comedic chaos. As one of the few aquatic Hanna-Barbera characters, Jabberjaw is truly unique, leaving a ripple of laughter wherever he goes.
29Birdman: The Avian Avenger
In the realm of Hanna-Barbera’s superheroes, Birdman is a standout character. He battles villains in the air and on the ground with the sun’s power. Along with his trusted eagle, Avenger, Birdman combines action and adventure, soaring high in the pantheon of Hanna-Barbera characters.
28The Smurfs: The Tiny Blue Troop
The Smurfs, the tiny blue creatures who live in mushroom houses, add a dash of magic and fantasy to Hanna-Barbera’s catalogue. Each Smurf, from Papa Smurf to Smurfette, is unique and memorable, making them beloved Hanna-Barbera characters. Smurfette, in particular, shines as one of the few Hanna-Barbera female characters in the Smurf Village.
27Muttley: The Snickering Sidekick
As part of the villainous duo in “Wacky Races” and “Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines,” Muttley is a Hanna-Barbera dog character you can’t help but adore. Known for his distinctive snicker and underhanded scheming, Muttley brings humor and mischief to every scene, even when his plans go awry.
26Space Ghost: The Spectral Spaceman
Space Ghost, the cosmic superhero with a late-night talk show. Initially created as a superhero battling villains in outer space, Space Ghost evolved into a talk show host, interviewing real-life celebrities in “Space Ghost Coast to Coast.”
This shift from action to comedy exemplifies the versatility and range of Hanna-Barbera characters and why they remain loved by audiences worldwide.
25Magilla Gorilla: The Shopkeeper’s Pet
Ever heard of a pet store housing a gorilla for sale? In the whimsical world of Hanna-Barbera, it’s possible! Magilla Gorilla, the kind-hearted and innocent simian who’s always on sale, tugs at our heartstrings with his desire for companionship.
His heartwarming interactions with potential buyers paint a picture of resilience and optimism, solidifying his spot among the best Hanna-Barbera characters.
24Secret Squirrel: The Undercover Rodent
What do you get when you cross James Bond with a small rodent? You get Secret Squirrel, Hanna-Barbera’s answer to the world of espionage. With his faithful companion, Morocco Mole, Secret Squirrel thwarts villains with his gadgets and wit. This cloak-and-dagger squirrel adds a dash of thrill and suspense to Hanna-Barbera’s colorful roster.
23Penelope Pitstop: The Glamourous Racer
Penelope Pitstop, the damsel seldom in distress, takes the driving seat as one of the most loved Hanna-Barbera female characters. As a race car driver in the male-dominated “Wacky Races” and “The Perils of Penelope Pitstop,” she proves her mettle while maintaining her glamorous demeanor. This combination of grit and grace makes Penelope Pitstop a unique and engaging character.
22Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy: The Canine Duo
Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy redefine the bond between father and son most adorably. The Hanna-Barbera dog characters share a relationship full of humor and warmth, as Doggie Daddy tries to impart worldly wisdom to his ever-curious son, often leading to comedic results. Their charming dynamics make them an inseparable part of the Hanna-Barbera universe.
21Hong Kong Phooey: The Kung Fu Canine
The spotlight falls on Hong Kong Phooey, the kung fu master disguised as a mild-mannered police station janitor. Whenever trouble brews, he leaps into his magical filing cabinet, transforming into the martial arts superhero, ready to combat evildoers. His unsuccessful attempts at martial arts, paired with his unintended successes, lend a hilarious charm to this karate-chopping Hanna-Barbera dog character.
20Wally Gator: The Mischievous Reptile
Meet Wally Gator, the suave alligator with a taste for the city life. This Hanna-Barbera character may live in a zoo, but that doesn’t stop him from exploring the world outside. His wild escapades, paired with his knack for getting into trouble, add a charm to his character that’s hard to resist.
19Atom Ant: The Mighty Mite
Size isn’t everything, and no character embodies this better than Atom Ant. This pint-sized powerhouse packs a punch that can knock villains to next week. With his super strength and flight, Atom Ant is a testament to Hanna-Barbera’s creativity in creating lovable, engaging characters.
18Josie and The Pussycats: The Pop Sensation
Who said cartoons couldn’t rock ‘n roll? Josie and The Pussycats are Hanna-Barbera’s answer to the Beatles but with an animated, feminine twist. With its catchy tunes and spontaneous detective work, this all-girl band is one of the most iconic Hanna-Barbera female characters. These rock stars turned sleuths offer entertainment and empowerment in the grooviest way possible.
17Grape Ape: The Big Purple Phenomenon
Meet Grape Ape, the 40-foot-tall purple gorilla who captured hearts with his gentle demeanor. Despite his gargantuan size, Grape Ape epitomizes kindness and simplicity, often ending up in hilarious situations due to his oblivious nature. This big purple Hanna Barbera character stands out, literally and figuratively, creating laughter in his oversized wake.
16Captain Caveman: The Prehistoric Superhero
From the prehistoric era comes Captain Caveman, the hairy, club-wielding Hanna-Barbera character with superhuman strength. Despite his crude appearance, his heart is as golden as the prehistoric treasures he often stumbles upon. This primitive superhero’s crazy antics, and innocent humor make him a memorable addition to the Hanna-Barbera universe.
The Hooded Claw is remembered for his distinctive voice, performed by voice actor Paul Lynde, and his elaborate but always unsuccessful attempts to do away with the titular character, Penelope Pitstop. Despite his sinister intentions, the Hooded Claw’s plans were always thwarted, often due to his incompetence, the interventions of the Ant Hill Mob, or Penelope’s resourcefulness.
While perhaps not as universally recognized as characters like Fred Flintstone or Scooby-Doo, the Hooded Claw is a classic example of Hanna-Barbera’s flair for creating memorable and engaging villains in their animated series.
In the ’70s, DC superheroes dominated the world. Batman and Superman had already achieved considerable success on both television and film, while their comics soared in popularity. Then came along a little show that catapulted this success to unprecedented heights: Super Friends. The show embraced its wonderfully cheesy essence in every conceivable way.
It felt as if the ’70s comics, with all their corny charm, had jumped right off the pages and onto the screen. From the acting to the animation, the show was a delightful celebration of cheesiness. Ironically, this same show also played a role in Aquaman’s somewhat tarnished reputation that lasted for quite a while.
13Snagglepuss: The Dramatic Lion
“Exit, stage left!” If you recognize this phrase, you’re certainly familiar with Snagglepuss, the pink mountain lion with a flair for theatrics. This eloquent Hanna-Barbera character, with his melodramatic monologues and refined demeanor, offers comedy in the classiest way, proving that cartoons can be sophisticated too.
12Huckleberry Hound: The Blue Canine of Calmness
Huckleberry Hound, an embodiment of Southern charm, with his oh-so-smooth drawl, wins our hearts with his laid-back personality. This blue dog is a master of trades, trying his hand at everything, from police officer to lion tamer. Huck never loses his spirit despite his failures, making him one of the best Hanna-Barbera dog characters.
11Bubbles – (The Powerpuff Girls)
The Powerpuff Girls, an enchanting trio, captivate audiences both as a team and as individual characters. However, the award for the most entertaining member goes to the youngest of the trio, Bubbles.
Bubbles instantly wins hearts with her gentle and kind disposition. Yet, her apparent innocence hides a formidable force that should not be underestimated. Thankfully, her sisters, Blossom and Buttercup, balance Bubbles’ innocent yet childish personality. Additionally, Bubbles plays the peacemaker among the siblings and displays the utmost humility, securing her spot as one of the top-tier Hanna-Barbera characters.
10Jetsons: The Future is Here
Fast forward from the stone age to the space age, The Jetsons offer us a vision of a future filled with flying cars and sassy robots. George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy, along with their talkative dog Astro, keep us engaged with their futuristic escapades. With her avant-garde fashion and home-making in outer space, Jane Jetson is one of the most compelling Hanna Barbera female characters.
9Quick Draw McGraw: The Horse with a Badge
Brace yourself for Quick Draw McGraw, the anthropomorphic horse who doubles as a sheriff in a Wild West setting. With his Mexican burro buddy, Baba Looey, Quick Draw is always ready to dish out some comical Western justice, making him an unforgettable Hanna-Barbera character.
8Tom and Jerry: The Classic Chase Continues
You may be surprised, but yes, Hanna-Barbera had a stint with Tom and Jerry, the most enduring cat and mouse duo. Their high jinks have been tickling funny bones for decades, and Hanna-Barbera’s renditions further solidified their places in cartoon history. Despite their constant feuding, their bond is undeniable, marking them as some of the best Hanna-Barbera cat characters.
7Jonny Quest: The Boy Adventurer
The best characters list isn’t complete yet; here is Jonny Quest. This young adventurer’s daring escapades, along with his father Dr. Benton Quest, bodyguard Race Bannon, and best friend Hadji, make for thrilling storytelling. From battling spies to unveiling mystical creatures, Jonny Quest captures the spirit of adventure that is quintessentially Hanna-Barbera.
6Top Cat: The Streetwise Feline
When talking about Hanna Barbera cat characters, you can’t overlook Top Cat. This streetwise feline and his band of alley cats are a testament to the charm of Hanna Barbera’s creations. Using his wit and charisma, Top Cat always stays one step ahead of Officer Dibble, adding a delightful spin to the classic cat-and-mouse chase.
5Boo Boo Bear
Boo Boo Bear is a classic character from the Hanna-Barbera universe, appearing as the companion to Yogi Bear in the “Yogi Bear” series. Introduced in 1958, the animated series centers on Yogi Bear and his antics in Jellystone Park, a place inspired by the real-life Yellowstone National Park.
Boo Boo is typically portrayed as the more sensible and responsible counterpoint to Yogi’s carefree and rule-bending personality. He often attempts to caution Yogi against his picnic-basket-stealing schemes, showing his worry about their potential consequences, especially getting into trouble with Park Ranger Smith.
4Yogi Bear: More Than Just An Average Bear
Here’s another iconic Hanna Barbera character who breaks all stereotypes — the charming and opportunistic Yogi Bear. He’s smarter than the average bear and ceaselessly driven by his insatiable quest for “pic-a-nic” baskets.
Yogi’s unflinching persistence and his quirky relationship with his faithful buddy Boo-Boo set him apart from the run-of-the-mill woodland creatures.
Barney Rubble may play a secondary role in The Flintstones, yet his presence significantly contributes to the show’s overall amusement. Despite the less flattering portrayal of him in the Fruity Pebbles cereal commercials, the reality within the series greatly contrasts this depiction.
In The Flintstones, Barney often outshines others with his sensible nature, perfectly countering Fred’s obstinacy. He willingly partakes in Fred’s moneymaking plots, not for personal gain, but out of loyalty to their friendship. This optimistic approach toward his daily life has rapidly endeared him to fans.
Fred, the legendary main character of The Flintstones and the patriarch of the featured family, often exudes an uptight demeanor due to his short temper and assertive attitude, which occasionally irks his dear ones.
Despite this, Fred’s heart brims with goodwill. He consistently shows up as a reliable friend for his neighbor, Barney Rubble. His love for his daughter, Pebbles, runs so deep that he even hatches into get-rich-quick schemes for her benefit. These clumsy exploits and his endearing personality have established him as a character beloved by The Flintstones’ fans.
1Scooby-Doo: The Eternally Famished Sleuth
You can’t discuss Hanna Barbera’s cartoon characters without mentioning the loveable Great Dane who took mystery-solving to a new level. Say hello to Scooby-Doo, arguably the most recognized Hanna-Barbera dog character.
From spectral clowns to phantasmal pirates, there’s no mystery too perplexing for Scooby and his human pals to unravel. Though he’d much rather scarf down a “Scooby Snack” than chase ghouls, Scooby’s comedic fearfulness and fortuitous luck make him a staple in the Hanna Barbera universe.