The Big Picture: The Collar

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Really? And after all this time I thought it was because Hanna-Barbera animators were big playboy bunny fans...

Reminds me of the film Chicken Run, a clay animation film about chickens trying to escape a coop, every single one wore some kind of scarf in order to hide the obvious joins from the head and body


The Collar

The real reason Yogi Bear - and so many other cartoon characters - wears a tie.

Watch Video

That collar also signified the death of adult animation.

With a lot of the talent and all production was going into making the medium cheaper and all of it focused on kids combined with the death of Walt Disney, the idea cartoons were for kids and only kids took out any chance for mature adult focused animation. That barrier has really only started to be broken down.

I thank God for Hanna-Barbera.

They changed the way we animate and made it possible for many smaller houses to get their shows made and shown.

ie: Filmation, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, Ruby-Spears, and a few other companies that specialized primarily in prime time specials (e.g. Rankin-Bass, Chuck Jones and Lee Mendelson-Bill Meléndez).

My personal list is...
and Grantray-Lawrence Animation (the guys who gave us Spider-Man)

Took me a minute after reading the title (and sitting through the ad) before watching the show to realize that the collar would make for a nice shortcut in animation since that would mean you could animate the head separate from the body and thus have the body be mostly static while the head does all the hard work.

And then the show turned out to be about that and I felt like I was smart for 5 minutes or so.

Thinking on it, didn't the Flintstones do exactly this as well? Wouldn't that make them first to the post?

I had no idea about that. Everithing i thought a knew is in serious doubt now.

I wonder what young William Hanna and Joe Barbera would come up with these days.

Okay, that was an awesome episode. I feel like I've spent an hour in a random Wikipedia trawl, but learned a lot more. Good stuff!


It's "drawing", not "drawring". Where did you get your weird pronunciation?

It's fairly common pronunciation in New England, especially among those with a Bostonian accent (Bob conceals his pretty well most of the time).

That one doesn't annoy me, but one aspect of the Boston accent that does annoy me is pronouncing "drawer" as "draw". Two of my friends do that.

It's like finding out the Matrix is real.

Me: But what's the hat about?
Someone else: Just to match the collar
Me: Oh.

Nice job bob, i see we're moving along to animated shows. So does that mean we will see an episode about a very recent popular animated show for kids and adults?

Wow. THAT was a work of obscure nerd genius. I am entertained, informed and thoroughly impressed.

I guess a lot of modern shows are doing some of the same tricks and even starting some new ones, take for example (now bare with me) My Little Pony; Freindship is Magic; their big idea was to embrace the flat look of flash for a TV cartoon making their characters out of vector blocks of colour and thus dramatically dropping their animation time and budgets whilst making simple, stlyised but ultra expressive forms.

I love how I can be constantly surprised at what the episode is about. I want more TV is weird!

That's not the only way to do cheap animation. Rocky and Bullwinkle got by fine without that.

Of course, a bunch of the incidental characters had jowls that allowed their mouths to be animated separately, but the two main characters were just one piece for the most part. Animals were not laden with unecessary clothing.

That was a pretty interesting show...

I's lik lernen

Awesome, Bob, as usual!

Honestly looking forward to next week's show.

Holy Carp. You actually made an episode about a cartoon character's tie.

No, check that. You actually made an episode about a cartoon character's tie fascinating. That's an extraordinary research / writing / presentation skill you have there, sir. Bravo!

Great episode Bob, I always love to get a little glimpse behind the scenes, see how professionals solve problems that the public didn't even know exists.

Also, I guess I better get used to the accent everyone kept pointing out, I'm gonna be in Boston for the next 5 years XD

Heh when I was a kid watching H&B movies, I was always laughing at the crude animation, especially the really oddly-placed HANDS and fingers and how just about everyone looked the same (those hands again), from the bossy cat (forgot his name) through the Flintstones to the Jetsons or Wacky Races. I was wondering how many unique frames they actually had to draw for each episode. Not many for sure. I didn't know about economy and cost-cutting back then; I thought they're just lazy hehe.

Yeah, Warner Bros had so much better animation it's ridiculous, but they also had like 1/100 of the content and characters. And true enough, while WB cartoons were often better, they had to make with 5 minutes or so, while H&B could make 20-minute shows.

Look at the hands:


I just noticed all of the ties and collars on all of the faces you use...

Great episode!

I pretty much knew that's the reason they did that already, but it was cool to get some context along with it. They actually used the same technique at Aardman Animation too. For example every chicken in Chicken Run has some type of collar feature so they can swap heads easily too.


Thank you for giving me nightmares for the rest of the week, which is my week off work, bob. Also while this is WAY out of left field for a topic it's interesting just how one tine detail can change the world of television and animation. The more you know as guess. :cue NBC "The more you know" background:

He is right the Hanna Barbera canon got very weird towards the end. Then again that weirdness gave rise to Harvey Birdman Attorney at law one of my favourite shows.

Then again they did make the Herculoids. Damn hippies for not fighting in the Vietnam war...

First thought "collar what might this be about then"
second "wtf really yogi bears collar how the hell could that make itself interesting?"
third "o, wait that was interesting...okay did not expect that.."
"jees I thought some guy talking about a collar interesting, something must be wrong with me. Oh wait I'm gamer/geek/nerdy/weird no need to explain it to myself then..."

It is also for this reason that certain important objects such as a door that needed to be opened would often be a different pigment than the background. I first noticed that when watching the old TMNT cartoon from the late 80's/early 90's and always wondered about it until my animation class at college recently.

So next episode's all about Mightor, Birdman, The Herculoids, Space Ghost, and The Galaxy Trio? Cool. I was raised on those cartoons. Cartoon Network used to be so cool. Nowadays you have to spring extra for those classic cartoons on Boomerang.

The Great JT:
Lord knows Yogi Bear was probably one of the ONLY good properties Hanna-Barbara cranked out.

Then Hollywood happened and turned it all to crap.

I'd say most of the '50s and early '60s output was pretty solid, not really impeccably animated due to budget constraints, but they had strong designs, unique personalities, and poses and expressions custom made for the stories.

Still, yeah, just about everything from Scooby Doo, right up until Dexter's Lab (or 2 Stupid Dogs, if you're being generous) was pretty atrocious, but cartoons in '70s and '80s were pretty awful in general.

Called it even before I saw the clip. Damn I'm smart <3

Edit: Looking forward to next week! Can't wait to hear the explanation for Banana Man..

I love being highly inuititve and knowledgable about various crap. Saw this, as soon as he got started and said what the episode was about, I instantly thought to myself "oh, it's about neck seams. A trick we still see today in games." Good episode Bob, though I'm surprised he didn't actually go on the tangent of talking about neck seams in games, as they're pretty damn obvious in most games, especially Bethesda titles.

Wait, Hana Barbara has a canon...?

As someone whos done hand drawn animation courses and is VERY much into cartoons and anime all I can say is... 24 FRAMES A SECOND, SHOOVE OFF!!!

Absolutely freaking fascinating MovieBob! Great show!

I wonder if in 30-40 years, Moviebob junior will be making an episode on the Big Picture where he talk about My Little Pony.

William Hanna and Joseph Barbera effected my childhood so much, I consider them my two daddies.

And it dawned on me as it was being explained. When the head-body connection problem was explained, it was around or when the tie was shown again that my mouth started opening in a strange twist of :O and :D.

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