"Kidvid" was the television industry term for children's programming. Starting in 1966, Saturday morning had been packaged as all-children's hours to advertisers featuring a combination of cartoons and live-action series.

'The Flintstones', first televised in 1960 was regarded a phenomenal success. Joe Barbera told the 'Los Angeles Times' in 1972, "Flintstones was a first – the first animated series in prime time … It made television history. And now Pebbles and Bam-Bam, their little children, are teenagers on NBC 10 years later. They're not really old enough to be teenagers, but television makes people grow up faster."

A pre-historic parody on modern suburban life in the Stone Age period, 'The Flintstones' soon became America's favorite animated family and one of the most popular comic strips ever drawn. The characters on 'The Flintstones' behaved and spoke in contemporary manner, though they lived in the pre-historic town of Bedrock, reportedly some 250 feet below sea level.

Bedrock boasted all the advantages of urban life including the town's newspapers, The Bedrock Bugle, which was chiseled on a stone slab. Fred Flintstone worked as a Dino operator (a dinosaur powered crane) for the construction Rock Head and Quarry corporation. Its slogan "Feel secure; own your own cave." Fred and friend Barney Rubble both belonged to the Y.C.M.A (young cave man's association) and Fred and wife Wilma lived in a split-level cave and drove a rock-wheeled, thatched-roof convertible car.  

Bill Hanna remarked, "You can read a lot into it. You can compare Fred and Barney Rubble with (Jackie) Gleason and (Art) Carney (in 'The Honeymooners')."

Joe Barbera mentioned, "We had a lot of pre-historic and animal gags. The show really took off when Wilma had a baby and we had a contest to name the baby. The Ideal Toy Co. called and asked what the baby was going to be? I said, 'A boy, of course. A chip off the old rock.' The man from the toy company said if we'd make it a girl he'd give us a lucrative contract for dolls. We changed it to a girl on the spot. We had the contest and the baby became Pebbles." 

In 1962, the space-age animated family, 'The Jetsons' featuring all the futuristic gadgets made its prime time debut. Cartoon was regarded an art form. However the difference between full-scale animation which used 26,000 drawings and limited animation which used up to 900 drawings, according to Joe Barbera was like "the difference between making Rolls-Royces and Ford Tempos. It's purely a matter of money, and you either stay in the business or you don't?"

Hanna-Barbera Productions was the first and biggest studio supplying over 250 series of animated entertainment primarily to television for Saturday morning screening.

Chuck Jones made the comment, "I call it illustrated radio. The reason being that you build a sound track which will carry the story if the pictures don't work. Try it sometime. Turn the sound off and you can't possibly understand what's going on, but leave the sound on without the pictures and there's no problem at all. With the stuff we did, you can turn the sound off and still tell what's happening, because the characters are acting. That's how we judged our work."

Faith Frenz of CBS argued, "My belief is that the concept overrides the technique when it comes to Saturday monring programming. I think the idea that the style of animation should be criticized because it is limited is a limited point of view from adults."

Of Saturday morning television, Joe Barbera made the point, "Any new company that opens up finds out that there isn't that much (animation) talent, so you have to go abroad to find studios that will do some of the work for you. Suddenly you're traveling around the world (at the time to Australia and Taipei, Taiwan) trying to make deals and you run into all kinds of problems, like the film arrives and it isn't right. We're partners with people in both (overseas) studios. There's no way it will ever work in those countries unless you are partners with the people. You find that out. Then everything works better. They don't resent the invaders.

"People seem to think that we deliberately are trying to crucify a business that we've been raised in. We can do the finest animation in the world right here in this studio, but no one will put up the money for it, and it will not make that much difference, not for Saturday morning. There's no question that the networks are still there (in 1985) and they're very, very important, but for the future, you have to be looking for the other markets."

In October 1976, Hanna-Barbera Productions launched a college of animation at its Hollywood studio. Joe Barbera told the 'Los Angeles Times', "We have to train people if the industry is going to continue. What we're trying not to do is to train them in the television technique of limited animation. We're teaching them the feature technique (full animation) that we were trained on, which means teaching them motion, style and design. We're keeping the art going. No computer will ever replace it."

However the difficulty was the TV production season lasted only about six months. In order to "build a steady flow of work", Joe Barbera convinced parent company Taft Broadcasting Co. to invest in animated feature films to be made over at least the next five years until 1980.

William Hanna and Joseph Barbera began creating cartoons for MGM Studios. "We did every frame of the first 'Tom and Jerry' in 1939 (to show in theaters)," Joe Barbera recalled. "Then MGM decided we had exhausted all the story ideas about a cat and mouse. So for the next 20 years, all we did was turn out 'Tom and Jerry' cartoons." 

Bill Hanna added, "Then they folded the animation department (in 1957), and Joe and I were out of work. We set up our own studio at our homes and went to work (they started with $4000). The first thing we did was 'Ruff and Reddy.'" By 1960, Hanna-Barbera Productions earned about $3.5 million in addition to merchandising sales. In 1968, Hanna-Barbera Productions was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12.5 million. 

In 1985, Joe Barbera told the press a half-hour animated series for the networks could cost as much as $250,000 per episode. At the time, 'The Jetsons' made a comeback in the syndication market, "There's more freedom of creativity in first-run syndication. With the networks, you have to sell the ideas and execution, and they have to approve. In syndication, you have to sell the ideas to the distributor who says, 'I wouldn't think of telling you what to do.'" 

By 1973, Lou Scheimer of Filmation made known, "There is a tremendous overseas market for animation. The appetite for animation overseas is insatiable. We see cable as our ultimate market. With pay cable you could get your costs back overnight." It was understood, producers of kidvid programs had "up-front costs on 52-week returns." A seven-minute cartoon feature in 1981 for theatres could cost as much as $100,000 to produce. 

On TV, producers offered "limited animation" in order to reduce the amount of time and number of frames needed to complete a cartoon. By 1981, the Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoons could be seen in 80 nations around the world in 22 different languages. At the time, it was also selling almost 4,500 toys under its name and other products including Pebbles Flinstone dolls and Scooby-Doo pajamas. 

"Television just eats this stuff up, chews it, throws it out," Joe Barbera observed. As reported, "To fill its fall schedule of 14 half-hours (about 90% of Saturday morning television over three networks), Hanna-Barbera must produce nearly a half-million frames of cartoon film for each Saturday – 24 frames for each second on the air." Joe Barbera pointed out a half-hour cartoon in 1972 would cost $65,000 to produce but by 1981, the cost had more than triple.

In the 1978 episode of 'Super Friends' titled 'Fairy Tale of Doom', viewers learnt Toyman had invented a device that could project anyone right into the pages of a story book and allowing them to become part of the tale itself. However if that person did not leave the bed-time story within 12 hours, he or she would become permanent characters and lost forever in the pages of the fairy tale history.

In real life, Diana discovered after marrying her Prince in July 1981, that her fairy tale marriage, regarded one of 20th century's most famous marriages, would end a decade later in what the Queen came to call an "annus horribilis". Speaking to the BBC in 1995, Diana reminded, "But then here was a situation which hadn't ever happened before in history, in the sense that the media were everywhere, and here was a fairy story that everybody wanted to work. And so it was, it was isolating, but it was also a situation where you couldn't indulge in feeling sorry for yourself: you had to either sink or swim. And you had to learn that very fast."

On 'Super Friends', Wonder Woman decided to play out the story in order to "get out of this deadly fantasy land." As the Super Friends became trapped in the pages of fairy tales, the Legion of Doom under Luthor leadership began a super crime wave  in order to control the wealth of the world. Wonder Woman told Cheshire Cat, "You don't understand I am not Alice. I don't belong in this story." Caterpillar countered, "You won't be in this story much longer anyway." In another scene, Batman voiced, "The first law of the Super Friends is that there is always a way (out)."

Sonny Fox of NBC told 'The Pittsburgh Press' at the time, "There is nothing inherently wrong with animation, if it is done well. I'm troubled by super persons who have powers beyond realism. There is a message in super heroes that makes me uncomfortable. I have no trouble with Flash Gordon or Tarzan, because they are heroes within the realm of human power. If the cartoon is good enough to keep the viewer raptly attentive and emotionally involved, it draws attention away from the ads."

Saturday morning programs such as 'Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids' were dedicated to "pro-social messages" as well as educating young viewers. In 1975, Joseph T. Klapper of CBS did a survey of 720 children aged between 7 and 12 from six different cities after the screening of 'Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine', "Our goal was not to teach formally but to entertain and communicate pro-social messages."

It was found the average child among 87% received 2.9 messages with only 2% of those 87% received a distorted message. Some 84% of those 87% received message of "safety"; 80% received message of "kindness"; 74% received message of "honesty" and 41% received message of "loyalty". Joe Klapper enthused, "The wonder of TV's impact could be amazing if parents or teachers talked to kids after programs."

Of the criticism that Saturday morning limited animation was not as creative, Joe Barbera contributed to the lower violence quotient, "There's no more individuality left. There was a time when if you saw a 'Tom and Jerry' cartoon, a Disney cartoon, a Lantz cartoon, each of them represented a certain thinking and technique that you could spot.

"Now (in 1981) about 15 people have got to see our cartoons before they go on the air. The networks send out their people, I can't blame them, and 9 out of 10 people from the network get terrified. They tell you you can't do this or that. We don't have any violence in our cartoons, we don't shoot anyone, you never see a gun or a knife or a sword. We follow the guidelines religiously. You have to have a flattening of the material … It's got to fall flat."

Peggy Charren of the parents' group Action for Children's Television told the press in 1976, "For many children, their first art is the animated Saturday morning schedule and what they see from 3 to 6 in the afternoon on independent and UHF stations. And it's almost never exciting or delightful animation. I don't see any reason the (TV) specials should be so much better than the weekly series. If they can't produce more quality programming at a reasonable price, they should just put on less. No one says there has to be children's programs from 7am to 12pm on Saturday. Everyone would be better off if there was less of it and what there was was better."

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