At CinemaCon this year, Warner Bros. confirmed that a fully animated cinematic universe, based on characters created by Hanna-Barbera, is in the works. It will be kicked off by 2018’s Scooby-Doo reboot, titled S.C.O.O.B. Additionally, the studio put new animated adaptation of The Flintstones, Tom & Jerry and The Jetsons into development a couple years ago. While unconfirmed, it’s easy to assume that these three movies will all exist in the same world as S.C.O.O.B.
But why stop there? Over the span of several decades, Hanna-Barbera produced dozens of animated shows and introduced countless beloved characters. As a kid, I watched re-runs of Hanna-Barbera productions frequently, and I grew to love everyone from Scooby-Doo to Fred Flintstone to Yogi Bear. I’m personally very excited to see these properties revived on the big screen, and hopefully, WB will succeed in doing them justice.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of five Hanna-Barbera properties that should be given their own movies in this cinematic universe.
The Yogi Bear Show revolved around the titular bear residing in Jellystone Park. He and his sidekick, Boo-Boo Bear, would frequently steal picnic baskets and butt heads with Ranger Smith. The property was adapted in 2010’s live action/CG hybrid movie, simply titled Yogi Bear. The film was a decent box office success, and Warner Bros. put a sequel into development.
However, we haven’t heard any news on Yogi Bear 2 since 2012. In that case, I believe it is best to reboot the property as a fully animated film. Like most Hanna-Barbera franchises, Yogi Bear works best in a completely animated production, rather than a live action hybrid.
Yogi Bear would be a natural fit into a Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe, and he is one character who should absolutely be considered.
Quick Draw McGraw
Quick Draw is a horse who resides as a sheriff in the Old West. He works with his deputy, Baba Looey, and sometimes he suits up as the Zorro-inspired El Kabong, beating up villains with his guitar. The show was a satirical take on the western film/television genre.
Quick Draw McGraw would make a fun addition to the Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe. The Old West setting would be a unique one for this franchise, allowing it to stand out from S.C.O.O.B. and The Jetsons. Also, who doesn’t want to see an animated horse hit people in the head with a guitar?
So, if Warner Bros. wants a Hanna-Barbera film with its own distinct tone and setting, Quick Draw McGraw would be a fine choice.
Hong Kong Phooey
Hong Kong Phooey is the alter ego of Penry Pooch, a janitor dog who transforms into a crime-fighting martial artist. The series was a spoof of the kung fu genre. Warner Bros. was previously developing a live action/CG film, starring Eddie Murphy as Hong Kong Phooey, but it was ultimately shelved. There was even test footage that leaked online a few years ago.
Clearly, WB is/was interested in bringing Hong Kong Phooey to the big screen. If the interest is still there, why not make a fully animated movie? A Hong Kong Phooey film would be another distinct inclusion to the Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe, focusing on martial arts. Essentially, it can serve as WB’s answer to Dreamworks’ hit Kung Fu Panda franchise.
A Hong Kong Phooey movie could be a lot of fun, if done right, and it would be another solid option for expanding the Hanna-Barbera movie slate.
Yet another classic Hanna-Barbera character is Space Ghost, a superhero who fights crime in outer space. The original series ran in the 1960’s, while a more adult-oriented reboot, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, aired on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim during the 1990’s and 2000’s.
The superhero movie genre is bigger now than ever before, and it wouldn’t hurt for WB to cash in on this success with the Hanna-Barbera universe. Enter Space Ghost. An animated movie starring this character would theoretically serve as a sci-fi superhero adventure set in space. AKA, all kinds of awesomeness.
There’s certainly plenty of potential for a Space Ghost film, so fingers crossed that Warner Bros. sees it.
Warner Bros. has been developing a live action Jonny Quest film for a while. Robert Rodriguez was hired to direct and co-write the movie last year. The original series follows a boy named, well, Jonny Quest and his scientist father as they embark on extraordinary adventures. The film has been described as “Indiana Jones meets James Bond.”
But if the live action movie is postponed yet again, it would make sense to add Jonny Quest to the animated Hanna-Barbera universe instead. It would serve as yet another sci-fi film, while also incorporating the original show’s classic adventure elements.
Jonny Quest is one of the Hanna-Barbera properties that can work in both live action and animated platforms. Either way, a movie adaptation would be a lot of fun.
Honorable Mentions: Birdman, Top Cat, Galaxy Trio, Huckleberry Hound
What Hanna-Barbera characters would you like to see in this cinematic universe?