The Flintstones, by Gene Hazelton

Gene Hazelton was an animator and artist of newspaper comics. At college, he got the offer to work as Jimmy Hatlo's assistant. He declined, since he prefered working in animation. He was hired by the Walt Disney Studios in 1939, where he worked as an animator. Hazelton did the character designs for Disney's Wind in the Willows in 1939. The characters were translated to the screen exactly as he created them when the film was made ten years later. He also animated goat kids and cherubs for Disney's 'Fantasia' and the boys in the "Pleasure Island" sequence of 'Pinocchio'.

After the 1941 labor strike at Disney, Hazelton went to Warner Bros, where he worked for Robert Clampett. He did animated lay-outs and character designs at MGM for Hanna & Barbera and Tex Avery from 1950-1957. When MGM closed its animated studio, he partnered with fellow animator Ray Patterson and began producing some of the first animated TV commercials. In the early 1950s Gene Hazelton and Tex Avery worked out of the same Beverly Hills office building housing the studios of George McManus ('Bringing Up Father') and Frank Willard ('Moon Mullins'). While freelancing for several animation companies, Hazelton created the newspaper panel 'Angel Face' in the mid-1950s.

Yogi Bear, by Gene Hazelton

He was eventually assigned by Hanna-Barbera to oversee the creation of the comic strips based on 'The Flintstones' and 'Yogi Bear'. He was the head artist of the newspaper comics from 1961 to the early 1980s, often assisted by artists like Roger Armstong, Dale Hale, Harvey Eisenberg and Jesse Marsh.

During this period, Hazelton also cooperated on Hanna-Barbera's animation productions, such as the creation of 'The Jetsons'. He created Pebbles and later Bamm Bamm for the Flintstones TV show. Bamm Bamm was modeled after his real life son, Wes. After retirement in the 1990s, Gene Hazelton drew nearly all of the Hanna Barbera seriagraphs produced for sale at The Circle Gallery.

The Flintstones, by Gene Hazelton

Additional info by John Province
Last updated: 2009-05-15

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