Classic Hanna-Barbera Characters’ Genders Changed in HBO Max Show ‘Jellystone!’

HBO Max just dropped its big swing at revitalizing the bulk of Hanna-Barbera properties, Jellystone! The animated series has loads of classic characters, including Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Magilla Gorilla, Johnny Quest, Top Cat and Snagglepuss. The character’s designs have gotten a fresh facelift for modern audiences, but that’s not all that’s changed. Creator C.H. Greenblatt explained to Variety that the minds behind the show have also changed some of the cartoon characters’ genders.

While some people might be infuriated by the thought of changing established characters’ genders, there’s a clear justification for it. The old Hanna-Barbera cartoons had almost all male-centric protagonists, especially when it comes to the animal characters Jellystone! is mainly centered around. Female characters were typically sidekicks or minor characters with no grabbing details whatsoever.

To gender balance things a bit, several traditionally male characters are now female. This list includes Jabberjaw, Yakky Doodle, Squiddly Diddly, Augie Doggie and Loopy De Loop. “We had to gender swap some of these,” Greenblatt told the outlet. “It’s just not fair to the audience.”

The Jellystone! team also expanded on all characters’ personalities, meaning a character like Cindy Bear has bounds more to do in Jellystone! than in the original Yogi Bear shows. The now-female Augie Doggie also now has a totally fresh daddy-daughter dynamic when paired with her father, Doggie Daddy. “He’s an overbearing helicopter dad,” Greenblatt said. “It becomes really funny to make her this sweet, loving, sheltered child.”

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While change might be irritating to longtime Hanna-Barbera fans, Greenblatt points out that most of these characters didn’t exactly have deep lore or anything. A gender change won’t be earth-shaking for the characters.

“The Hanna-Barbera library is extremely wide but extremely shallow for most of the characters. There are a few who go into the deep end — the Flintstones, the Jetsons, people who had more time to explore more of the characters.” Greenblatt said. “But a lot of them are really just catchphrases and voices and great designs. There was a lot of room to really explore who they are without making change for the sake of change.” Jellystone!’s first 10 episodes are streaming now on HBO Max.

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