Classic Hanna-Barbera sound effects

Originally published at:


FWIW, I have that CD, and it’s exactly what it says it is. They are the original (near as I can tell) sound effects used over and over in the HB toons.


Nothing from Space Ghost?


Ooh, I’m teaching an animation class this semester. I might just have to buy that CD so I have a legit source of sound effects for my students to use.


There is not only an audio CD, there is also a 4x CD sampling library.

Not cheap, but it is royalty-free.
Hanna-Barbera Sound Effects Library
CD Content
HB01 Arrows, Military Battles, Bites, Bloods, Boings, Blinks, Bounces, Branch Breaks, Bubbles to Glass Smashes, Spins, Splats & Sputters
HB02 Squeaks, Squirts, Steam Sounds, Stretches, Rope Stretches, Swishes, Swooshes, Swords, Teeth, Thuds, Thumps, Tip Toes, Trumpets, Twangs, Twirls, Water Splashes, Underwater Sounds, Wobbles, Zips, Zonks, Zooms, Animals & Birds
HB03 Magic, Electricity, Electronic Sounds, Jetsons’ Doorbell, Sci Fi Sounds, Titan Rocket Blast Off, Space Ship Sounds, Flying Saucer Sounds, Jetsons’ Space Capsule Sounds, Jet Pack Sounds, Tube Sounds, Spacey Swooshes, Avalanches, Earthquakes, Fires, Rockslides, Thunder, Water Sounds, Wind
HB04 Airplanes, Jet Airplanes, Prop Airplanes, Autos, Tire Squeals, Jet Boats, Helicopters, Jeeps, Motorcycles, Steam Trains, Computers, Impact Wrenches, Machines, Motors, Presses, Pumps, Crowds, Kisses, Screams


This would be cooler if they went into how they made the sound effects at all. Some of them seem obvious, but others leave me at a complete loss for what exactly produced that noise and I would really like to learn.


I agree, I want to know how they made that “ploink!” sound used for “Jerry pulling Tom’s whiskers” and others instances.


I was blown over when I learned that the green ‘skeleton ray’ effect from “Forbidden Planet” was made by plucking/hitting a high tension wire with an attached on microphone. (Subsequently used in several other films from around that time.)

You may already know that the Star Wars TIE fighter fly-by sound effect was principally made from elephant roars.


Commercially released CDs

These first three largely overlap one another:
Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Sound FX (1994)
Hanna-Barbera’s Pic-A-Nic Basket Of Cartoon Classics (1996) (disc 4 of a 4-CD boxed set)
[“Sorry, new users can only put 2 links in a post,” so see my next posts for the rest.]


Cartoon Classics & Wacky Sounds (By Hanna-Barbera) (2001) (disc 3 of a 3-CD release)


Expensive commercial-license; lots of additional sounds:
Hanna-Barbera Sound Effects Library
Hanna-Barbera Lost Treasures Sound Effects Library


A lot of old cartoon sound effects are basically impossible to recreated. Mostly because we either have no idea how they were created, or the weird little toys and gizmos that the sound artists used to make them no longer exist.


Many of these come from the theater organs used for silent movies:

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I can’t tell you how many anvils I’ve dropped on hapless animals in a vain attempt to recreate some of those sounds.


I think that’s the accompaniment they’d typically use for Dr. Caligari. Very timely of you, what with Halloween approaching!

I’m told that the set of various sound effects used in the Silent Era is the source of the term “trap,” which later became synonymous with “drum set.”

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