Happy Harmonies

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Happy Harmonies is the name of a series of thirty-seven animated cartoons distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and produced by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising between 1934 and 1938.[1]

Produced in Technicolor, these cartoons were very similar to Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies. They would occasionally feature Bosko, a character who starred in the first Looney Tunes shorts that the duo produced for Leon Schlesinger. After the first few releases, the design of Bosko changed from an ink blot to a realistic African American boy.

The two final titles in the series was originally produced by Harman and Ising as Silly Symphonies cartoons. But when Disney only bought one of their three shorts, Merbabies, the others were sold to MGM who released them as Happy Harmonies.[2]

List of cartoons[edit]

1934[edit]

Title Directed By Notes Release Date
The Discontented Canary Rudolf Ising
  • The very first MGM cartoon, produced for the studio.
1934-09-01
The Old Pioneer Rudolf Ising
  • Includes reused animation from Warner Bros' Moonlight for Two (1932).
  • First cartoon to label the name Happy Harmonies on the title card.
1934-09-29
Tale of the Vienna Woods Hugh Harman 1934-10-27
Bosko's Parlor Pranks Hugh Harman
  • First appearance of Bosko in a color cartoon.
1934-11-24
Toyland Broadcast Rudolf Ising 1934-12-22

1935[edit]

Title Directed By Notes Release Date
Hey-Hey Fever Hugh Harman
  • Final appearance of the original Bosko.
1935-01-09
When the Cat's Away Rudolf Ising 1935-02-16
The Lost Chick Hugh Harman 1935-03-09
The Calico Dragon Rudolf Ising 1935-03-30
Good Little Monkeys Hugh Harman 1935-04-13
The Chinese Nightingale Rudolf Ising
  • Not shown on American television due to Chinese characterizations.
1935-04-27
Poor Little Me Hugh Harman 1935-05-11
Barnyard Babies Rudolf Ising 1935-05-25
The Old Plantation Rudolf Ising
  • First cartoon in three-strip Technicolor not released by Disney.
  • Rarely shown on American television due to African-American characterizations.
1935-09-21
Honeyland Rudolf Ising 1935-10-19
Alias St. Nick Rudolf Ising 1935-11-16
Run, Sheep, Run! Hugh Harman
  • First appearance of the new Bosko, reimagined by Harman as a young African child.
1935-12-14

1936[edit]

Title Directed By Notes Release Date
Bottles Hugh Harman 1936-01-11
The Early Bird and the Worm Rudolf Ising
  • First appearance of the "Lazy Crows".
  • The two lazy crows are caricatured of then-famous blackface team Moran and Mack. Much of their dialogue is directly lifted from their hit 1920's comedy recording, Two Black Crows.
1936-02-08
The Old Mill Pond Hugh Harman 1936-03-07
Two Little Pups Rudolf Ising
  • First appearance of the "Two Lille Pups" and the last one for the "Lazy Crows".
  • The two lazy crows are caricatured of then-famous blackface team Moran and Mack. Much of their dialogue is directly lifted from their hit 1920's comedy recording, Two Black Crows.
1936-04-04
The Old House Hugh Harman 1936-05-02
The Pups' Picnic Rudolf Ising
  • Featuring the "Two Little Pups".
1936-05-30
To Spring William Hanna
  • William Hanna's directional debut.
1936-06-04
Little Cheeser Rudolf Ising 1936-07-11
The Pups' Christmas Rudolf Ising

Featuring the "Two Little Pups".

1936-12-12

1937[edit]

Title Directed By Notes Release Date
Circus Daze Hugh Harman
  • Last cartoon billed as a Happy Harmonies.
1937-01-16
Swing Wedding Hugh Harman 1937-02-13
Bosko's Easter Eggs Hugh Harman 1937-03-20
Little Ol' Bosko and the Pirates Hugh Harman 1937-05-01
The Hound and the Rabbit Rudolf Ising 1937-05-29
The Wayward Pups Rudolf Ising
  • Final appearance of the "Two Little Pups".
1937-07-10
Little Ol' Bosko and the Cannibals Hugh Harman
  • Second of three "Little Ol' Bosko and the Frogs" shorts.
1937-08-28
Little Buck Cheeser Rudolf Ising 1937-12-15

1938[edit]

Title Directed By Notes Release Date
Little Ol' Bosko in Bagdad Hugh Harman
  • Third of three "Little Ol' Bosko and the Frogs" shorts.
  • Final Bosko cartoon.
1938-01-01
Pipe Dreams Hugh Harman
  • Originally produced for Disney but released by MGM.
  • Rarely shown on television due to showings of tobacco.
1938-02-05
The Little Bantamweight Rudolf Ising
  • Originally produced for Disney but released by MGM.
1938-03-12

Home media[edit]

The only official home release containing a significant number of the Happy Harmonies film shorts is the Happy Harmonies Cartoon Classics laserdisc box set. The laserdisc set was released in 1994 by MGM/UA Home Video,[1] which predated the merger of Turner Broadcasting System with Time Warner in 1996. The four-disc set contains 17 of the 37 Happy Harmonies shorts while the remaining 25 shorts include one side of six Barney Bear cartoons, the 1939 animated short Peace on Earth and the 1940 animated short The Milky Way.[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]