I Love to Singa

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I Love to Singa
Merrie Melodies series
I Love to Singa owls.jpg
A still from I Love to Singa
Directed by Supervision:
Tex Avery
Produced by Leon Schlesinger
Voices by Tommy Bond
Billy Bletcher
Bernice Hansen
Joe Dougherty
Martha Wentworth
Music by Norman Spencer
Animation by Charles Jones
Virgil Ross
Additional animation:
Robert Clampett (uncredited)
Studio Leon Schlesinger Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date(s) July 18, 1936
(original release)
November 18, 1944
(Blue Ribbon reissue)
Color process Technicolor
Running time 8 min (one reel)
Language English

I Love to Singa is a Merrie Melodies animated cartoon directed by Tex Avery, produced by Leon Schlesinger, and released to theaters on July 18, 1936, by Warner Bros. and Vitaphone.[1] As with many early Warners cartoons, it is in a sense a music video designed to push a song from the Warners library.

The song in question, "I Love to Singa", was first written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg for the 1936 Warner Bros. feature-length film The Singing Kid. It is performed three times in the film: first by Al Jolson and Cab Calloway, then by the Yacht Club Boys and Jolson, and finally again by Calloway and Jolson. During this period, it was customary for Warners to have their animation production partner, Leon Schlesinger Productions, make Merrie Melodies cartoons based upon songs from their features.

The cartoon has, in recent years, taken on something of a cult following, with a pervasive impact on popular culture. The short, one of the earliest Merrie Melodies produced in Technicolor's 3-strip process, is recognized as one of Avery's early masterpieces.


I Love to Singa depicts the story of a young owlet who wants to sing jazz, instead of the classical music that his German-accented parents wish him to perform. The plot is a lighthearted tribute to Al Jolson's film The Jazz Singer.

The young owl's speaking voice is by Tommy Bond, best known as "Butch" of the Our Gang (Little Rascals) films.[1] He is unjustly kicked out of his family's house by his disciplinarian violinist father, Professor Fritz Owl (voiced by Billy Bletcher), after he is caught singing jazz instead of "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes" to the reed (pump) organ accompaniment of his mother (voiced by Martha Wentworth). While wandering, he comes across a radio amateur contest (clearly a takeoff of the Major Bowes Amateur Hour), hosted by "Jack Bunny" (a pun on Jack Benny and later used in Goofy Groceries). Billing himself as "Owl Jolson" (a reference to Al Jolson) he wins the contest, but not before his father has finally seen his son's potential and allows him to freely sing jazz. His singing voice is by Johnnie Davis.

Musical selections[edit]


  • The May 7, 2013 episode of The Looney Tunes Show, "Gribbler's Quest", featured a new Merrie Melodies segment in which Gossamer plays the piano and sings "I Love to Singa" (with new audio sung by Kwesi Boakye). This was the only instance of the show's Merrie Melodies segment using a classic song rather than a new composition.
  • In the first episode of the American animated television series South Park, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", Cartman is hit by a beam, causing him to begin singing and dancing to "I Love to Singa".
  • Owl Jolson appears in several levels of the video game tie in to Looney Tunes: Back In Action, singing "I Love To Singa" via archive audio. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck will comment upon Owl when they get close enough.



  1. ^ a b I Love To Singa at The Big Cartoon DataBase
  2. ^ "My Time is Your Time". The Odd Couple. Retrieved 2012-09-19. 

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