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Happy Harmonies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Happy Harmonies
Directed by
Produced by
  • Hugh Harman
  • Rudolf Ising
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
September 1, 1934 – March 12, 1938
CountryUnited States

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 two releases, the design of Bosko changed from an "ink blot" to a more realistic African American boy.[2]

The two final titles in the series were originally produced by Harman and Ising as Silly Symphonies cartoons. Disney originally had Harman and Ising create three shorts for Disney, but when they only kept one of their three shorts, "Merbabies", the copyrights to the other two ("Pipe Dreams" and "The Little Bantamweight") were sold to MGM who released them as Happy Harmonies.[3]

List of cartoons


No. Title Directed By Notes Release Date
1 The Discontented Canary Rudolf Ising 1934-09-01
2 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.
  • Not shown on TV due to Native American stereotyping.
  • Extra on the DVD of Manhattan Melodrama
3 Tale of the Vienna Woods Hugh Harman 1934-10-27
4 Bosko's Parlor Pranks Hugh Harman 1934-11-24
5 Toyland Broadcast Rudolf Ising 1934-12-22


No. Title Directed By Notes Release Date
6 Hey-Hey Fever Hugh Harman 1935-01-09
7 When the Cat's Away Rudolf Ising 1935-02-16
8 The Lost Chick Hugh Harman
  • Additional Voices are provided by Elmore Vincent[4]
9 The Calico Dragon Rudolf Ising 1935-03-30
10 Good Little Monkeys Hugh Harman 1935-04-13
11 The Chinese Nightingale Rudolf Ising
  • Not shown on American television due to Chinese characterizations.
12 Poor Little Me Hugh Harman 1935-05-11
13 Barnyard Babies Rudolf Ising 1935-05-25
14 The Old Plantation Rudolf Ising
  • First cartoon in three-strip Technicolor not released by Disney.
  • Not shown on American television due to African-American characterizations.
15 Honeyland Rudolf Ising 1935-10-19
16 Alias St. Nick Rudolf Ising 1935-11-16
17 Run, Sheep, Run! Hugh Harman
  • First appearance of the new Bosko design by Harman as a young African-American child.


No. Title Directed By Notes Release Date
18 Bottles Hugh Harman 1936-01-11
19 The Early Bird and the Worm Rudolf Ising 1936-02-08
20 The Old Mill Pond Hugh Harman 1936-03-07
21 Two Little Pups Rudolf Ising
  • First appearance of the "Two Little Pups."
22 The Old House Hugh Harman
  • Honey sings "There Ain't No Spooks In There!".
23 The Pups' Picnic Rudolf Ising
  • Featuring the "Two Little Pups".
24 To Spring William Hanna 1936-06-04
25 Little Cheeser Rudolf Ising 1936-07-11
26 The Pups' Christmas Rudolf Ising
  • Featuring the "Two Little Pups".


No. Title Directed By Notes Release Date
27 Circus Daze Hugh Harman
  • Last cartoon billed as a Happy Harmonies.
28 Swing Wedding Hugh Harman 1937-02-13
29 Bosko's Easter Eggs Hugh Harman 1937-03-20
30 Little Ol' Bosko and the Pirates Hugh Harman 1937-05-01
31 The Hound and the Rabbit Rudolf Ising 1937-05-29
32 The Wayward Pups Rudolf Ising 1937-07-10
33 Little Ol' Bosko and the Cannibals Hugh Harman
  • Second of three "Little Ol' Bosko and the Frogs" shorts.
34 Little Buck Cheeser Rudolf Ising 1937-12-15


No. Title Directed By Notes Release Date
35 Little Ol' Bosko in Bagdad Hugh Harman
  • Third of three "Little Ol' Bosko and the Frogs" shorts.
  • Final Bosko cartoon.
36 Pipe Dreams Hugh Harman
  • Originally produced for Disney but released by MGM.
  • Rarely shown on television due to showings of tobacco.
37 The Little Bantamweight Rudolf Ising
  • Originally produced for Disney but released by MGM.
  • Final cartoon in the Happy Harmonies series

Home media

The only official home release to date 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,[7] 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.[8] In 1999, MGM paid Time Warner $225 million to end its lease of distributing content owned by Turner Entertainment prior to 1996 (the cartoons are part of the pre-1986 MGM library which Turner had purchased 13 years previously). While the copyrights remain with Turner, distribution rights are now with Warner Bros., current parent company to Turner.[9]


  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 89. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Happy Harmonies"., February 2, 2012
  3. ^ Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film and Television's Award-Winning and Legendary Animators
  4. ^ Webb, Graham (2011). The Animated Film Encyclopedia: A Complete Guide to American Shorts, Features and Sequences (1900-1999) (Second ed.). McFarland & Company Inc. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-7864-4985-9.
  5. ^ Baxter, Devon (4 October 2017). "Harman-Ising's 'The Early Bird and the Worm' (1936)". Cartoon Research.
  6. ^ Webb, Graham (2011). The Animated Film Encyclopedia: A Complete Guide to American Shorts, Features and Sequences (1900-1999) (Second ed.). McFarland & Company Inc. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-7864-4985-9.
  7. ^ "LaserDisc Database - Happy Harmonies: MGM Cartoon Classics #1 [ML104688]".
  8. ^ "LaserDisc Database - Happy Harmonies: MGM Cartoon Classics #1 [ML104688]".
  9. ^ "MGM Buys Its Way Out of Pact for $225 Million". Los Angeles Times. 16 March 1999.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 March 2023, at 00:40
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