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Happy Harmonies is the name of the first 37 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoons produced by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising [1] The first entry, "The Discontented Canary", was first released on September 1, 1934.

The series was very successful, with two entries being nominated for Oscars, but the cartoons constantly went over the MGM's budget. As a result, MGM terminated production of the shorts in early 1938 for the black-and-white The Captain and the Kids series. The series was not financially successful, unlike Happy Harmonies, and was terminated less than a year later with 15 cartoons. After these two series, MGM produced the occasional one-shot cartoon (AN MGM CARTOON), and introduced their first recurring star, Barney Bear.

The final two cartoons, "Pipe Dreams" and "The Little Bantamweight" in this series had their copyrights bought from The Walt Disney Company, but were sold to MGM for release under their label. A third cartoon, "Merbabies", was kept as a Silly Symphonies entry, despite the animation crew from MGM contributing to that short.[2]

Two Happy Harmonies cartoons, "The Discontented Canary" and "To Spring", are in the public domain in the United States due to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, failing to renew their copyrights in time, as they were supposed to be renewed by 1972 and 1976, respectively. Those two cartoons are two of four total MGM cartoons in the public domain in the United States.

ShortsEdit

1934Edit

  1. The Discontented Canary (first MGM cartoon, oldest to be currently owned by Turner Entertainment, in the public domain in the United States, first Happy Harmonies short, though credits "A METRO COLOR CARTOON" in the opening because the name Happy Harmonies was not existent yet)
  2. The Old Pioneer (first with the Happy Harmonies name)
  3. Tale of the Vienna Woods
  4. Bosko's Parlor Pranks (first MGM cartoon with Bosko)
  5. Toyland Broadcast

1935Edit

  1. Hey-Hey Fever (final cartoon with Bosko in Looney Tunes form)
  2. When The Cat's Away
  3. The Lost Chick
  4. The Calico Dragon (academy-award nominee)
  5. Good Little Monkeys
  6. The Chinese Nightingale
  7. Poor Little Me
  8. Barnyard Babies (final cartoon in 2-hue color, final cartoon with Coffee the Lion)
  9. The Old Plantation (first cartoon in 3-hue color, first cartoon with Tanner the Lion)
  10. Honeyland
  11. Alias St. Nick
  12. Run, Sheep, Run! (first appearance of blackface Bosko)

1936Edit

  1. Bottles (longest Happy Harmony short)
  2. The Early Bird and the Worm
  3. The Old Mill Pond
  4. Two Little Pups
  5. The Old House
  6. The Pups' Picnic
  7. To Spring (in the public domain in the United States)
  8. Little Cheeser
  9. The Pups' Christmas

1937Edit

  1. Circus Daze (final to use the Happy Harmonies name)
  2. Swing Wedding
  3. Bosko's Easter Eggs
  4. Little Ol' Bosko and the Pirates
  5. The Hound and the Rabbit
  6. The Wayward Pups
  7. Little Ol' Bosko and the Cannibals
  8. Little Buck Cheeser

1938Edit

  1. Little Ol' Bosko in Bagdad (final Bosko cartoon, due to stereotyping of black people)
  2. Pipe Dreams (from Disney)
  3. The Little Bantamweight (final Happy Harmonies cartoon due to overbudget concerns, from Disney)

Home Video ReleasesEdit

The only official home release containing a significant number of the Happy Harmonies film shorts is the MGM Happy Harmonies LaserDisc box set, which was released in 1994 by MGM/UA Home Video.[3] This release predated the merger of Turner Broadcasting System/Turner Entertainment with Time Warner in 1996. The four-disc set contains a meager 17 of the 37 Happy Harmonies shorts while the remaining 25 shorts include other one-shots, and Barney Bear cartoons. Around March of 1999, MGM announced that it will pay Time Warner $225M to end its contract early of distributing the home video releases of Turner's assets. Since then, the distribution rights were transferred to Warner Home Video.[4] As of May 2018, there are no official plans for all 37 Happy Harmonies cartoons to be restored and released from Warner Home Video.

ReferencesEdit