Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Happy Harmonies 1936 Cartoon - To Spring

If you ever wondered where the splendid colors of Spring come from after a black-and-white Winter, wonder no more.... Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1936 Happy Harmonies cartoon To Spring demonstrates the entire process in full detail. For those who took the time to research the science behind the Winter-to-Spring season change, then it is no secret at all that gnomes control the varying pastel tints that are apparent in the flowers, trees, and fields in April and May.
These little elves work furiously to pump vibrant colors through the veins under the earth into the roots of the trees and flowers, struggling to get the colors of Spring above ground and on schedule every year. Old Man Winter sometimes has other notions about their schedule, and before he is ousted out of the country he usually attempts to blow some cold air onto the budding flowers, but the gnomes always prevail in the end.

"It's time for Spring.....It's time for Spring, I say!"

This nine-minute classic from the "Harman-Ising" duo of Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising brilliantly captures the excitement of the season change in that customary bouncing fashion of 1930s cartoons. It was the 24th of 38 cartoons that the team worked on together, and one of their best. The animation is marvelous, and beautiful color tones literally burst into view thanks to the Technicolor process it was filmed with. To Spring also marked the directorial debut of William Hanna, who later started his own studio with Joseph Barbara ( Hanna-Barbara...just in case you missed the connection ).
Many of the animation techniques seen in the segment featuring the gnomes hammering away with their pick axes hint at the style that would be seen in the "Heigh-Ho" sequence of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was released by Walt Disney just a year later. To Spring also has many clever character touches, such as the black-bearded little gnome scrambling to put his pants on so he can help pump the colors and finally giving up at the end, instead tripping along with one pant leg up and one down. If you listen carefully, you'll hear the voice of Mel Blanc as one of the gnomes. 

This cartoon was one of my favorites when I first saw it several years ago on a DVD collection of public domain cartoons, and after numerous viewings I have still not tired of it. Ultimately, whether a cartoon wins animation awards, or receives plaudits for its creative techniques does not matter. It is the lasting entertainment value of a cartoon that makes it a true winner. 

Ready to watch To Spring? Simply click here

To read more articles about cartoons check out the One of My All-Time Favorite Cartoons Blogathon being hosted by MovieMovieBlogBlog

7 comments:

  1. I think I saw this once or twice in the days of The Bugs Bunny Roadrunner Show. But its been years.

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    1. Then it's time to take a look at it again, it's a fun cartoon. :-)

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  2. Beautiful blogathon entry. I'll have to check this one out. Thanks so much for participating!

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    1. Thanks for hosting this event again....there are just so many cartoons to choose from, picking one is difficult.

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  3. Thank you for the link and for your cleverly written article. I know that I too shall enjoy this gem many, many times.

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    1. We're glad you enjoyed our post and we hope you find this cartoon as entertaining as we do, CW!

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  4. thank you thank you i want this article for my school assignment i love you and your blog you one article about the cat concerto tom and jerry

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