The Discontented Canary
The Discontented Canary 1934 02 title-1-
Directed By: Rudolf Ising
Produced By: Hugh Harman
Rudolf Ising
Released: September 1, 1934
Series: Happy Harmonies
Story: Hugh Harman
Rudolf Ising
Animation: Cal Dalton
Carman Maxwell
Thomas McKimson
Jim Fabian
Robert Strokes (all uncredited)[1]
Layouts: TBA
Backgrounds: TBA
Film Editor: TBA
Voiced By: TBA
Music: Scott Bradley
Starring: Canary
Old Lady
Preceded By: Flip the Frog shorts
Succeeded By: The Old Pioneer

The Discontented Canary is a 1934 Happy Harmonies cartoon directed by Rudolf Ising.


The cartoon begins with a canary in his cage and a parrot singing. The canary wants to get out of his cage, but is locked inside. Then, their owner arrives. But she accidentally left the cage open. Then, the canary flies out and goes outside. He descends into a garden and a cat slyly sneaks up on him. The weather then gets windy as a thunderstorm arrives in. Then, the cat chases the canary around the garden. Suddenly, a lightning bolt strikes the cat's tail and he runs away screaming in agony. Realizing the outside world isn't as safe as his cage, the canary flies back home and sings as the cartoon ends.


  • DVD - Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection - Disc 2 (Evelyn [2]
  • DVD - Happy Harmonies


A black and white faded color print does exist in bad quality and it is censored. This print is missing the entire scene with the canary interacting with other wildlife. The censored print jumps from the cat lurking towards the bird to the start of the thunderstorm. [3] This print ended up on home video throughout the years, until the 1995 dubbed version came out and has the scene with the wildlife intact.


  • This short is notable for being the first MGM cartoon to have copyrights owned by the studio, unlike previous shorts they distributed, which didn't give them the rights to own the copyright. Today, Turner Entertainment owns distribution rights to the MGM Cartoons between 1934-1970.
  • This is the first short of the Happy Harmonies Series. The opening titles say A METRO COLOR CARTOON because Harman/Ising didn't know what to call it at first. The next short, The Old Pioneer would introduce the new title HAPPY HARMONIES.
  • The shorts before this short (Ub Iwerks' Flip the Frog and Willie Whopper) are not owned by Ted Turner and are now owned by Film Preservation Associates. They were only distributed by MGM.[4]
  • This is the first 2-hue color short. Only 15 MGM cartoons were in black and white.
  • This is the first MGM short produced for MGM. After Happy Harmonies ceased production, MGM moved to stronger subjects such as Tom and Jerry, Tex Avery, and Barney Bear. Cartoons would become a staple of MGM's programming, until 1967.
  • This short fell into the public domain in the United States in 1962 due to MGM failing to renew copyright in time. Overall this is one of four shorts from MGM in the public domain.[citation needed|date=]

  • The Turner dubbed print is on the Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection - Disc 2 (Evelyn Prentice) DVD. It has been restored with DVNR, hence the constant flickering. Before the dubbed 1995 print came out, finding an original copy was very rare. (See Availability)


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