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 Prentice) [2] (USA 1995 Turner print added as a bonus)
  • 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.
  • 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 Turner Broadcasting 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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