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Merry Christmas from Harman-Ising

It’s the first day of Summer – and Mike Van Eaton has just shared with me another rare piece of animation history. Click the thumbnails below to enlarge: at left a beautiful company Christmas card (circa 1936) from Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising featuring an embedded strip of film. Below center is the strip of film, enlarged and backlit, featuring their stars Bosko and Honey, Little Cheeser and The Pups in original paintings with a Christmas motif. As a fan of MGM’s Happy Harmonies cartoons, this vintage Christmas card is a delightful discovery — with three great new paintings, never seen publicly before.

Below right, for good measure, is the original art from the end title of Peace On Earth (1939) from the cache of MGM title art Van Eaton unearthed a few weeks ago. The Christmas card is not for sale – and I thank Mike for allowing me to share it with our readers who will really appreciate it:

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Thanks for sharing some cool stuff here!

  • sean

    omg they have a color scene of bosko and honey as identifiably black children!?! I mean, we all knew, but wow.

  • Tony Montealegre

    That’s the change Harmon-Ising made to them when bringing them from Warner Bros. where they looked, well pretty unflattering as African-American stereotypes since they looked like monkeys. And while there they were obviously adult lovers, here they’re more like friends or siblings about 6 and under.

  • This may sound like a minor point (and it is), but if this Christmas card was sent out to the Harman-Ising mailing list, wasn’t it seen by the public in 1936? If that’s true, then these images WERE seen publicly. Nice renderings, by the way, possibly by Mel Shaw?

  • Mark – Technically you are correct about this card being seen “publicly” – I meant it was only seen by those on Harman-Ising’s private mailing list (as you said), not the general public. In other words, It wasn’t a greeting card sold to the public.

  • Are the MGM Bosko cartoons available for viewing anywhere?

  • Tony Montealegre

    There should be some on YouTube…