Among the most frustrating aspects of spring—if you don’t live in southern California—is the fluctuating weather. One moment it’s T-shirt weather, the next, heavy overcoat. The 1936 MGM cartoon To Spring explains the scientific reason for why this occurs: the elves who live underground aren’t working hard enough. It’s actually a more reasonable explanation than the racist 1944 cartoon Suddenly It’s Spring, which suggests that spring doesn’t start until the lazy black cloud moves out of the way.

Besides the sheer weirdness and lush production values, To Spring is also notable for being the directorial debut of Bill Hanna, who co-directed with Paul Fennell. Hanna would go on to win seven Oscars as the co-creator/director of the Tom & Jerry series, before launching the iconic TV studio Hanna-Barbera. Credits are sparse for the short, which was produced by the legendary team of Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising, but we do know that Lee Blair, Mary Blair’s husband, did background layout on it.

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Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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