HarmanHugh Harman was one of the pioneers of animation. While not a great animator, (compared to co-worker, Rudolf Ising) he was present during the early days. He began his work with Walt Disney in 1922, working on Disney’s early Laugh-o-Gram toons. When that company went bankrupt, Harman and partner Rudolf Ising tried to start a new series based on the Arabian Nights, but were unable to obtain funding. Disney called them back when he began work for Charles Mintz, producing the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. After a dispute over pricing, Mintz forced out Disney and kept Harman and Ising on for another year, when they in turn were forced out (and replaced by a young Walter Lantz). Harman, Ising, and a few other ex-Disney animators put together a pilot short, “Bosko the Talkink Kid”, which was used by producer Leon Schlesinger to obtain a contract with Warner Brothers’ studios to produce animated cartoons. Harman and Ising started the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, and produced them for several years. After another argument over money (this time with Schlesinger), Harman and Ising left Warner Brothers for MGM in 1933. They produced quite a few “Happy Harmonies” for MGM until yet again they left over another financial arrangement. After MGM, Harman & Ising formed their own studio, but was not successful. MGM hired them back, but by this time their faux-Disney style of animation was out of fashion, and they found themselves eclipsed by the works of William Hanna & Joseph Barbera (whom they had hired) & Fred Tex Avery. In the 40s and 50s, both men did some work for Walter Lantz Studios.

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