Hugh Harman and Rudolf Carl "Rudy" Ising (both were born in August 1903, Harman on August 31st, and Ising on August 7th; Harman died on November 25, 1982 and Ising died on July 18, 1992) were former Walt Disney employees, getting their start on series such as the Newman Laugh O Grams, the Alice Comedies and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, helping jump-start the Warner Bros. cartoon studio in 1929, and they helped get MGM's animation department off the ground. They were also the creators of Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid (and, more regrettably, Foxy) as well as MGM's Happy Harmonies, the Barney Bear shorts, and many oneshot shorts, including the anti-war short Peace on Earth, one of The 50 Greatest Cartoons. While barely remembered today (unless you are an animation historian, like Jerry Beck), they played a major role in shaping the events of The Golden Age of Animation.
An interview with Hugh Harman, courtesy of Micheal Barrier, can be found here, which gives much insight into his backstory, as well as his method of filmmaking and what he learned over the years of his career.
- Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid (1929): A pilot film for Looney Tunes that was only privately screened, but still exists today.
- Sinkin' in the Bathtub (1930): The official debut of the Looney Tunes franchise.
- Lady, Play Your Mandolin! (1931): The debut of the Merrie Melodies series.
- It's Got Me Again!: Nominated for an Oscar.
- Hittin' the Trail for Hallelujah Land: One of the infamous Censored Eleven.
- Good Little Monkeys: A memorable short in the Happy Harmonies series.
- The Calico Dragon: Happy Harmonies short that got nominated for an Oscar.
- The Old Mill Pond: A jazzy mood piece in the Harmonies series, and one of only three shorts that Hugh was proud of making. Oscar nomination.
- The Blue Danube: An MGM Oneshot Cartoon, centered around the eponymous waltz by Johann Strauss II. Also one of three shorts Hugh was proud of making.
- Peace on Earth: No. 40 of The 50 Greatest Cartoons, Academy Award nominee. Also the only cartoon to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This short was considered by both fans and Hugh to be his best film.
- The Milky Way, which won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Animated Short.
- The Rookie Bear (1941): Ising-directed short featuring Barney Bear, Academy Award nominee
- The Adventures of Sir Gee Whiz on the Other Side of the Moon: A 1960 TV pilot. Prominently featured on Cartoon Dump.
Trope Demonstrated by the Mere Existence of These Two:
- Punny Name: "Harman-Ising." HARMONIZING. They founded Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies as well as Happy Harmonies (something pointed out as early as 1934 by a newspaper cartoon panel) and their cartoons were early experiments of harmonizing sound to pictures.
- Meaningful Name: Their success was the result of harmonizing the talents of two creative friends.
Tropes Related To Them:
- Animation Bump: Later installments in the Happy Harmonies series, and it's successors in the MGM Oneshot Cartoons.
- Captain Ersatz: Their Merrie Melodies characters Foxy and Roxy, who were literally the same designs as Mickey and Minnie Mouse but with pointy ears and bushy tails. Walt himself quickly got wind of Foxy and personally told Rudy Ising to stop using the character.
- Cerebus Syndrome:
- Harman's later work at MGM mostly consisted on sentimental, near-melodramatic stories.
- Conversely, Ising's cartoons from the same time became Denser and Wackier than his 1930s shorts, with some gags channeling the style Hanna and Barbera were developing.
- Creator Cameo: Rudy Ising plays himself as the cartoonist from the original 1929 Bosko pilot. He and other early Looney Tunes staffers also make cameos in the ending of "Ride Em, Bosko!" where Ising and the staffers can't come up with an ending on how Bosko is going to save Honey and decide to leave it hanging and just go home.
- Expy: Some attribute their Bosko character as being a Mickey Mouse ripoff, but in truth the character was copyrighted by Hugh Harman in 1927, so he predates the creation of Mickey Mouse. The similarities between them owe simply to the fact that Hugh and Rudy both worked on Disney's silent cartoons before going it alone.
- Friendly Rivalry: They never really lost contact with Disney after going their separate ways: They moonlighted for him for some early Mickey Mouse cartoons. Later on, they loaned their inkers and painters to complete Snow White on time (it was way behind schedule). Disney also released the H-I short Merbabies as part of his Silly Symphonies.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners
- Woodland Creatures: Most of the Happy Harmonies shorts starred these.