Friz Freleng & Rudolf Ising (1931)

Foxy dreams he is the Toonerville Trolley engineer urging his passengers to smile while taking his girlfriend Roxy for a ride. Fortunately, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melody characters evolved and no longer look like a bunch of Disney Mickey’s.

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! is a Merrie Melodies cartoon short and also the title of the song performed in the cartoon. This is one of only three Merrie Melodies cartoons to star Foxy; the other two are Lady, Play Your Mandolin! and One More Time. This short is a remake of Trolley Troubles, a Disney short featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in whose creation Hugh Harman had once been involved.

A colorized version was produced in Korea. It was made by re-drawing the cels and backgrounds. The animation in this version is inferior, since many drawings were left out, causing jerky movement.

Produced by Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, and Leon Schlesinger. Animated and by drawn by Friz Freleng, Carman Maxwell, and Larry Martin.

Hugh Harman & Rudolf Ising (1929)


Schlesinger hired Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising to produce their first series of cartoons. Bosko was the first major Looney Tunes lead character, debuting in the short Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid in 1929. The first Looney Tunes short was Sinkin’ in the Bathtub, which was released in 1930.

In 1928, when Walt Disney lost control of his Oswald The Lucky Rabbit cartoon series, producer George Winkler hired away several of Disney’s animators to continue producing the Oswald cartoons for Universal Studios. These animators included Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, Isadore “Friz” Freleng, Carman “Max” Maxwell, Norm Blackburn, Paul Smith, and Rollin “Ham” Hamilton. Universal later chose to produce the Oswald series using its own in-house animators headed by Walter Lantz, which left Winkler’s animators out of work. The unemployed animators decided to produce their own cartoons and made Bosko, The Talk-Ink Kid as a demonstration to show to distributors. Rudolf Ising appeared on-screen as himself in the short and Carman Maxwell performed the voice of Bosko. Harman and Ising shopped for a distributor, but were turned down by both Paramount Pictures and Universal. Leon Schlesinger, head of Pacific Title & Art Studio took an interest in Bosko and used his connections with Warner Bros. to get a distribution deal for a cartoon series that Harman and Ising later named Looney Tunes, a play on the name of Walt Disney’s Silly Symphony series.

Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising & Friz Freleng (1929)

Sinkin’ in the Bathtub is the first Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon short as well as the very first of the Looney Tunes series. The title is a pun on the 1929 song Singin’ in the Bathtub.


The short was produced, directed, supervised and co-animated by Harman and Ising, with animation by a very young Friz Freleng and his friends. Leon Schlesinger was credited as an associate producer, and the title card also gave credit to the Western Electric apparatus used to create the film.