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The MGM Oneshot Cartoons are a series of oneshot cartoons, produced by Fred Quimby for MGM's in-house cartoon studio. Many of these shorts were directed by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising, as well as future star directors Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Aside from the first two and last two made, the bulk of these cartoons were made from 1939 to 1943. The shorts were made in an attempt to find a new star series for MGM, as well as to make up for the previous failures of The Captain And The Kids and Count Screwloose. One of these experiments, Puss Gets the Boot, would wind up launching MGM's acclaimed Tom and Jerry cartoons. Another notable oneshot was the anti-war short Peace on Earth, the only cartoon to ever be nominated for a Nobel prize, and to be voted as one of The 50 Greatest Cartoons in 1994.
These shorts were succeeded by the Tex Avery MGM Cartoons, many of which were also oneshot cartoons, although two final oneshots were produced in the 1960s by Chuck Jones for the studio while he was working on his Tom and Jerry shorts.
- Little Buck Cheeser: A follow-up to the Happy Harmonies short "Little Cheeser".
- An Optical Poem
- The Little Goldfish: One of two films Harman and Ising intended to outsource to Walt Disney, but finished for themselves.
- Art Gallery: The last appearance of Harman and Ising's Good Little Monkeys characters.
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears: The second of two films intended to be outsorced to Disney, but ended up finishing for themselves.
- The Bookworm
- One Mother's Family
- The Blue Danube: This short was considered one of the three cartoons that Hugh Harman did not regret making.
- Peace on Earth: The second of the three cartoons that Hugh Harman did not regret making. One of The 50 Greatest Cartoons.
- The Mad Maestro
- Home on the Range: Name's the Same, but no relation to the Disney feature film.
- A Rainy Day
- Swing Social
- Tom Turkey and His Harmonica Humdingers
- The Milky Way: Won the 1941 Academy Award, ironically beating out both A Wild Hare and Puss Gets the Boot.
- The Bookworm Turns: A follow-up to "The Bookworm".
- Romeo in Rhythm
- Papa Gets the Bird
- The Homeless Flea
- Gallopin' Gals
- The Lonesome Stranger
- Mrs. Ladybug
- Puss Gets the Boot: The short that would later lead to the creation of the Tom and Jerry series.
- Abdul the Bulbul-Ameer
- The Little Mole
- The Goose Goes South
- Dance of the Weed
- The Alley Cat
- Little Cesario
- Officer Pooch
- The Field Mouse
- The Hungry Wolf: This short had some animation contributed by Disney animator Bill Tytla, who went to MGM's cartoon studio during the infamous 1941 Disney studio strike to briefly work there. Micheal Sporn's splog has a post about it.
- The First Swallow
- Little Gravel Voice
- Bats in the Belfry
- Chips off the Old Block
- The Boy and the Wolf
- War Dogs
- The Stork's Holiday
- Leo Master Spanish
- Innertube Antics
- The Tree Surgeon
- Animation Bump: When Harman and Ising were brought back in 1939 to give the MGM Cartoon Studio the kick in the pants it needed, they had used the time in their absense to considerably refine their animation skills to the point of full-blown Disney quality, resulting in The Twelve Principles of Animation being in full effect in these shorts. It helped that Harman And Ising had in fact worked on one outsourced Silly Symphonies short, "Water Babies", during that time.
- Blessed Are the Cheesemakers: "Little Buck Cheeser", in which a group of mice blast off to the moon because it's made of cheese.
- Carnivore Confusion: "The Hungry Wolf", in which a starved wolf just can't bring himself to eat the cute little bunny who shows up at his doorstep (though he almost does).
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Little Cesario.
- Cute Kitten: "The Milky Way"
- The Dark Age of Animation: The two 1960s oneshots.
- Digital Destruction: The restored version of "Tom Turk" has atrocious, blatant DVNR damage in many parts of the short.
- Dogface: Officer Pooch, from the eponymous short.
- Furry Confusion: "Officer Pooch" has both a Dogface and a non-anthropomorphic dog.
- The Golden Age of Animation: The bulk of the oneshots were made during this time.
- Limited Animation: "The Dot and the Line".
- Missing Episode: Leo Master Spanish, apparently.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: "Art Gallery" features several caricatures of famous movie stars of the day. "Gallopin' Gals" also features caricatures of female celebrities of the time period.
- No Export for You: Leo Master Spanish was released only in South America.
- Rotoscoping: Used in Blue Danube, Goldilocks and Peace on Earth.
- Sentient Vehicle: At one point in "Innertube Antics", when the eponymous tube rips the donkey's old Jalopy out of its frame, it crashes through his house's wall—and is found relaxing on the bed, smiling.
- Shaggy Dog Story: "Art Gallery".
- Spiritual Successor: Many of them are essentially Happy Harmonies with more lavish animation, hence why a few of these shorts featured previous stars of the Harmonies shorts.
- The Twelve Principles of Animation: In full-blown effect. The shorts are very solidly drawn, and the films are loaded with more squash and stretch and secondary actions than you can imagine.
- Villainous Breakdown: The wolf from "The Hungry Wolf" is driven to this when he kicks the kid out of his house to keep himself from eating him, and then succumbs to his hunger shortly after.
- The Voiceless: Pantomime was frequently used in the shorts, with some characters having no dialogue whatsoever. "Officer Pooch" is a notable example of this.
- Wartime Cartoon: "War Dogs" and "The Stork's Holiday". "Innertube Antics" is not an explicitly war-themed cartoon, although the rubber scrap drive of the short is an obvious nod to the strict rationing of rubber during the war years.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: The Crow in "The Bookworm" tries to lure out the worm by attempting a "Little Bo Peep" sham. The worm isn't fooled.