One of my all-time favorite Merrie Melodies is I Love to Singa, the story of Owl Jolson, a tiny owl who is rejected by his father for not following in the family traditions of classical music, instead wanting to be a jazz singer. It’s a surprisingly great story about parents learning to love their child for who he is, despite the initial shock and disappointment of him not turning out just like them.It was directed by Tex Avery, produced by Leon Schlesinger, and released to theaters on July 18, 1936, by Warner Bros. and Vitaphone.
“I Love to Singa” was first a song written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg for the 1936 Warner Bros. feature-length film The Singing Kid. It is performed three times in the film: first by Jolson and Cab Calloway, then by the Yacht Club Boys and Jolson, and finally again by Calloway and Jolson. During this period, it was customary for Warners to have their animation production partner, Leon Schlesinger Productions, make Merrie Melodies cartoons based upon songs from their features.
The first episode of South Park uses a snippet of the song:
I have loved this cartoon since I was a little kid. The story is simple, but well told and very touching and the title song is so catchy that it stays with you forever. It also encouraged me to find out more about Al Jolson, who was the greatest entertainer of his time. What do you think about this cartoon? Is it new to you, or an old favorite? Leave us a message and let us know!