All material copyright
2000 Dominic Polcino. Additional
written material by Scott Lee Tygett. No reproduction allowed without express
written permission. Retailers contact
us for special pricing.
these pages we will bring you excerpts from the upcoming new book "Harmony Wonder
- Boom to Bust", detailing the rise and fall of the world's most influential
and least known animation studio.
& GRINDER (1932- 1935)
These fun-loving shorts chronicled the adventures
of an organ grinder and his pet monkey in Depression-era America. A typical
short followed Mr. Gioninni (aka: Grinder) as he tries to find work, then,
in characteristic comic fashion, Biggs screws it up and they end up on the
streets again. The clip above is from "Too Hot to Handle" (1933), where the
comic duo discover that running a Chili House can be a mind-blowing experience.
These shorts were seen as rude and offensive and were rarely shown outside
An early classic film short, shot in black & white with SOUND.
That's right, in fact, studio founder Sam Wonder has tried to declare "Tugboat
Toby" the FIRST sound cartoon, predating "Steamboat Willy" by several months.
Lawyers on the other side, however, claim: "a series of 'pops' and 'hisses'
which coincidentally sync to the action" does NOT constitute the definition
of "sync sound".
It's not surprising if you haven't heard of this children's program from the
50's, since it was banned before it even aired. The story, about a little boy
who sticks a fork into an electrical outlet to gain super powers, was considered
harmful for a children's audience. Other Harmony Wonder series from this period
that never met with public approval were : "Fly Boy", "The Switchblade Kid",
and "Medicine Cabinet Girl".
During the era of low-cost Television Animation, Harmony Wonder
brainstormed to devise the most INEXPENSIVE show in history. The result: "The
Inviso-Team!" The show followed the adventures of five invisible superheroes
who were NEVER SEEN, and thus - never had to be drawn! Popular episodes include
: "Smoke Screen", "Medusa Ray", and "The Black Hole" (consisting only of voices
over a black screen). In later episodes, the Team developed the power to walk
through solid matter, solving the problem of having to animate doors opening