Search for MGM animated shorts turns up incorrect results

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  • Updated 6 months ago
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I wanted to search for the most voted animated short films from certain studios. So for MGM, I ran the following search:

http://www.imdb.com/search/title?companies=mgm&genres=animation&sort=num_votes,desc&titl...

The results of this search turn up Three Little Pigs (1933), The Band Concert (1935), and The Tortoise and the Hare (1935) as the top three. None of these films were produced or distributed by MGM. In fact, all of them, as well as the rest of the top ten, were produced by Walt Disney Productions. And these three films don't have MGM as a distributor either; their original distributor was United Artists (through which Disney's films were distributed for part of the 1930s), and the other listed distributors are RKO Radio Pictures (in one case) and Walt Disney Home Video.

There is a very tenuous connection to MGM for these films: in 1981 (more than 40 years after these films were released), MGM bought United Artists. But they didn't acquire any rights to the Disney films in that deal; in the 1930s, UA had acted primarily as a distributor, with most rights to the films UA released being retained by the independent production companies -- and that certainly applies to Disney.

MGM did distribute many animated shorts, most famously the Tom and Jerry cartoons directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, as well as a variety of cartoons directed by Tex Avery. For example, Hanna and Barbera's The Cat Concerto (1947) has Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) listed as both the production company and the original distributor. Similarly, Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood (1943) has Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) listed as the production company and the only distributor. Yet neither of those films shows up in the search above as one of the most voted animated shorts from MGM, even though they are listed as animated, listed as shorts, and have MGM as a production company and distributor.

In fact, if there are any "classic-era" MGM animated shorts on the list of MGM animated shorts generated by that search, I didn't see them.

So, in short, we have films that were never produced or distributed by MGM dominating the list of animated shorts from MGM, while other films that were produced and distributed by MGM are omitted from the list.

Could the staff please take a look at this situation? Or if anyone else has any explanation for this, I would like to know what that might be.
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gromit82, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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Nobody

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I think the company search function's problems
are not only restricted to animated titles.

For example, North by Northwest  is an MGM film,
but currently it is not found in this company search:
www.imdb.com/search/title?companies=mgm&title=North+by+Northwest&title_type=feature

Other such examples are easy to find.
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Trevor, Official Rep

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Thanks Gromit.

I've asked our tech team to look into this further.

-Trevor
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gromit82, Champion

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Trevor: It looks like this problem has been fixed (probably due to the improvements to the Advanced Title Search). See http://www.imdb.com/search/title?companies=mgm&genres=animation&sort=num_votes,desc&titl...

Thanks!
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gromit82, Champion

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Following up, I noticed that this problem has recurred. Look at http://www.imdb.com/search/title?companies=mgm&genres=animation&sort=num_votes,desc&titl... -- the list is dominated by Disney cartoons, instead of MGM cartoons.

Can the staff please take a look at this problem again?
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Steve, Employee

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention again - we have gotten in touch with the Search team and will let you know when we have more information.

- Steve
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Steve, Employee

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Hi gromit82,


I have looked into this and confirmed that this is due to our company data - we do not currently store historical company data, so current ownership is reflected in your search results. MGM bought United Artists, which is why you notice this connection.


Cheers,

Steve
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gromit82, Champion

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Steve: I'm not sure that this fully answers my question. Even if you consider it acceptable for the "MGM" cartoon list to be filled with 1930s Disney cartoons which were never produced or distributed by MGM, that wouldn't explain why MGM's own cartoons don't show up on the MGM cartoon list. As I mentioned in my original post in this thread, the Tex Avery and Hanna-Barbera cartoons that MGM produced and distributed should be included on that list.

Now, admittedly, Time Warner Inc. now owns all those MGM cartoons made by Tex Avery and Hanna-Barbera. But those MGM cartoons don't show up on the Warner Bros. cartoon list, either. http://www.imdb.com/search/title?companies=warner&genres=animation&sort=num_votes,desc&t...

So if the MGM cartoons don't count for MGM, where they were produced and distributed, and they don't count for Warner Bros. which owns them now, who do they count for?
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gromit82, Champion

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I'm bumping this thread because the search for the most voted MGM animated shorts at http://www.imdb.com/search/title?companies=mgm&genres=animation&sort=num_votes,desc&titl... still does not turn up any of the "classic era" MGM cartoons from Tex Avery or from William Hanna & Joe Barbera. 

I understand that, for some reason, the Disney-produced, UA-released cartoons from the mid-1930s have to show up on that list (because MGM bought UA many years later, albeit without acquiring any rights to those cartoons). Okay, fine. But that doesn't explain why the actual MGM cartoons from the 1930s through the 1960s don't appear on that list. They do, after all, have Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) listed as a production company and distributor. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039251/companycredits and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036295/companycredits, for example.
(Edited)
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gromit82, Champion

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I'm bumping this thread, because the problem of MGM's classic era cartoon shorts from William Hanna & Joe Barbera and from Tex Avery not showing up in a search for MGM animated short films (https://www.imdb.com/search/title?title_type=short&genres=animation&companies=mgm&sort=n...) has still not been resolved.
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Col Needham, Official Rep

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Thanks (and sorry).  This will be fixed when we better connect the individual company credits into advanced title search as covered in https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb/topics/company-credits-see-more-link