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This is the first in a long line of reviews I’m going to be doing for the original Looney Tunes Cartoons. I’m starting right from the beginning all the way to end in 1970 (or at least I'll try to).
To start, I’m going to be reviewing the short that started it all, Bosko the Talk-in Kid from 1929.
Although Sinkin in the Bathtub is the first Looney Tunes cartoons to be released in theaters, Bosko the Talk-in Kid is the first to be produced. Not really much of a cartoon, Bosko the Talk-in Kid was a pilot made by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising so they could pitch their cartoon Bosko to Leon Schlesinger. He was so impressed by it, that he sold a series of Bosko cartoons to Warner Brothers and thus Looney Tunes was born.
The plot (there really isn’t much of a plot) features animator Rudolf Ising, drawing. He’s trying to come up with a character, eventually he creates an African American boy named Bosko (voiced by Carmen Maxwell speaking in a stereotypical “black accent”). Ising asks Bosko what he can do, and Bosko proceeds to dance and whistle. Bosko stops and notices something asking Ising, “whose them folks out in the dark?” Ising tells him that it’s the audience; he then asks Bosko if he can make them laugh. After some thinking, Bosko asks Ising to draw him a piano and Bosko starts playing on the piano trying to create laughs (Bosko himself laughs), and sings while tongue sticks out. Bosko continues to sing until his head pops up and we see it’s made of springs. He manages to get his head back together and continues to sing; eventually Ising gets annoyed by his singing and decides to use his ink pen to grab Bosko’s pants, eventually sucking him in. Bosko gets out of some ink and says, “Well so long folks see yah later”, as the cartoon ends.
There isn’t really much to say about Bosko the Talk-in Kid, other than its historical significance. It’s not particularly funny and considering how far animation has gone these days it’s seems somewhat outdated in comparison.
Next time: Sinkin in the bathtub.