Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Bosko The Talk-Ink Kid (1929)
This is the pilot cartoon used by Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising to entice Leon Schlesinger into producing their Looney Tune concept. In it, we find a proto-Bosko, who is much more... well I guess "ethnic" would be the nicest way of saying it. The fact is that for all the controversy over some of the Warner (and for that matter all studios) cartoons, it was there from the very beginning. I have seen this cartoon about a dozen or more times, and I still can't quite accept a society that accepted this as normal.
So, the cartoon: The cartoon features the aforementioned Bosko and a live action Ising. The main point of the whole thing is to prove that Harman and Ising have the wherewithal to sync sound and film - something I still struggle with from time to time. Bokso sings and dances, even doing an imitation of a Chinese person, and ends playing the piano. And of course, various "cartoony" things happen, his neck uncoils and he fixes himself by spinning up his stool. The cartoon is really only valuable to me from an historical angle (a common theme for the first few years).