Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Booze Hangs High (December 1930)

This cartoon begins with Bosko at a farm, dancing to what is presumably the title song with a cow. The cow's "pants" fall down and Bosko laughs. Bosko then goes to a horse and buggy and plays a tune on the horses tail. He later sees a pitchfork which he plays as a banjo. While play the banjofork, a family of ducks is dancing while they are walking, one of the little ones whispers to his mother and she sends him off to "use the facilities" while the rest distract us with dancing. Bosko eventually drops the banjofork and plays the horse again, reusing a good bit of animation. Bosko then goes to feed the pigs with the garbage. In the garbage the two small pigs find a bottle with three Xs, this unkown substance could not be alcohol because this was 1930. Somehow, they get drunk of of this substance and their father(by the voice) does too. The bottle gets thrown onto Bosko who also becomes drunk. The quartet sings and dance some and then we all go home.

Notable Gags:
Bosko uses the horse's ear to tune his tail

The little duck has a flap in the back of his feathers to make using the restroom easier, convenient.

The little pigs use one tail as a corkscrew to get the booze open

As they pop the booze bubbles, it plays "How Dry I Am"

Bosko gets drunk by physical contact, a cartoon staple, but the first time Warner used it

The father pig burps out a corn cob, then puts it back through the door in his stomach -
after which he has a classic guilty look on his face.

I actually enjoyed this cartoon, not sure why really. Maybe drunks pigs are comic gold or something. This one had no more story than the others, but I think Harman and Ising hit on some genuinely funny situations this time. The expression on the characters' faces seemed more real or at least more thought out. I genuinely laughed when the bubbles played "How Dry I Am", and the guilty/embarrassed look on the daddy pig's face was hilarious.

As I alluded to in the summary, this cartoon has to be seen in the context of Prohibition America. Now I do not mean that I think it is some grand allegory or pointed political statement. More that it fits in with modern stoner movies. It makes light of a substance that is not only illegal, but also still widely used.


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