Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Warner Cartoons Learn To Walk and Talk


Beginner Bosko in Congo Jazz (1930)

The second Warners cartoon, following Sinkin' In The Bathtub. Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising did these for independent Leon Schlesinger, who released through WB. Bosko was yet another character set loose to dethrone Mickey Mouse. At least he's human, if rubbery and of unspecified racial origin (but shouldn't animated figures constitute a race all their own?). Bosko walks through the jungle and encounters beasts both hostile and friendly, that being about all there is to it. Simplicity was enough so long as sounds matched movement, the miracle of synchronization still impressing customers two years after Steamboat Willie showed it could be done. Harmon and Ising had been with Disney long enough to learn how to get along without him. Personality clash with animators cost Walt no small part of staff in days when he needed talent like H&I's, but WD was under daily stress and easily lost patience with staff not rowing quick enough. Congo Jazz doesn't get around to that music form till a final few minutes, but showed what WB's team could do in the eternal struggle for cartoon dominance.

Also see this 6/08 Greenbriar post about Warner cartoons and one-time efforts to collect them.

2 Comments:

Blogger John McElwee said...

Donald Benson talks about early Warner cartoons and the musical worlds of Bosko and Buddy:


I remember when those early Harmon-Isings were a goodly chunk of the local cartoon shows. The b&w musicals felt like a different world from the more comedy-oriented Warner toons that followed.


Buddy or a Buddy clone knocks out a catchy tune from a recent Warner feature. In a trick Disney's crew might have originated, two or more identical characters will do the same repetitious dance at least twice through -- actually the same animation for all, but early audiences may well have been amazed that they were moving in perfect unison. Some large crude villain or animal would get hold of Buddy's little girlfriend -- a bit creepy, looking back, but back then it was romantic Terrytoons and soppy Caspers that made us cringe. Buddy comes to the rescue, usually involving something sharp or hot being applied to his opponent's posterior. Gag, clinch or both to fast reprise of song.


Also remember being puzzled by the "Apache Dance" where a French street tough throws his supplicant girlfriend around, always to the same piece of music. It seemed to appear or at least be referenced in a lot of cartoons (Disney has a comic spider-and-fly version in "Woodland Cafe), and in "City Lights" a drunken Chaplin breaks up what he thinks is a real fight in the middle of the floor show. Yet I don't remember ever seeing a "real" version anywhere, except perhaps in "Charlie Chan in Paris." Was there some movie everybody would supposedly recognize it from, or what?

6:23 PM  
Blogger Neely O'Hara said...

I believe audiences were familiar with the Apache Dance from vaudeville shows as early as 1904 -- by Bosco's time it would have been around for decades.

6:02 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016