Release date: October 1930.
Directors: Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Starring: Rochelle Hudson (Honey) and Johnny Murray (Bosko).
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Norm Blackburn.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.
Today's review is (of course) on Hold Anything as I'm going through this chronologically. It's the third short of the series, and it's title is a parody of an early "talkie" film called Hold Everything which is now considered a lost film. It mainly features Bosko and Honey at a construction site with singing and dancing.
Just as the mouse had it's head cut off, he tries to run for his head to catch it, while Bosko is still playing with his saw, until the mouse's head finally lands back into his body. Meanwhile, as a rivet-eating goat is eating some food out of a barrell, the mouse falls off the saw, and then Happy Landing - lands into the goat's stomach. Until, the mouse opens the door and walks out.
Just as the goat is flying up by, Bosko notices the goat, that now looks like a hot air balloon. He steps out the window and plays with the goat like a bagpipe, that keeps Honey entertained. The gag itself doesn't work - because for one thing, the music doesn't even sound like a Scottish bagpipe at all, and it flaws in its way. Although I suppose that the directors had to stick with the music because they had to make animated shorts into musical hits.
As Bosko falls down to the ground, he lands into a neat layer of bricks - ouch. As he crashes, Bosko's body multiples into smaller Boskos and he starts dancing, while the bricks are being pressed like piano keyboards. Bosko's multiples squeeze back in and that's all folks.
My own views on that cartoon? Well, I felt that the short was a hit-and-miss type. There are parts of the cartoon that work, and there are parts that don't. For example, the goat floated up as helium actually works and the udder gag, worked very well. The scenes of the goat's tail loading up the beam did work fine, but the gag does get tiring when it's used too often.
Truly, this cartoon doesn't actually have story climaxes here (even though there are some of them in other Bosko shorts), but the early Bosko shorts are just singing and dancing - and there's no major story, except the theme is on music - and the location is at a construction site. Usually, there's nothing major to brag on about it.
[2014 update: It's another music-themed Bosko cartoon where this time it takes place at a construction site. Construction played an instrumental part during the Great Depression, and it seems fitting for the time period to have the cartoon centered in the area. It's mostly consistent from the previous Bosko cartoons, but what do you expect: that's the entire purpose of the Bosko and the other Harman-Ising cartoons they made in that era, to feature in popular music and feature whatever setting or scenario pleased them, to add atmosphere to the songs.
The miniature mice soldiers at the start of the short are also parallel to the early Mickey Mouse short, When the Cat's Away, but it's kept subtle. The surrealistic gags with the goat are still comically amusing and satisfying to this day. Bosko creating musical notes from the ropes of the beam, and stepping down them like steps is beautifully bizarre and inventive. Perhaps I was tad too amateurish in expressing my views on the decapitation of the mouse's head in the saw scene. Admittedly, the scene is a little unsettling, but it has all the goods that you'd expect from animation in that era, such as the saw waving, that it makes the overall scene enjoyable, even if a little disturbing. Overall, it's a passable short for when it was made, though a little consistent when watching the Bosko cartoons together.]