Thursday, 28 July 2011
5. The Booze Hangs High (1930)
Release date: November 1930.
Directors: Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Starring: Johnny Murray (Bosko).
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Paul Smith.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.
When I was looking through the credits at Internet Movie Database, I kept on seeing Johnny Murray's name often come up with "Bosko" as the voice actor. I clicked on his profile, and I never actually knew he did all the voices from Congo Jazz up to Bosko's Picture Show and I always thought that Carmen Maxwell was the main voice actor, but he only voiced Bosko in Sinkin' in the Bathtub and Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid. He didn't return again until Bosko appeared in the Happy Harmonies shorts. Now that I looked through it, I can see the differences in the voices.
So, Bosko then becomes friends with a horse, and as they continue laughing about it - Bosko jumps on the horse, pulls his hairstring up and then lets go (another repeated Bosko gag), and then starts to try on the horse as a string instrument.
This cartoon is another singing and dancing type, except the location is at a farm, and very little story - which involves around alcohol in that context. Some of the earlier scenes with the horse's tail like a cello was pretty good - but the rest of the short was like plain horrible singing and ugly animation looking. The duck scene with the duckling waning to use the toilet was somehow disturbing in a way.
Next up: Box Car Blues.
[2014 update: Ignoring the idea that the short has "little story", because that's the whole point of these type of shorts. In fact all there is to the short is: Bosko on a farm, and has some frolicking fun with the animals, as well as a group of pigs getting drunk singing music. Add that together, and that's a Bosko cartoon for you. Much of the soundtrack in the short is all adapted from the Warners feature Song of the Flame. This is a short which shows how juvenile animated characters really behaved in the 1930s--the sequence with a family of ducklings, with a scene suggesting a duckling taking a dump is very bizarre from the cartoon's setting. Some of it is really charming stuff, like the pigs and piglets intoxicated with alcohol. For the time the sequence was made, it's somewhat ironic, or perhaps blasphemy to show the characters under the influence of alcohol, due to the Prohibition. A scene that sticks to a lot of people's mind when watching the short is the pig vomiting a piece of corn. A very juvenile, discomforting scene...but the fact the gag appeared out of the blue, makes it somewhat entertaining. The short is entertaining in its own merit, even though its pretty downright corny.]