Friday, 9 September 2011

28. Big-Hearted Bosko (1932)

Hey, sorry if it's been too long since I posted, but I board during the week, and there isn't a chance to post, even if I had time, but at least it's the weekend, and here is Big-Hearted Bosko.

Warner cartoon no. 27.
Release date: 5 March 1932.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Starring: Johnny Murray (Bosko).
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Rollin Hamilton.
Musical Score by: Frank Marsales.

Sorry, if the framegrabs are going to be rather dodgy, but what can I do about it - I don't have a restoration team of my own, and that's the only copy I could find suitable, with this quality, and it will have to do.

 The short starts off with Bosko and his dog, Bruno ice-skating on a snowy day on a frozen lake. It appears to be that Bosko and his dog are dancing, while ice-skating at the same time. The ice appears to look safe, and solid. It appears that Bosko swings from a small tree, that turns him back to where he skated, in which the dog (that has no skates) slides backwards to follow back Bosko, at least there is some weight in the animation. Bosko jumps on a log, in which he skids the snow off the log with his skates, and as soon as the dog runs out of the log, he is covered in snow like a snowman.

After that, there is exactly two minutes with just dancing and skating in this short, which tires me off; but at least the plot eventually gets moving. It shows all the tricks that Bosko does while skating (well, not really tricks) but he jumps from ice patches through ice water with xylophone music. He also skates in which he removes the icicles, which makes a sound like playing the xylophone all the way down.

After about a minute and a half of nothing really going on, something finally happens when Bruno tries to skid away from a small pond of icy water, in which he nearly drowns, and cries for help. Well, that's nothing to look forward to, really. Bosko comes by the icy pond and cries "Bruno! Bruno!" Bosko runs around in a panic attack screaming, "What'll I do, what'll I do?" Bosko breaks down crying - I must say that the acting of Bosko crying isn't very realistic at all because Bosko's just a happy-chappy who likes singing and dancing, and can't make a good performance of sobbing. Yes, yes; I know that this was in 1932, before a time when animation had "realism" but I still don't like it much, even if it was good for it's time.

Bruno climbs out of a log, standing on ice, and shouts "Yoo-hoo" at Bosko, since it was obviously all a trick to Bosko. Bosko doesn't like the way Bruno tricked him, so he breaks a stick from a branch and tries to throw it at Bruno but misses, which causes Bruno to run after the stick, like a normal pet running after a ball, stick, etc.

The stick lies down on a side of the riverbank, by a tree and also a basket. Bruno runs for the stick, (by going through piles of snow in the middle of the ice), and he notices a baby crying inside the basket. Bruno gets a better look at the basket to take a sniff; whilst he sniffs, the baby starts crying in which Bruno reacts to the movement and he runs off barking to Bosko for help. It appears to be that Bosko is skating to Bruno off-screen while Bruno follows on - Bruno knocks himself into a tree in which piles of snow fall on him, and he gets back on his track; in which Bosko and Bruno find the basket.

Bosko and Bruno make a plot to open the basket, but they are unsure about opening it. As the basket is opened, it turns out to be obviously a baby crying there after all. Bosko and Bruno try to look after the baby, but the baby plays with Bruno by squeezing his nose like a horn, in which Bosko laughs. The baby continues to cry, so Bosko and Bruno decide to take him home and become foster parents. Bosko and Bruno skate back with the baby continuously crying, and Bosko sings Rock-a-Bye Baby and the poses of Bosko there are quite unusual in terms of animation.

Back at home, the baby is all tucked up in a cradle by the fireplace, with Bruno rocking the cradle gently and Bosko playing the violin. The baby appears to be continuously crying every time Bosko stops playing the violin, the baby crying there is a great example for frustration towards Bruno and Bosko trying their best to look after the baby. 

As Bruno suddenly gives up looking after the baby because of continuous crying, he decides to sit down in a stove, because he doesn't realize that he's sitting down on a very hot one. Suddenly, his rear end is burning with flames, and Bruno yells for help. Bruno grabs a bucket of water, in which the flames extinguish just like putting the fire out of a stove or fireplace, now that gag is one I quite like.

The small incident that happened to Bruno amuses the baby, but as nothing happens, the baby starts to cry again.So, Bosko starts to get his flute out and play traditional American music like The Girl I Left Behind Me with Bruno playing the drums with him. The baby continues to cry, so Bosko asks him "What's the matter?" in which the baby screams "I'm crying for the carolines", in which the baby is in reference to the popular song at the time Cryin' for the Carolines.

Bruno steps out of the door, all reluctant to look after the baby - and he slams the door so he won't hear another baby scream. Bosko starts to think of another idea to tone down the baby's volume by playing the piano. Bosko uses his hands as tricks in which a shadow shows that looks like a duck and into a duckling, which are shadow puppets. He also does shadow puppets for goats, pigs and donkeys.
Bruno steps out to listen to the music, and he grabs a lamp shade like a hula dress, and starts to dance. The baby is entertained by Bruno, and so is Bosko. Bosko slides on a rug that slides him to a stove, in which Bosko opens the stove in which a goose is in there that quacks. Bosko closes the stove and continues to dance back by sliding back to the living room. Bosko continues to dance with Bruno and the baby, until a goldfish bowl falls on his head because he's standing near it. The goldfish bowl lands on his head, with Bruno and the baby laughing - and that's all folks.

This short was pretty much a hit-and-miss cartoon in many ways, it had some story, but it was all mostly singing-and-dancing. The ice-skating sequence wasn't all particularly exciting, but it did keep the cartoon going. What I mostly liked about the cartoon is sort of the baby cries, as it's just realistic. The acting in that animation wasn't brilliant, even though the animators were probably trying their best. It's one of those many Bosko cartoons that I don't particularly bother with, but at least there's some goodness that comes to it.

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