Saturday, 17 September 2011

32. Bosko and Bruno (1932)

Warner cartoon no. 31.
Release date: April 30, 1932.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Starring: Johnny Murray (?)
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Paul Smith.
Musical Score by: Frank Marsales.

The short starts off with Bosko and his pet Bruno walking through the empty rail tracks, in the middle of nowhere.They appear to be tramps and Bruno is just sniffing around with him, and is sort of his companion. Bruno starts to scratch, and bites his own fur because there's a flea stuck in there. As soon as the flea is out of the fur, then walks up to the tip of the dog's tail and Bruno flicks the flea out of scene.

As Bosko and Bruno continue to be walking on the train tracks, they walk onto a railroad bridge, and they suddenly hear the sounds of steam trains - oh boy, they're in trouble. The train appears to be chasing after them (even though the camera angle looks as though it's heading straight towards them). Whilst running away from the train, they come across a handcar, in which they use it to support the speed, and to try and get away from that train. While paddling on the handcar, they come across a break on the bridge, in which they turn upside down, with the wheels of the hand car stuck on the break, before popping back up to normal back on the usual train tracks.

I have to say that the camera angles of the train tracks is just all wrong, because it should be mirrored, as if the train is chasing after them, not steaming straight towards them. Harman should have flopped those shots, to make it as though they are chasing. It just doesn't work to me.

 Whilst Bosko and Bruno are still on the handcar, the car hits a huge rock in which they fall back down into the ground, but they still runaway from the the train. Why do they continue to run on the tracks? They're back on land, why not just jump off to land, in which the train won't charge at them.

Bosko and Bruno continue to run on the train tracks (oddly enough for some reason), and then Bruno's foot gets caught on the rails, in which Bosko tries to change the switch but the switch is locked. After failed attempts to try and free Bruno, Bosko tries to pull the switch as hard as he can, but the approaching train comes in time, in which Bruno appears to be dead and Bosko turns depressed. It turns out that Bruno was hiding under the hatch in the train tracks all along to trick Bosko that he was dead. Holy hell, Bruno does this again to trick about his death, he's so "sadistic". Plus, the gag was reused from Big-Hearted Bosko.

After Bosko is furious over Bruno's trick, he throws a rock that was supposed to aim towards Bruno, but it seems that he don't see the rock from that point on. Bruno continues to bark, and Bosko continues to follow him. They enter a tunnel in which it's dark, and from the audience's point of view; we see Bosko and Bruno scared. We think that there is another train approaching, but until Bosko and Bruno run out of the tunnel and jump off the train tracks to hide in a rock (*heavy sigh* THAT took them a while to figure that out!). But, it turns out that it isn't a train and it's just a cow walking on the tracks making annoying sounds. Jeez, they panic like that over a cow??

Bosko and Bruno jump off the tracks and land in a ditch in which they see some chicken tracks, "Look Bruno" says Bosko, and then Bruno starts to sniff to find out. Bruno continues to sniff through (while Bosko walks through a log in a pond, while Bruno continues to sniff underwater), until they come across a farm with chickens.

While Bosko and Bruno are looking at the chicken clucking and minding his own business, do they plan to grab and cook the chicken? Nope, Bosko wants the chicken eggs to cook that's all (well, chicken's still nicer to eat). Bruno goes inside the chicken farm, until a chicken notices Bruno in silhouette and identifies him as a dog, so the chicken runs in panic, as Bruno chases after the chicken. It appears to be that Bruno was supposed to distract the chicken by chasing it, while Bosko tries to make a grab for one of the eggs.
As the chasing continues, the chicken gets caught in a lawn mower, in which the mower moves, with chicken feathers are coming out and sticking onto Bruno. Eventually as all the feathers are out, Bruno looks like cement because of the lawn mower with the chicken inside, and the chicken is now naked. Bruno shakes off all the muck, and Bosko joins in the chase, by boasting "Gem 'em Bruno" (what now Bosko wants to eat the chicken?), until Bosko and Bruno see a figure off-screen they turn around and scram, as Bosko shouts "Scram Bruno!"

So, Bosko and Bruno are being chased by an old timer, and I don't t know what creature he's supposed to be. The old timer vows revenge on Bosko and Bruno for trying to chase the chickens, and the farmer tries to shoot them with his shotgun. The gun gags were reused from Bosko's Fox Hunt.

 As Bosko and Bruno run for their lives, from an outraged farmer, they end up at an edge of a cliff, in which there is a train approaching. Due to lucky timing, they land on one of the boxcars, and the farmer has lost his luck in shooting them. Suddenly, the boxcar they are on is loose and they end up in a disastrous ride which was OBVIOUSLY reused from Box-Car Blues and Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! With Bosko trying to stop the boxcar from going anywhere, and Bruno screaming - they are in trouble.

The disaster for Bosko and Bruno finally finishes for them when the boxcar lands on a cow (is it the same cow from earlier in the film?), and the cow is squashed from the telephone pole, and the cow extends and walks off. Gee, does that sound familiar (Box-Car Blues)?? Bosko and Bruno look at each other in confusion - and that's all folks.

Onto my thoughts: well, the cartoon kinda flaws with the fact that there are reuses like in the beginning, like when Bruno fakes his death from Big-Hearted Bosko, and that the boxcar disaster has been reused many times. Some of the concept of this cartoon was reused from Box Car Blues like the fact that Bosko is a hobo in this short, and also the boxcar disaster. The story was a bit different there, like when Bosko is in a farm, never seen that before - maybe on The Booze Hangs High. This cartoon isn't great, but not terrible at all.


  1. The cartoon is really disjointed and shows the disadvantage of the pre-storyboard era. The producer would come up with a premise and people were asked to submit gags around it. From that, a cartoon was put together. If they didn't have enough gags, and this one is really weak on them, they filled time by re-using gags or footage.

    Bosko's voice is the same guy doing the M.Ms in falsetto in this period.

    My guess is the farmer is a goat but the hat covers his horns. It's hard to tell because all the H-I characters had the same kind of heads, with identical open-mouth grins.

  2. Yowp: You strike a good point here, this cartoon was around around 1931/1932 and before the storyboards were invented by Webb Smith at Disney. But I wonder how they planned their cartoons.