Release date: June 25, 1932.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Starring: Johnny Murray (Bosko).
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Norm Blackburn.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.
Today's review is going to be my favourite all-time Harman-Ising cartoon made in that era from Warner Bros. you'll find out why I really like that short.
So, there is another one of those "chase" sequences that comes along, in which Bruno chases from the squirrel through different areas of the forest. As Bosko is trying to pull the trigger, he sort of topsy-turves as he ends up back in the campfire, by landing on a frying pan which almost burns him in the rear end. They also cross a river, in which the squirrel runs through it, as Bruno runs on top of it. The squirrel lands in a log hole, in which Bruno is about to make a turn, until he slips off the log and falls into the pond.
I quite like that little bit of animation of the dog running on the poster, and there is some good personality animation of Bruno here, and he sort of reminds me of another Disney Pluto, but the animation personality of Bruno is potential, compared to Pluto - but still a great attempt from the animators.
The acting here and the animation is a delight to look at. I really like the personality animation of Bruno trying to put on a good-shaped physical body. Some great emotions, and it's amazing on how it was done quite well back in 1932, and it seems that the cartoons were made in a short amount of time. Some great stuff in there so far.
During the race, there are a lot of fit looking dogs that are built for racing, but Bruno is just unfit for racing, and that's why he's already tired out. Bruno starts to slow down, that even Bosko has to jump onto the tracks and make Bruno run faster, but to an even bigger shock Bruno jumps out of a fence when he spots a squirrel.
Lucky for Bosko's clumsiness, Bruno runs back on the track, and thanks for the bees - Bruno starts to catch up in the face. Bruno is now competing with a winning "No. 2" racing dog that was in the lead all along. I really like how Hugh Harman used his story ideas for bees that became an important part of this story.
Bruno is now in the lead, but only at the very end of the race, until he finally reaches the finishing line (but the line bounces Bruno backwards), but the commentator announces that Bruno has won the race, in which Honey and Bruno step in the arena very proud of Bruno, but it also means that they win 5 grand - and that's all folks.
That's a reason why I really like that short very much. There is a good short story in there, but it isn't about a dog race, it's about Bruno's troubles in his physical and those bees really helped him win the race. Surely, you may have seen something similar before, but back in 1932 - they didn't always have gags like this in cartoons, so it was great for the time. The character animation was very good in it, particularly scenes featuring Bruno. What makes the cartoon great is that there is hardly any old animation reused from earlier shorts, and it's mostly just new animation. I feel that Harman-Ising have really tried there, and placed in a lot of effort, while they found the time to make a great black-and-white cartoon.
This is why the cartoon is my favorite in this Warner Bros. era (1930-1933).