Sunday, 2 October 2011

39. Bosko's Store (1932)

Warner cartoon no. 38.
Release date: August 13, 1932.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Starring: Johnny Murray (Bosko, Wilbur, Mouse).
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Bob McKimson.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

This here is the first animation credit for Bob McKimson (exc. Bosko and Honey) and McKimson would later be the top animator for Warners, and later a director.

The short starts off with Bosko inside his store cleaning windows, and his store is simply called Bosko's Store. He is whistling whilst washing the windows at the same time. Suddenly the telephone rings while Bosko is on the job, and Bosko shouts "Okay Chicago!". The customer on the phone asks for some bologna, in which Bosko starts to cut the baloney into slices by turning on a fan to slice the bologna. It seems that Bosko's store is a butcher store.

The "Okay Chicago" was a line reused from The Queen Was in the Parlor in which Goopy Geer shouted out, but the impression was from Walter Winchell. Is it really that necessary just to reuse some dialogue from awful Goopy cartoons?

Meanwhile, there is this dog that enters the store and starts to sniff for meat inside the store. As the bologna slices are being cut by Bosko (the baloney slices are lined up in a pile) but the dog slaps one of the scales for measuring, and all the bologna slices land on the dog's stomach as he eats it all up. The dog continues to eat the slices as they are being cut. All the baloney slices are all gone and the dog's stomach looks like an accordion. Bosko is rather cross towards the dog for eating the bologna slices, but the dog tries to escape with his accordion stomach (with accordion music being played). The dog trips while attempting to exit the door, but Bosko guards the door.

Suddenly, the dog runs into the fan (not noticing) he gets sliced like pieces of bologna before the slices stick back together into the dog's normal body again. There is some good stuff in this part, the gags are complicating that it's hard to write them down while I'm reviewing them, so the gags were are quite complex - much like the other Harman-Ising gags.

 Bosko laughs at the dog that runs away from the store. The next thing Bosko does is he brings out a duster, and he starts to dance around the store sweeping up the eggs (with birds inside it), and Bosko sweeps the food. Hang on a minute; why would eggs with baby birds inside be sold at a market? Bosko also polishes a statue of a woman in an advertisement, but the statue comes to life as she giggles at the ticklish duster. The statue notices Bosko doing that, and whacks him on the head with her rolling pin for doing so. That gag is just badly reused from I Love a Parade but don't forget Warners reused gags all the time.

While Bosko is dusting his store - there is this mouse at a house that climbs up a telephone box that is dialling a number. Bosko picks up the phone - so the mouse and Bosko have a conversation through the telephone. The mouse asks Bosko if he sells dried fish: Bosko's reply was yes, but the mouse replies, "Well why don't you give 'em a drink." The joke would be funny for children's joke books, but since we can hardly understand what the voices say - the joke fails itself. We could blame the directors for those falsetto voices, but I don't know if it was orders from the producers. The mouse razzies at Bosko on the phone, so Bosko hangs up - knowing that this was a telephone prank call.

Bosko steps outside his store and decides to give his porch a bit of a sweep so customers can think of this store as a tidy store. The animation in this part is very strange to me because Bosko is sweeping the broom, but also dancing with the broom. The animation is very weird and it seems that Bosko has returned to his "singing and dancing" routines again. The weird thing is that he is dancing with a dog while he is also sweeping.

Honey and her spoilt cat Wilbur hop along the street, and Honey notices Bosko sweeping his store. Bosko also notices Honey and he runs across the road just to see her. Wilbur, who is rather grumpy mocks Bosko's voice - it seems to me that Wilbur has something against Bosko. Honey asks Bosko if he has a nickel so he can play the piano on it.

Bosko places a nickel inside the piano to play music. The coin slot appears to be rather hungry and chews the piano to get the music started. The piano is playing the music itself and there is the usual dancing routines Bosko and Honey dancing right in the middle of the short. I have to say, but I think that every appearance of Honey always has to have dance routines in the middle of the short. It's amazing on how Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising don't run out of ideas. They are singing the song How Can I Say No? (When All the World Is Saying "Yes").

The music stops (thank goodness) when Bosko spots Wilbur eating Bosko's bananas outside the store - considering the fact that Wilbur isn't paying for it. Wilbur squirts out a banana on Bosko's face that causes him to land in a basket. Wilbur starts to bully Bosko by pulling the wire that lifts the basket up and causes him to hit the wall. Bosko then knocks over a barrel of tar (called "molasses), but Bosko is stuck on the tar.

How could Wilbur do this to Bosko, that ungrateful cat. He tried to save his life at the beach, and this is how he repays him?? Oh wait, that was Bruno who saved his life (and Bosko's life).

Wilbur then tries to climb up a piece of wire to climb to the ceiling, but instead he lands on a meat grinder that grinds up Wilbur into tiny multiples. Wilbur forms himself back again into his normal shape. Meanwhile, Bosko is stuck on the piece of tar that won't release him. Bosko finally manages to escape - but in his socks, as the shoes are stuck on tar.

 Bosko tries to catch Wilbur who is on a ladder that rolls. Wilbur tips cans off the shelves that land on Bosko's head. Wilbur is now cornered, but Bosko finally grabs him - but Wilbur has one last escape plan in his sleeve. He jumps on top of a table and places the barb wire over Bosko's crotch in which he yells in pain - and that's all folks.

This is another short in which Wilbur spoils everything for Bosko, but yet he was not defeated by Bosko. This cartoon really reminds me of the earliest Bosko cartoons from 1930 and early 1931. It has the early singing and dancing routines featured in there. It was actually quite a weak cartoon itself, in terms of reused gags and the lack of a plot featured in there. The only climax stuff in there is the Wilbur scenes. Wilbur is such a spoilt brat and I really don't like him as a character, but he always seems to make the cartoons exciting, even if they are a stinker - like this one.

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