Friday, 7 October 2011

40. Bosko the Lumberjack (1932)

Warner cartoon no. 39.
Release date: September 3, 1932.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger (associate).
Starring: Johnny Murray ?.
Animation: Isadore "Friz" Freleng and Carmen "Max" Maxwell.
Musical Score by: Frank Marsales.

The short starts off with a loud "TIMBER" being called off-screen, as a huge tree hits the camera and wiping the credits off the screen. We see that the short is taking place in the woods, with a couple of lumberjacks sawing trees with two people sawing each tree. As one pair chop off a tree, the trunk of the tree suddenly crawls away like a worm. The trunk crawls up an edge and then falls down a small wagon ready to be cut again. We see other gags going on such as a woodsman cutting down a narrow tree; in which the pieces get stacked up into a neat pile. We also see some insects that are trying to chop down very small trunks, with a caterpillar cutting off the barks of the tree one by one with his hands.

We then see a scene of Bosko in silhouette cutting down a tree that looks incredibly huge, but instead we PAN towards Bosko cutting down a rather smaller tree. Bosko cuts off much of the tree trunk off with the trunk coming to life with the trunk wobbling and acting out a dramatic scene. Bosko then walks on as the tree dies, as he whistles while traveling. Bosko then notices a rock with some twigs sticking out, but as Bosko whacks it with his axe, the moose yells and starts to chase after Bosko. I think that ought to have been censored for a reason.

Bosko walks on to cut off another tree, but the tree is property to a skunk that hisses at Bosko for attempting to cut off the trunk. Bosko starts to run away from the skunk until he hits a tree in which leaves fall on top of Bosko. Meanwhile a woodpecker flies into the scene in which Bosko uses the woodpecker as a drill to drill a tree trunk to the ground. The gags evolving Bosko cutting down trees are quite fun to watch, especially the woodpecker part.
Until Bosko hears a shout "Oh Bosko, yoo-hoo" off-screen - you can immediately tell it is Honey. They both greet each other. Honey is holding out a picnic basket for both of them to have a picnic. There is now this reused scene of Bosko eating a sandwich with his mouth open (from Bosko's Holiday) and the scene is disgusting to watch, but as it's reused - it makes the situation more revolting.

Meanwhile, up in a log - there is this thug who is very tough looking. In fact, he is so tough that he cuts out who pieces of tree shavings and nails as his sandwich. That proves how tough he really is. Bosko continues to compliment on Honey's sandwiches until the thug looks down at Honey, and decides on a sneaky plan to kidnap her. 

The thug grabs out a rope with a hook at the bottom, which grabs Honey on the skirt that rises the thug up to his level. Honey is then taken away by the thug, with the thug smirking "Now, you give Pierre a big kiss!", he tries to flirt with Honey in a terrifying way. Bosko sees what has happened, and wants to get his revenge. He climbs up a ladder, and threatens to beat the thug for stealing Honey. The thug punches Bosko down the ladders with the steps breaking down. Bosko lands onto a log that is about to get sawed.

The thug threatens to take Honey away unless she doesn't give him a kiss. Honey grabs onto a rope with a steam whistle, she slides down, but ends dangling from the ground, but the thug slides down the ladder to take Honey with her. Bosko runs out of the log to try and stop the thug. The thug pushes down a tree with a tap that squirts Bosko in the face, quite a complicating gag to explain.  

The thug (with Honey) escapes inside a canoe, that he uses to walk to the river, and he gets away by sailing away. Bosko hears Honey's screams, and he jumps onto a log in which three mice pop out with Bosko's orders to stroke to be able to catch up with the thug in time. The log sequence was sort of reused from Crosby, Columbo and Vallee.

The thug holding Honey enters inside a cabin, with Bosko's loud banging on the doors shouting "Let me in!", and even a moose's head on the wall, shooting at the thug's rear to let him inside. Bosko enters the cabin, ready to "put 'em up", but the thug easily punches Bosko bouncing on the edges of the beams, and landing on a bedpan.

Bosko charges at the thug, but he knocks Bosko away with one fist aiming at him. Bosko ends up inside a stove, through the pipes, out the pipes and then inside a bear rug. He runs away inside the rug but gets wounded from a bear trap in which Bosko screams. The thug is charging right at Bosko, so Bosko grabs out an axe in which he goes to the next little - by chopping him. The edge of the axe is caught stuck on the barrel that traps the thug inside the barrel, before he passes out.

 Honey congratulates Bosko for being "the hero of the day", she kisses him on the cheek in which Bosko turns all weary and hits his head on the wall with a picture of Napoleon lands on his face, with Bosko's face sticking out of Napoleon's face. Honey salutes to Bosko and that's all folks!

This cartoon was in fact mediocre at best - the gags were reused often, the plot-lines were just the same as any other Harman-Ising cartoon. There was really nothing special about this cartoon, the only part which was good was the tree chopping gags, but nothing else. Harman-Ising seemed to have liked using a lot of thugs stealing the "girlfriend" in pictures which do get tiring and pathetic.

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