Saturday, 12 November 2011

56. Bosko's Knight-Mare (1933)

Warner cartoon no. 55
Release date: April 29, 1933.
Series: Looney Tunes.
Directed by: Hugh Harman.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger.
Starring: Johnny Murray (?).
Animation: Bob McKimson and Robert Stokes.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.

The short starts off with Bosko sitting on his rocking chair and is happily reading a book, sitting by an open fire, while Bruno is on the floor snoozing in front of the toasty warm room. Bruno starts to scratch but Bosko then asks him to listen to Bosko's favourite part of the story. "Listen Bruno, and then the bold brave knighht...", Bosko chants with excitement while Bruno just razzes not even listening to Bosko. As it is 8 o'clock (according to the radio) Bosko doesn't like what he is listening to, and he switches to the next channel, where Bosko switches to the song Knights Are Bold that he enjoys listening to, but after rocking in his chair continuously through the song, he gets rather sleepy and goes off in a very long kip and dreams that he is a knight.

There is some good personality going on between Bosko and Bruno, and it's one of them cartoons where Bosko is in a deep sleep and goes off into dreamland where he is a knight. There is some pretty good personality animation on Bosko's dog Bruno - who is a favorite of mine in the Bosko characters. The voice of Bosko sounds very different here, it sounds like a very soft version of a Mickey Mouse voice - I don't think Johnny Murray did the voice there. I wonder why he wasn't - was Murray ill, or busy - and Harman-Ising were meeting deadlines and replaced another actor who did the falsetto voices.

The dream then dissolves in as we go back to Medieval times, and Bosko is on his horse and he is a knight - he continues to sing the song what was being played on the radio. Bruno is in the dream as well, and he is wearing a suit of armor. As Bosko arrives at the castle, he pole vaults off the horse with his jousting sword. He makes a groan groan so the guards can draw the bridge. The guards all welcome Bosko with their trumpet playing sounds, but their face masks of their knight helmets drop and as the face marks drop, much of the trumpet comes off, with the soldiers playing the trumpet in such a bad note.

Bosko and Bruno enter the castle as Bosko is singing his version of Peanut Vender - they both enter the castle with a groovy walk style. Interesting to find this Knight who lived in Medieval times to even use this dance method since it didn't even exist back then and the days before charisma. Of course, it makes it more entertaining and interesting to watch - a Knight doing a rumba in the castle.

Bosko enters the castle, and down the steps he finds the Knights of the Round Table in which is based on the famous King Arthur and his Knights at the Round Table. All the knights at the round table greet Bosko with a "hi ho", and they pull off their helmets and are revealed to be celebrities that were very famous at their time - the Marx brothers. They raise their glasses of beer and they sing. Bosko jumps onto the round table where he dances with the Marx brothers. Bosko starts his dance routine and there are knights clothing that even come to life too. Now looking at it, it really is a dream - where it shows very famous celebrities, and charisma.

Unfortunately in my copy that I'm reviewing, there is a section part but it was removed where we see caricatures of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy doing impressions as knights - but it was cut in Nickelodeon back in the 1980's (probably time wise?), but it's not in my copy and I don't know what else to say.

Meanwhile there is a knight that is singing the tune to Knights are Bold on his horse, and waits outside the tower of the castle, where he is waiting for a damsel - and that damsel is Honey who appears to be the princess. Honey looks out of the tower rather coldly towards the villain, which causes his anger and he starts to open the locked gate, by biting off the padlock with his very strong teeth. Honey then starts crying for help as she is trapped because of the villain ascending his way at the top of the tower. Bosko then hears Honey's cries as he is to the rescue.

Bosko starts to charge towards the villain, and he is running, but in front of him is his suit of armor that runs too, but Bosko jumps into his knight suit and runs towards Honey. Bosko then arrives at the tower where he run hear the sounds of Honey screaming, as the villain is ascending his way up the stairs. Bosko then quickly rushes to the top of the stairs, where he tries to act brave and stop the nasty knight. "Stop, you mug!", and then the knight closes his face mask, and using it as a lighter to light his chunky cigar. He blows smoke on Bosko's face and walks to Honey's room.

It is one of the many Looney Tunes stories in the early years (at least up to around 1934 or 1935), when there was a boyfriend and girlfriend story, and there was always a villain to steal the girlfriend, and it was up to the boyfriend to take him. I bet that the audience finally got ticked off with the same old stories and they were wiped out. Of course, this is a part of Looney Tunes history.

The nasty old villain then jumps out of the tower window with Honey on her hand, as he's got the damsel. The horse then prepares to get steady for being squashed by the fat knight. The knight causes a hole in the ground, with half of the horses' body stuck under as well. That is a funny gag, and powerfully executed. Honey then cries for Bosko (somehow in this story they know each other). Bosko then rides on a mule (different from what he rode on earlier), and his mule then doesn't move and becomes stubborn. Now, that is a great joke - once you understand it. There is a famous simile "stubborn as a mule" which is part of the gag.

Honey's cries continue to keep on screaming, in which Bosko then falls off his mule as hit halts by coming across a lake. Bosko jumps into the lake and his knight suit automatically turns into a submarine going fast underwater. This section has some great gags I have to say - the suit, the mule, and all.

The nasty villain holds Honey to his gloomy castle, in which he goes through, and Bosko enters quickly. The bridge then moves out (like a tongue) and closes it like closing your mouth. The villain ascends his way up stairs, and closes the door inside his bedroom. Bosko was hiding all along under the bed in which he uses a machine gun to shoot bullets at his bum (but his suit would be bulletproof). The villain's temper rises very fast, and he rolls up his metal sleeve (I like that idea a lot), and whacks Bosko that causes him to skid on a row of spears. Bosko lands on the bed, and Honey tries to wake him up by stroking his cheeks...

 ...and the stroking was actually Bruno licking Bosko's face in reality. Bosko then wakes up and he walks to a suit of armor statue that he has displayed in the hallway. He grabs an axe and he chops the suit of armor into many pieces (but how is that possible though). Bosko quickly skips to his bed, and then he lands on his bed that retracts to the wall - and that's all folks.

This cartoon was much better to review than my previous one (The Organ Grinder) and it was more interesting. I'd say that throughout the cartoon there were different stages on how the plot and overall cartoon went. The short started off like a normal Bosko cartoon, throughout the middle we saw some charisma with the knights and caricatures that somehow existed in Medieval times - and towards the end of the short we saw some great gags. So, it's been a very interesting showcase, and it was much easier for me to review it.

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