Hugh Harman & Rudolf Ising (1930)
Bosko has a grand time on the farm, dancing with a cow, playing a horse’s tail like a violin and getting drunk with three pigs. Bosko dances and sings on the farm with pigs who get hold of a bottle of booze. The Booze Hangs High, released in December 1930, is the fourth title in the Looney Tunes series. The short features Bosko, Warner Bros.’ first cartoon character. The Booze Hangs High released in 1930, is the fourth title in the Looney Tunes series and features Bosko, Warner Bros.’ first cartoon character. When this cartoon aired on Nickelodeon, the part where the father pig regurgitates a corncob, flicks off the one kernel that remains on it, and puts it back into his stomach through a trapdoor was cut. This cartoon references Plane Crazy (a Mickey Mouse cartoon) and Song of the Flame (a musical operetta film). The latter features a song titled The Goose Hangs High from which this short gets its name.
Animated by Friz Freleng and Paul Smith
Bosko is an animated cartoon character created by animators Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising. Bosko was the first recurring character in Leon Schlesinger’s cartoon series and was the star of thirty-nine Looney Tunes shorts released by Warner Bros. He was voiced by Carman Maxwell, Johnny Murray, and Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas.
In 1927, Harman and Ising worked for the Walt Disney Studios on a series of live-action/animated short subjects known as the Alice Comedies. The two animators created Bosko in 1928 to capitalize on the recent success of talkies in the motion picture industry. They began thinking about making a sound cartoon with Bosko in 1928 before even leaving Walt Disney. Hugh Harman made drawings of the new character and registered it with the U.S. Copyright Office on January 3, 1928. The character was registered as a “Negro boy” under the name of Bosko.
After leaving Walt Disney in early 1928, Harman and Ising went to work for Charles Mintz on Universal’s second-season Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons. In April 1929 they left Universal to market their new cartoon character.
Schlesinger saw the Harman-Ising test film and signed the animators to produce cartoons at their studio for him to sell to Warner Bros. Bosko became the star vehicle for the studio’s new Looney Tunes cartoon series. Bosko wore long pants and a derby hat, and he had a girlfriend named Honey and a dog named Bruno. He was also sometimes accompanied by Honey’s cat-like son named Wilbur and an often antagonistic goat, particularly in early cartoons.