Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Congo Jazz

Congo Jazz
Directedy by Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

Before Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, or even Porky Pig, the earliest star of Warner Brothers cartoons was a guy named Bosko. He looked kind of like a monkey and was no doubt influenced by Mickey Mouse. His cartoons do resemble a lot of Disney's work from the same time period, helped I'm sure by the fact that former Disney staffers Harman and Ising were at the helm.

"Congo Jazz" has no story, it's just Bosko being chased by a tiger and then clowning around with a gorilla and a bunch of other jungle creatures. The animation is good and even shows some originality in some of the gags. The film is also not quite as repetitious with the visual jokes as some cartoons from this time period are.

However, there is something to be desired in Bosko's range. His surprised expression is pretty much the same no matter what new thing he faces. Now we all know that the folks at Warner Brothers soon figured out the huge range of expressions they could create for their characters, so we can cut them some slack here.

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