Friday 12 May 2023

That Sound Looks Like Lightning

Bosko gets knocked down by his punching bag in Battling Bosko (1932). The phone rings. Three drawings, animated on ones, are used in a cycle, showing lightning bolts representing noise.

The hook for the receiver becomes an arm that hands the receiver to Bosko.

Why, look! Honey’s at the piano. Has anyone tried to count the number of early ’30s cartoons with someone playing the piano? (In Bosko’s next cartoon, Big-Hearted Bosko, he plays the piano).

It seems like this is another cartoon that Hugh Harman couldn’t figure out how to end. Honey, listening to sports announcer Graham Cracker on the radio, rushes to the ring where Bosko is lying. What’s the climax? There isn’t one. Bosko looks at her, says “Aw, uts-nay,” pulls the canvas over himself and goes to sleep.

That’s all, folks.

Friz Freleng and Paul J. Smith are the credited animators. Frank Marsales wrote a title song that Bosko sings (and scats). He also composed “Turkey Strut,” “Ha Ha Ha,” “The Barnyard Serenade,”and “Hen’s Parade,” all copyrighted Feb. 19, 1932, for this short, as well as several other Bosko cartoon tunes copyrighted the same date. The last cue when Honey at ringside is, for some reason, “The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives” by Harry Woods.

You can see how beat-up this old television re-issue print is. Poor Bosko deserves better than this.


  1. Graham Cracker is, of course, a stand-in for Graham McNamee, a prominent announcer for NBC who covered many of the significant boxing matches of the late 1920s and early 1930s (for example, the Dempsey-Tunney match in 1927), as well as many other sporting events. He was also, at this time, "The Perfect Foil" to Ed Wynn on the latter's radio show.

  2. You can see how beat-up this old television re-issue print is. Poor Bosko deserves better than this.

    I recall the Bosko cartoons that ran on late-Eighties/early-Nineties era Nickelodeon looked much better than this, so decent prints do exist somewhere.

    1. Considering how several look on the old Golden Collection DVDs, I suspect they're out there somewhere.