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[I]n mid-1929, these ambitious and unemployed animators [Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, Friz Freleng] banded together to make their own cartoons. Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie had already appeared and proved the commercial value of sound cartoons, so Harman-Ising and company located a small outfit with recording facilities to help produce a 'pilot' film, just three minutes long, called Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid. Bosko was a rounded, rubbery character who frolicked in this film with Rudolf Ising on-screen at the drawing board. Animator [Carman Maxwell] provided Bosko's voice. There was no plot in this short film, but it certainly kept moving; its creators hoped that the novelty of sound and the facility of animation would intrigue a distributor, especially since Disney's cartoons were doing so well. . . . The first man to express commercial interest was Leon Schlesinger . . . . A contract was signed for an initial season of cartoons, and Harman and Ising concocted the name 'Looney Tunes' for their series. This blatant (but now cherished) paraphrase of Disney's 'Silly Symphonies' title gives some indication of the extent of the duo's commitment to originality in these early years - although the coincidence that gave their names a musical connotation (Harman-Ising/harmonizing) was one thing Disney couldn't lay claim to.
-- Leonard Maltin, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, NY, 1987, p. 224

Neither. This is a demo reel, not a theatrical release. Bosko's next film, Sinkin' in the Bathtub (1930), is the first Looney Tune.

Is this available on DVD?

Yes, it's included in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Volume One (2003) (V), Disc 4.

Watch Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid (1929) on:

YouTube (posted by sjhayes2) here; or

YouTube (posted by medamine39) here.

Page last updated by J. Spurlin, 4 years ago
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