Bingo Crosbyana (1936) Poster

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A Spider and Fly Cartoon With a Warner Brothers Spin
John W Chance8 August 2010
This is mostly like those typical 1930s cartoons in which the featured 'characters' consisted of ensembles of (usually dancing) flies, bugs or other insects, with the villain being an over-sized, black, and evil-cackling basso profundo spider.

The title tells you that this is clearly intented to be about Bing Crosby, although the character doesn't have Bing's face, as you would see in later Warner Brothers cartoons. The high point is the comic song "Bingo Crosbyana" that pokes fun at Bing's effect on women as a crooner.

Bing sued Warner Brothers over his portrayal in the cartoon as a coward. As others have noted, without his actual face being shown, Bing didn't have a case against them, despite his character singing a couple of bubba ba boos.

What makes the cartoon interesting is the comic spin that the 'hero' turns out to be a coward, and that the other male flies, emasculated by the crooner fly, become the heroes that defeat the spider. Contrast this with the countless other insect or spider and fly cartoons such as "The Cobweb Hotel" (1936) by Max Fleisher.

I'd give it a 5 for the song and the spin. Note: You can find this cartoon on the DVD of the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film "Swing Time" (1936).
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"Who is this Gay Caballero?" . . .
Edgar Allan Pooh18 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
. . . warble the smitten Lady Worker Bees near the beginning of BINGO CROSBYANA. "He is the Sheikh who murders the Weaker Gender," sing these honey makers in answer to their own query a stanza later. The main thrust of BINGO CROSBYANA seems to be ripped from Today's headlines (that is, those of Dec. 18, 2016) by Warner Bros.' always prophetic prognosticators from its Animated Shorts Seers division. Leader Trump was one of the first to pick up on this Alarm from the Past 18 months ago, informing us about how these Sheikhs constantly are drowning women in cages. Also, let's not forget that Leader Trump's first public pronouncement in his campaign concerned these "Gay Caballeros," streaming across America's porous Southern Border to ravage and murder Our Women. Since it is so Crystal Clear that Warner produced BINGO CROSBYANA as one of the earliest homages to and endorsements of a thinly disguised Leader Trump, this certainly makes its eight minutes of animated fun mandatory viewing for all the Trumpsters out there.
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Bing Crosby was probably justified
lunatroid23 May 2010
In fact, there were a lot of black actors back then who also should have sued Warner Brothers too for defamation of character. Unfortunately, they didn't have Bing's clout. There's a difference between using a famous face as a caricature and using it as a means to debase someone. In this Family Guy era, we see celebrities and politicians trashed all of the time, and there's not much the victims can do about it (for instance, Carol Burnett tried to stop Family Guy from using her Charwoman character in an R-rated parody, and lost her case. I think she had a point. That character is part of her legacy and she has a right to try to protect it, in my opinion). But back in the early 20th century, standards were different, and it's not surprising Warner Bros. backed off of caricaturing Crosby...for a while.

As to whether or not Crosby himself was a good or bad person, it depends on who is talking about him. A couple of his sons described him as a cold disciplinarian. One of his sons, however, denied that and said that Bing was a great father. And his second family of children (those he fathered with second wife Kathryn Crosby) were devoted to him. There was a story in the newspaper many years ago in which Bing said he hoped to not repeat the mistakes he made with his first family. So clearly there were some issues, issues that Bing came to regret.

To my mind, Bing had some justification to be protective of his image, but Warners had the right to freedom of expression. It's a paradox that plagues show business to this day, and likely will never be fully resolved in any instance in which such a situation arises. As usual, the only clear winners will probably be the lawyers.
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Just wait until copyright "protections" are lifted . . .
charlytully14 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The movie studios seem to think that all of us here at IMDb are complete idiots, and all they have to do is slip Congress a couple million in bribes every 10 years and every panel of every past cartoon from STEAMBOAT WILLIE and BINGO CROSBYANA to UP will STILL be untouchable for public use in 2929. Imagine a 40-year-old commercial artist with a GREAT idea for a for frames of BINGO CROSBYANA the year it came out, 1936, thinking to herself, "Well, I'll just have to wait until 1964, when the final copyright runs out." Here it is 2009, she's now turning 113-years-old, and she STILL can't do any cultural decoupage! By the standards of the corrupt U.S. Congress, William Shakespeare could not have written ANY plays, because ALL of the original source material for them would STILL be under copyright! My point in relation to BINGO CROSBYANA is that all the previous two commentators seem to focus on is whether or not Bing Crosby was a good person or a craven crooning coward, and whether his defamation lawsuit against Warner Brothers was justified. If this short cartoon were in the public domain--as it should be--we could have seen competing versions last year entitled JOHNNO McCLAINTOCK and BARACKO BAMAFLY, and most viewers would never realize that it originally lampooned an entertainer now deceased for decades!
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Warner Brothers had a defense against Bing Crosby.
durrant4145@rogers.com15 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This cartoon from 1936 shows Warner Brothers animation in its original prime. The title character, Bingo Crosbyana (it should have been Bingo Crosbyan0, but that doesn't matter), is introduced a few minutes into the short, and he proves to be a fly with a sombrero and a voice that sounds very much like that of Bing Crosby. When a spider attacks, he panics and jumps in a jam jar until the other male flies rout the spider and drop him into fly paper. When he climbs out of the jam jar, the other flies catapult him into a coffee cup! Bing Crosby apparently sued the studio for "basing a cowardly character on his voice and image," and I can easily guess what Warner Brothers's defense would have been: the male flies were all based on one animation chart, and the ladies on another. Bingo Crosbyana's appearance was based on the chart for the male flies, so technically he is not a caricature. And, as for the voice and the sombrero, Bingo Crosbyana is a parody of a Latin lover such as Rudolph Valentino, down to the sombrero and guitar. And the message he sky-writes precedes the one in THE WIZARD OF OZ by about three years.
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I would have sided with Warner Bros. in Bing Crosby's lawsuit against them
Lee Eisenberg24 July 2007
Back when Warner Bros. animation was still in its relative infancy - and Mel Blanc wasn't yet providing the voices - they made this quirky short in which an insect caricature of Bing Crosby gets all the female bugs to swoon, but proves to be a wimp once a spider shows up. These guys often turn out to be worthless, don't they? I see that Bing Crosby filed a lawsuit against WB for portraying him as a coward. Well, as it turns out, BC was worse than that. He was very strict with his family (almost to the point of cruelty), and apparently an anti-Semite. I would have easily sided with WB in BC's lawsuit against them, just because he was such a creep.

So, if nothing else, "Bingo Crosbyana" is worth seeing as a historical reference.
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