32. Sinkin’ in the Bathtub – Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising

BoskoBathtub

 SUMMARY: Bosko and his girlfriend Honey go on a perilous country drive.

WHY IT’S HERE: ‘Sinkin’ in the Bathtub’ was the first ever Warner Bros. thetrical cartoon and first ever Looney Tune (not counting the short pilot film ‘Bosko The Talk Ink Kid’). It introduces Warner’s first shot at a star character in Bosko. Animated by the great Friz Freleng, ‘Sinkin’ in the Bathtub’ is surprisingly enjoyable on its own merits. It quickly establishes a bawdier atmosphere than previous cartoons (completely naked characters, a dance involving toilet paper, a shot of a bra and a cow with an enormous, pendulous udder) which would come to characterise Warner Bros. animation. It also establishes a sense of enormous inventiveness instantly when lead character Bosko plays his shower like a harp. The subsequent story is thin on plot but there are plenty of funny moments, my favourite being Bosko’s anthropomorphic car unexpectedly emerging for a distant shed instead of the garage. If the short ever tends towards the dull, there’s always the sense of “I’m watching the first ever Looney Tune” to get you through the weak patches, Surprisingly, these are few and far between (Bosko crying after a goat eats his flowers is a little saccharine but otherwise there’s little that comes to mind) and while there was still a long way to go before the recognised Warner style was achieved, ‘Sinkin’ in the Bathtub’ is a charming start to a truly great story. Bosko’s climactic intonation of the soon to be iconic phrase ‘That’s All Folks’ will surely floor any animation fanatic.

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