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October 13, 2015

Watch the very first Looney Tune ever

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 14th 2006 8:31AM

boskoYears before Porky Pig would become the first breakout character of Warner Bros. Animation, there was a little humanoid by the name of Bosko, the star of the very first Looney Tune, "Sinkin' in the Bathtub," a sugary-sweet animated short that debuted in 1930 at the Warner Bros. Theater on Broadway as a lead-in to the feature film The Song of the Flame.

This cartoon, and many that followed it, were created under the omnipresent shadow of Disney during a time when Walt ruled animation and the only way to get a cartoon produced was to stick to a Disneyesque formula (even the name "Looney Tunes" is a play on Disney's "Silly Symphonies" cartoons). It wouldn't be until many years later that Warner Bros. would develop a style separate from Disney and take animation to wonderfully ludicrous heights that would never be allowed within the confines of the Walt Disney Studio. While Disney focused on narrative and making images realistic, Warner Bros. chose to make cartoons with characters and worlds that that would twist, contort, and defy our laws of physics. This change in style was thanks in large part to Tex Avery, who joined the studio in 1935. "Sinkin' in the Bathtub" pales in comparison to what the studio would eventually create, but it's a great piece of animation history, nonetheless.

Watch the cartoon here.

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Brent McKee

It's not surprising that the Bosko cartoons were "under the omnipresent shadow of Disney." The cartoons were created by Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising, who had been part of the Disney operation from the time that Walt was producing his "Alice in Cartoonland" shorts in Kansas City. Eventually Harman and Ising would leave Warner Brothers for MGM and take the Bosko character with them (they owned it) while another of Disney's Kansas City Boys", Friz Freleng would become one of the leading lights at Warners.

November 14 2006 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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