Sinkin’ in the Bathtub

2 in 132 of Looney Tunes (1929-1939)
animated short film history
Release: Apr. 19th, 1930
Country: USA
Director: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising

“The film opens with Bosko taking a bath while whistling ‘Singin’ in the Bathtub.’ A series of gags allows him to play the shower spray like a harp and give the limelight to the bathtub itself which stands on its hind feet to perform a dance. (There is a clear shot of a toilet during this scene, and the bathtub tears off sheets of toilet paper during its dance, permissible only in the pre-Hays Code days.)

Once he finds his car, Bosko goes to visit his girlfriend Honey, who is showering in front of an open window. ‘Tiptoe Through the Tulips’ plays in the background. A goat eats the flowers he brought, so he serenades her to get her to come out. Their country drive presents grave perils for Bosko, with the first obstacle being a stubborn grazing cow. The drive continues as the car is at first resistant to go up a steep hill, then speeds out of control (Bosko exclaims ‘mammy’ in the original version during this portion of the film.) The sequence ends with the car plunging over a cliff into a lake. Always able to adapt, Bosko continues their date as a boating trip and plays the last refrain, using lilypads as a marimba.

The cartoon ends with Bosko saying the classic line ‘That’s all, Folks!’

This cartoon was first theatrically released with the lost Warner Bros./Vitaphone Technicolor film The Song of the Flame.

Made in 1930, this short marked the theatrical debut of Bosko, whom Harman and Ising had created to show to Warner Brothers. Bosko became their first star character, surpassed only much later by Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. Notably, this is the only publicly released Bosko short to feature Bosko’s original blackface dialect; he would later adopt a more falsetto voice for later films. Also, this is the first publicly released non-Disney cartoon to have a pre-recorded soundtrack (in addition, ‘Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid’ had a pre-synched track.)

Some of the animation by Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising was lifted from some of the Oswald The Lucky Rabbit cartoons they made a couple of years earlier. A young Friz Freleng worked on the production as well.”


Sinkin’ in the Bathtub is available on YouTube.


Happy Harmonies “Bottles” 1936
Super rare and totally awesome


Silly Symphony - Merbabies directed by Rudolf Ising and Vernon Stallings, 1938

A vintage 12.5 in. x 10 in. peg hole paper of a water concept art that was embellished in pencil, ink and gouache. The artistic piece itself measures 5 in. x 7 in., which features a colorful underwater setting where the merbabies amuse and perform their circus show. The artist responsible for this piece, Ferdinand Horvath, signed on the bottom of the right. Horvath is legendary for his contribution to backgrounds, character designs and scenarios to over fifty Disney shorts. His work also extends to Disney’s debut film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.