Bosko & Honey



Bosko model sheet [TAF!]

Bosko was the creation of ex-Disney animators Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising. He first appeared in an unreleased pilot film called Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid, which was created by Harman & Ising as a tool to sell the idea of a Bosko series to Hollywood film distributors. It was Leon Schlesinger who convinced Warner Bros. to distribute the series, with him acting as the middle-man. The series was named "Looney Tunes", and the first entry -- Sinkin' in the Bathtub -- premiered on or about April 19, 1930.

Bosko (voiced by animator Carmen Maxwell) is a more-or-less human version of Mickey Mouse. At first he displayed some characteristics of a stereotypical African-American, though he is probably best categorized as a non-descript living blob of ink. He appeared in a wide variety of roles, including big-game hunter, construction worker, hobo, Mountie, hot dog vendor, and World War I aviator -- and that's just in his first year!


Promotional drawing for Yodeling Yokels [TAF!]

His girlfriend Honey (voiced by actress Rochelle Hudson) was not nearly as versatile. She existed mostly to accompany Bosko on his adventures, and to use her feminine wiles to add more substance to the plot. Nevertheless, she always stuck by Bosko, and was not shy about giving him an occasional kiss. If Bosko tried anything more however, Honey would probably smack him in the face. Bruno -- the Pluto-like dog Bosko discovered on a hunting trip --   was a less than faithful companion. He caused Bosko much dismay by sadistically faking his death on more than one occasion. Wilber, the little kitten Honey gave music lessons to, also tagged along once in a while. Wilber was very good at causing Bosko much distress, either by getting into dangerous situations, or by being just plain cruel.


Bosko, Honey, and Bruno -- in color!

Bosko appeared in thirty-nine Looney Tunes, but it couldn't last forever. Harman and Ising left Warner Bros. in 1933, and since they retained ownership of him, they took Bosko with them to MGM. Bosko returned in late 1934 as one of the recurring characters in Harman-Ising's "Happy Harmonies" series. These shorts were done in color, but not much was done to Bosko except to give him a red shirt and blue pants. A short time later however, Bosko and Honey were given a radical makeover. They were transformed into African-American children! Bosko appeared in only nine Happy Harmonies before he was retired permanently in 1938. Until...


The all-new, all-different Honey & Bosko

The producers of the television series Tiny Toon Adventures rescued Bosko and Honey from cartoon oblivion -- literally! In an episode entitled "Fields of Honey", Babs Bunny is told by a mysterious voice to build a theater that shows nothing but Honey cartoons. It seems that because her cartoons have not been seen in years, Honey has become old and withered. But when her cartoons are viewed by an audience again after all these years, the laughter rejuvenates her. The mysterious voice is revealed at the end to have been Bosko. Not only are Honey and Bosko redesigned to be dog-like characters, but Honey is shown to have been funnier and more personable than she or Bosko ever were! The radical redesign was done because of fears that Bosko and Honey would be considered offensive if shown in their original form. Perhaps that was a bit of an overreaction, but it's comforting to know that old cartoon characters don't die, they just become politically correct.

Other Images:

Image These drawings of Bosko were submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office in January 1928 by Hugh Harman, four months before he left Disney. [HC]

Compare the actual ending of a Bosko cartoon to the Tiny Toons interpretation.

Image Bosko's most recent appearance was in the feature film "Space Jam", where he is seen in a portrait.
Bosko and Bruno appeared on the cover a comic book called The Funnies #30, from April 1939. Despite the fact that the MGM cartoons were more recent, the WB versions were used. Image

For more images take a look at Jon Cooke's Unofficial Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies Page.


Title Type Date Director Stars
Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid -- 1929* Harman & Ising Bosko, Rudolf Ising
Sinkin' in the Bathtub LT 05/06/30 Harman & Ising Bosko & Honey
Congo Jazz LT 09/30 Harman & Ising Bosko
Hold Anything LT 10/30 Harman & Ising Bosko & Honey
The Booze Hangs High LT 11/30 Harman & Ising Bosko
Box Car Blues LT 12/30 Harman & Ising Bosko
Big Man from the North LT 01/31 Harman & Ising Bosko & Honey
Ain't Nature Grand! LT 02/31 Harman & Ising Bosko
Ups 'N Downs LT 03/31 Harman & Ising Bosko
Dumb Patrol LT 04/31 Harman & Ising Bosko & Honey
Yodeling Yokels LT 05/31 Harman & Ising Bosko & Honey
Bosko's Holiday LT 06/31 Harman & Ising Bosko & Honey
The Tree's Knees LT 07/31 Harman & Ising Bosko
Bosko Shipwrecked! LT 09/19/31 Hugh Harman Bosko
Bosko the Doughboy LT 10/17/31 Hugh Harman Bosko
Bosko's Soda Fountain LT 11/14/31 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Wilber
Bosko's Fox Hunt LT 12/12/31 Hugh Harman Bosko & Bruno
Bosko at the Zoo LT 01/09/32 Hugh Harman Bosko & Honey
Battling Bosko LT 02/06/32 Hugh Harman Bosko & Honey
Big-Hearted Bosko LT 03/05/32 Hugh Harman Bosko & Bruno
Bosko's Party LT 04/02/32 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Wilber
Bosko and Bruno LT 04/30/32 Hugh Harman Bosko & Bruno
Bosko and Honey LT 1932* Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Bruno, Wilber
Bosko's Dog Race LT 06/25/32 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Bruno
Bosko at the Beach LT 07/23/32 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Bruno, Wilber
Bosko's Store LT 08/13/32 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Wilber
Bosko the Lumberjack LT 09/03/32 Hugh Harman Bosko & Honey
Ride Him, Bosko! LT 09/17/32 Hugh Harman Bosko & Honey
Bosko the Drawback LT 10/22/32 Hugh Harman Bosko
Bosko's Dizzy Date LT 11/19/32 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Bruno, Wilber
Bosko's Woodland Daze LT 12/17/32 Hugh Harman Bosko & Bruno
Bosko in Dutch LT 01/14/33 Harman / Freleng Bosko, Honey, Bruno, Wilber
Bosko in Person LT 02/11/33 Harman / Freleng Bosko & Honey
Bosko the Speed King LT 03/11/33 Hugh Harman Bosko & Honey
Bosko's Knight-Mare LT 04/29/33 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Bruno
Bosko the Sheep-Herder LT 06/03/33 Hugh Harman Bosko & Bruno
Beau Bosko LT 07/01/33 Harman / Freleng Bosko & Honey
Bosko's Mechanical Man LT 07/29/33 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Bruno
Bosko the Musketeer LT 08/12/33 Hugh Harman Bosko, Honey, Bruno
Bosko's Picture Show LT 08/26/33 Harman / Freleng Bosko, Honey, Bruno

*not theatrically released