Directors: Hugh Harman & Rudolf Ising
Release Date: October 1930
‘Congo Jazz’, Bosko’s second official cartoon, is Harman and Ising’s answer to Disney’s ‘Jungle Rhythm‘ (1929).
Like Disney’s cartoon, it hasn’t aged very well. The cartoon opens with Bosko wearing a pith helmet and exploring a supposedly African jungle. When confronted by a tiger (a species not endemic to Africa), Bosko immediately loses the pith helmet.
He appeases the tiger with music, and then kicks it over a cliff. Then he has to sooth a large ape, which he does by giving it some chewing gum. Together they play some plucking string music with their gums, while a few monkeys dance. Soon, other animals join in, e.g. a kangaroo, another rather un-African animal. Bosko directs all the animals into an upbeat tune.
The cartoon is low on gags and feels endless, especially during the musical part. The most extraordinary scene is that of a palm tree shimmying to Bosko’s music as if it were a woman. The animation of Bosko is still very rooted in the Oswald-era: Bosko’s body is very flexible, and almost mechanical.
Watch ‘Congo Jazz’ yourself and tell me what you think:
‘Congo Jazz’ is available on the DVD ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Six’