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Directors: Hugh Harman & Rudolf Ising
Release Date: October 1930
Stars: Bosko
Rating: ★★½

Congo Jazz © Warner Bros.‘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’

Director: Clyde Geronimi
Release Date: March 28, 1941
Stars: Mickey Mouse, Pluto
Rating: ★★★★

A Gentleman's Gentleman © Walt DisneyPluto serves Mickey breakfast on bed, then Mickey gives him a dime to get the morning paper.

Pluto loses the coin almost immediately down into a sewer, but he cleverly retrieves it using chewing gum. When Pluto gets the newspaper, he reads the funnies (a comic strip about… Pluto! – a rare cross reference to a Disney spin-off outside the cinema), before the wind starts to play with it, blowing the paper into the mud, leading to a blackface gag, which is a copy from the Pluto comic he has just read.

‘A Gentleman’s Gentleman’ is officially a Mickey Mouse cartoon, but most of the time is devoted to Pluto. In this cartoon his supreme silent character comedy is simply delightful, making ‘A Gentleman’s Gentleman’ one of the classic Pluto shorts.

Watch ‘A Gentleman’s Gentleman’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Mickey Mouse cartoon No. 110
To the previous Mickey Mouse cartoon: The Little Whirlwind
To the next Mickey Mouse cartoon: Canine Caddy

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