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The origins of Bosko go back to 1927. In that year, Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising were still working for the Walt Disney Studio on a series of live-action/animated short subjects known as the Alice Comedies. Hugh Harman created Bosko in 1927 to capitalize on the new “talkie” craze that was sweeping the motion picture industry. Harman began thinking about making a sound cartoon with Bosko in 1927, before he even left Walt Disney. After leaving Walt Disney in February of 1928, Harman and Ising went to work for Universal on the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons until April of 1929. After leaving Universal, Harman and Ising began to market their new cartoon character. In May of 1929, they produced a short pilot cartoon, Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid, that showcased their ability to animate soundtrack-synchronized speech and dancing. The short, plotless cartoon opens with live action footage of Ising at a drafting table. After he draws Bosko on the page, the character springs to life, talks, sings, and dances. Ising returns Bosko to the inkwell, and the short ends.
Bosko is on his way to go fishing. His pup is tagging along, but Bosko scolds him and tells the dog to go home. At the pond, Bosko prepares to put a worm on his fishing hook. However, he doesn’t have the heart and sets the little worm free. He then peels the “N” and “O” off the nearby “No Fishing” sign and uses those as “worms” instead. After a scene of a bird chasing (and failing to catch) the newly freed worm, we see Bosko finally catching a fish. He holds the little fish in his hand and says “Ain’t he cute?” The fish isn’t amused and spits in Bosko’s face before hopping back into the water. This doesn’t phase Bosko who then starts to merrily chase a butterfly. By a waterfall, Bosko spots two dancing bugs.