Before Bugs and Daffy became the "Looney Tunes" icons that they are today Leon Schlesinger was trying to horn in on the success of Walt Disney and Al Jolson.

As any animation fetishist knows, a lot of cartoons that were made in the early days do not translate particularly well in today's world. The "banned" cartoon can range from World War 2 propaganda in which Bugs Bunny is saying pretty harsh things about the Japanese people to silver screen adaptations of "Little Black Sambo." Unlike the motion pictures in which real technical strides were made in the name of intolerance (i.e. The Birth of a Nation and Jazz Singer), the culturally inappropriate dated cartoon short just makes the modern audience member nauseous and squirmy. What's infinitely more interesting than going back and mulling over misinformed propaganda is looking at what strange lengths corporations would go to to fix mistakes from the "golden age" of animation. No example is more blatant than the original "Looney Tunes:" Bosko and Honey.

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The Talk-Ink Kid (1929)

The preceding video is the first Bosko cartoon in which there are no strong themes of intolerance beyond an affectation of dialect and character design. The key concept to keep in mind is that this character is going to be known as the first Looney Tune, so even the mild trespasses of Bosko's origin can be seen as being responsible for political incorrectness latent in the schema.


Bosko at the Beach (1932)

By the time Bosko and Honey left Warner Brothers for MGM in the mid-thirties the racism at their root would become more blatant. The very derogatory illustration of poor black children would be the standard, though this fact is covered over online, good luck finding this video on YouTube in the U.S.

This brings us to the crux of this post, that being the Tiny Toon Adventures attempt to revise our underlying notion of the very first Looney Tunes characters. One can only speculate how this episode was arranged. Did Spielberg have an affinity for the old Bosko cartoons or was a clean-up crew asked to go in and change Generation Y's perspective of early Warner Brothers animation? The latter is the correct answer. What's even more interesting is that the new revised versions of Bosko and Honey would go on to get their own Spielberg produced show, The Animaniacs.


Fields of Honey (1990)Part 2


Bosco in Person (1933)


Animaniacs Opening

It makes you wonder, did the Animaniacs come as a response to the cleanup, or was the cleanup necessary for the approval of a show like Animaniacs to run on the air? The revision of a literal existing Bosko and Honey cartoon may be very telling in regards to how unexpected the world wide web must have been in it's early days of inception. Most, if not all questions raised in this piece will probably never be posed to the director of Schindler's List, but maybe that's for the best.