“Swing Out, Now”: My Take On L’IL OL’ BOSKO AND THE PIRATES (1937)

Review-synopsis by Rachel Newstead

L'il Ol' Bosko and the Pirates

L’il Ol’Bosko and the Pirates

Release Date: May 1, 1937

Director: Hugh Harman

In short: Little Bosko’s imagination runs wild, conjuring up a boatload of musical pirate frogs who show him–and us–just what “wild” means…

There is, I admit, an undeniable advantage to watching cartoons in the internet age.

When I was a child, TV programmers ruled. Cartoons came on when the programmers wanted, however often they wanted–and could be yanked off the air just as arbitrarily, for weeks or even months. Or for that matter, forever.

On the one hand, it made cartoon-watching an event, something to be eagerly anticipated. And yet…

I never knew when a favorite cartoon would reappear. Were I to miss it, I’d have to wait until it came up again in the rotation, however long that may be. Consequently, it could take years of repeat viewing to catch all the subtleties, the inside jokes, the individual “fingerprints” of each animator’s style.

Now, armed with DVDs, YouTube and the ability to instantly view nearly anything I desire, as many times as I desire, that same process can take days or even hours.

“L’il Ol’ Bosko and the Pirates” was not one of those cartoons I was fortunate enough to see in my childhood–it and cartoons like it had pretty much faded from TV by the time my interest in animation reached full flower–but the rule still applies.

I first had the privilege of viewing a copy some two years ago. Then, as too often happens, I misplaced it, and much of its wonderful detail faded from my mind.

When finally able to see it again–and again and again–about a week ago, what I found was a revelation.

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