Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid

Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid is a 1929 live-action/animated short film produced to sell a series of Bosko cartoons. The film was never released to theaters, and therefore not seen by a wide audience until 2000 (71 years later) on Cartoon Network's television special Toonheads: The Lost Cartoons. The film was produced on May 29, 1929 and directed by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising.


Rudolf Ising is thinking of ideas for a new character, until he draws a blackfaced person with a fountain pen, who comes to life. Ising then talks to the character, and then asks his name. The new character introduces himself as Bosko. Ising tells Bosko to show what he can do. Bosko starts to tap dance, whistle, and sing. After dancing, Bosko looks directly to the screen. Bosko asks, "Who's all them folks out there in the dark?" Ising tells Bosko that they are the audience, and asks him if he can make them laugh; Bosko agrees to try. Bosko asks Ising if he can draw a piano; Ising does so. Bosko starts to press some piano keys. When one of the keys near the upper end of the keyboard produces a low note, Bosko removes the key and puts it in its proper place near the left end of the keyboard. Bosko hits more random notes, then plays a glissando. Bosko laughs, and then sings "Sonny Boy", accidentally sliding his tongue out. Bosko opens his hat and pulls his hair, letting his tongue out of his mouth again. He plays another song, singing, which causes his head to pop out like a slinky. After that, Bosko sings again. Ising says this is enough. He sucks Bosko, who also pulls the piano, back into his fountain pen, and then him back into the ink bottle. Bosko then pops out of the ink bottle and promises to return.