2 November 2008 | lee_eisenberg
Who is the real enemy?
Bosko, in case you've never heard of him, was the original Warner Bros. cartoon star (before Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, etc). A feisty, black and white character of no discernible species - although he looks like a minstrel character - the Looney Tunes series would have him go through a litany of adventures representing common daily aspects of life.
One entry was 1931's "Bosko the Doughboy". Hugh Harman's short casts Bosko as a soldier, presumably in World War I. Which brings up a discussion topic. You see, in Warner's WWII-themed cartoons, it was always very clear that it was WWII, and that Bugs or Daffy or whoever were fighting Nazis. Here, not only is the war never specifically identified, the enemy is never specifically identified. So how do we know who the enemy really is? One thing that we learned in "Catch-22" is that "...anyone with a gun is the enemy." Of course, I'm sure that the people behind the cartoon never intended for the cartoon to merit such a complex interpretation. I have no doubt that they envisioned it as pure entertainment. Not that it contains much in the way of entertainment. I believe that I speak for most Looney Tunes fans when I say that the Looney Tunes' golden age began with Porky Pig's debut in Friz Freleng's "I Haven't Got a Hat" in 1935.