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Warner Bros. first cartoon character. In 1929, animators Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising approached Leon Schlesinger, a producer, with a short cartoon they'd made called "Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid." This featured a primitively drawn Bosko talking up a storm in sync with his movements, which was a major animation advance for the time. Bosko was at this point was of uncertain ethnicity or even species. Schlesinger convinced Warner Bros., who had recently ushered in the era of "talkies," that an animated series of musical cartoons would help sell songs from their extensive record catalog. Thus Bosko was transformed (physically, anyway) into a pretty clear Mickey Mouse clone, and Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies were born. It is sad that, despite the fact that he starred in dozens of cartoons between 1930-33, Bosko is now largely forgotten.

Not to be confused with that yummy Bosco chocolate sauce!

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