This film is part of Free

Booster Bonzo; Or, Bonzo in Gay Paree

1920s canine icon Bonzo the Dog tests the Entente Cordiale to the limit in this silent British cartoon

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1925 6 mins


Long before the Doo-Dah Band stole his name, Bonzo the Dog was a pop culture phenomenon of 1920s Britain. Originating in cartoonist George Studdy’s full-page drawings for The Sketch magazine, Bonzo was soon the star of ad campaigns, a wealth of merchandising, stage shows and the silver screen. Over 20 Bonzo cartoon shorts were made, primarily for the British market but also receiving some distribution in the US. However on both sides of the Atlantic they were overshadowed by the success and quality of the likes of Felix the Cat.

The films were made, with some input from Studdy himself, by William Ward and his team, who were still adapting to the 'American method' of cel animation. The lively, scattergun scripting in this film – cramming together fashion gags, political rants, an aeroplane trip, public drunkenness and a cross-Channel swim – is partly thanks to the script outlines of Adrian Brunel, acclaimed writer and director of a number of quality live-action features in the 1920s and beyond.