Sinkin' In The Bathtub is a 1930 black-and-white Looney Tunes cartoon and is the first in the "Looney Tunes" series. Honey makes her first appearance. Bosko makes his first appearance in a theatrical film, and his second appearance of any kind. (His first appearance was in a demo reel called Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid (1929), which was never released commercially.). A Hugh Harman-Rudolf Ising Production, it was released to theatres on April 19, 1930 and distributed by Warner Bros. It was supervised by Hugh Harman and and Rudolf Ising (both uncredited) and produced by Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger and musical score by Frank Marsales. Made in 1930, this short marked the theatrical debut of Bosko the "Talk-Ink-Kid" whom Harman and Ising had created to show to Warner Brothers. Bosko became their first star character, surpassed only much later by Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. Notably, this is the only publicly released Bosko short to feature Bosko's original blackface dialect; he would later adopt a more falsetto voice for later films. Also, this is the first publicly released non-Disney cartoon to have a pre-recorded soundtrack (in addition, "Bosko the Talk-Ink-Kid" had a pre-synched track). The song "Singing in the Bathtub", sung here by Bosko, was originally introduced in the Warner Bros. feature The Show of Shows (1929). In addition to everything else, "Singin' in the Bathtub" was Warner Bros' response to MGM's "Singin' in the Rain" (written in 1929, years before the Gene Kelly movie).
Bosko is happily washing himself and whistling "Singing in the Bathtub" in the bathtub, turning random objects into instruments, like a shower spray into a harp. Even his bathtub starts to dance! A nude Bosko pulls his pants up by pulling on his hair. He changes the direction of the shower spray to whisk him outside. Suddenly, he pulls out a huge harmonica out of his pants and plays a tune while dancing toward his garage. His automobile, however, comes out of an outhouse and walks over to Bosko. Bosko winds up a handle to start his car. Bosko begins his ride, playing his harmonica and scat-singing "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" while picking up tulips in a field. He stuffs the tulips in his car horn as he stops at his girlfriend, Honey's house where she is also singing in the bathtub.
She notices Bosko, gets dressed and greets Bosko from her small balcony on her top floor. As he is about to surprise Honey with the tulips, a random goat eats them. Realizing this problem, he starts to cry but Honey reassures to Bosko that she still loves him. The goat then blows a raspberry which leads to Bosko kicking the goat's rump over his head. Bosko then makes a saxophone out of two pieces of his car. He then plays a tune much to Honey's dismay. She gets so annoyed that she pours bubble formula into his saxophone. Bubbles blowing out of the sax, he then plays, "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles". Honey dances on the bubbles in a rhythmic pattern before traveling down to greet Bosko. Bosko then dances on the wooden board walkway which makes an xylophone tone. He then advices Honey to enter the automobile. They drive happily until a cow, chewing cud, blocks the road. The cow ignores Bosko and spits on the front of his automobile, flattening it.
Bosko pulls the front back up and pushes the cow's body below its legs for an easy way to get across. The cow, astonished, winds up its tail to get his head to normal height and walks away. The couple laughing do not notice a big rock which launches Bosko out of the automobile and into eight mini-Boskos who regroup to one. Bosko then chases the automobile up a hill and catches up with the runaway car. The car pops but goes back to normal. Bosko then pushes the car lightly up the hill, but downhill, is another story.
Honey screams, "Help!" repeatedly as the car slides downhill. Bosko, out of the car, catches up and pulls on the (flexible) exhaust pipe. The pipe drags Bosko through an array of boulders and trees and yes, boulders again. Bosko then lands in front of the car. Bosko then yells, "Mammy!!!" (which is usually muted in modern showings). After the automobile goes through the doors of the house, undamaged. The car launches off a cliff and lands on a spiral-shaped road way (like a corkscrew). Honey falls out of the car but lands back in several times. They come across a cliff. Bosko, realizing it's a dead-end, jumps off with Honey and car behind. Bosko's pants are snagged on a tree branch above a pond, and Honey and her car fall into the pond. The resulting wave turns into a hand, frees Bosko from the tree, and places him into the car. Happy, Bosko uses reeds to hit on lily-pads like a xylophone for one more performance of "Singing in the Bathtub".
Theatrically released in the USA with The Song of the Flame (1930).
The scenes in which Bosko's mouth fills the screen and he splits into miniature versions of himself were previously done in Bright Lights (1928), an Oswald the Rabbit cartoon that Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising worked on whilst they were at Disney.