Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back to work

Well, now that the holidays are (finally) nearing an end, I'm free to work on some of my crap. I've managed to start about twenty different images and finish none, so I'm going full-steam ahead on a Jessica Rabbit that hasn't received any love for about two months, maybe more.

I'm also going to start talking about and showcasing pin-up work by some of the greats in the business. Most pin-up work done today is done by comic artists or otherwise childish realists for more-or-less pornographic purposes.

I'm of the mind that pornography is not a thing, per se, but a quality. An image of a naked man or women can have a pornographic quality to it while also possessing artistic qualities. Obviously the determination of whether it is "porn" or not is to what degree the work possesses both. Even the rankest amateur internet porn possesses artistic qualities. The people making it made decisions about lighting, sound, body positions, and camera angle. All of that is art. The end result is very basic art and exists primarily so someone can pull some pud to it, but the art is there.

All of my work has a pornographic element to it. If we define art as something within a work meant to communicate an idea, as I argued on my Candle in the Dark blog, then pornography is a work meant to elicit a sexual response. That means there is pornographic elements all over the place. My work is of sexy women, so of course pornography is a part of it. If I did nothing but still-lifes of fruit, then I think that then my work would have no porn in it.

Pin-up artists of old used their work to stretch some serious artistic muscle and to communicate ideas beyond just "hot chick." They wanted to communicate situations, character, events, sex, friendship, and many other ideas. Compare some of the best, Gil Elvgren and Greg Hildebrant, with one that's technically good but artistically void.

Gil Elvgren: A Warm Welcome. 1959. Oil on canvas.

Greg Hildebrandt

Carlos Diez

Notice a difference? Diez's type of work is for the Heavy Metal Magazine crowd (Fantasy and boobs?! There's nothing better!). Comic-oriented, heavily pornographic, technically good but lacking the texture and staging of the works by better artists. Whereas Hildebrandt and Elvgren made a character and story in an an image worth a thousand words, Diez's can be summed up with "hot, wet chick with big boobs."

I don't want to completely deride the removal of staging, since there are other pin-up artists that communicate everything they want to communicate through the image of the woman and sparse other elements. Hajime Sorayama, for example, has little staging but elevates his erotica to such an extreme point as to make it an artistic statement in and of itself.

Hajime Sorayama

The same can be said of Olivia De Berardinis. She's far lower on the eroto-meter than Sorayama, but remains artistically dense.

Olivia De Berardinis

I LOVE the early pin-up work. Elvgren or Alberto Vargas. They had a sense of erotica but also a sense of artistic creation. It's arousing, but entertaining. Modern pinup certainly has the arousing part down, but is so devoid of artistic merit that it just stops being interesting once the erotic novelty wears off. There's no playfulness, no comedy, no story. The woman in the image is just that, an image. She is nothing but a body to get off to. The greats recognized an almost Grecian level of beauty to the human form, and you see this in some of their truly classical works, like this one by Zoe Mozert,

Or this one by Gil Elvgren

There's so much there that it's breathtaking. This is art. This is what I want to do, what I want to see, and what I want to talk about. I hope that more artists step up to produce this level of work, instead of just falling into the easy money possible from pornographic garbage.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In Memoriam: Roy Disney.

I haven't been doing much blogging, what with the onset of the holiday season, but I had to mention this. Perhaps it was overshadowed by the death of Britney Murphey, but a death I consider more important is that of Roy Disney. Son of Roy O. Disney and nephew to Walt Disney, Roy was intimately involved with the workings of Disney Corp. from an early age.

What I think Roy will be remembered for is understanding the vision of his father and especially of his uncle. He understood that they were businessmen, but also artists. They wanted to create great things, be it movies for the ages or amusement parks that didn't have dirty carnies wandering about. The last two times Disney lost its way, Roy was on the front line fighting those who wanted to destroy it.

Now it's not that these guys were bad guys. They didn't specifically desire the destruction of Disney. It's just that they were suits-&-ties. Men who got to where they were via well-tread paths and connections, and really had no specific skills. This infection (and trust me, it is an infection), is somewhat unavoidable. As a company grows, the ethos that started with the company becomes diluted. The original guys with all the talent either die or cannot watch over every aspect of the company.

Inevitiably, a suit with an MBA gets hired. And since he has no skills, and knows that he has no real skills, he will surround himself with other skill-free people to ensure that he's never found out. Thus, the infection spreads. You can see this growth of suits-&-ties in many corporate stories. Worldcom, IBM, Disney, all American car companies, etc. It's a business story as old as business. And Roy was there to try and stop Disney Corp. from falling into the same trap.

First he led a shareholder revolt that installed Michael Eisner and brought about the Disney Renaissance. After Eisner slowly but surely lead the company into the artistic crapper, I'm left to wonder how much of the renaissance was Roy's doing, but I'll give Eisner the benefit of the doubt.

Roy was an immense stabilizing force in Disney. He always had his eye on the art, and that resulted in movies that Eisner himself would have never produced, like Fantasia 2000. Disney is incredibly lucky that they now have the guys from Pixar sprinkled throughout the corporation, hopefully providing the same focus and skill that men like Disney once provided.

If Roy had died only a few years ago, I would have lamented that he died with little hope that Disney would ever return to the lofty artistic and productive heights of its golden era and the new renaissance. But, very happily, he died now. He died with a new era of Disney just beginning to stretch its legs. The merger with Pixar and the production of Princess and the Frog must have put his heart at ease, and I'm happy about that.

Rest in peace, Roy, your work was not in vain. The company you love, I think, is safe for the time being.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Betty Boop Film Class Part 8

Otzi08 Has been kind enough to upload one of the few Betty Boop cartoons not available on YouTube; the tragically dated Teacher's Pest. I'm jumping back in time for this one, since we're already up to Minnie the Moocher, but the uploading of it was a big enough event to warrant a new film class post.

It's alarming to see how old this cartoon feels. The comic timing, the staging, the animation, the voice, everything seems old. Strangely, it feels older than some of Bimbo's earlier cartoons, like Dizzy Dishes.

Much like most of Fleischer's earliest cartoons, it seems to be ripped straight from Vaudeville, with most of the action built around allowing song-and-dance numbers. The overall staging has not yet started to delve into the surreal, instead simply using a school day as an excuse for aforementioned song & dance. Still, though, he's using cartoons to produce moving images that are simply fun to look at, and that's the only reason they exist. Like Bimbo snoring; there's no reason to have ten seconds of the table walking around other than that it looks funny. This also allows him to come up with a funny animation sequence and then repeat it. The audience doesn't notice the repeated sequence of frames because they're so damned weird to begin with that the eye actually appreciates the extra time to contemplate what it's seeing.

Furthermore, while the staging is archaic, the animation is anything but. It's substantially more advanced than what was seen in Dizzy Dishes. The constructs are still a bit wobbly, but they're much firmer. None of the grotesque fluctuations seen in earlier cartoons, where the character looks vastly different from scene to scene. To see what I mean, bring up Dizzy Dishes and freeze any given frame. Then do the same for Teacher's Pest. Each frame stands alone much better, and this cartoon is less than a year younger.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Betty Boop Film Class Part 7

And here we are. Minnie the Moocher is the Betty Boop cartoon. It's one of Fleischer's three cartoons in the top 25 cartoons of all time. It's a landmark in animation style and construction. It's also the first Betty Boop cartoon that is actually about Betty.

If you go back to the previous few cartoons, you can watch how Betty is slowly becoming more and more the centerpiece of the episodes, but with Mask-A-Raid and Boop-Oop-A-Doop, Betty does not open the cartoon and it all plays out more like an ensemble cast. Dizzy Red Riding Hood opens with Betty, but seems to concentrate on Bimbo. This the first one that opens and closes with Betty alone, her role as a flapper is cemented, and she's now officially a teenager rejecting the old ways of her parents. Awww. How emo of her! I bet she'd just love Twilight.

The video I've uploaded includes audio with very low gain, so turn up the volume. I had to use it because it was far and away the best video quality of all the uploads.

I'm not going to comment much on it. This is a cartoon that should simply be experienced. It's just as trippy as Bimbo's Initiation. The lip-syncing animation is just continuing to get better. I especially like the mouth animation of the prisoner ghosts. The finer details are still lacking, and the patterns are still very exaggerated, but they're much more expressive and quick. One thing that's of importance is the first use, as far as I know, of motion lines/motion blur in the animation of the walrus to illustrate fast movements.

Keep an eye out for Koko to come out of the inkwell, again.

The rotoscoped animation of Cab Calloway's Walrus is really great. But it is a bit jarring when it jumps between that and the non-rotoscoped walrus. Moreover, the lyrics and themes of the song really drive home that, at the time, cartoons were very much aimed at adults. Kids wouldn't understand any of it, certainly not the pun of a cat singing scat. And the animated flip-out that concludes the show I think would have just overloaded anyone under the age of ten.

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Bimbo Wallpapers

My first Bimbo wallpapers! He may not be a vixen, but his name is now basically a derogatory term for women, and I'm pretty sure I'm insulting women by objectifying them on this website, so it all comes full circle. Or something.

4:3 ratio
From Cartoon Vixens Wallpapers

16:10 ratio
From Cartoon Vixens Wallpapers

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bimbo Final Editable

Well here it is! The final Bimbo. The lines are tweaked. The colors gone. The details intact. I'm very happy with it.

From Cartoon Vixens Wallpapers
Bimbo was simple enough. Apparently, Grim Natwick always hated Bimbo. From an animator's perspective, I can understand why. Bimbo is very much lacking any serious character. He almost seems like a default, background-level construct, only he's the star of the show. Betty and Koko are unique, especially Betty, who's general look has never been matched or copied.

I think he deserves a bit more credit than Natwick gave him, though. Since he was effectively the genesis of all of the cartoon tropes that constitute his construct. He's got the shirt with no pants. He's got the white gloves. He's got the big-ass eyeballs. There's no character to him because when he came out, these elements were new.

I added some texture to his shoes and some shadows under his feet, but otherwise he looks identical to the widely available character sheet. I'll have some wallpapers up soon. Cheers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Betty Boop Wallpapers

I finally got around to making some wallpapers from one of the images I finished.

It's of Betty standing in her famous... gun?... pose. The images are situated to the left to facilitate a pile of desktop icons to the left. I guess it's the opposite on Mac desktops, but if you're using a Mac, you're undoubtedly super-creative and make your own desktop images, anyhow.

I made B&W versions, and as usual I made the lips red. There's just something about that. I'll have some center-positioned wallpapers up soon, and I'll also have the Betty Boop logo done and available. Otherwise, enjoy.

4:3 ratio
From Cartoon Vixens Wallpapers

16:10 ratio
From Cartoon Vixens Wallpapers

4:3 ratio
From Cartoon Vixens Wallpapers

16:10 ratio
From Cartoon Vixens Wallpapers

Bimbo Prototype 2

He's coming along just fine. I should have a bevy of wallpapers of him done in a short while. I like the old cartoons. Their constructs are so simple, it makes it very easy to translate them into thick vectors.

I tried to colorize Bimbo, but it just looked like shit. I think that, unlike Betty, I'm going to keep him B&W. Any Bimbo/Betty combos will have to render Betty in B&W as well, or else I risk it looking off. I want to remain faithful to the original ideas and aspects of the cartoons.

A Little Break

I've been taking a little break from vector work to indulge my other artistic endeavor, photography.

I'm producing desktop wallpapers at 16:10 widescreen and 4:3 standard screen ratios all the way up to, I believe, the highest resolutions currently available.

If you're interested, stop by and download some nice wallpapers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Changes to The Site

I've changed the feed going into the CoolIris wall above and the link to the Cartoon Vixens album. I created an album that's nothing but wallpapers and high resolution work, as opposed to just linking to my general feed. You can still easily get to my general feed through the link, it just takes a couple of clicks.

Monday, November 2, 2009

John Lasseter Sticks it to Michael Eisner.

"I've never understood why the studios were saying people don't want to see hand-drawn animation... What people don't want to watch is a bad movie."

Or so says John Lasseter. And by people, he of course means Michael Eisner, a.k.a the guy who shut down traditional animation at Disney.

He's probably also reveling in the fact that he's basically Disney's saving grace. Disney had been doing nothing but milking their properties and driving their value into the fucking dirt for nearly a decade. By squeezing every ounce of blood from their IP, they left art and artistic integrity so far behind they couldn't find it again with Hubble. They truly had become the "rapacious, soul-less" company that Roy E. Disney had accused them of becoming. For lack of a better word, they were hopeless.

But here we are, 2009, Disney's hopes and dreams riding on the work of a bunch of guys that they freaking FIRED. They fired Lasseter back in the early 80's, after they decided that CGI films were going nowhere (how forward-thinking), and they fired John Musker and Ron Clements in 2004 after declaring that traditional animation was dead (how forward-thinking).

Disney fucking deserves to fail, but these guys deserve to succeed. I guess it's good that I like these guys more than I hate Disney. It's because of them that I feel so confident that this is going to be a complete rebirth of the Disney company. It's because of them Disney is saved. It's because of them animation is serious, again.

For 'Princess,' Disney Returns To Traditional Animation Style (

What Ever Happened to Strong Female Cartoons?!

I was watching the first episodes of Rainbow Brite a couple of days ago and it hit me how lacking pop cartoons are. Where are the adventures? The storylines? The shit that doesn't involve middle-school-level drama like Kim Possible?

I've lamented this frequently. Think of all the great, narratively coherent cartoons from the 1980's and 1990's. Where are today's Darkwing Duck, or He-Man? But perhaps more importantly, where are today's Rainbow Brite and She-Ra?

Back then, girls had lots of great role models that still catered to girly fantasy. Both Rainbow and She-Ra had BEAUTIFUL horses. Both had lots of hair and literally coruscating wardrobes. Yet, along with this pandering, they were strong characters who took charge, lead to victory, and solved problems when others were cowardly and bitchy.

Girls today get shows that have been Bratz-ified to the point of nearly encouraging prostitution. Either that, or they've been replaced with good, but incoherent sketch shows like Spongebob.

I can appreciate that the "'tween" psychosocial group entered the mainstream, but as with Michael Eisner claiming that traditional animation was dead simply because Disney's cartoons were failing, it's not that people (and kids) don't want cartoons, it's that they don't want BAD cartoons. And, man, back in the 80's, cartoons were bad with style. Turbo Teen, anyone?

And as this great article discusses (bottom of page), the 'tween model is only part of the problem. You are not being a curmudgeon who simply thinks anything new isn't as good as what you had as a child. Saturday morning cartoons are getting worse.

But the internet is the saving grace! Now, kids who ARE your market can find your work wherever it may hide. I know I rant about letting go of the old revenue models and embracing what the internet can offer, but seriously, LET GO! Give your work away! Put it up on YouTube, offer DVD's, publish blogs, do anything to get your stuff out there!

Bring back great cartoons! Let our kids experience the same great fantasy worlds that kids from not-that-long-ago were able to experience. Don't distill it down to whizz-bang-shit-exploding-Marlon-Wayans-being-an-idiot like they did when they raped my memory of GI-Joe this past summer. Saturday morning may be dead, but the internet is just starting.

I'm going to start this as a call to creators to dig back into the zenith of saturday morning cartoons and try to use it as inspiration to give quality cartoons a rebirth. The internet, and even tools like Flash, can bring quality cartoons to a massive audience with small budgets.

My first vote goes to Rainbow Brite.

The Disappearance of Saturday Morning (

Saturday, October 24, 2009

In Anticipation Of...

I am seriously looking forward to The Princess and the Frog. It's a beautiful throwback to classic Disney musical production. Also great is that the animation is a throwback. Disney was producing some great-looking stuff throughout the 80's, and had one of the most inventively drawn bad guys in history with Ursula, whom I still consider a high water mark in bad guy animation.

Disney started falling off of a cliff by Pocahontas, which was stunningly rigid, bland, and lacking any semblance of character. Even the "cute" sidekicks sucked. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was better, but not by much. And Mulan was abysmal! Who the hell did they think they were? Genndy Tartakovsky?

Again, the "animate by focus group" mentality remained strong in Atlantis and Treasure Planet, both of which bombed in the box office. Home on the Range was better, but still played and looked like an overgrown TV show pilot, which, frankly, I suspect it was. Disney never misses a chance to drive a property into the dirt.

Of course, after grinding out pieces of shit for a decade, Disney declares that CGI has "killed" traditional animation. Don't you just love how company executives think? "We've been failing repeatedly. It's obviously the market and not me, because I have an MBA."

But the guys from Pixar are real movie guys. They know animation, they know story, and they know business. They know that all the MBAs in the world are only icing on the cake. You have to start with quality.

Toy Story 2 was good in spite of Disney executives, who just wanted to push anything out the door. They fired John Lasseter in the 80's, only to return to him as savior. They marginalized CGI, then reaped the rewards years later.

That's why I have such high hopes for The Princess and the Frog. Almost exactly twenty years after Disney was saved with a good, old-fashioned musical, so it stands to do it again.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

120Hz Hurts.

I hate new 120Hz and 240Hz modes on televisions and I know exactly why.

Many people complain of the "camcorder look" produced by the 120Hz modes on new, modern TV's. Basically, the Hz rating of a television is the number of times per second that the screen changes. So, theoretically, the TV is capable of producing 120 frames per second. Sadly, TV broadcasts are 30fps, and movies are 24fps. Even most video games don't go higher than 60fps.

Now theoretically, 120Hz is a holy grail for home film reproduction? Punch it into your calculator, it's the lowest common denominator for 30 and 24, and that's big. That means that every frame of a film's 24fps multiplies into an equal number of screen frames. Specifically, five frames. Currently, televisions refreshing at 60Hz have to perform an action known as the 2:3 pulldown. That's the only way to distribute 24fps evenly across 60 frames.

But with 120Hz, oh baby, each frame from the film's 24fps is displayed on screen for an equal 5 screen frames. Or with television, each of the television signal's 30fps is displayed 4 times. Or each of a video games 60fps is displayed twice. This means that video from any source is reproduced smoothly.

Unfortunately, television manufacturers are trying to find ways to advertise their sets beyond what should be done. This piece of marketing shit is called motion interpolation. We'll use film for example. Instead of displaying each frame from the film five times, resulting in 24 images seen by the viewer every second, the television will create new frames from the information contained in the 24 original frames to fill the full 120 that the TV is capable if displaying. Theoretically, this should result in smoother motion, without any of the jittery display commonly associated with film footage on TV.

Too bad it doesn't work. Everything in modern video technology is based around the old limitations. DVD's were mastered and the films were filmed with 24fps in mind. Television is made with 30fps in mind. Trying to interpolate your way past it cannot remove some of the details. Film looks realistic because it is the closest thing to human sight we can achieve with images captured. If something is moving quickly, 24fps gives us motion blur. Trying to interpolate frames in between that results in abnormal motion, because the human eye does not see in 120 perfectly distinct moments every second.

Things blur and flex as they whiz past. They do not go past us quickly while remaining perfectly clear the whole time. 120Hz does not capture how we see the world. 24fps does. Just think about taking a photo. If you set the shutter speed to 1/24 sec, and have someone move, the motion is captured in the frame. If you set the shutter speed to 1/120, you have much more of a "freeze-frame" look, with more detail, but less motion. In early cinema, they discovered that the amount of motion and detail captured in 24fps best approximated human vision. When they first started making film, they could have gone faster. They could have done 30fps, or 45, or 52, or any other random number, but they didn't. They did 24 because it looks right. 120 looks terribly, horribly wrong.

This is especially problematic for animation, which tries to approximate that sense of motion with each frame. For example, unlike something that was filmed, animation might use weird, exaggerated frames to make the in-film motion appear smoother or more realistic. Interpolating frames in between frames that were drawn specifically with 24fps in mind results in a unsettling, too-smooth look that seems to run too fast, because most of the interpolated frames are trying to "catch up" to the actual frames from the movie.

This is not a matter of taste, where I'm merely used to 24 and will get used to 120. 120Hz interpolation is breaking what was made. It cannot possibly alter everything about film creation to make it look good. If a film was made with 120fps, and everything was calibrated to make that 120 look good, that would work just fine. But we don't have that. We have 24fps, or 30fps, which looks like shit when bumped up to an artificial 120fps.

My advice to you, if you buy a new TV, find out how and TURN THAT SHIT OFF. Just say no... to interpolation. Or, if you prefer, friends don't let friends interpolate. Or, give a hoot, don't interpolate. Only you can prevent interpolation. Or one that actually rhymes: unless you hate, don't interpolate.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bimbo Prototype 1

Ok, I realize that Bimbo is not exactly a Vixen. Actually, it's kind of questionable as to what Bimbo is at all. Supposedly, he's a dog, but he hasn't looked remotely like a dog for most of his existence. Dizzy Dishes made him look kind of like some anthropomorphic block of rubber with a hat. Still, He's an integral part of cartoon history and Betty Boop's history specifically, being her ostensible boyfriend, companion, side-kick, and friend.

So I'm creating a series of images dedicated to him. I'll likely do Koko the Clown as well. This is a very early piece of work; no more than twenty minutes of work are in this image. Still, I like uploading early work because early, rough pieces frequently look incredibly cool. Characters missing bits of their construct look so alien as to be almost unsettling. So yeah, enjoy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Betty Boop Film Class Part 6

In between Bimbo's Initiation and the seminal Minnie the Moocher came a few less memorable Betty cartoons. They're noteworthy for seeing the beginning of Betty's rise from secondary character behind Bimbo to being the primary star of Fleischer Studios.

Bimbo's Express is the first cartoon to list Betty as one of the stars. She was on screen for less than a minute during Bimbo's Initiation, and perhaps has total screen time of no more than five minutes in all previous cartoons.

I love Bimbo's Express because many of the details are such a great throwback to a time not that long ago, but where things like horse-drawn moving carts are represented as though the audience would recognize them as every-day objects. Because they did. It was only 78 years ago, and yet a scant 60% of the nation's households had electricity. If you look at rural areas, that number dropped to less than 10%.

This cartoon isn't very memorable from a story or direction standpoint. The energy is low and lots of stuff seems pointless. The cartoon basically starts three minutes in. I LOVE how Bimbo suddenly turns into a tenor at 5:05. Coherency was not a big concern for Fleischer. It should be noted that their lip-syncing is getting much better by this point. They're still missing some of the finer principles, but what they have gets the job done.

A month later would bring Minding the Baby, which is notable for some of the most extensive uses of lip-synced dialogue up to this point, and also for some of the most explicit language in the series. At 3:15, Betty sings a song to try and get Bimbo to come over, since her parents are both gone, and all but states that it's a booty call. Bimbo responds by saying his parents are having a fight over an ice man (again, a great reference) who keeps coming over even though they have an electric refrigerator. A not-subtle reference to his mom having an affair.

Minding the Baby is otherwise forgettable, but the historical references are fun, especially the "Stuck Market" newspaper the baby reads. Remember, this was 1931. We were only two years into the Great Depression.

Two months would pass until the next Betty cartoon, and by now Betty is the only character getting top billing. This is a Betty cartoon. It's also time to say hello to the full-human Betty for the very first time.

Mask-A-Raid is another cartoon that seems to follow no rhyme or reason. There is total chaos on screen for five solid minutes. While not as weird as Bimbo's Initiation, it's up there.

The next film, Jack and the Beanstalk, was released after Mask-A-Raid but had begun development earlier.

I think it may have been a leftover from Grim Natwick's days, judging from the design of Betty and Bimbo. Regardless, this is the last cartoon to feature Betty as a dog. I guess it's debatable as to whether she's a dog in the next cartoon, Dizzy Red Riding Hood, since her ears are hidden the whole time, but since the overall design follows Mask-a-Raid more closely, I'm assuming she's human.

UPDATE: Where Jack & The Beanstalk fits in is something interesting that I didn't touch on. Bimbo's design is most useful in this cartoon. First, it can't be too old, since the animation principles for lip-syncing were more advanced than in Mysterious Mose. Second, Bimbo's head has become uniformly white by the time of Jack. Unfortunately, many Bimbo cartoons are not available online for me to watch, so I have to go on this website, which indicates that Bimbo had gone white, as seen The Bum Bandit, in Tree Saps.

The same website lists The Herring Murder Case as the debut of the modern Bimbo. I'm assuming that the redesign happened in time for production of Bimbo's Initiation, which is the second cartoon to feature the modern Bimbo. This Bimbo is seen in all following pictures except for Jack & The Beanstalk.

The lines in Bimbo's eyes are very simplistic in Jack, so much so that they almost never fully surround his pupils. By Silly Scandals, and even The Bum Bandit, Bimbo's eyes were much more coherent as opposed to just two dots and a line for defining expression. So I think that Jack had begun production before Bum Bandit. Jack & The Beanstalk may very well be the first cartoon put into production with the newer Bimbo design, but since I can't find some cartoons to watch, I can't be sure.

Still, this means that Jack sat on the shelf for nearly a year before being released. I wonder what was going on behind the scenes. Whatever it was, Jack & the Beanstalk is definitely a relic from Grim Natwick, released after he left.


Dizzy Red Riding Hood isn't terribly noteworthy, I only make mention of it because you can see more directly that with Disney's work the connection between Japanese animation and American animation, which was the stated inspiration of the early anime and manga authors. The wolf is very strongly similar to later Japanese work, so much so that he looks like Sonic the Hedgehog.

Much like Minding the Baby, Betty and Bimbo partake in actions at the end that represent sex. I also think that his usage of the word eat might be a rather blatant reference to oral sex. It's a tough call. It's first recorded usage is 1927, which usually means it had been around in the vernacular for some time before, but Fleischer might not have known that context at all and was just using it to describe passion.

Next up is Any Rags. This is a serious throwback for people today, to the point where the setup makes almost no sense.

The viewer can kind of piece together what's supposed to be going on, but only with a complete historical context do the events seem coherent. Bimbo is playing the role of a rag man, or rag-and-bone man. Believe it or not, we had one of these in North Kingstown, RI up until the late 1990's, which is the only reason why I knew what it was.

This cartoon is also the first of Koko the Clown's return episodes, where, strangely, he's apparently gay. It's funny that the effete stereotype of a gay man was already entrenched in popular culture way the hell back in 1931. It's also of extreme interest that this gay character is displayed in a positive way. I wonder if Fleischer had gay friends or family members. History seems to indicate pretty strongly that none of Fleischer Studio's primaries were gay, so it makes you wonder.

Take note of how, even though by now Betty was the most popular of Fleischer's characters, that cartoons starring Betty had not really made it through the production pipes. Even though Betty gets top billing, this is very much a Bimbo cartoon. Betty is on screen for a scant 23 seconds. I counted. But, in that short time, we get to see her bra twice. Ohh, Fleischer. You pervert.

Moving on, we have Boop-Oop-A-Doop. Notice how we still have not gotten to the point where the cartoons are completely about Betty. Over half of the screen time is taken up with random characters and Bimbo being an ass. And lord knows why he's trying to sell peanuts to his little brother from Minding the Baby, who appears to be be voiced by Mae Questel. It's also Koko's first non-cameo appearance, after his five seconds of screen time in Any Rags. Appropriately, Koko is drawn out of the inkwell.

Boop-Oop-A-Doop continues the sexual themes of Betty cartoons, with the ringmaster being overtly perverted. He gropes Betty and makes an obvious insinuation that if she wants to keep her job, she better put out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first film portrayal of workplace harassment in history. This cartoon also references Betty's Boop-Oop-A-Doop in a noun form, subtly implying that it means her virginity.

And that's that. After all of this build-up, we come to Betty Boop as one of the most persistent and iconic stars of the cartoon age, and Minnie the Moocher, one of the greatest works in cartoon history. These seven cartoons represent an immense amount of growth in cartoon and animation principles over less than a year. We saw the push for ever-more explicit sexual references, only to be killed in less than three years by the Hays Commission. We saw the exeunt of Grim Natwick, Betty's founding animator, who would go on to a job as lead animator on Walt Disney's Snow White and mentor to Chuck Jones. Basically, we saw the solidification of modern cartoon principles as we saw the solidification of Betty herself. The rise of Betty IS the rise of cartoons.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Celebration of Animation.

I've been learning a lot about animation in general as I go through all of the research required to write the Film Class posts. I have unearthed a treasure trove of material on Betty's original designer and first animator, Grim Natwick.

There's so much to discuss about Natwick, his legacy, and his connections throughout the animation world that trying to condense it all here would be silly. Instead, I heartily recommend that you click through the following links to read up on him and animation in general.

Of note, in my Film Class about the Bum Bandit, I brought your attention to Betty on the locomotive. Apparently, if a commenter here is to be believed, Walt Disney also noticed how great the whole scene was.

John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy, is an animation fanatic. Any and all posts of his are worth reading.
- Posts on Betty Boop
- Posts on Popeye
- This post is about the solidity of character design like I was mentioning, and how early Fleischer lacked a lot of solidity.

Michael Sporn Animation Inc. is another blog dedicated to a discussion about animation is just as good as Kricfalusi's

- Posts on Fleischer

The definitive collection of animation information and material online.

- ASIFA presents a history of Grim Natwick.

Betty Boop Film Class Part 5

Moving ahead only one Betty cartoon, we come to Bimbo's Initiation. Released about a month after Silly Scandals, Bimbo's Initiation was immediately hailed as a breakthrough in animation. The surreal visuals, smooth lines, and incredibly dynamic backgrounds were eye-popping and are impressive even today.

Unbeknownst to viewers at the time, Bimbo's Initiation was also the beginning of the super-bizarre style that would soon be applied more broadly to Fleischer's later works. In his earlier films, cartoon physics held sway, but they existed in a cartoon representation of reality. In The Bum Bandit, Betty chomps off the tip of the Bum Bandit's gun (How symbolic, *giggle*), but that just represents how tough she is. It's a cartoon representation of a real-world concept.

Bimbo's Initiation, on the other hand, is a cartoon representation of, I dunno', a nightmare, I guess. No physics take hold. Anything can happen and will do so for no apparent reason. Cause & effect have no purchase. He falls down a manhole, some random mouse comes up and padlocks the ground. What?! All of the order members have candles on their heads. Knives come to life. Flames dance to a fiddle. Whole rooms rotate for no reason. The events transpire simply because it's possible and it looks funny. That cartoons would be used as a way to represent things happening simply because they could, with no logic or reason behind any of it was actually quite new at the time.

This was the last of the Betty/Bimbo films to be animated by the the guy behind much of Betty's creation, Grim Natwick, and some of the touches he throws in are just fantastic. at about 3:55, Bimbo blazes into a room riding a bicycle, where a pool full of fish is center-frame. Bimbo's reflection, smoke and all, is animated. It's such a glorious touch that adds a great amount of depth to the scene, where the various elements actual feel like they exist in the same universe.

Sexual elements are perhaps more pervasive in this cartoon than any of the earlier films. From Betty's first appearance at about 4:15, where she beckons Bimbo with the phrase "come inside, big boy," to Bimbo's interpretation of that as something sexual, illustrated by his perverted giggling, sex is strongly implied. I LOVE the hilariously outdated term he uses to describe Betty: a pippin. Apparently, this comes from a coveted type of apple in the late 1800's and is used to describe an "excellent person or thing." Love it! I'm so using that word in general speech.

The theme of sex continues with the underlying theme of asses and ass-slapping. From Bimbo bumping over things as he falls down the manhole cover, the ass-slap bicycle, the hilariously pronounced butts of the order members, the stairs on Bimbo's way into the basement, and finally Betty and Bimbo's completely insane dance at the end, the rump could practically be called the third cast member.

The whole cartoon might seem like chaos, but it was groundbreaking. The animated backgrounds were amazing, the solidity of the characters shows even further advancement, and the combination of bizarre visuals synced with music resulted in what can only be described as a mini-masterpiece. You might not have known about it, but in the world of animation its legacy is alive and well. In 1994, it was recognized as the 37th greatest cartoon of all time.

I would also like to provide my interpretation of this cartoon. It represents a dream of Bimbo's that starts off as day residue, turns into a nightmare that represents Bimbo's struggle with the real-world's sexual mores, and finishes as a wet dream after Bimbo has accepted his sexuality. He leaves the real world by entering (penetrating) a hole, and themes of holes and penetration are found throughout the film. He finally realizes near the end that the beautiful thing that he wants is the same thing as the ugly thing that he was initially afraid of, and what's wrong is his perception, not the thing. That's my two cents. Or maybe one.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A note on my wallpapers.

I thought I should make mention of why my images are usually shifted to the right in my wallpapers. I'm assuming that the bulk of the people coming to my blog are coming in on Windows machines, and windows currently defaults to aligning icons and other desktop clutter to the left. So for the sake of order, the image is on the right, and your various pr0n-related shortcuts (you perv) will be on the left.

More Betty Boop Wallpapers

Here's some more wallpapers of Betty. I posted in both 4:3 (1600x1200) and 16:10 (1920x1200), this time, and made a black and white version with the red lips that I like so much. I dunno' what my deal with that is. I like kissing, I think. I should do it more often. Where is my cat?

The watermark is again just in the corner and easily editable-out. I put it in there primarily so people wandering by in Google search know from whence the image came.

4:3 versions-
From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens

16:10 versions-
From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Roger Rabbit High-Def

Praise Allah!

Someone has uploaded a high-definition version of the club scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. As far as I know, there has been no release of a high-def Roger Rabbit in any country, so I don't know where he got this. It could simply be a very good rip of the DVD version, because the resolution of the film doesn't appear to be up to full-hd snuff. Not that this means anything. Blu-ray launched with a print of The Fifth Element that was so bad the DVD version looked better. Still, it's a great scene and worth watching in such quality.

Bonus: We get to see TWO vixens in one video.

I had to down-size the display to fit my blog post format, so make sure to click full-screen.

Jessica Rabbit Hopping to Completion

Looking familiar, no? Jessica rabbit is surprisingly easy. I'm tearing through her lines much faster than Red, I just wish her starting lines were of higher quality. I'd kill for a Blu-Ray version. But as it stands, I have to deal with YouTube video, my own DVD, and the few high-res images online.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Red Hot Riding Hood Continues

After uploading the super-zooms on Red's face, I noticed how bad some of the lines were. I'll be uploading updated vectors soon.

UPDATE: Here it is. The lines are much better, now. This is a FULLY EDITABLE .png file. You only really need this if you want the most recent lines for your own backgrounds or images.

From Cartoon Vixens

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A note

A note on the CoolIris interface above. If you use your scroll wheel on your mouse, you can zoom in and out of the lineup of pictures. Very helpful.

Red Hot Riding Hood Wallpaper 1 at 4:3, as promised.

I said I'd upload it, and here it is.

From Cartoon Vixens

And while I was at it, I did some palette swaps and made some clean, simple backgrounds with the image.

From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens

I tried making the silhouette look of my Betty wallpapers, but Red's outline isn't iconic enough to really make any sense out of it. I really liked the black & white image, so I blew it up into a couple of other zooms of the same image and general layout.

From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens

And just for fun, a few more.

From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Thing

You'll notice the funky little interactive gallery just above this post. It's called CoolIris and it's exactly what it looks like. It's pretty. It's free. And it does a pretty damned good job of allowing quick easy access to my Picasa feed.

If you like an image, click on it once to zoom in, then click the tiny, little button just below the X to the upper right.

More Red Hot Riding Hood Wallpapers

Yes, my first wallpaper was called #2 and this is #1. I jump around in my work. Hell, I still haven't uploaded Betty Boop #1.

This image had a lot of gradients in it, so here it is in .png. If anyone wants it in .jpg or .gif, just post a comment. I tried it in .jpg and, at 100%, it looked fine, but the image was nearly 700kb. This .png is only 350-ish. Much more efficient and it looks better to boot.

This is a 16:10 ratio at 1920x1200 resolution.

From Cartoon Vixens

Monday, September 14, 2009

Red Hot Riding Hood Wallpaper 2

Here's a trio of wallpapers made with my most recent creation. I figured three with differing colors mixes it up effectively. These are all 16:10 ratio at 1920x1200 resolution, but I'll upload 4:3 ratio wallpapers soon.

Again, these are all .gif files. I lose a lot of color information, but it doesn't have any compression artifacts like .jpg, which looks like crap. I'd upload them as .png files, but setting those as wallpapers seems to not go well with some video cards. Since I usually rely on solid colors, I'm not worried. I have some wallpapers with a lot of gradients, I'll likely upload those as .png files, damn the video cards.

From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens

From Cartoon Vixens


I can't believe I forgot!

Being an animation nut, a certain film holds a special place in my heart: The Thief and the Cobbler. Known as Arabian Knight in this country, it was released by Disney back in 1995 after some-thirty-years of troubled production. It is right up there with Snow White as a true animation masterpiece. It was never finished according to the vision of the creator, but some animation buffs who eclipse me ten times over cobbled together (pun sort of intended) a re-make that more closely matches the original script.

The vixen in the movie is Princess Yum Yum, and one of my favorite cartoon princesses. She's alternately stupid and intelligent, puzzled and annoyed. I also can't get enough of her design. I don't think there has ever been a character animated before with quite so many eyelashes.

I encourage you to read all about the history of the movie and watch it fully on YouTube. I've posted part 1 and the trailer.

If you are in the know with all these wacky technologies that the young folk are usin', you can search the BitTorrent sites for a full, DVD version you can get and burn.


Now that I have completed images of my two favorite vixens, Betty and Red, I'm going to move on to some new ones. I have lots more images of Betty and Red on which I'm dutifully working, but I want to mix it up a bit before I start just working on the same ones over and over.

First up, Jessica Rabbit. I've got one about half-done already, so it should be pretty easy. Jessica is also a lot easier than Red. I think I might then move on to Velma. I've always had a thing for Velma. It must be the glasses.

Red Hot Riding Hood Final

From Cartoon Vixens

As I promised, here is the first high-res Red Hot Riding Hood final image .png.

Remember, when you click on the image, click on the "This image belongs to Cartoon Vixens" on the right to bring up the proper gallery. You can then re-select the image you want to download the real, high-resolution image.

This file IS EDITABLE. So feel free to use this to make cartoon porn, you beast. Perhaps we could work out a profit-sharing arrangement.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Fine Line Between...

Much like love and hate, there's a fine line between celebration and exploitation. I've been thinking about this a lot more, recently, as I continue work on my various vixens. Obviously, most of the cartoons I mention are from an earlier time and all have a degree of sexism apparent in their creation. But as with anyone classified as a vixen, an element of sexuality is required. But at what point does that sexuality stop being a celebration of sexuality and femininity and instead mutate into sexist exploitation for borderline pornographic purposes?

It's such a difficult slope to navigate. I'm a straight male, for one thing, and I like looking at women. While the various vixens with which I work are all very cartoonish, there are enough characteristics of humanity in them to elicit a sexual response. But I'm also an artist. I love art. I contemplate beauty. I appreciate the human form, both male and female, as an amazing product of evolution and of my own perceptions of it. It's a disquieting thought to think about where the line is drawn in my mind. Where does my enjoyment of, and work with, the female figure stop being artistic and just become lascivious?

As a straight male, I'm beginning to come the conclusion that it's impossible to separate the two. And that right there may be one of the most persistent seeds of sexism. Even if artistic drivers are what nurture a love and appreciation of the female figure, my id will always sexualize the work to a great degree. I think that this has the unavoidable result of coloring my perceptions. Coloring how I view, understand, and appreciate the art on which I work.

The above mentioned fine line is no better explored than in genre films. Hell, some filmmakers have built their entire careers on celebrating the exploitation, *cough*Tarantino!*cough*, be it black, asian, or gangster films. And perhaps that evinces a greater depth to the problem. There is, in fact, no line between celebration and exploitation. Exploitation can become celebration, and what was once artistic can become exploitative. People making chop-socky exploitation flicks didn't ever think that, fifty years in the future, people would look back on these films as a celebration of a time and an ideal, however flawed it may have been.

It's hard for me. I want to be artistic, but I'm also a powerfully sexual entity. I actively try and separate my sex from my art, and I suppose I succeed to a degree, but the very existence of this blog shows that I have failed/succumbed at least in part. Namely, you don't see me making a Cartoon Hunks blog. I also assume that Freud was at least somewhat right, that the id does drive behavior. The impetus, the basic psychological fuel to do things arises from the primal drivers inherent to our most basic functions. Architecture from a need for shelter. Clothing from a need to keep warm. Fine cooking from a need to eat. And portraits from a need to connect with humans and have sex.

Still, does all of that result in an inescapable sexism? Is it literally a part of my work? Am I sexualizing these creations to the detriment of the character and creation? I don't think so, and I hope not. While the fact that females are both humans and sexual prospects, at least from the straight male perspective, I must always look at them through two lenses. It's annoying that I must be ever vigilent with myself. Making sure that possible sexual attraction doesn't affect me. Making sure that while my mind may be in conflict, my actions are measured and egalitarian.

So while there is obviously a degree of sex in these images and in the work I do, that my chosen work is sexual is no surprise. That the images I draw are of attractive women is no surprise. I am celebrating what I enjoy, even though that very celebration seems to necessarily require exploitation. I am exploiting the female figure for visual pleasure. I don't think that's inherently sexist, though. My fantasy world is exactly that, a fantasy. And I recognize the difference between the real world and the one banging around between my ears. I also strongly feel that there is little that is pornographic with my images. Pornography implies an artistic creation where almost no thought is given to the elements other than sex. And even there, the raunchiest of internet porn has artistic merit to it; the person making must have at least given some thought to angle, lighting, sound design, etc.

The images are sexual, celebratory, exploitative, and artistic all in one. Sexism may have had a part to play in their creation so many decades ago, but those who were sexist are long-since dead. Much like Quentin Tarantino, the exploitation is over, now it's time for the celebration.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Red Hot Riding Hood Prototype 1

From Cartoon Vixens

It took awhile, but here she is. My first prototype of Red Hot Riding Hood. A lot of the lines are pretty messed up, but that will be fixed with time. As usually, as soon as I feel the lines are decent and final I'll upload the .png file so you, yes you, can tweak the lines for whatever perverted purpose you have.


I thought I'd point out that this image of Red was taken from Little Rural Riding Hood. It was the last of the RHRH cartoons.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Betty Boop Film Class Part 4

And so it begins.

The woman who would provide Betty's voice for most of her existence and create many of the most iconic aspects of her vocal inflections has finally made her appearance by this early cartoon. The inimitable Mae Questel, regardless of what IMDb says, likely made her debut in today's selection, Silly Scandals.

Mae Questel was the culmination of Flesicher's quest for a woman who could do cute and high-pitched, but not sound so squeaky as to be off-putting. Basically, I think he was dancing around many aspects of the character, whereby he wanted someone who embodied the youthful aspects of a flapper, but to be womanly. It's really no wonder he had such a hard time finding the right voice since he basically wanted a voice that was simultaneously a woman and a girl. In the end, I think he erred on the side of youth. This may have had something to do with the previous Boop cartoon, The Bum Bandit, where Betty's voice is very deep and womanly. I suspect that Bandit was an experiment on Fleischer's part. After deciding that the voice and character definitely didn't match in that episode, he moved on to Questel and the Boop we know and love today.

Another thing also began in this cartoon: her name is officially Betty. In previous cartoons, she either goes un-named, or is given random names like Nancy Lee in Barnacle Bill. Even though the name Betty was used in Betty: Co-Ed, and was a similar character, it could only be seen as a proto-Betty and may be the genesis of the name. So nearly a year after the character first appeared, we finally have a name for the face.

Boop is still a supporting character, with Fleischer's current cash cow, Bimbo, as the billed star. We finally see the last step in Betty's transformation before the elimination of the ears, her black, dog-like nose has been replaced with a small, more human-looking button nose. Bimbo is fulfilling his role of catch-all character for Fleischer, whereby he's used in a different capacity in each cartoon. The basic theme is the same, where Bimbo plays a role that must face adversity to reach Betty, and usually does it with song and dance. I think that's the reason why I best like The Bum Bandit of all the early cartoons. It's setup is different and Betty has the meatiest of her supporting roles.

I'm not sure what's up, perhaps production of this cartoon was rushed, but the animation quality is mixed. The animation for Betty and the Magician is pretty poor, but the animation very early in the episode is smooth and expressive. I especially like Bimbo's walk as he goes up towards the stage.

Again, Fleischer's history in silent films comes through with most of the short watchable without the dialogue. The lip-syncing is especially poor, with most of the cartoon not even trying to sync the words. Betty Boop is the only exception.

Finally, the continuing aspects of eroticism in the series manifest themselves with Betty's only partially covered breasts again making a cameo. As she's singing her top keeps falling down... for some unknown reason. I suspect it keeps happening for no other reason than to have some boob-shots in the cartoon.

In regards to Mae Questel's debut, I thought I'd celebrate with some video of her final film appearance, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Her part starts at about 3:10.

And finally, her last turn as Betty Boop in Betty Boop's last theatrical appearance. Mae would die ten years later. Eddie was right. She certainly does.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Betty Boop Wallpaper

I ran with the silhouette idea and created another one from the sitting image I created. I'm not sure why I didn't make it weeks ago, but here it is.

Betty Boop Wallpaper #3 16:10
From Cartoon Vixens

Betty Boop Wallpaper #3 4:3
From Cartoon Vixens

Betty Boop Film Class Part 3

I'm opening up this Betty Boop Film Class post with someone else's video of Betty Boop's voice. As I mentioned in Film Class 2, the voices in Mysterious Mose and the Bum Bandit (the subject of today's class) are something of a mystery.

(I've edited the gal's YouTube info to eliminate typos and errors)

The Photo is Little Ann Rothschild, I Mixed them up by mistake And the videos are that of Kate Wright as Betty Boop.

Kate Wright Only Did a Few Betty Boop Cartoons [and these appear to be them]. These Cartoons Cannot Be Little Ann because it was Stated That little Ann had Done a Betty Boop Theme, Which She did In Betty Boop's Bizzy Bee. But For Kate Wright's [cartoons], They Had Used Mae Questels Theme of Booping, Meaning that, in Betty Boops Birthday, Kate Wright never Said the Words "Boop oop a doop."

She is Seen in a Little News Reel Booping With the Other Boop oop a Doop girls, With Mae Questel taking the Lead Role, And she Actually said the Word Boop oop a doop, But the others went over her with their Booping, meaning the Rest All had Stronger Voices. (I think this is meaningless, -Aaron)

The Only Cartoon Voices Of betty Boop Which Do not Sound Familiar are Mysterious Mose And the Bum Bandit. Although In The Bum bandit it could Have Been one Of the Main Voices Just using their Original Voices and not making it Sound Babyish.

1933 - Betty Boops Birthday Party/Betty Boops May Party/Betty Boops Big Boss

Margie Hines As Voice Of Betty Boop:

Not much is known About her, But she Was in the Helen Kane Trial So that Means She Must Have Done an Earlier Voice in Betty Boop Cartoons And that Could Only have been Dizzy Dishes 1930. Because I've seen Most of the others from 1931-1935 and None Sounded like Margie Hines.

1930 - Dizzy Dishes As Quoted By [Out of the Inkwell documentary)
1937 - Zula Hula
1938- / Sally Swing/On With The New/ Thrills And Chills
1939- My Friend the Monkey/So Does a Automobile/ Musical Mountaineers/ The Scared Crows/ Rythm on the Reservation

Little Ann Little/Ann Rothschild As Betty Boops Voice, Not much is know About Little Ann, But a Few things Are Ann Rothschild broke into show business in the 1925 "Greenwich Village Follies" and was named "Little Ann Little" because she was only 4'10" tall and weighed 76 pounds. After "Dizzy Dishes 1930" premiered, Paramount, who distributed Fleischer productions, held an audition for a girl to do the voice for the new character. Ann was chosen from among many other girls and provided the voice for a few cartoons before going on the road with a Betty Boop vaudeville act. The act consisted, in part, of a drawing demonstration by Pauline Comanor, a "movie cartoonist" who drew Ann as Betty and handed out the drawings to lucky audience members.

1930 - Barnacle Bill - After Dizzy Dishes The Voice Makes a match, Not Mae Questel, i think mae Questel was one of the Mermaids in the End or margie hines either one,
1931- Mask-A-Raid/Jack and the Beanstalk/Bimbos Exspress/Dizzy Red Riding Hood
1932- - Any Rags?/Boop-oop-a-Doop/Swim or Sink(S.O.S)/ The Dancing Fool/A Hunting We Will Go/Betty Boops Bizzy Bee.
And heres a Few Clips of Little Ann as Betty Boop in a Few Cartoons of betty boop

CresantStar cites this article about her obituary, which is highly inaccurate, saying she recorded Betty Boop cartoons between 1933 and 1945, even though Betty Boop disappeared in 1939. Whoever wrote the obit was an idiot.

Bonnie Poe As Voice For Betty Boop,

As I Had Seen In The Documetry, Also she Did a Few Olive Oyl Voices, Even the one in popeye the sailor and After when mae Questel Had Created The Voice,

Here is Where She Provided the Voices For Betty Boop -
1933 - Mother Goose Land/Popeye the Sailor/Morning noon and Night/ Betty Boops Halloween party/Parade of Wooden Soldiers

1934 - She Wronged Him Right/Red Hot Mamma/Betty In Blunderland/Betty Boops Rise To Fame/Betty Boops Life Guard/ Poor Cinderella - The Last one She Did i cant think of anymore she could have done, But now that im thinking of it Mysterious mose sounds simuler to her Voice, But it Cannot Be.

1938 - Out of the inkwell

A Few Clips As Bonnie Poe As The Voice of Betty Boop In Certain Cartoons

Mae Questel is The Main Voice of Ms Betty Boop, She had Appeared in a Few Things as Betty boop/ Musical justice/The Musical Doctor, She Won Helen Kanes Contract in a Contest and Then was hired to do the Voice of Betty Boop, She had Also Created Olive oyls Voice becuse in popeye the sailor olive oyl Did not have the voice mae questel had Created, Mae was also Olive oyls Voice, Becuse when The fleisher Studios moved to florida Mae Questel Stayed Behind and continued to do Olive oyls Voice

1931 - Silly Scandals/ Bimbos Initation/Minding the Baby
1932- Minnie the moocher/Chess-Nuts/Admission Free/Betty Boop Limited/Stopping the Show/Betty Boop,MD/Betty Boops Bamboo Isle/Betty Boops Ups and Downs/Betty Boop For President/Ill Be Glad when Your Dead You Rascal You//Betty Boops Museum
1933 - Betty Boops Ker-Choo/Betty Boops Crazy Inventions/Is My Palm Read?/Betty Boops Penthouse/ Snow white/I Heard.
1934 - Ha!Ha!Ha!/Betty Boops Rise to Fame/Betty Boops Trial/Theres Something About a Soldier/ Betty Boops Little Pal/Betty Boops Prize Show/ Keep In Style/When My Ship Comes In.
1935- Baby Be Good/Taking the Blame/Stop that Noise/Swat That Fly/No!No! A Thousand Times No!/ A Little Soap and Water/A Language All My Own/Betty Boop and Grampy/Judge For a Day/Making Stars/Henry, The Funniest Living American/Little Nobody
1936- Betty Boop and the Little King/Not Now/ Betty Boop and Little Jimmy/We Did it/More Pep/Youre Not Built That Way/Happy you and Merry Me/ Training pigeons/ Grampys indoor Outing/Be Human/Making Friends
1937-House Cleaning Blues/Whoops im a CowBoy/The Hot Air Salesman/Pudgy Takes a Bow Wow/Pudgy picks a fight/Ding Dong Doggie/The Candid Candidate/Service With a Smile/The New Deal Show
1938- Riding the Rails/Be Up to Date/Honest True and love/The Swing School/The Lost kitten/Buzzy Boop/Pudgy the watchman/Buzzy Boop at the Concert
1939 - Ended the Series and Continued The Role of Olive Oyl
1988 - Who Framed Roger Rabbit As betty Boop (Cameo)

A Few Clips As Mae Questel As The Voice of Betty Boop In Certain Cartoons

The Wikipedia entry lists Dizzy Dishes as Margie Hines, then various turns by Kate Wright, Ann Rothschild, Bonnie Poe, and finally Mae Questel. Unfortunately, this website lists Ann Rothschild doing the voice for Dizzy Dishes. I think that this website, which quotes The Fleischer Story, indicates definitively that Mae Questel DID NOT do Dizzy Dishes, regardless of what IMDb says.

Because of this, I think CresantStar's analysis may be incorrect, since Questel stated in interviews that she provided the voice for Boop until the character's retirement. Any participation on Wright's part must have occurred before Silly Scandals. Moreover, this page (p.51), from a book by Max Fleischer's son, seems to indicate that Questel did the voice for the complete 118 cartoons. Further, this book also lists Mae Questel as the exclusive provider of the voice from Silly Scandals onward. I do admit, though, that the voices sound different in many of the videos. I'm not sure whether this is the print, the copy, the original recording, or the person providing the voice.

This book, about the history of Popeye, says that Questel did not originally follow Fleischer down to Florida with the studio move, which happened in late 1938. Margie Hines, ostensibly the first person to voice Betty, would take over as Olive Oyl. Questel came back after Paramount moved their animation studios back to New York. So it would be conceivable that Questel didn't do the last few cartoons, but considering that the last one came out in July of 1939, she could have easily recorded everything before the animation was done.

To further complicate things, this book lists Mae Questel as starting only in 1933, which I think is completely wrong, with Little Ann Rothschild providing the voice for two years. Both Bonnie Poe and Kate Wright are in for a single year, with all 1930 productions done by Margie Hines (Heintz, here).

I have listened to the four earliest cartoons and, unlike CresantStar, I see no reason to believe that they are different women. They sound a bit different, especially Mysterious Mose, but it appears that Fleischer was trying to find someone who could do cute but not too squeeky, and they may simply be different takes by Hines.

Now, with my continuing investigations into Betty's voice fully reported, onto the Bum Bandit.

There's not too much to say about the Bum Bandit. There are two things of animation note, firstly, Betty's facial expression when she says the words "Wicked Eye." I love the use of eye brow deformation to exaggerate the expression. It really adds character and focus to the face. The second is the first-person rush down the track to meet with Bimbo. As far as I know, that was a first in animation. It looks a bit crude, but first person is not something easily done in hand drawn animation.

This is also the only Betty Boop cartoon with an adult-sounding Betty. It's impossible to place who she is, but I'd simply assume that she's one of the usual suspects just not making the squeaky voice. Again, Fleischer was trying to figure out where he wanted Betty's voice to be, so this may have been an experiment.

Finally, this episode has another "impure" reference, with a swearing, fighting, hard-drinking woman, riding off in a train, finishing with a none-to-subtle reference that they're knocking boots inside that locomotive.

Salute Your Shorts: Fleischer Studios (