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.


  1. they say that from betty boops first apperances you know when her head was really massive like 1931 - 1932 and basically in boop oop a doop 1932 they said betty boop was 16 years of age

    becuse max fleischer just couldnt find a age for betty boop i cant remember fully but he said 20.. something soon after

    anyway he also mentioned Minding the baby 1931/1932 ive totally forgot atm

    but when he made that cartoon he was trying to find the right age for betty boop

    I like minnie the moocher becuse you get to see Betty Boops mother and father
    i have no idea why they are so angry at her they are muttering something about? WHY DONT YOU EAT THAT, then the mother says Rotten betty?
    anyway the mom basically ignores the father and starts dancing to some music from them old fashiond players

    and betty boop runs away and starts to sing they always pick on me

    i like this cartoon from the beggining to when she calls bimbo on the phone and jumps down the window to meet with him
    and the rest well it bores me lol i also like the ending when they run

    people love this cartoon becuse it is very surreal
    also people are forgetting... what about bimbos initation? and mysterious mose wasnt they surreal enough? lol

  2. Betty's age fluctuates a lot. I've heard a few reports, like Fleischer's son saying that she's 17. Her early appearances have her owning a house, then living with her parents, working at a nightclub, a burlesque show, etc. "Minding the Baby" seems to be at least late teens. I always refer to her as 18 because it seems to sit right in the middle of her possible age range.

    I think "Minnie" is hailed because many elements of its animation, like the motion blur, were new. The surrealism and staging weren't new, but the technique was.

    I've been listening very closely to what the parents are saying and it's really difficult to make out. I always just ignored that and took the gist of it as a young girl clashing with her parents.

    Her dad opens up asking about why she's not eating.

    I think her mom says "don't you sob, rotten Betty"

    Her dad then says to eat or he'll send her out of the house. It sounds like Houzout.

    After it cuts to Betty and the flower, it sounds like "you go to school in the morning and sit around all day and you work hard and you study hard. But then you come home and you..."

    And it's gibberish to me after that point. I think he's complaining that she comes home from school and just mopes around the house all day. He keeps saying he won't have it and asking "what is this?"

    He finally starts complaining that Betty won't respond to anything he's saying. And yells "don't 'papa' me! Don't 'papa' me!"

    So from the fragments, I think she's going through teenage angst, and her parents are tired of it. Timeless story, I'd say.

  3. Oh wow! I think she's not saying "rotten betty," but SAUERBRATEN Betty. It's a German pot roast.

    How convenient that I learn about this on Food Network on the very day we're discussing it.

  4. oh thanks i was wondering what she was saying

    here are some rare betty boop cartoons some dont feature betty boop but some feature prototypes

    The Herring murder Case (1931)

    ^ Betty Boop doesnt appear but the herrings wife/girlfriend sounds like betty boop

    Teachers Pests (1931)

    Bimbo & a protype betty boop can be seen

    My Wifes gone to the country (1931)

    ^ Betty boop can be seen in the ending sitting at a table and the dancers sing in a betty boop style

    little annie rooney (1931)

    ^ a statue of betty boop can be seen

    Wait till the sun shines nellie (1932)

    ^ Features betty boop and bimbo , Bimbo looks like a cat with a long tail....

    Buzzy Boop (1938)

    ^ features buzzy boop betty boops cousin she is cool to bad the other version with buzzy boop and the concert is lost

    Pudgy and the lost kitten (1938)

    ^ features pudgy and betty boop and also Myron the cat and his mother makes a reapperance from happy you and merry me

    mae questel quit voicing betty boop in (1938) unsure about who voiced betty boop in Honest true and love becuse its lost

    But this voice can be heard in the last (1938) people claim its margie hines voice.... but it sounds nothing like her

    mae questel (1938)
    Riding the Rails
    Be Up to Date

    (1938) it is unknown who did the voice for this cartoon being as it is lost so im unsure which was mae questels last cartoon as betty boop but i would just say (Be up to date)
    Honest Love and True

    Bonnie poe (1938) her voice can be heard in these 2 cartoons in 1938 and i know bonnies voice anywhere

    Out of the Inkwell
    The Swing School

    Unknown voice - (1938)

    The Lost Kitten
    Buzzy Boop
    Pudgy the Watchman

    Buzzy Boop at the concert (1938)
    unknown who voiced being as the cartoon is lost

    margie hines (1938) Betty Boop even gets a new look and she is taller

    Sally Swing
    On With the New
    Thrills and Chills

    then margie hines finished the last cartoons for 1939

    My Friend the Monkey
    So Does an Automobile
    Musical Mountaineers
    The Scared Crows
    Rhythm on the Reservation

    also did you notice through the years betty boops hair seems to keep changing it looks the sam but sometimes the split is gone

  5. Holy shit! Teacher's Pests! When was that finally uploaded?!

    December 2nd! Well, that explains why I couldn't find it before.

    It's great to finally see it.


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