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.