Betty Boop – Paramount Pictures Cartoons
Betty Boop is a female cartoon character who gained popularity during the black-and-white period of animation. During the 1930s, her image was quite controversial because she displayed a style of clothing, never before seen in a female cartoon character. Her clothes emphasized her sexuality – short dresses, a garter, high heels, even a revealing cleavage.
Betty Boop full review
Betty Boop: Animation That Ruled The Hearts Of Adults
Created by Max Fleischer and put on paper by animator Grim Natwick, betty boop appeared in the Talkartoon series in the 1930s. The cartoon made its first appearance in the 1930 episode named Dizzy Dishes. In it, Betty was a poodle. Seeing her sing on the stage, Bimbo (another dog cartoon character) falls in love with her. Although in the first episode Betty acted merely as a love interest of Bimbo and had no dialogues, her presence did not go unnoticed. Due to the character’s immediate popularity, Fleischer decided to give her human characteristics while Bimbo retained his dog-like features.
Betty Boop: the inspiration and transformation
Betty’s likeable features included her round face, stubby nose, and bud-like lips. Contrary to what most believe, Betty was not inspired by Clara Bow but by Helen Kane. Her transformation gave her human ears with earrings. Although in the first episode, she was shown wearing stockings and high heels, she did not have much sex appeal. She can be seen rooted to the same spot for the entire length of her role. Later on, as a human, Betty flaunted her sexuality openly. She can be seen wearing garter belts that showed often whenever she danced or bended. Soon, the belt was removed from the right leg and until present, the character wears it only on the left leg.
Betty: Character sketch
1930s was the era of Flapper – a group of women, who advocated women’s right of equality. They wore short skirts and wore their hair short. They were the free spirit, who drank alcohol and talked of sex casually. Betty’s character was that of a flapper. In a variety of betty boop cartoons, she can be seen making sexual innuendoes, wearing see-through clothes and dancing provocatively.
Who was the audience for betty boop cartoons?
Despite being animation series, Betty was not meant for kids. The adult audience liked her because of her sexuality, which was not obscene and was projected gracefully. Still, with the coming of The Production Code, 1934, Betty cartoons were toned down. She was no longer seen shaking hips or winking at her love interests.
Betty Boop today
The animation character has a good fan following. You can buy Betty merchandise like colorful t-shirts, shirts, shorts, etc. online easily. In 2014, a video game named Betty Boop Dance Card was released, in which you could dress Betty as per your choice. However, currently, there is no Betty cartoon series on air. Fleisher Studios CEO Mark Fleischer has hinted that there could be a Betty movie in 2016.