Betty Boop A Cartoon Legand
A Tribute to a Legend
This is for all you Betty Boop lovers out there in Hubberland! I, for one, have always loved Betty!
The artworks featured in this particular hub are re-creations by a wonderful friend of mine, Minnie Davis. The original creators were Fleischer Studios. Minnie is a wonderful artist and she is great at keeping me in her "Boop loop". She sends me a copy every time she creates a new masterpiece and I have saved every one in a special folder. These are just a few of her collection. The feature picture was chosen in light of upcoming St. Patrick's Day and I think she is adorable! Thanks to Minnie for her permission to share her work. And thanks to Fleischer Studios for bringing us so many years of her wonderful character.
America's First "Sexy" Cartoon Character
Now let's take a trip back in time. It was in October of 1930 that Betty Boop made her first appearance. However, she was not the Betty Boop that we know and love today. She made her first appearance in Dizzy Dishes as an unnamed canine character, opposite Bimbo. Bimbo was Fleischer Studios' answer to Mickey Mouse before Betty came along. She continued to evolve in the series and in 1932, Any Rags was released and the world's first truly female cartoon was born. While there had been female characters before Betty Boop, they had been stick-like figures who played second fiddle to male characters.
Eventually, her popularity proved to be powerful enough for her to star in her own cartoon series. Even after Betty became the star, Bimbo continued to appear as her boyfriend, despite the fact that he remained a dog throughout his career. During the days of such risque' actresses such as Mae West, Betty's creators had no problem with allowing freak gusts of wind to raise her skirt many years before Marylin Monroe straddled a subway grate. Do you think maybe Marylin was a Betty Boop fan?
Was it pure jealousy?
In 1933, Betty was banned in Philadelphia for being too risque'. A year later, a singer named Helen Kane filed a lawsuit saying that Betty Boop had stolen her "boop-oop-a-doop", causing her career to wane. During the trial, other performers testified that they had used "boop-oop-a-doop" prior to Helen Kane. The singer lost her case.
By 1934 the influence of the Hays office (creators of today's movie rating system) caused a drastic shift in the way Betty Boop was presented to the public. Eventually, Betty was replaced in the spotlight by Pudgy, the pooch who was always getting her into trouble and Grampy, who, through his crazy inventions, helped Betty solve problems. The series ended with the release of Yip, Yip, Yippee in 1939.
Betty Boop enjoyed a rebirth of popularity in London when cartoonists obtained and restored some of her early cartoons, which became favorites at the ICA moviehouses during the 1970s. In 1995, UCLA Film and Television Archives released the critically acclaimed feature-length cartoon called Betty Boop Confidential, including the compilation of Snow White, a Betty Boop short featuring Cab Calloway. This was years before Disney released their Snow White cartoon character.
In 1996, American Movie Classics aired a prime-time tribute to the cartoon queen. Arts & Entertainment also aired a "Biography" of Betty Boop. This was the first time a cartoon star had been profiled for the cable network's acclaimed series.
Betty Boop's name continues to be famous today and is brought up in many movies and t.v. series around the country. Her ritzy style, risque' personality and child-like voice has intrigued cartoon lovers of all genders and ages. Whether you approve of her sexy style or not, you have to appreciate her popularity and the tremendous talent of her creators as well as the dedication of her fans young and old.
There are many who offer Betty Boop memorabelia, cartoon archives and other types of Betty Boop products for her collectors and fans. There are fan clubs, video sites, forums, biographies, books, magazines, clothing lines and many other tributes to her enormous success and beloved career.
Forever in our hearts
Even being born in 1962, Betty Boop was a huge part of my childhood, as she was many. I can only hope that she will live on in the hearts of cartoon lovers for many generations to come. She has given so much laughter to the world since her creation and has brought forth a whole new dimension of cartoon characters. She has paved the way for female cartoon characters of today and will truly remain a legend in her time. I, for one, would love to help keep her alive in the hearts of future cartoon lovers and I hope many of you reading this will as well. Long live Betty Boop!
© 2008 Bonnie N. Ramsey
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