Fleischer Studios (2020)

Betty Boop made her silver screen debut on August 9, 1930
and she has been booping her way into our hearts ever since!

This¬†Saturday,¬†August 9, we can all sing ‚ÄúHappy Birthday‚ÄĚ to our favorite cartoon sweetheart, Betty Boop! Created by legendary animator Max Fleischer, Betty Boop made her first appearance in the 1930 animated short called ‚ÄúDizzy Dishes,‚ÄĚ which was part of Fleischer Studios’ Talkartoon series.¬†Set in a nightclub, the cartoon introduces Betty Boop as a cabaret singer. She only makes a brief appearance, but it is long enough to captivate Bimbo the waiter and the big star of the film.

Interestingly, Betty never speaks in her first appearance. Instead, she sings I Have to Have You.

Dizzy Dishes

Dizzy Dishes is an animated cartoon created by Fleischer Studios in 1930, as part of the Talkartoon series. It is famous as the first cartoon in which Betty Boop appears, though she is not known as such until her appearance in Stopping the Show in 1932.

Fleischer Studios (1933)

An action figure of Betty Boop drops in on a small toy shop. The other toys come to life and crown her their queen. But there’s a big rag doll of King Kong. Based on the titular classical music Written by Rod Crawford.

Animated by Seymour Kneitel & William Henning.

A large factory complex struggles to produce a single package, which is rushed to a toy store. The box opens, and out steps a Betty Boop doll. The other toys come to life, parade around to the music of Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and crown her their queen. But a large stuffed toy of King Kong begins breaking things up by kidnapping Betty. Eventually, the big ape is defeated, and the somewhat damaged toys resume their parade, and afterwards fall still on a counter in a store selling damaged toys.

The instrumental title theme, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (also known as Parade of the Tin Soldiers), was composed by Leon Jessel.

Fleischer Studios (1932)

Boop-Oop-a-Doop is an animated short film created by Fleischer Studios on January 16, 1932 as part of the Talkartoon series.

“Don’t Take My¬†BoopOop-A-Doop¬†Away” is a song, written by Sammy Timberg. It was first recorded for the short film Musical Justice (1931), with vocals by Mae¬†Questel. It was then used in the 1932¬†Betty Boop¬†Talkartoons¬†cartoon¬†Boop-Oop-a-Doop. The chorus follows as:

You can feed me bread and water,

Or a great big bale of hay,

But don’t take my boop-oop-a-doop away!

You can say my voice is awful,

Or my songs are too risqué.

Oh, but don’t take my boop-oop-a-doop away!

The word “boop-oop-a-doop” is considered nonsensical, but it can have a risqu√© meaning. For example, in the Boop-Oop-a-Doop cartoon, it is thought that the word is used as a substitute for “virginity”.

Fleischer Studios (1932)

In these trying times only one can bring the nation together: Betty Boop for President.

Betty Boop for President is a 1932 Fleischer Studios animated short film starring Betty Boop. It was released by Paramount Pictures on November 4, 1932, four days before that year’s presidential election day.

Fleischer Studios (1933)

Snow-White, also known as Betty Boop in Snow-White, is a film in the Betty Boop series from Max Fleischer’s Fleischer Studios directed in 1933. Dave Fleischer was credited as director, although virtually all the animation was done by Roland Crandall. Crandall received the opportunity to make Snow-White on his own as a reward for his several years of devotion to the Fleischer studio, and the resulting film is considered both his masterwork and an important milestone of The Golden Age of American Animation. Snow-White took Crandall six months to complete.

The plot, such as it is, is really more a framework to display a series of gags, musical selections, and animation. Critics have cited the film as having some of the most imaginative animation and background drawings from the Fleischer Studios artists. Mae Questel performs the voices of Betty Boop and the Olive Oyl-ish Queen, and Cab Calloway is the voice of Koko the Clown, singing St. James Infirmary Blues. Koko’s dancing during the “St. James” number is rotoscoped from footage of Cab Calloway.

The film was deemed “culturally significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1994. The same year, it was voted #19 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. The film is now in the public domain.

History of Fleischer Studios

Fleischer Studios was an American corporation which originated as an animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York. It was founded in 1921 as Inkwell Studios by brothers Ma Fleischer and Dave Fleischer who ran the pioneering company from its inception until Paramount Pictures, the studio’s parent company and the distributor of its films, acquired ownership. In its prime, Fleischer Studios was a premier producer of animated cartoons for theaters, with Walt Disney Productions becoming its chief competitor in the 1930s.

Fleischer Studios is notable for Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Bimbo, Popeye the Sailor, and Superman. Unlike other studios, whose characters were anthropomorphic animals, the Fleischers’ most successful characters were humans (With the exception of Bimbo in the 1930s.). The cartoons of the Fleischer Studio were very different from the Disney product, both in concept and in execution. As a result, the Fleischer cartoons were rough rather than refined, commercial rather than consciously artistic. But in their unique way, their artistry was expressed through a culmination of the arts and sciences. This approach focused on surrealism, dark humor, adult psychological elements, and sexuality, and the environments were grittier and urban, often set in squalid surroundings, reflecting the Depression as well as German Expressionism.

The Fleischer Studio was built on Max Fleischer’s novelty film series, Out of the Inkwell (1919-1927). The “novelty” was based largely on the results of the rotoscope, invented by Fleischer to produce realistic animation. The first Out of the Inkwell films were produced through The Bray Studio, and featured Fleischer’s first character, “The Clown,” which became known as Ko-Ko the Clown in 1924.

In 1921, The Bray Studio ran afoul with legal issues, having contracted for more films than it could deliver to its distributor, The Goldwyn Company. The Fleischer Brothers left and began their own studio with Dave as Director and Production Supervisor, and Max as Producer. In 1924, Veteran Animator, Dick Huemer came to The Inkwell Studio and redesigned “The Clown” for more efficient animation. Huemer’s new design and experience as an Animator moved them away from their dependency on The Rotoscope for fluid animation. In addition to defining the clown, Huemer established the Fleischer style with its distinctive thick and thin ink lines. In addition, Huemer created Ko-Ko’s companion, Fitz the Dog, who would evolve into Bimbo in 1930.

Throughout the 1920s, Fleischer was one of the leading producers of animation with clever moments and numerous innovations including the “Rotograph”, an early “Aerial Image” photographic process for compositing animation with live action backgrounds. Other innovations included Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes and sing-along shorts featuring the famous bouncing ball, a precursor to Karaoke.

Fleischer Studios (1934)

Red Hot Mamma is a 1934 Fleischer Studios Betty Boop animated short, directed by Dave Fleischer.

It’s a snowy winter’s night, and a shivering Betty is trying to sleep. Shutting all the windows isn’t enough, so she lights a roaring fire in the fireplace and falls asleep on the hearthplace rug. The heat of the flames soon turns two roosting chickens into roasted chickens, and causes Betty to dream that her fireplace has become the gate to¬†Hell¬†itself. Betty explores the underworld, and sings “Hell’s Bells” for Satan and his minions. When Satan tries to put the moves on Betty, she fixes him with a (literally) icy stare, freezing him and all of Hell. When she falls through a hole and onto an icy surface below, Betty wakes up to find the fire out with the windows open and her bed frozen, and she goes to bed, this time under a pile of warm¬†quilts.

Animated by Willard Bowsky and David Tendlar.

Fleischer Studios (1932)

Minnie the Moocher is a  1932 Betty Boop cartoon produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. In 1994, Minnie the Moocher was voted #20 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.

The cartoon opens with a¬†live action¬†sequence of¬†Cab Calloway¬†and his orchestra performing an instrumental rendition of “St. James Infirmary”. Then Betty Boop gets into a fight with her strict, Yiddish speaking, Jewish parents, and as a result, runs away from home with her boyfriend Bimbo, and sings excerpts of the¬†Harry Von Tilzer¬†song “They Always Pick on Me” (1911) and the song “Mean to Me” (1929).

Betty and Bimbo end up in a cave with a walrus, which has Cab Calloway’s voice, who sings “Minnie the Moocher” and dances to the melancholy song. Calloway is joined in the performance by various ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and other frightening things. Betty and Bimbo are subjected to skeletons drinking at a bar; ghost prisoners sitting in electric chairs; a cat with empty eye-sockets feeding her equally empty-eyed kittens; and so on. Betty and Bimbo both change their minds about running away and rush back home with every ghost right behind them. Betty makes it safely back to her home and hides under the blankets of her bed. As she shakes in terror, the note she earlier wrote to her parents tears, leaving “Home Sweet Home” on it. The film ends with Calloway performing the instrumental “Vine Street Blues”.

History of Fleischer Studios

Fleischer Studios was an American corporation which originated as an animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York. It was founded in 1921 as Inkwell Studios by brothers Ma Fleischer and Dave Fleischer who ran the pioneering company from its inception until Paramount Pictures, the studio’s parent company and the distributor of its films, acquired ownership. In its prime, Fleischer Studios was a premier producer of animated cartoons for theaters, with Walt Disney Productions becoming its chief competitor in the 1930s.

Fleischer Studios is notable for Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Bimbo, Popeye the Sailor, and Superman. Unlike other studios, whose characters were anthropomorphic animals, the Fleischers’ most successful characters were humans (With the exception of Bimbo in the 1930s.). The cartoons of the Fleischer Studio were very different from the Disney product, both in concept and in execution. As a result, the Fleischer cartoons were rough rather than refined, commercial rather than consciously artistic. But in their unique way, their artistry was expressed through a culmination of the arts and sciences. This approach focused on surrealism, dark humor, adult psychological elements, and sexuality, and the environments were grittier and urban, often set in squalid surroundings, reflecting the Depression as well as German Expressionism.

The Fleischer Studio was built on Max Fleischer’s novelty film series, Out of the Inkwell (1919-1927). The “novelty” was based largely on the results of the rotoscope, invented by Fleischer to produce realistic animation. The first Out of the Inkwell films were produced through The Bray Studio, and featured Fleischer’s first character, “The Clown,” which became known as Ko-Ko the Clown in 1924.

In 1921, The Bray Studio ran afoul with legal issues, having contracted for more films than it could deliver to its distributor, The Goldwyn Company. The Fleischer Brothers left and began their own studio with Dave as Director and Production Supervisor, and Max as Producer. In 1924, Veteran Animator, Dick Huemer came to The Inkwell Studio and redesigned “The Clown” for more efficient animation. Huemer’s new design and experience as an Animator moved them away from their dependency on The Rotoscope for fluid animation. In addition to defining the clown, Huemer established the Fleischer style with its distinctive thick and thin ink lines. In addition, Huemer created Ko-Ko’s companion, Fitz the Dog, who would evolve into Bimbo in 1930.

Throughout the 1920s, Fleischer was one of the leading producers of animation with clever moments and numerous innovations including the “Rotograph”, an early “Aerial Image” photographic process for compositing animation with live action backgrounds. Other innovations included Ko-Ko Song Car-Tunes and sing-along shorts featuring the famous bouncing ball, a precursor to Karaoke.

Fleischer Studios (1933)

Popeye the Sailor with Betty Boop is a 1933 animated short produced by Fleischer Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures. While billed as a Betty Boop cartoon, it was produced as a vehicle for Popeye the Sailor in his debut animated appearance.

In 1933, Max and Dave Fleischer’s Fleischer Studios adapted the Thimble Theater characters into a series of Popeye the Sailor theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures. These cartoons proved to be among the most popular of the 1930s, and Popeye at one time rivaled Mickey Mouse for popularity among audiences. It was for this short that Sammy Lerner’s famous “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man” song was written. I Yam What I Yam became the first entry in the regular Popeye the Sailor series.

A Betty Boop Cartoon

Fleischer Studios (1932)

Stopping the Show is a 1932 Fleischer Studios animated short, directed by Dave Fleischer. While it is not the first appearance of Betty Boop, it is the first short to be credited as a “Betty Boop Cartoon.”

Betty Boop appears on stage in a vaudeville theatre. Her act consists of imitations of real-life singers, including Helen Kane, Fanny Brice and Maurice Chevalier. The cartoon audience enthusiastically cheers and applauds.

When the short was originally released, it contained a scene showing Betty singing Helen Kane’s song “That’s My Weakness Now.” Kane, who was involved in a lawsuit over Betty’s resemblance to her, complained, and the studios were forced to remove the scene from future prints.

Clips from this short were later reused in 1934’s Betty Boop’s Rise to Fame.

Fleischer Studios (1934)

Poor Cinderella is a 1934 Fleischer Studio animated short film featuring Betty Boop. The first entry in the Color Classics series, Poor Cinderella was Fleischer Studio’s first color film, and the only appearance of Betty Boop in color during the Fleischer era.

The short was made in the two-strip Cinecolor process, because Walt Disney had exclusive rights to the new 3-strip Technicolor process from 1932 to 1935. (The remaining Color Classics from 1934 and 1935 were made in two-color Technicolor.) Betty’s hair was colored red to take advantage of this. The short also used Fleischer Studio’s Rotograph process, in order to provide some scenes with additional depth of field. Along with many of the other Color ClassicsPoor Cinderella is today in the public domain and can be freely downloaded from the Internet Archive, among other locations.

Rudy Vallee appears in caricature, singing the title song during the ball sequence.