Fleischer Studios (1930)
Dizzy Dishes is an animated cartoon created by Fleischer Studios in 1930, as part of the Talkartoon series. It is noted for being the first cartoon in which Betty Boop appears.
The cartoon begins with four anthropomorphic flapper cats singing the jazz song “Crazy Town”. Chef Bimbo waits on a hungry gorilla and then goes to the kitchen to prepare an order of roast duck. When he is about to bring it to the gorilla’s table, he sees Betty Boop performing on stage and falls in love at first sight. He forgets about the hungry gorilla and dances on stage with the duck. The gorilla, furious, goes after Bimbo, who escapes on a wooden train.
The as-yet-unevolved Betty Boop is drawn as an anthropomorphic female dog. She is merely a side character; the main plotline revolves around the incompetent chef Bimbo and the irate gorilla. “Crazy Town,” sung by the flapper cats in the beginning of the cartoon, is also the theme song for the 1932 Betty Boop film Crazy Town.
Animated by Grim Natwick and Ted Sears
Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer, with help from animators including Grim Natwick. She originally appeared in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop film series, which were produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. She was She was featured in 90 theatrical cartoons between 1930 and 1939. She has also been featured in comic strips and mass merchandising.
A caricature of a Jazz Age flapper, Betty Boop was described in a 1934 court case as “combining in appearance the childish with the sophisticated—a large round baby face with big eyes and a nose like a button, framed in a somewhat careful coiffure, with a very small body of which perhaps the leading characteristic is the most self-confident little bust imaginable”. Although she was toned down in the mid-1930s as a result of the Hays Code to appear more demure, she became one of the world’s best-known and most popular cartoon characters.
Inspired by a popular performing style, but not by any one specific person, the character was originally created as an anthropomorphic French poodle. Clara Bow is often given credit as being the inspiration for Boop, though Fleischer told his artists that he wanted a caricature of singer Helen Kane, who performed in a style shared by many performers of the day. Kane was also the one who sued Fleischer over the signature “Boop Oop a Doop” line.
Betty Boop is regarded as one of the first and best-known sex symbols on the animated screen. She is also a symbol of the Depression era and a reminder of the more carefree days of Jazz Age flappers. Her popularity was drawn largely from adult audiences, and the cartoons, while seemingly surreal, contained many sexual and psychological elements.