Fleischer Studios (1936)

Training Pigeons is a 1936 Fleischer Studios animated short film featuring Betty Boop and Pudgy the Pup.

Betty and Pudgy are on the roof of their tenement building, trying to get her pet pigeons back in their cage. One stubborn bird refuses to return to the roost, despite Betty’s pleas. Pudgy, imagining himself a might hunting dog, attempts to catch the bird, with little success (at one point, Pudgy spots the pigeon on top of a flag pole, and as he tries to climb up the pole, the flag spanks Pudgy). When the pigeon gives Pudgy the slip, the little dog eventually wanders into the forest, where he falls asleep from exhaustion. The pigeon takes pity on Pudgy, and flies him back to Betty’s home. When Pudgy wakes up on the roof, he tears up the picture of the hunting dog in frustration.

Animated by Myron Waldman and Edward Nolan

Mae Questel as Betty Boop

“You come on down! I said come on down, you nutsy-doopsy!”

Betty Boop

Unlike other studios, whose characters were anthropomorphic animals, the Fleischers’ most successful characters were humans. The cartoons of the Fleischer Studio were very different from those of Disney, both in concept and in execution. As a result, they were rough rather than refined and consciously artistic rather than commercial, 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. Furthermore, the environments were grittier and urban, often set in squalid surroundings, reflecting the Great Depression as well as German Expressionism.

Max Fleischer (1938)

Riding the Rails is a 1938 Fleischer Studios animated short film featuring Betty Boop and Pudgy the Pup. Although some sources claim that this film was nominated for an Academy Award, it does not appear in the official Academy Awards database.

The film inspired a large variety of collectibles in the 1930s, although originals are now rare to find.

Film Daily called it “subway fun”, and gave the following synopsis:

“The exciting adventures of Betty Boop’s dog, Pudgy, who insists on following his mistress when she goes downtown in the subway. He gets on the train, and then his troubles begin. After almost disrupting the train service, he is flung off, and is forced to walk the tracks back to the station, with trains whizzing down on him from all directions. When he finally arrives safely back home, he is cured of wanting to trail around town with Betty.”