Saturday, March 12, 2011

Betty Boop Pictures

Betty Boop Pictures
Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by animator Max Fleischer, appearing in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop series of films produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. With her overt sexual appeal, Betty was a hit with filmgoers, and despite having been toned down in the mid-1930s, she remains popular today. She has been featured in two different comic strips, one in the 1930s and another in the 1980s.

Betty Boop made her first appearance on August 9, 1930 in the cartoon Dizzy Dishes, the sixth installment in Fleischer's Talkartoon series. The character was modeled after a combination of Helen Kane, the famous popular singer of the 1920s and contract player at Paramount Pictures (the studio that distributed Fleischer's cartoons), and Clara Bow, who was a popular actress in the 1920s who had not managed to survive the transition to sound because of her strong Brooklyn accent which nevertheless became a trademark for Betty. The character was originally created in the mode of an anthropomorphic French poodle. Max Fleischer finalized Betty Boop as completely human by 1932 in the cartoon Any Rags. Her floppy poodle ears became hoop earrings, and her black poodle nose became a girl's button-like nose. Betty appeared in ten cartoons as a supporting character, a flapper girl with more heart than brains. In individual cartoons she was called "Nancy Lee" and "Nan McGrew", usually served as a girlfriend to studio star Bimbo.

Betty's voice was first performed by Margie Hines, and was later provided by several different voice actresses including Kate Wright, Ann Rothschild (a.k.a. Little Ann Little), Bonnie Poe, and most notably, Mae Questel who began in 1931 and continued with the role until 1938.

Although it has been assumed that Betty's first name was established in the 1931 Screen Songs cartoon Betty Co-ed, this "Betty" was an entirely different character. Though the song may have led to Betty's eventual christening, any references to Betty Co-ed as a Betty Boop vehicle are incorrect. (The official Betty Boop website describes the titular character as a "prototype" of Betty.) In all, there were at least 12 Screen Songs cartoons that featured either Betty Boop or a similar character.


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