Archive for September 10, 2021

Moving Violation

Posted in FILM with tags , , on September 10, 2021 by dcairns

“I can’t open the door now, I’m in my nightie,” says Betty Boop.

“Okay, I’ll wait till you take it off,” says Bimbo.

It’s 1931 so Betty is still officially a dog — she has dangling poodle ears which would slowly mutate into earrings. Since boyfriend Bimbo never underwent a similar evolution, their relationship had to become largely platonic, which left Betty free to be pursued by lots of horrible anthropoid toons.

It’s all very weird, which is why we love Fleischer cartoons. Betty is introduced cutting her toenails with a massive pair of shears. When her big toe is trimmed raggedly, it grows a FACE which draws her attention to the error, and when she more neatly prunes the nail, the toe-face submerges back into the surrounding flesh. In terms of Betty’s sex appeal. this SOCIETY-style moment is far more off-putting than the mere fact of her being a dog.

When Bimbo begins serenading Betty in an improbable tenor voice, the radiator can’t help but joining in, the kind of thing you don’t see outside Fleischer film or a fever dream.