Archive for Bimbo

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.

Talkartoon

Posted in FILM with tags , , on April 23, 2016 by dcairns

Pretty amazing digital restoration job on the kind of film we’re used to hearing through a rainstorm of pensive crackle, the image fuzzed and degraded — here, only the occasional winking sparkle hints at an analog origin. Am I churlish to slightly miss the intimations of mortality, in particular the way the black tones in old Fleischer movies used to GLOW from beyond their outlines, a physics-defying obsidian effulgence?

Still, the films’ hallucinogenic horrorshow qualities appear undimmed. Long Live Bimbo!

Birth of Boop

Posted in FILM, literature, Television with tags , , , on August 3, 2012 by dcairns

Interesting Fleischer cartoon. It has a TRANSFORMERS style car that turns into a robot, and an early use of television — really a Skype call — for peeping purposes.

The star is Bimbo, who looks a bit different from later toons when he’s Betty Boop’s canine boyfriend. But Betty looks different too. She started life as a poodle, only gaining a name, a personality, and a species of humanity later. In this toon the gf mostly human but has a black dot nose. Her head is much smaller than Betty’s. She doesn’t have the dangling poodle ears, which eventually mutated into Betty’s big hoop earrings, but she does wear a chic hat with little flaps on it which match Bimbo’s ears.

And she has a fairly obnoxious personality, forcing the love-sick Bimbo to fight for her hand with a giant pugilist. The Fleischer vision of a he-man is quite something, by the way.

But there’s one scene, as pointed out by uploader parker Taibi, where Betty acquires both human compassion and a big, Boop-like noggin, as she emerges from the prizefighter’s tent to offer Bimbo’s robo-car a replenishing drink of water (like Esmeralda!).

30s toons often went off-model, depending on who was drawing them that day, but this little transformation is fascinating — Betty leaps forward millions of years of evolution in one cut, but as Dr Moreau observed, “the stubborn beast flesh creeps back,” and her cranium deflates to more dog-like proportions by her next appearance.