Friday, 22 May 2015

Betty Boop

Betty Boop
Betty Boop

Betty Boop started life, quite literally, as a dog - a poodle to be precise. A makeover followed, influenced by songstress Helen Kane (otherwise known as 'The Boop-Oop-A-Doop Girl') and 'It' girl Clara Bow, and the character quickly graduated from bit player to the star of her own show in 1932. She had her share of trials, from being the subject of a lawsuit from Helen Kane (Kane lost after it was determined she had nicked her own style from Baby Esther), to attracting the ire of the National League of Decency. Following the 1934 Production Code her neckline rose while her hemline dropped, and her flirty antics gave way to juvenile wholesomeness. Audiences began to tire of the new Betty, and the show ended in 1939.

1936 Betty Boop
A less 'sexy' looking Betty in 1936.

We watched the best of Betty Boop today and Marianna seemed absolutely fascinated by her first experience of black and white! The Boop cartoons, like most early cartoons, are full of anthropomorphic animals and objects, and songs. So many songs. My favourite episode is Betty Boop and Grampy, originally released in August 1935. Grampy is an eccentric inventor who apparently loves to host parties for his granddaughter and random passers by.

I guarantee the song will stick in your head for days to come. ('Over at Grampy's house...')

I also like 1935's Making Stars, a send up of the WAMPAS Baby Stars campaign which ran from 1922 to 1934, and helped launch the careers of such famous names as Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, and Ginger Rogers. Betty's version has literal baby stars. A new fave was 1936's 'Not Now', in which Betty is kept awake by the yowling of a cat. I told Marianna the cat was singing her song. She didn't seem impressed...

Marianna with a sign reading: I like sounding like a strangled cat for hours on end.'







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10 comments:

  1. Aw I used to love Betty Boop when I was little :)

    Stevie x

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    1. :) She's great! (even if my other half did whinge all the time it was on lol) x

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  2. I read this post and got that song from the nineties stuck in my head "Betty Boop, Betty Boop just doing the do" Only I have just googled it and discovered it was Betty Boo and nothing to do with Betty Boop as I have thought for all these years! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics. Merry Christmas.

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  3. Betty Boop ... Shes a classic :)

    #FlashbackFriday

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  4. Betty Boop ... Shes a classic :)

    #FlashbackFriday

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  5. I used to love Betty Boop when I was younger but I had no idea about where she started. Thank you for linking up with #FlashbackFriday x

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