Jul 8, 2010

Betty Boop: the first sex-symbol cartoon

Betty Boop is a cartoon character that appeared in Talkartoon series produced by Max Fleischer and released by Paramount Pictures. With her overt sexuality, Betty was a success in films and Tv-series.


Her first appearance on August 3rd, 1930, in the cartoon, in the sixth installment in Fleischer's Talkartoon series. Grim Natwick, a veteran animator of Walt Disney Studios and Ub Iwerks, was primarily responsible for creating the animated character modeled after the figure of Helen Kane, singer and actress hired by Paramount Pictures, the studio that distributed the Max Fleischer cartoon. Beginning with this cartoon, the voice of the character was represented by several different voice actresses until Mae Questel got the role in 1931, and held him for the rest of the series. The animator redesigned in 1932 to be recognizably human in the cartoon Any Rags. Appeared in ten cartoons as a support character, a flapper girl with more heart than brains. Not officially named until the 1932 short Stopping the Show.

Despite several discussions on the final appearance, it is estimated that in total there were twelve Screen Songs cartoon Betty Boob who offered, or at least a similar character.

Betty as sex-symbol

Max Fleischer's brother, Dave, further altered the character, making it more sensual, more feminine. Betty's famous personality finally came into the 1932 short, Minnie the Moocher. In August 1932, the number of Talkartoon officially renamed as Betty Boop cartoons.

Betty Boop is famous for being the first cartoon character to fully represent a sexual woman. Other female characters of the same period showed their underwear regularly, like Minnie Mouse, but were not fully a woman. Betty Boop, however, disclosed their sexuality. He wore short dress and garter belt. His chest and showed prominent cleavage.

However, the animators made sure to keep the character "pure" (officially she was only 16 years). The adult sensibilities of Betty's success made a wave of merchandising and traveled the world. Meanwhile, Helen Kane, who inspired the character in 1930, sued the Fleischer studio in 1934 alleging he had copied the look, the way you dance and sing and slogan. Kane lost the suit (and its Boop Boop a Doop) when Fleischer proved that the phrase had been used before Kane.

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