Betty Boop made her first appearance on August 9, 1930 in the cartoon Dizzy Dishes, the sixth installment in Fleischer's Talkartoon series. She was originally designed by Grim Natwick, a veteran animator of the silent era who would become lead director and animator for the Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney studios. 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. By direction of Dave Fleischer, Natwick designed the original character in the mode of an anthropomorphic French poodle. The character'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.
|Directed by||Dave Fleischer|
|Produced by||Max Fleischer|
|Starring||Margie Hines (voice)|
|Distributed by||Paramount Publix Corporation|
|Release dates||9 August 1930|
|Running time||6 minutes|
The short film begins with a couple of flapper cats singing "Crazy Town." Bimbo waits on a hungry gorilla and then goes to the kitchen to prepare the order, roast duck. When he is about to bring it to the gorilla's table, he sees Betty Boop performing on stage and falls in love at first sight. He completely forgets about the hungry customer and dances on stage with the duck. The gorilla gets furious and goes after Bimbo, who then escapes on a wooden train.
The as-yet-unevolved Betty Boop is drawn as an anthropomorphic dog. Except for the ears, she resembles Betty Boop in her latest incarnation. Also, she is merely a side character; the main plotline revolves around the incompetent chef Bimbo and the irate gorilla-customer. "Crazy Town," sung by the flapper cats in the beginning of the cartoon, is also the theme song for the 1932 film, Crazy Town.
Home Video Releases
In the 1990s, this cartoon was released as part of the Betty Boop - The Definitive Collection laserdisc set. On September 24, 2013, Olive Films released this cartoon as part of the Betty Boop: The Essential Collection - Volume Two DVD and Blu-ray sets.
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