Betty Boop for President
|Betty Boop for President|
|Directed by||Dave Fleischer|
|Produced by||Max Fleischer|
|Music by||Sammy Timberg|
|Animation by||Seymour Kneitel|
Bernard Wolf (uncredited)
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|November 4, 1932|
|7 mins (one reel)|
Betty Boop for President is a 1932 Fleischer Studios animated short film starring Betty Boop. It was released by Paramount Pictures on November 4, 1932, four days before that year's presidential election day.
Betty runs for the office of President against Mr. Nobody. Both candidates state their platform through song and dance.
In answer to various problems and political issues, Mr. Nobody consistently promises that "nobody" will solve the problem:
Who will make your taxes light?... Mr. Nobody!
Who'll protect the voters' right?... Mr. Nobody!
Should you come home some early dawn,
See a new milkman is on:
Who cares if your wife is gone?... Mr. Nobody
Betty's promises for improvements are shown, including door to door trolley stops, improved conditions for keeping the streets clean, and even a giant umbrella to protect the whole city from rain. Betty also promises to tame a split and incorrigible Congress made up of donkey Democrats and elephant Republicans, and offers a simple solution for prison reform: she will transform each hardened criminal into a limp-wristed sissy.
Betty's campaign promises win the crowd over, and she is voted into the White House by a landslide. A large parade is held in the new President's honor, as she thanks one and all.
Notes and comments
- Betty Boop briefly morphs into caricatures of Herbert Hoover and Al Smith. Smith was the Democratic Party candidate in 1928 and was widely expected to run again, but the nominee would end up being Franklin D. Roosevelt. The use of Smith in the cartoon was probably the result in the lead time needed to animate the cartoon before it appeared in theaters.
- The cartoon ends with the image of a glass of beer; repeal or modification of Prohibition in the United States was a major contemporary issue.
- Betty Boop for President was reworked by the Fleischer staff sixteen years later, when the studio, by then known as Famous Studios, produced a Popeye the Sailor cartoon entitled Olive Oyl for President. This 1948 short reuses many of the gags, as well as a reworked version of Betty's "If I Were President" song, applying them to a fantasy story about Olive Oyl running for president.
- The "Nobody for President" slogan was later taken up by hippie activist and entertainer Wavy Gravy.
- The title was used again for a 1980 compilation film. The compilation was originally titled "Hurray For Betty Boop".
- It is the first depiction of a fictional president to appear on screen.
- It is the first depiction of a female president in all of fiction.