Bimbo (Fleischer Studios)
|Betty Boop character|
Bimbo as seen in Bimbo's Initiation (1931)
|First appearance||"Hot Dog" (1930)|
|Last appearance||"The Betty Boop Movie Mystery" (1989)|
|Created by||Fleischer Studios|
|Voiced by||Billy Murray|
Walter Van Brunt
|Occupation||Drummer ("Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery")|
|Family||Betty Boop (girlfriend)|
Bimbo is a tubby, black and white cartoon dog created by Fleischer Studios. He is most well known for his role in the Betty Boop cartoon series, where he featured as Betty's main love interest. A precursor design of Bimbo, originally named Fitz, first appeared in the Out of the Inkwell series.
Bimbo was initially inspired by animation director Dick Huemer's work on Mutt and Jeff, who, when working on the Out of the Inkwell series, decided to give protagonist Koko the Clown a canine companion. Bimbo has the distinction of being the first known cartoon character in history to ever have fully animated dialogue, as seen in the 1926 short My Old Kentucky Home where a prototypical Bimbo says "Follow the ball and join in, everybody!" 
Bimbo later became the protagonist and star of Fleischer's Talkartoons series, positioned as a rival to Disney's Mickey Mouse, making his first named appearance as Bimbo in Hot Dog (1930), though Bimbo's design would not become standardized until around 1931. The name Bimbo was chosen because in the 1920s the word was mostly associated with men who liked to fight.
Bimbo became a less prominent character after his girlfriend Betty Boop gained unexpected stardom and popularity with fans, with the Talkartoons cartoon retooled to give her top billing as the Betty Boop series in 1932.
After Hays Code censorship rules began to strictly get enforced in 1934, Bimbo disappeared from future Fleischer cartoons of the era, due to the implications of an anthropomorphic dog dating a human girlfriend being too risqué at the time.
About 56 years after his first absence from cartoons, Bimbo made a reappearance in 1989 as a major co-star in the TV special Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery. Then in First Publishing's 1990 comic Betty Boop's Big Break with more of his original personality intact as a love interest of Betty. He has continued to appear in various Betty Boop merchandise since then and has been reestablished as a mainstay of the series.
In 2016 he appeared in Dynamite's Betty Boop comic mini-series as Betty's best friend with a secret crush on her.
Similarities in other media
In 1932, a character created by Walter Lantz Productions, a dog named Pooch the Pup appeared as the star of his own cartoon shorts. Pooch greatly resembled Bimbo's design, and only a few months after Bimbo was removed from his own cartoon 1934, Pooch was redesigned even further to look more reminiscent of his Betty Boop counterpart.
|Hot Dog||March 29, 1930|
|Fire Bugs||May 9, 1930|
|Dizzy Dishes||August 9, 1930|
|Barnacle Bill||August 31, 1930|
|Swing You Sinners!||September 24, 1930|
|Grand Uproar||October 3, 1930|
|Sky Scraping||November 1, 1930|
|Up to Mars||November 20, 1930|
|Accordion Joe||December 12, 1930|
|Mysterious Mose||December 26, 1930|
|Ace of Spades||January 16, 1931|
|Tree Saps||February 3, 1931|
|Teacher's Pest||February 7, 1931|
|The Cow's Husband||March 13, 1931|
|The Bum Bandit||April 3, 1931|
|The Male Man||April 24, 1931|
|Twenty Legs Under the Sea||May 5, 1931|
|Silly Scandals||May 23, 1931|
|The Herring Murder Case||June 26, 1931|
|Bimbo's Initiation||July 24, 1931|
|Bimbo's Express||August 22, 1931|
|Minding the Baby||September 26, 1931|
|In the Shade of the Old Apple Sauce||October 16, 1931|
|Mask-A-Raid||November 7, 1931|
|Jack and the Beanstalk||November 21, 1931|
|Dizzy Red Riding Hood||December 12, 1931|
|Any Rags?||January 12, 1932|
|Boop-Oop-a-Doop||January 16, 1932|
|The Robot||February 5, 1932|
|Minnie the Moocher||February 26, 1932|
|Swim or Sink (S.O.S.)||March 11, 1932|
|Crazy Town||March 25, 1932|
|The Dancing Fool||April 8, 1932|
|Chess-Nuts||April 13, 1932|
|A Hunting We Will Go||April 29, 1932|
|Hide and Seek||May 26, 1932|
|Admission Free||June 10, 1932|
|The Betty Boop Limited||July 1, 1932|
|Betty Boop's Bizzy Bee||August 19, 1932|
|Betty Boop, M.D.||September 2, 1932|
|Snow White||March 31, 1933|
|Betty Boop's Ker-Choo||January 6, 1933|
|Betty Boop's Penthouse||March 10, 1933|
|Betty Boop's Birthday Party||April 21, 1933|
|Betty Boop's May Party||May 12, 1933|
- "The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1930". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- "The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1933". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-06-03.
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