Bimbo (Fleischer Studios)

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Bimbo
Betty Boop character
Bimbo.png
Bimbo as seen in Bimbo's Initiation (1931)
First appearance"Hot Dog" (1930)
Last appearance"The Betty Boop Movie Mystery" (1989)
Created byFleischer Studios
Voiced byBilly Murray[1]
Walter Van Brunt
Information
SpeciesDog
GenderMale
OccupationDrummer ("Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery")
FamilyBetty 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.

History[edit]

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!" [2]

Betty Boop and Bimbo seen together in Minnie the Moocher (1932)

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.

He starred in several famous cartoon shorts of the 1930s, most notably Swing You Sinners!, Minnie the Moocher and Bimbo's Initiation.

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 a anthropomorphic dog dating a human girlfriend being too risqué at the time.[3]

Revival[edit]

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[edit]

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.[4]

Partial filmography[edit]

Title Release date
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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1930". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlNvBPIYWXw
  3. ^ http://comicsalliance.com/betty-boop-comics-primer/
  4. ^ "The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia: 1933". The Walter Lantz Cartune Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-06-03.

External links[edit]