Betty Boop, with her baby face, her button nose, and big eyes, if a very recognizable cartoon character, and you couldn’t mistake her for another character. What you may not know is that she didn’t always look like this. Here’s How Betty Boop Has Changed Over The Years – And The Secret History Of Her Origin.
Grim Natwick and Max Fleischer
Grim Natwick and fellow artist, Max Fleischer created Betty Boop for his Talkartoon cartoon series. She made her debut in 1930, and people loved her. Max was a pioneer in his field, inventing things like the Rotoscope and the “bouncing ball” that is familiar in animated songs. Betty Boop became so popular that she began appearing in Paramount Pictures films.
Betty’s First Appearance
When Betty first appeared, she wasn’t the flapper that we know her as today. Back then, she took the form of a French poodle with a baby voice. She appeared this way for a couple of years until her ears changed to hook earrings, her nose shifted to the button, and she looked more like a girl than a dog.
Betty was inspired by Helen Kane, a fading star who made her name as The Boop-Oop-A-Doop Girl. Helen saw herself in Betty Boop, so she filed a lawsuit against Max and Paramount, claiming that they infringed her copyright. The only problem was that Helen’s appearance wasn’t all that unique. She resembled a movie star named Clara Bow. It also turned out that Helen wasn’t the originator of the “baby” style of performing. Ester Jones takes the title for this one. She was a big hit at the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City. She was a performer of the “scat” style and invented the boop-oop-a-doop style that Helen and Betty Boop were known for. It was confirmed that Max based poodle Boop loosely on Helen, but Betty Boop actually came from Esther Jones.
It took a few years before Betty Boop became a caricature of a Jazz Age flapper. For a short while, Betty Boop had to be toned down due to the Hays Code. Because of the code, Betty Boop had to be a bit more demure. The first people to voice Betty Boop was Margie Hines. Over the years, several voice actresses voiced the character, including Kate Wright. Bonnie Poe, Ann Rothschild, and Mae Questel. Mae began voicing Betty Boop in Bimbo’s Silly Scandals in 1931. She continued with the role until 1938. It wasn’t until 50 years later that she reprised the role in Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Today, she is still seen in commercials and is voiced by Cindy Robinson.
From Black And White To Color
The original Betty Boop was black and white. As color televisions became popular in the ’60s, Betty got some color. Unfortunately, making Betty Boop in full color wasn’t easy. Betty Boop made a comeback after the release of The Betty Boop Scandals of 1974. Unfortunately, since there was no longer a market for black and white cartoons, they were sent to South Korea. There, the cartoons were hand-traced, frame by frame in color. This caused the animation quality and timing to be degraded. Because of this, the cartoons didn’t sell. Their sloppy colorization made them undesirable and was later assembled for a feature called Betty Boop for President. It was supposed to coincide with the 1976 election but never was released in theaters.
Thank to the invention of the VHS tape, Betty Boop made her comeback. There were a few videos that were made, and in the ’90s, the cable channel, American Movie Classics, showcased a large selection of the original black and white Betty Boop films. This led to an eight-volume VHS and LV set called Betty Boop, the Definitive Collection.
Today, Betty Boop is considered a sex symbol. Her sex appeal has been compared to that of Marilyn Monroe. When she appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It was clear that people still loved her. She is so popular today that soon, she will make a real comeback. On February 11, 2016, Deadline announced that a 26-episode television series focusing on Betty Boop was in production. The release is a partnership between Normaal Animation, Fleischer Studios, and King Features. It is set to air sometime in 2019. The show is said to be geared toward tweens and teenagers. The premise of the show will show the daily struggles, joys, and victories of Betty Boop, who dreams of becoming a superstar on stage. This is something that many people are looking forward to. Betty Boop has been in comics, on television, and of plenty of merchandise. The merchandise available today shows a much sexier Betty Boop than in the late ’30s, and she is loved by many.