I have to admit that, even as a child growing up in the 50's, I have always been in love with Betty Boop. Although it's not easy to put my finger on exactly what causes that attraction. Her cartoons were certainly not as interesting a story as many of the Disney toons, but they were cute. And so was Betty.
In doing some research awhile back on my heroine Miss Boop, I came across this rendition of what she MIGHT look like today. It did make me laugh, but I refuse to believe that she looks any different now than she did then! In a 1996 article, Gary Morris nailed our mutual attraction to Mizz Boop,
"With a head like a giant peanut, vast mascara'd eyes, too-kissable lips, baby-doll voice (courtesy of singer Mae Questel), flattened marcelled hair, and mere threads of a dress exposing miles of hot flesh, she was the perfect celluloid sex toy." Yup!
In the 1930's when Betty was created and recreated, there weren't the decency codes and "protective" restrictions of more recent years, and even cartoons got away with a lot of sexual innuendo. Betty certainly was every bit sexy, surprising for cartoons which generally featured talking animals like Minnie, Daisy, Petunia, and the like.
A saving grace today is that one can find a wealth of Betty Boop accessories, and her likeness is emblazened on everything from clothing to floor mats. True fans can never find enough things like this to have around! I keep looking for the Betty Boop china or toaster oven. It too will come, I know!
It is odd to look at the "cartoons" of today with their amazing graphics, but robotic movement, and voices that seem like they're narrated. You know what I mean, the mouth moves open and then closed, and 25 words come out. I have to admit I don't get it. What's the point of creating something so marvelous graphically and not trying to figure out how to make them move gracefully? It's a bit like watching a slide show! Now, IF they were to recreate Betty Boop with their new graphics techinques, I am pretty sure I wouldn't care!!!
One thing I've learned after all these years, is that most cartoons are simply made to make us feel good. And sometimes make us laugh. So whether we're romantizing over Betty Boop, chuckling at Tom & Jerry, or mesmorized by Spongebob, we come out feeling a bit better about life. We know it isn't real. I mean how many times could Mr Coyote fall off a cliff or get hit with another anvil??? We don't even imagine ourselves to be one of these characters. Except perhaps Miss Boops boyfriend. And no matter how much spinach I ate as a kid, my forearms never looked like Popeye's! It just takes us away from reality for a little while, which melts a little bit of our day to day stress.
So, Betty, give me a call, will ya huh? And let me know where you've gotten to these days?
I miss you!