Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cartoon a Day: Snow-White

Directed by Dave Fleischer
Available on: YouTube

Well, I'm behind again on Cartoon a Day after a late night out last night seeing "High School Musical: The Ice Tour." It was a long way from the Ice Capades I saw growing up. Anyhow, we're playing catch up today. Now earlier today I saw and episode of the show "Biography" that was about Betty Boop. So I felt like doing some Betty Boop cartoons, however, I don't own any Betty Boop DVD's. But, since the Betty Boop cartoons are pretty much all in the public domain, it is legally available on YouTube. So we'll just embed the whole cartoon below and you can watch it yourself.

Betty Boop seems to be often ignored in the grand history of animation. Her film career wasn't that long, 1932-39, and all but one of her cartoons were in black and white. Yet Max and Dave Fleischer (her creators) were incredibly innovative and her cartoons do have great historical significance. Not to mention that they are a lot fun to watch. This short is considered by many to be the best Betty Boop film.

In this film, Betty plays the role of Snow White while her frequent co-stars, Koko the Clown and Bimbo, play two of the queen's guards. It's not quite the Snow White story we're used to, but that's ok.

The Fleischers were somewhat known for having cartoons that featured regular everyday objects come to live, that is certainly present here. The use of rotoscoping is also worth noting here. In the second half of the film, Koko launches into a Cab Calloway song, which was rotoscoped, and beautifully so, using footage of Calloway himself. I'm usually not a fan of rotoscoping (like in Ralph Bakshi's "The Lord of the Rings") but here it works really well. The Fleischers invented the technique, so I guess they knew how to use it.

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