Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Minnie the Moocher

Minnie the Moocher
Directed by Dave Fleischer
Available on: YouTube

Well folks, I'm sorry for the big gap in my cartoon a day posts this past week. I was at the Children's Pastor's Conference in Nashville, which I figured might make time to post slim, but I sure didn't count on the awful internet service. This is the second year in a row that I've been able to stay at a friend's time share, it was nice but the internet service was so undependable. Even when I could get on I didn't think the signal was strong enough to upload anything. So far, I've gotten better internet service at most Super 8's than I got in these fancy time share joints.

Anyway, on with the cartoon. Since it's a Betty Boop short, here it is thanks to YouTube...

The opening live-action sequence of this film shows exactly why rotoscoping was an important part of this movie. There you get to see the actual Cab Calloway, it would be a challenge for any animator to match his moves. It makes perfect sense to rotoscope him as was done later in the film.

This film continues the creative, if not bizarre, nature of the Betty Boop films. The premise is a bit weird...Betty doesn't like the food she's getting at home so she runs away with Bimbo and ends up in a haunted cave where a walrus like creature sings "Minnie the Moocher." Seen it a thousand times before, right...yeah right.

The closing sequence where the ghosts chase Betty and Bimbo out of the cave was the highlight for me. There is some great animation and character design, and one can't help but think that Disney's artists may have looked at this sequence when planning 'A Night on Bald Mountain' from "Fantasia." I think the whole film would've been a bit stronger if there had been more interaction between Betty and the ghosts, but it's still a fun short.

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