Monday, April 06, 2009

Cartoon a Day: Mask-A-Raid

Directed by Dave Fleischer
Available on: YouTube

Time for another Betty Boop short. These are quickly becoming some of my favorite shorts. Thanks to YouTube and the public domain, you can enjoy it in it's entirety.

In "Mask-A-Raid," Betty is at a masquerade ball where Bimbo and some grumpy old guy are battling for her attention. Part of why these shorts are becoming favorites of mine is that they are just so original. This short is 78 years old, yet there are gags that are so strange that they weren't copied by the other studios over and over again. The way that every single thing in a Fleischer cartoon can be alive never ceases to amaze me. The Fleischers also didn't care about being polite, and I'm not just talking about the scene where Bimbo stares at Betty's legs. Check out those mice carrying the train of Betty's dress at the beginning of the short...they look an awful lot like Mickey Mouse. But what's great is when Betty tells them to, "Go on, Scram!" It's as if she's saying, "News flash folks, no mouse will rule cartoons while I'm around." Of course, Mickey Mouse became infinitely more popular than Betty ever did, but it just fits her character, doesn't it.

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