On With The New - 1938
Betty Boop Cartoon Series
Fleischer Studios, Inc.
Run time: 6:17
In this 1938 Betty Boop classic, Betty stars as a disgruntled coffee shop employee who quickly learns to be “careful what you wish for.”
While it’s jam-packed with the Fleischers' hallmark wacky humor (note Betty’s boss who hollers out an order for a “corned beef and garbage”) and unexpected, but always ingenious, time-saving inventions (check out Betty’s dish drying tiara!), Betty’s more conservative outfit places this film firmly in the Hays Production Code era.
Even Betty’s jobs – in a diner and a nursery – reflect precisely the kind of “respectability” that the Hays Production Code, enacted in the early 1930s to enforce decency in public entertainment, was designed to enforce.
It is worth noting, and likely no accident, that by setting Betty’s new job in a nursery with an army of babies that needed washing, Fleischer animators still managed to get quite a lot of bare skin past the censors.
U.M.&M., the company that purchased this and other films for TV release in the 1950s, removed the film’s original credits and replaced them with their own. Max Fleischer’s granddaughter, Ginny Mahoney, reports that the removal of original credits in this, and so many other Fleischer films, caused Max a great deal of distress. “Through the wonder of television he would turn on his TV every day and see his life’s work presented under the banner of someone else’s name.”
You can find some of the original title artwork on Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research site which includes a wonderful and informative gallery of Original Title art, including a number of Fleischer Cartoons, here.
Betty is voiced by Margie Hines in this cartoon. You can find out more about Ms. Hines in our Museum exhibit Finding Her Voice – about the talented artists who voiced of Betty Boop.