Monday, March 29, 2010

041 So Does An Automobile

Title: So Does an Automobile
Studio: Fleischer
Date: 3/31/39
Directed by
Animated by
Series: Betty Boop
Running time (of viewed version): 6:14

Synopsis: Betty Boop works in a garage for anthropomorphic cars.

Comments: Betty looks oddly tall, thin and stiff in this, as we close in on her final appearance. There are several other humans, and they look comic strippy. "Jitterbuggy" is amongst the many text jokes. This cartoon supposedly marks the NY/Miami crossover. Guess the gators were soon to get Betty. Or that Mae Questel wouldn't move to the swamp and for some reason Marjorie Hines wasn't good enough to keep that franchise going (tho she was an acceptable Olive Oyl apparently). Same difference, really. The title song is catchy enough, but ends quickly and Betty walks from point A to point B to point C during it, which is a bit staid. The car hospital gives a chance for a series of spot gags involving cars, but they're not the best executed gags. They'd work well as a series of lushly painted trading cards or model kits, but they don't quite work here. Still, it feels more like a Betty Boop cartoon than My Friend the Monkey did. And for a public domain DVD, this viewed version looks very nice. (Blogger was being a pain today; it took multiple attempts at different times of day to upload the images).


  1. Betty has lost alot of her appeal by this point, but still a delight to watch.

  2. The musical cartoons with Betty during her final year on screen, starting with "Sally Swing" and finishing up later in 1939 with "Musical Mountaineers", overall work better than the others in the series, since the music drives the plot and at least give Ms. Boop and/or her co-stars something do to (along with keeping Pudgy away from the movie theater-going public).

    Roland Crandall's Betty cartoons, working in the final year with the "streamlined" character design, are stiffer than the ones done by the other units, though she does get off a nice finger-snapping booty share during the jitterbug portion of this cartoon. Tom Johnson's group would make her look much more graceful in "Musical Mountaineers" (and legend has it that Grim Natwick did animate at least one scene with his creation in one of Betty's final cartoons, when he returned to the studio to work on "Gulliver's Travels" -- Don't know if it's that one, but if the story's true that's the one I'd guess his work's in).

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