Thursday, April 23, 2009

Betty Never Looked So Hot - Mysterious Mose

To me, this is the cutest Betty Boop ever. It's animated by its designer, Grim Natwick.
These scenes are from "Mysterious Mose", a great early Fleischer cartoon.
The animation is early, before all the secondary animation principles were established and is done straight ahead through sheer talent and design. It's animated to the beats to a hot jazz track.
Great drawings, pretty cartoon girls animated to great music is my favorite art form. It's an unbeatable combination.
Each pose lands on a beat. I think it's a 12x beat if I remember correctly.
I love the imaginative lip synch. You gotta remember too, that they had only been animating mouths for a year or so! This was all new to everybody.



It's cool how Betty's part keeps moving from one side of her head to the other.



You can't beat Horseshoe Crab hands either.


Note the dog ears and nose!





I wouldn't wanna get caught on any of those fishhooks coming out of her head.





These are supremely stylish drawings - especially for 1930, when almost everyone else was drawing characters made of circles.








These would look great on t-shirts - whattaya think girls?




http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/BettyBoop/mysteriousmose/MysteriousMose_funnyMotion1.mov

http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/BettyBoop/mysteriousmose/MysteriousMose_funnyMotion2.mov

36 comments:

Ben said...

This is the best Betty. It really makes me sad because Betty looks like a crack addict now... She's just so hideous. She was so full of character and energy.

Love the dog ears and nose! I saw that you placed Betty in Ren Seeks Help in the pan with all the Fleischer like characters.

Nico said...

Easily on my top 5 favorite cartoons ever made.

Thanks for this post John!!

Professor_chai said...

I love her millions of eye lashes!!!

Sean Wiig said...

Wow, Betty is inspired. What design sense! It's inhumanly imaginative!

Chris said...

I had read that the character of Betty Boop started out as a dog but I didn't know we could see examples of it. Thanks, John!

smbhax said...

So fun and unpredictable. You never know what shape she'll be in next, but she still holds together as a form.

I like the eye rolls, and especially the way her head zooms toward us in highly exaggerated fashion right at the beginning, just to spook us gently.

gracesix said...

"These would look great on t-shirts - whattaya think girls?"

Yeah, they would!

Niki said...

I was looking for old B&W, jazz cartoons a while ago, and I found Mysterious Mose. I wondered why they changed her appearance to make fat kids show off ugly Betty porn on their cell phones. egh.

MLP said...

To me, this is the cutest Betty Boop ever100% agreement. And this is my favorite Betty cartoon as well.

w.w.i.i.g.g.s.s. said...

The lines are really excellent too. There's a nice calligraphic quality to them that's really apparent in the close-ups.

Rick Roberts said...

You aren't freaked out by the dog face John ? ;)

She-Thing said...

I'd probably buy 10 different t-shirts of these.

Geneva said...

Remember when you asked me if I liked Betty Boop, and I said not really? Well, I want you to know that I think this is REALLY COOL! I had no idea she started out as a dog lady, which is hilarious. I really like all the mouth shapes used here, wow!

Monk-of-funk said...

Wow... that's amazing! What creativity. I've always enjoyed Fleischer studios.

This surprised me because I first heard this song years ago on a Spike & Mike's Video with this on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IggJh1lXzaI

Kali Fontecchio said...

She is beyond cute- I remember when I first saw these- I had an epiphany!
That screenshot with her tongue out is the cutest!

David R said...

Yeah, I thought tht the dog nose and ears was something you found a little odd.

Al Capp did the same thing with the mysterious hair part in Li'l Abner - it was always on the side of the head facing you. I didn't think you could ever animate that.

ther1 said...

Yes, it would make a nice T-shirt. Why do mall novelty stores only rip off pictures from ugly cartoons like Care Bears, Happy Tree Friends and Invader Zim when they make shirts?

John A said...

She started out as a dog because she was Bimbo's girlfriend (also a dog). It's too bad she didn't stay a dog, the Hays Office probably wouldn't have made a big deal about her overt sexiness. It appears that cartoon animals can get away with a lot more than a human character can. Who knows , she might have even survived into the '40s and beyond. All I know is, once they 'virginized' her, the Fleischer Studio lost a lot of its 'edge'and never really did find their way back.

John A said...

I love all the shadow animation too. You can tell that this was a studio full of guys that just wanted to crack each other up.

3awashi thani said...

i LOVE betty!!
she's adorable here to, i remember this one i remember liking the music,,, and being weirded out by the ending, but in a good way

-jjmm- said...

Hot even with Doctor Moreau's mutant ears and nose?? :D

Stone said...

holy crap! I had to save some of these frame grabs just because they were so damn cute! great mouth shapes and eyes. wonderful expressions.

far, far more appealing than the "know-it-all, one eyebrow raised, 'tudetastic" girl designs of today.

Shawn Dickinson said...

Early Betty Boops are my favorite too! Love those cartoony close-up shots! This is back when she was still a dog person---predating Carl Barks' dog freaks by many years, haha!

I like her sand-crab hands!

Zoran Taylor said...

This is tits-out-minus-the-tits awesome. The shadow animation predicts Rod Scribner in ways that can't be explained, but can't really be denied either.

Jack G. said...

Seeing this only makes me wish those clods that own the rights to the films would release all Betty's cartoons (at least the pre-Hays ones).

DuckTwacy said...

Meh

Weirdo said...

Sign me up for one of those T-shirts. A wonderful cartoon all the way through. Grim Natwick was one of the best designers in animation history. Instantly fun and pleasing to the eye.

paul etcheverry said...

Thanks for posting this, John! I love it! Fleischer and Lantz were cranking out imaginative, fantastic, surreal rubber hose cartoons in 1930.

And, completely off-topic, I just posted references to Ed Benedict's winning design of Yogi Bear at http://psychotronicpaul.blogspot.com/2009/04/still-more-beer-ads-featuring-hamms.html

Personally, I would have liked to see Yogi Bear be the animated spokesmodel for Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon or Old Milwaukee! Cigarettes too, but Winstons were strictly the domain of Fred n' Barney.

HemlockMan said...

This must be where Barks got his "dog people".

Zach Bellissimo said...

Human Betty is my favorite, but I can definatley appreciate Dog Betty too. Natwick was a genius.

I'd LOVE to get caught on her fish hooks.

SoleilSmile said...

These are awesome! Where did you get the cartoon, John?

smbhax said...

I don't see Mysterious Mose on there, Soleil, so this won't really answer your question, but in case you or anyone else interested in earlyish Boop cartoons doesn't know already, archive.org has a freely downloadable collection of some that are now public domain:

http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=mediatype%3Amovies%20AND%20collection%3Aclassic_cartoons%20AND%20subject%3A%22Betty%20Boop%22

Ahahnah said...

That was awesome!

The nose and hair adds to the design. I like how the bangs drop down. I prefer this design over the human one too. What I find strange is that her hair part moves around all the time. They must have wanted to keep the hair that dropped down on her face and the parting of the hair on the opposite side of where she was looking.

Frank Panucci said...

These stills have a real ASSY MCGEE vibe.

SparkyMK3 said...

Great cartoon...but i'm too angry to care right now.

Just now, i recieved The Ultimate Betty Boop Collection in the mail...and guess what? Sure, 25 of her cartoons are there, but it has NONE of her early appearances like Mysterious Mose and Barnacle Bill, and just focuses on the usual roster of her cartoons! As if to add insult to injury, some of her other later shorts like Bamboo Isle and A Language All My Own are missing! And on top of that, the prints used are of the unrestored, crummy quality prints!

Worst. 20$ spent. EVER.

ÆnimA said...

Originality cannot be bought.