A reporter, played by Dave Fleischer, interviews Max Fleischer about cartoon sensation Betty Boop. Max paints Betty, who comes to life and performs routines from the popular past films Stopping the Show (1932), Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle (1932) and The Old Man of the Mountain (1933). Betty then dives back in to the inkwell and accidentally splashes ink in the reporter's face before the film concludes. Written by
"Betty Boop's Rise to Fame" is one of the best Betty Boop cartoons and it's held up very, very well over the years. I think part of this is because the film gives you a look at two of the big driving forces behind these cartoons--Max and David Fleischer. I think it also helps that the strange style is a nice look at the origins of the Boop cartoons--a look back to the earlier Fleischer Brothers cartoons.
This is a part live-action short. A reporter (Dave Fleischer) is interviewing the studio chief (Max Fleischer) and Max is talking about his beloved character, Betty Boop. But instead of just showing her, he quickly draws her and she comes to life---stepping off the page and begins talking with the reporter. She also then performs a few of her greatest hits (actually clips from "Stopping the Show", "Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle" and "The Old Man of the Mountain").
As far as when this cartoon was made, it might interest you to know it couldn't have been made only two months later unless there were massive changes. That's because in July, 1934, the new strengthened Production Code was adopted--and films were 'cleaned up'. In regard to Betty, that meant MORE CLOTHES and LESS CURVES! So, when you see her dancing the topless hula in this one (they do cover her breasts with a lei), you never would have seen that had the film come out after the Code. And, all the countless times Betty strips down and changes clothes, they would have been a lot less suggestive. Let's face it, sex appeal and titillation made Betty Boop and this is certainly her last hurrah, so to speak.
I also love her going in and out of the inkwell--hearkening back to the Into the Inkwell series the Fleischers did in the 1920s and early 30s where characters like KoKo routinely would step out of the inkwell to start the cartoon.
Overall, this is a nice nostalgic look at Betty--one that is filled with amazing animation, live action and fun.
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