Betty Boop's decline continues. Not awful however, just disappointing compared to what was seen before pre-Code
This will be very similarly worded to my review for 'Betty Boop's Prize Show', due to the strengths and faults in 'Keep in Style' being exactly the same as that cartoon.
Fleischer were responsible for some brilliant cartoons, some of them still among my favourites. Their visual style was often stunning and some of the most imaginative and ahead of its time in animation. The character of Betty Boop, one of their most famous and prolific characters, may not be for all tastes and sadly not as popular now, but her sex appeal was quite daring for the time and to me there is an adorable sensual charm about her. The good news is that she has not lost her charm, she is still cute and her comic timing is good.
Less good is that, thanks to the production code her sensuality is heavily muted, and it was like she had lost a large part of what made her such a unique character back then and what made her popular.
'Keep in Style' does boast very good animation, as ever being rich in detail and beautifully drawn. The music is infectious and beautifully and cleverly orchestrated, putting one in a good mood and enhances the action wonderfully.
Enough of 'Keep in Style' has cuteness and charm, while the characters are lively enough and show good chemistry with Betty and the voice acting is good. Also love Betty's modern inventions, and they are the main source of interest here.
However, if anybody enjoyed the pre-code Betty Boop cartoons for being creative visually, wonderfully surreal and for its daring risqué content that was ahead of the time back in the 30s and wouldn't be seen a lot now in cartoon, they will be disappointed in 'Keep in Style'. Because all of those are missing here, so in comparison to before everything feels very safe, tame and dare one say it...bland.
Judging it on its own entity too, the content is thin and only has the odd minor bit of amusement. The story is not just not much of one, but also pretty clichéd, something that the Betty Boop cartoons tended to not be.
Overall, well made but disappointing, with what made the Betty Boop cartoons so interesting before missing. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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