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Before moving on to their prolific (and highly successful) POPEYE series
well as into their unfortunate GABBY series--just imagine Elmer Fudd
his macho sex appeal), Paramount's Fleischer brothers poured their creative
genius into BETTY BOOP. This is their finest B-B cartoon, and may just be
their finest EVER, period.
Using their 3-D filming process (and a unheard-of budget for a cartoon short), they adapted the Cinderella legend to Betty, adding some marvelous songs and (likely roto-scoped) beautiful dance numbers. For reasons not told, this was the only Betty Boop cartoon ever done in color--a tragedy.
Look for versions with the original opening titles intact--even the titles show that this was a project of love (and yes, money). Plus, Betty's as sexy an ingenue as ever thanks to Technicolor.
Max & Dave Fleischer & co. were among the very best of the creators of
novel and surprising applications of animation from the late teens
through the entire decade of the 1930's. For "Poor Cinderella", they
must have noted Disney's stunning "Flowers And Trees", produced in 1931
and released the following year. The latter is generally credited as
being the first full color process American cartoon, as opposed to two
strip color which emphasized either blues or greens at the expense of
certain shades that were lost to the lesser and less costly techniques
of the day. For budgetary reasons, the ever inventive Fleischer Bros.
developed their own "Cinecolor" approach, which was a variant on the
two-strip color format. Although it apparently never quite caught on,
they had applied for a patent while releasing their astoundingly
beautiful and hysterically surreal and laugh-laden Boop masterpiece in
1934, the only Betty Boop color cartoon.
Combining their proprietary Rotoscope technique along with other dimension enhancing toolkit tricks, few cartoon shorts have ever matched this effort for sheer entertainment value. They did try saving money on the color, as mentioned, but the whole production was obviously a very expensive endeavor, when all its components are considered in sum. The results offer a lasting tribute to the art and magic of 1930's animation.
As a Depression-era vehicle, good jobs were scarce but the Fleischer team's uproarious talent sported young and brash animators who were willing to push the envelope of sensibilities and censors alike, much to our delight. Even the closing sequence is incredibly absurd, and gems like this will forever prevail.
Betty had already helped launch the Popeye series a year earlier, so by 1934 the Fleischers had their distinctly urban stamp firmly planted under two cartoon banners aimed as much, if not more, at adults as the kids. If that weren't true, they wouldn't have always had to play "duck and cover" with the ever-present Hays commission, censor gavel at the ready. Thanks to the Fleischer folks and all involved parties, for the guts, the creative ambition, the sheer genius, and the uncompromising quality of whichever production standards were chosen to collectively coalesce into a cartoon gem for the ages. This is a must see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If I had to produce a list of the twenty best classic cartoons of all time, it would take me well over an hour to produce it, but this would be an absolute inclusion. I hate to give any film a 10-out of-10, but I have to with this one. Max and Dave Fleischer never quite reached the depths, in shorts of course, that Disney did with either 'The Band Concert' or 'Skeleton Dance' or especially 'Wyken, Blynken, And Nod', but this is definitely one of their three best, and two of those are in the Color Classics series. The Fleishcer's never quite recovered after Disney made 'Snow White' and they made their two average, but box-office dud, features (with one glaring exception-the three color Popeye's they did). What else? This cartoon is in two-color Technicolor (it says Cinecolor in some prints) and Betty has red hair, as well as a voice not by Mae, like we usually hear. What we get in this cartoon is an-all-around classic, one worth watching by any stretch of the imagination. The film runs 7 minutes, and the best print is one the 'Somewhere In Dreamland' DVD, which you should buy right now if you don't have.
This is an absolutely beautiful cartoon! Most Fleischer shorts were quite visually striking, to be sure, but Betty Boop only had one color cartoon-this one. While in many ways it's good that black and white was used for most of her cartoons, the sweep of this cartoon cried out for color. The Fleischers were likely also hoping that Betty's popularity would boost interest in the Color Classics series that they were starting. Betty as Cinderella was certainly fitting-after all, Cinderella did ultimately become a princess when she married the prince and Betty Boop is cartoon royalty. Wonderful effort from the brothers Max and Dave. In print and available. Most highly recommended.
Long before Rodgers and Hammerstein had the idea of musicalizing Cinderella, Betty Boop made the midnight pumpkin change tunefully, with verve, sex and good story editing. The plot is trimmed to its essentials, the splendid backgrounds may have influenced the Disney Beauty and the Beast, and the closing shot of the Pinocchio-nosed sisters wraps everything up with a laugh.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Betty Boop, fetching even in rags, meets her prince thanks to her fairy godmother. Similar elements of the movie are here, but the short stands in it's own. There are wicked stepsisters, but no stepmother. The animation of the mice and lizards transforming to horses and coachmen is very reminiscent of the Disney movie. The music would fit in that movie, but adds to the short's charm. I really liked the Cupid who banged the prince on the head with a mallet when he first glimpsed Betty. The talking pumpkin is a little scary with it's jagged teeth and deep voice. The ending is happy of course with Betty reunited with her slipper and her prince. While this short can't match that movie's completeness and gloss, this is a very enjoyable short for lovers of the classic story. This is the only color Betty Boop cartoon that I have seen and hopefully not the only one in existence.
This is the only color cartoon we have of the delicious Miss Boop,
incidentally made on the cusp of when the Hayes Code was enforced. So
we have her at her bouncing sexist. And we discover that she is a
Pretty much all the material that Disney later covered in his feature cartoons had been done in a Boop version first, and with more energy. I think if Fleischer had arranged the backing to make feature cartoons, we'd now be visiting BoopLand in California, Florida and Paris.
Oh, there's another unique thing here. Betty does her trademarked butt dancing but when with her prince at the ball, has an equally sexy smooth ballroom dance. I think it is the only non-jazzy dance in all the Boop cartoons.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Poor Cinderella is a cartoon so good(to me it is easily one of Betty
Boop's best) that I got the feeling that more of her cartoons should
have been in colour. The animation is wonderful, it has Fleischer's
style all over and is one of the best-looking Betty Boop cartoons.
There is beautiful use of colour, everything is designed and drawn in a
way that a lot of care and effort went into making them(as usual with
Fleischer) and there is even a very realistic quality in places- if not
quite on the same level as other Fleischer cartoons like Somewhere in
Dreamland- that is unlike anything seen before personally other than
Fleischer Studios. Animation-wise, the transformation/preparing for the
ball scene was especially clever.
Poor Cinderella has great music too with another memorable title song that repeats itself more than once. The rest of the music is very tuneful and lush in orchestration, other than the title my favourite was the Fairy Godmother song. Poor Cinderella is a cleverly written cartoon. It is charming and adorable, without falling into too much sentimental schmaltz, but there are also some funny moments like the Cupid hitting the Prince on the head and especially the end with the step-sisters(one of the funniest moments of any Fleischer cartoon in my opinion) as well as a couple of somewhat surreal ones like with the pumpkin(in fact the whole transformation sequence).
Fidelity-wise, Poor Cinderella follows just the basic outline of the story(apart from the omission of the step-mother), structurally though it is very faithful, but has a real magic, fun and charm of its own. The characters are all engaging, there have never been a sexier Cinderella in animation or possibly anywhere than Betty Boop, the step-sisters are hilarious and who wouldn't want a Fairy Godmother after seeing her portrayed here? Bonnie Poe's voicing for Betty Boop is great and I fell in love with the soothing sound of the Fairy Godmother's singing voice. Overall, if you love Betty Boop you'll have no problem liking Poor Cinderella, it, to me and several others, is one of her best and more than just historical interest(apparently her only colour cartoon, or at least with Fleischer involved, correct if wrong). 10/10 Bethany Cox
This is one of favorite Betty Boop cartoons, and also "Cinderella" is
one of my favorite fairy stories. I also would like to point out that
this short was made 16 years ago before Disney's animated theatrical
Like I said I love animation from Fleischer Studios (also from Disney, Hanna/Barbera, Rankin/Bass and Studio Ghilbi from Japan) and Betty Boop is one of my favorite cartoon characters beside Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Pepe le Pew of Looney Tunes and Disney's Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. I love the ballroom scene, where Betty/Cinderella and The Prince dance (until midnight that is). And I also love the main title song :
"I'm just a poor Cinderella Nobody loves me it seems And like a poor Cinderella I find my romance in dreams.
For that's where I meet my Prince Charming When I'm with him, cares stay away I'm just a poor Cinderella But I'll be a princess someday!"
Betty Boop as Cinderella. an idea who seems strange but this short animation is the ideal proof for define it as inspired. because all is nice - the songs, the dance, the short story preserving essence of fairy tale and the colors, the technique and the ingenuity of Betty. at first, naive, it is the perfect illustration of significant episode of animation history.
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