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Wow, Betty is having a bad day. It starts off well, with our girl
singing her usual uplifting song en route to the bus stop on her way to
work. However, some idiot keeps saying hello and slapping her too hard
on the back. Then she gets on the bus and two busybodies have their
noses in her newspaper. Then some slob blows cigar smoke in her face
and then a fat lady almost sits on top of her. To cap things off, when
she gets off the bus, the inconsiderate idiot in a car races by and
splashes mud all over her.
Betty is still fuming at work. Apparently she works in a court room because while tiding up at the judge's desk, she dons the robe and fantasizes about taking care of these "pests." She has been muttering about "all these pests in town and I wish I was a judge and could do something about them."
Well, we then see her fantasy and what she'd like to see happen to these obnoxious, rude people. It's pretty wild, and so is the ending.
It's another solid Betty Boop cartoon, meaning fun to watch.
A good deal of the pre-Production Code Betty Boop cartoons are daring
and creative, with content that makes one amazed at what's gotten away
with. While the later Betty Boop cartoons made after the Code was
enforced are still watchable and exceptionally well-made, they are so
toned down that they feel bland.
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.
While it was said in the first paragraph that the later Betty Boop cartoons were bland in comparison to the pre-Code ones there were exceptions. Although lacking the surreal and risqué edge of the pre-Code Betty Boop cartoons and being a bit too cruel somewhat at times, 'Judge for a Day' is one of those exceptions.
The animation is beautifully drawn and detailed and the music infectious and dynamic. Pudgy is adorable, and the character you feel most sorry for and the one you relate to most. The voice acting is good.
On top of that, 'Judge for a Day' is one of the funniest and more inventive later Betty Boop cartoons, there is some very funny content here and timed with a lot of wit and imagination. The voice acting is very good.
All in all, entertaining and one of the better post-production code Betty Boop cartoons. 8/10 Bethany Cox
In the mid-1930s, some of Betty Boop's cartoons were amazingly cruel. While most were happy little cartoons with singing and cute animals and anthropomorphic backgrounds, a few, like "Judge for a Day" and "Be Human" were rather vicious and focused on Betty dispensing her own form of justice on evil doers. In "Be Human", a vicious animal abuser (and I do mean vicious) is himself beaten and abused by Betty and Grampy! Here in "Judge for a Day", Betty seems in a very grouchy mood--made more so by annoying folks who are more thoughtless than evil. Later, Betty sneaks into the court, dresses up like a judge and sings a song about how much fun it would be to torment these people!! Talk about sadistic! It's made worse when the crowds hear her song and decide she WOULD make a perfect judge! While is is awfully cruel, I must admit I, too, would like to see a few of these folks get theirs and there is something satisfying about her puritanical rant about gum chewers and the like! Weird and funny--with the typically beautiful Fleischer Studio animation.
Just discovered this post-Code Max Fleischer Betty Boop cartoon on YouTube. You can tell it's after the time the Production Code really went into effect since Betty is singing about being happy and not about sexuality. Also she's more conservatively dressed for work as a court stenographer and not as a nightclub entertainer with her garter on one of her legs. And the people that annoy her are not lechers but bus passengers of which two try to read her paper, one lady rudely takes her seat, and one man blows smoke in her face! So when she arrives early in an empty courthouse, Betty imagines what would happen if she were judge. The next scene takes place in a zoo where many of these annoying people get what's coming to them! That's all I'll say except there's actually something of a happy ending for Betty and the townspeople who cheer her on. So while this isn't the standard Betty Boop we all know and love, Judge for a Day does still provide some of her spark in this post-Code entry.
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