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.
'My Friend the Monkey' is somewhat of an average cartoon and feels more a Pudgy cartoon than Betty Boop.
Betty is cute and charming enough but is at best a supporting character and one with little to do in screen time and writing. The story is thin on the ground and what there is of it is very predictable.
As has been said many times about the post-Production Code Betty Boop cartoons, there is a big personal preference for the more risqué, surreal, creative and more consistently humorous and imaginative pre-Production Code Betty Boop cartoons, having been toned down by the limitations of the code many of the later cartoons are tame in comparison and have a blandness. There is a lack of laughs and creativity too.
The animation in 'My Friend the Monkey' is as to be expected extremely good, being beautifully drawn, crisply shaded and meticulous in detail. The music is infectious, lush and dynamic. It's a cute cartoon and not too saccharine.
Pudgy and the monkey have much of the screen-time and they are an adorable and lively presence, even if the monkey is also a pest.
In summary, average cartoon and while acceptable enough as a Pudgy cartoon it disappoints for Betty Boop. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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