One of the last of the original Betty Boop cartoons
During the 1930s, the Fleischer Brothers made a ton of Betty Boop films. However, by the end of 1939, she was retired--only to reappear in various cameos in recent years (such as in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"). "The Scared Crows" is one of these final films. I have no idea why, but Betty is quite a bit different in this one. First, very voice is Margie Hines--not the old familiar Mae Questel*, though during her original run, quite a few women occasionally did Betty's voice--though Questel was by far the most frequent. Second, Betty was 'de-sexed' in this one--with her large features greatly reduced (and I am not just talking about her head). She also is much more slender and contemporary in this one.
"The Scared Crows" finds Betty and her dog, Pudgy, planting seeds. However, the annoying crows keep digging them up. When Betty scares them off, one of the crows is hurt and naive Betty takes it home to nurse it back to health. Unfortunately, the crow turns out to be a real jerk--and if you watch the film you'll see what I mean.
This cartoon's biggest plus is its lack of musical numbers--something that often made these cartoons a bit too saccharine at times. But, the cartoon is also amazingly tame compared to earlier ones...though it is still enjoyable and good for its day. Compared to other late 30s cartoons, it's quite good.
*In the 1970s, Questel was famous for playing Aunt Bluebell for a long series of toilet paper commercials. She also voiced most of the Olive Oyl cartoons and later played Betty one final time in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" about 50 years later than the first Betty cartoons!
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