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If you've seen many Betty Boop cartoons, you can see that this is one
of the later ones, as Betty is very different looking from her older
self. Back in the earlier days, Betty was very curvy and sexy. However,
here she is much taller and less amply endowed. Part of this is because
the new Production Code of 1934 mandated some changes but part was just
apparently due to changing fashions--making the 1939 Betty more modern
and 'normal' looking.
Despite my use of the word normal, nothing else about "So Does An Automobile" is normal! It is a very strange cartoon in which cars have become anthropomorphic and Betty works in a garage that is really much more like a hospital for sick and injured autos! Few of the gags are hilarious but it is cute and will keep your attention. Plus, like all Fleischer cartoons, the animation is terrific. You gotta see this one to believe it!
I'm not a fan of Betty Boop, but 'So Does an Automobile' is one of her
more enjoyable cartoons. It features Betty in a storyline that doesn't
require us to accept her as beautiful or voluptuous. (Honestly: if you
saw a real woman who looked and sounded like Betty Boop -- that
gigantic head, that tiny mouth, that perpetual whimper -- would you
actually be pleased? More likely, you'd scream and run away in
In this cartoon, Betty is running a service garage for anthropomorphised cars that look like Benny the Cab from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit': really more of a car hospital than anything else. As she ministers to the cars, Betty sings a very catchy tune, every verse of which ends with the song's title, and all the verses make comparisons between humans and cars. A person needs some sympathy, and 'so does an automobile'. And so on.
In addition to the very pleasant song -- which keeps Betty from doing her usual breathy whimpering -- there's also an extremely funny payoff gag, which should be easy to figure out if you look at this movie's title while considering the Fleischer studio's penchant for risqué gags. Still, by Fleischer standards that last gag is quite clean. I might even call it "auto" erotic. I'll rate this delightful movie 9 in 10.
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