Betty Boop tries to get Little Jimmy to bed, but he's being a bad little boy indeed. He unbuttons his sleeper, forcing Betty to re-button it. And after Betty turns off the ceiling lamp, Little Jimmy jumps up on his bed and turns it back on again. Once Betty thinks she finally has Jimmy to sleep, she finds him painting stripes on the cat with toothpaste. Jimmy begs Betty to tell him a story, and she does so with an eye toward teaching him a lesson. It's about a mischievous little boy, much like Jimmy, watched over by a fairy, who is much like Betty. He ties a tin can on a little dog's tail; he throws bricks at a glass house; and he clips off the shaving-brush-like hair of the local barber as he sleeps. But the boy goes too far when he taunts a lion, who escapes from his cage and chases him. The kindly fairy gives the boy a chance to reverse everything he does. Literally. Suddenly, everything he has done is played in reverse, leaving a content barber, an untouched glass house and a ...Written by
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.
Less good is that, thanks to the production code her sensuality is heavily muted, and it was like she had lost a large part of what made her such a unique character back then and what made her popular. Here, she is a more moralistic character, but does it very well admittedly.
The animation is still very good, as ever being rich in detail and beautifully drawn. The music is infectious and beautifully and cleverly orchestrated, putting one in a good mood and enhances the action wonderfully.
'Baby Be Good's' story is more eventful and has more imagination than most later Betty Boop cartoons, with more creative ideas. The whole reversal idea was cleverly done.
However, if anybody enjoyed the pre-code Betty Boop cartoons for being wonderfully surreal and for its daring risqué content that was ahead of the time back in the 30s and wouldn't be seen a lot now in cartoons, they will be disappointed here. Both are missing which gives a rather tame and bland feel here in 'Baby Be Good'.
More problematic are a too conveniently pat ending, that robs the viewer of seeing Little Jimmy getting what he deserved, and Little Jimmy himself, a "cutesy"-intended character that's actually insufferably irritating and unintentionally creepy.
On the whole, not bad but misses too much of what was so good before with Betty Boop before the production code. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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