This is going to be fairly similarly worded to some of my other reviews for the Betty Boop cartoons made after the Production Code, as they all have the same strengths and flaws pretty much.
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, with the risqué and surreal edge and creativity of the pre-Code cartoons gone, 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.
Some of 'A Little Soap and Water' is cute and initially is amusing. The animation is beautifully drawn and detailed and the music infectious and dynamic. Pudgy is adorable, and the character you relate to most despite the fact that the thought of a hot bath is something to look forward for a fair few of us. The voice acting is good.
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 feeling throughout.
Creativity and more consistent (in quality and timing) jokes are also missing, while the story is very thin and somewhat repetitive which makes the cartoon drag and never holds any surprises.
In conclusion, okay but bland. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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