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.
One of the last Betty Boop cartoons, 'Rhythm on the Reservation' is watchable, well-made and amusing but when you compare it to the cartoons made before the code (no matter how one tries hard not to it is hard) it underwhelms. The Indian stereotypes are in poor taste and not only is it easy to be squirming seeing how they're portrayed it is easy to see why people would find it offensive.
'Rhythm on the Reservation' is very thin on story and it sometimes affects the energy. One does miss the risqué and surreal edge of the pre-Production Code cartoons, and was mixed on Betty herself, she is cute, charming and has good comic timing but was deserving of more to do.
However, the animation in 'Rhythm on the Reservation' is as to be expected extremely good, being beautifully drawn, crisply shaded and meticulous in detail. The music is infectious, lush and dynamic.
Some fun and clever visual gags too that do induce a number of chuckles, especially the fascinating ways in how the Indians play their instruments. The voice acting is good.
In summary, decent enough but there are much better Betty Boop cartoons. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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