Betty Boop: Crazy Town


For today’s cartoon I’d like to offer something that’s just absurd: the Fleischer studios’ 1932 Betty Boop short Crazy Town. After the handsome opening credits — which include James Culhane, who’s famous in animation circles for doing the “Heigh-Ho” sequence in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and writing (as Shamus Culhane) the classic textbook Animation From Script To Screen; and David Tendlar, who never achieved fame, but who animated for Fleischer Studios/Paramount Studios for decades and then went to Hanna-Barbera, so you’ve seen his work — Betty Boop and Bimbo take the trolley to Crazy Town, a place where pretty much any sight gag the animators could think of gets done. Many of them are simple reversals of expectation, birds that fly under water and fish that swim above, or barbers that make hair grow by cutting it, but that doesn’t infringe on the childish glee that comes from seeing the reversals. And then, of course, things keep getting stranger.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

2 thoughts on “Betty Boop: Crazy Town”

  1. Fleischer seems to enjoy upping the ante towards the end. He starts off small, then pulls something out of his hat like “let’s make a piano come out of the ground!” It reminds me of the other Boop short where they were selling Jippo.

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    1. Fleischer cartoons at their best really were like this. I have to imagine the writing was done partly by piling up jokes and putting the weirdest ones at the end. It’s kind of a disappointment when a Fleischer cartoon has a strong plot since the need to resolve that tends to prevent the biggest pile of strange from being the last minute of the cartoon.

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