Starting in July 1934, all films had to pass under the Motion Picture Production Code, and that is usually blamed for destroying the Betty Boop series (the garter seen here disappeared almost immediately from the actual animated cartoons henceforth). But you can see the rot started in some of the films featured here made before the code was enforced, with the unthreatening Freddy and soft Pudgy taking center stage.
“Betty Boop could’ve been a great star… but all they could have her do is have big guys chase her and try to rape her,” said Shamus Culhane, the greatest animation director who hated cartoons, at a Sheridan College seminar. There’s a bit of truth to that, even if we are all fans. (“I don’t even think she’d be a good rape,” he added.) Clearly the creativity all went to the Popeye series.
July and September 1934 didn’t provide many of Hal Seeger’s cartoons, so I’m expanding the selection for three months’ worth in this installment. I love the needlessly added touch of the bird getting sick off of Popeye’s pipe in the August 1st panel.
July-September 1934 (click each image to enlarge) – followed by a selection of cartoons released during this period.
Betty Boop’s Lifeguard (released July 13th 1934)
Poor Cinderella (released August 3, 1934)
A Dream Walking (released September 26th 1934)