Animation History
August 3, 2013 posted by

Betty Boop in “I Heard”


Max Fleischer’s I Heard is one of my favorite Betty Boop pre-code cartoons, with one of the best soundtracks the studio ever had. But here’s a little mystery recently brought to my attention by Will Friedwald.

These two audio tracks (below) just showed up on a foreign CD compilation. Says Will, “I’m sending you these two tracks that are clearly pre-recordings for the BETTY BOOP cartoon I Heard (1933). Yes, they’re very different from the commercial 78s, as you can hear, and Mae Questel (I’m pretty sure it’s Mae) sings with Don Redman.”

I don’t know if they are “pre-recordings” per se but, as Friedwald says, these are different from the established Redman recordings – and very close to the Fleischer tracks, sans sound effects…

As I Heard won’t be included in Olive Films forthcoming Betty Boop “Essential Collection” blu-ray releases (Vol. 1 or Vol. 2) – for comparison, here is the Fleischer cartoon itself. If anyone has any information on these mysterious tracks (above), let us know.


  • Am having trouble playing the I HEARD cut and the cartoon started playing an ad about two minutes before it ended.Otherwise,like you said,it sounds exactly like the fleischer soundtrack without SFX.Still,it’s another fascinating bit of animation history

  • Which foreign CD compilation were they on??

  • Thanks to whoever fixed it;it is intriguing to compare tracks!

  • It seems the only material from these audio cuts not used in the “I Heard” soundtrack was Don Redman’s “reply” to Betty Boop in the recording of the “I Heard” song. Very interesting and rare material, thanks to Will and Jerry for posting. Love that “I Heard” one sheet!

  • I just got wind of the release of the essential Betty Boop DVD/Blu Ray. Is it just me or does it feel a bit like a rip off? 25 dollars for an 83 minute Blu Ray? No extras features?

    • I could care less about special features. I rarely get around to watching/listening to them, anyway. What frustrates me about these two releases is that Olive apparently chose to license only those Betty Boop titles that are still protected by copyright. Their reason, I presume, is the usual one. Why should they invest time and money getting the public domain titles out on Blu-Ray when doing so means they’ll just be providing top-notch masters for all those freeloading public domain labels that have never generated a master in their existence. They subsist by stealing other people’s hard work. I understand the position Olive is in here, but it’s annoying to those of us who would love to have all of the Boops on Blu-Ray, irregardless of their copyright status–or the presence of Pudgy.

  • What a great Fleischer cartoon.

  • Well, I’m glad to know there’s a second essential set with more early Talkartoons.

  • @ Jon: I would like to see them released in Chronological order also (and complete) like the Popeye sets. But regarding the Public Domain cartoons. Aren’t they able to copyright their remastered version of the cartoon? Hasn’t WB done that with their re masterings of their PD cartoons on the Golden (and Popeye) collections? Otherwise we would be seeing these cartoons being bootlegged all over the place.

  • According to various lists circulating on the internet of all the Betty Boops that Olive is planning on releasing, “I Heard” will be included in the collections — apparently in Vol. 3 or 4. I certainly hope so; it’s one of my all-time favorite Betties, too.

  • Wonder if the recordings Cab Calloway made for Fleischer still survive like this?

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