Short – “Betty Boop For President” (1932) Review

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Released by Fleischer Studios | Directed by Dave Fleischer
Run time: 6 minutes

Betty Boop for President: Boop-A-Doop-Gate

“What this country is in need of is a lot of heidi ho, boop-a-doop, and chocolate ice cream!”

Released just before the 1932 Presidential election, “Betty Boop for President” imagines the squeaky flapper as a major presidential candidate. In sticking with the series’ trademark surrealistic bent, Betty’s promises range from limousines for street cleaners, a giant umbrella to cover Manhattan, privacy booths for dogs and fire hydrants, and they even go so far as to suggest a new penalty for those on death row– the electric chair would now turn you gay. Her opponent, Mr. Nobody, has a retinue that mostly relies on ‘Who cares?’, causing hisses from the audience. No doubt Betty is exactly what the doctor ordered.

It’s definitely a harmless bit of fluff, though moments where Betty’s face morphs into those of Herbert Hoover and Hoover’s 1928 general election opponent, Al Smith, may be a little confusing. But those are few, and the moments where Betty stands in front of a rowdy state house divided evenly between elephants and donkeys squabbling on minor points instead of big issues is undoubtedly timeless.

Gallery

Click to enlarge. All of my images are taken by me– please feel free to reuse with credit!

Trivia & Links

  • In, which I will admit up front, is one of the strangest things I have ever seen in my entire life, there was a film released in 1980 with the same title as this short. Betty Boop for President: The Movie, however, is actually a handful of old Fleischer cartoons that have simply been redrawn over, colorized and had their plots altered significantly to form one (vaguely) coherent one. It’s really awful and bizarre. If you don’t believe me, you can watch it here.

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Danny

Danny is a librarian who lives on the coast of California with his lovely wife, adorable daughter, and yappy dog. He blogs bi-weekly at pre-code.com, a website dedicated to Hollywood films from 1930 to 1934, and can be found on Twitter @PreCodeDotCom.

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