Thursday, April 19, 2012

056 Swat the Fly

Title: Swat the Fly
Studio: Fleischer
Date: 04/19/35
Directed by
Dave Fleischer
Animated by
David Tendlar
Samuel Stimson
Series: Betty Boop
Running time (of viewed version): 5:24
Commercial DVD Availability: 600d4 or this or this

Synopsis: Betty destroys the kitchen because of a fly.

Comments: 1935 domestic Betty isn't as interesting as '39 Betty. Great portrait painting. Unclean dough making. These Betty Boop cartoons can wear on me more strongly than some other, technically worse cartoons, because the Boops are formulaic and I've been exposed to the formula. It is possible that Columbia cartoons are formulaic, but the formula is new to me. This makes Betty a victim of her own success. There's a real conservation of backgrounds (and animation) in this. It's weird: there's no close up of the fly.


  1. Is this the first appearance of Pudgy? I love domesticated suburban Betty!

    1. Pudgy first wrecked havoc on the Boop series in "Betty Boop's Little Pal,", head animated by Myron Waldman, who specialized in Paramount's 'cute' cartoons for over 20 years. This cartoon is handled by Dave Tendlar, who would have much more fun in the series when he created Grampy later in 1935.

      Tom Johnson was really the only head animator who managed to have a decent batting average of fairly entertaining Pudgy cartoons. Waldman did more of them than anyone else, with his high point probably being 1938's "Riding the Rails" (where the audience can at least enjoy watching Pudgy get chased by a series of New York City subway trains as opposed to the normal formula plot).