That little routine business fact has nothing to do with moviegoers delight in the antics of Betty Boop and her pen-and-ink friends. Max and Dave Fleischer, veterans of the animated cartoon business and two brothers are responsible for Betty. She is, Mr. Diamond explains with justifiable pride, the first human figure ever to make a hit with cartoon fans.
"There have been lots of other human figures," said Mr. Diamond, "Mutt and Jeff and "Bringing Up Father" among them. They always liked the animals better. Then we made Betty. We didn't think she was anything particular at first, just another novelty."
Her first film ran at the Rivoll Miss Boop ran out on the screen bowed and threw a kiss to the audience. To her creators amazement, the audience replied with a hearty round of applause.
"Then we knew we had something," Mr. Diamond continued. "A cartoon figure that was clapped just for making a bow." Betty, oddly enough did not start off as the pert little flapper she is now.
She was originally drawn as a cat, a cat with earsm tail and a kittenish voice. Then the animators began experimenting, subdu-ing the ears a bit, touching up the face, dropping the tail and ears entirely at last, and leaving only the round bright-eyed face.
The feline personality called for a childish voice, Margie Hines the first Betty Boop was succeeded later by Mae Questel. There is now a third voice of Betty Boop.