The Betty Boop Talkartoons series was known for it's risque behaviour. Betty Boop's best appearances are considered to be in her first three years due to her "Jazz baby" character and innocent sexuality, which was aimed at adults. However, the content of her films was affected by the National Legion of Decency and the Production Code of 1934. The Production Code of 1934 imposed guidelines on the Motion Picture Industry and placed specific restrictions on the content films could reference with sexual innuendos. This greatly affected the Betty Boop cartoons.
The Breen Office ordered the removal of the suggestive introduction, which had started the cartoons because Betty Boop's winks and shaking hips were deemed "suggestive of immorality." While these cartoons were tame compared to her earlier appearances, their self-conscious wholesomeness was aimed at a more juvenile audience, which contributed to the decline of the series. Much of the decline was due to the lessening of Betty's role in the cartoons in favor of her co-stars.
The Betty Boop character started out as a anthropomorthic caricature of 1920's singer Helen Kane. The character's age was classed as irrelevant from 1930-1931 due to the fact that she was a french poodle. From 1932 her canine features were morphed into human ones. In a 1932 Interview Max Fleischer claimed that Betty Boop was officially 16 years old. Although in Betty Boop's Birthday which was released in 1933, Betty only had 14 candles on her cake which suggested she was alot younger. According to Max Fleischer, he couldn't decide on an age for the character. The character was underage in most of her cartoons from 1932-1934, from 1934-onwards she is shown to be alot older and is seen as the house-wife type, which is proberly the outcome of The Production code of 1934.
Rumor has it that in September 1938 Max Fleischer, as a thank you to all artists who moved to his new animation studio in Florida, animated a graphic sexual encounter between his two stars Betty Boop and Popeye. Reports on this supposed film, known as “Welcome to Miami,” range from it being 30 seconds of pencil drawings to a full-color short film.
Betty's Sexual Status today
According to King Features and The Fleischer Studios of this generation, " We have always had to push the envelope a little without stepping over the line. For example, Betty Boop has always been sexy, but without being sexual. What our culture considered sexy in 1930 is not exactly what we consider sexy today."
References in the Betty Boop Cartoons
Below are some of the references from various cartoons, Betty was known to lose her clothes in most of the episodes she appeared in, that trait most likley came from Clara Bow the It Girl. Sexual advances were always made by a male antagonist's in the earlier series from 1932-1933. For example male characters such as Ringmaster, Big Boss. The Old Man of The Mountain. Bimbo was known to lust after Betty in the series, her relationship with Bimbo was classed as Beastality. The Betty Boop cartoons also have alot of Ethnic and Homosexual references in them. In most of the episodes Betty's garterbelt is shown to slip down, she is always seen quickly pulling it back up. When Betty wore her garterbelt it was classed as being sexy, in the beggining she wore two garters on both legs, until it was moved to her left leg. The garterbelt is usually fastened abround Betty's left leg, and is used to keep up her stockings as seen in "She Wronged him Right". Betty's garter was never removed from the series it was just moved further up her leg.
In Dizzy Dishes when Betty say's that she wants to make whoopie her skirt lifts up in the air to reveal she's wearing no underwear, Bimbo's body also morphs into an erected state. In Mysterious Mose Betty's Nightgown lifts up and down while she is in her bed, a picture on her wall tells her to take them off. In Barnacle Bill Betty's skirt flys up and down while she's on the sofa with Bimbo, the film climaxes with a sudden cut to the outside of Betty’s window as the window-shade is suddenly pulled down and two cats emerge from the neighbouring windows with the usual gossip combination: disparaging looks and calls for everyone else to come and see (a cutely unconvincing joke has Bimbo and Betty playing checkers when the window-shade rises.
In Silly Scandals Betty's dress slips down to reveal her frilly bra. [basically Betty is a hoe who wants to show off her goodies to the crowd]
Bimbo's Initation includes sodomite references throught the whole cartoon."We are the members of Do It Or Die D-I-D-I-D-I Watch us make Bimbo as easy as pie D-I-D-I-D-I We are succubus filled with college pep Bring him on we cry D-I-D-I-D-I B-I-M-B-O BIMBO". “We are succubus.” A succubus is a demonic entity that rapes men during the night, which may be in a female form or in a male form for sodomy. Bimbo can also be seen riding a bike that is a butt spanking machine, self abuse. His butt is set on fire. The bike then takes him into the room of the lodge or temple with masonry walls and the standard Masonic checkerboard floor. Betty Boop who had been wearing a Mason disguise. It's really a Mason, who now appears to him as Betty Boop, which is to say a desirable sex object. She does a sleazy little dance for Bimbo and spanks her own butt repeatedly, so we get the point that this now sexually attractive Lodge member is his new sodomite sex partner. The programming has transformed Bimbo. Wanna be a member? Bimbo says yes. The curtain goes up and we see the audience, the gallery of secret society members. They all pull off their brotherhood suits and become Betty Boop clones, dancing like dance hall girls. All now appear as potential sex partners to Bimbo. First, she is a hybrid, a chimera, Nephilim. Second, she is part dog, which is known to be a reference to a sodomite or male prostitute. Bimbo was a dog. Those responsible for Bimbo's Initiation knew about these kinds of things. This is the dirty little secret behind the Bimbo and Betty Boop identities. Betty was a secret transvestite or a hermaphrodite. In The Bum Bandit Betty Boop stars as Dangerous Nan McGrew, while Betty's singing the hold up rag her skirt fly's in the air in front of the engineer. Betty eventually throws Bimbo into the locomotive, as they drive off she pulls down the blinds their underwear then emerge on the line attached to the smoke stack, suggesting they are having sex.
In Boop-Oop-a-Doop after performing Do Something on the tightrope, Betty Boop returns to her dressing room. The Ringmaster enters her room and tell's Betty that she will lose her job if she continues to refuse his sexual advances. The Ringmaster then feels betty's legs and whispers something in her ear to which she replies "You Mean?" He then behings to whisper in her ear a second time to which she states "No!" she responds by slapping him in the face, he then begins to choke her and states "There will be no more Boop-Oop-a-Doop outta you!" Betty escapes his clutches and begins to sing Don't Take My Boop-Oop-A-Doop Away. After Betty finishes singing she is grabbed by the Ringmaster, until Koko the Clown saves the day, Betty responds with "He couldn't take my Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away!" Bimbo can also be heard referencing Peanuts and Penis to Betty's little brother Billy Boop who reply's No! while Bimbo is working as a Peanut Vendor, he even points at his crotch area. Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle contains a tan-skinned (dark-skinned) topless Betty Boop, wearing only a lei and a grass skirt. In Betty Boop's Up's and Down's Betty's skirt lifts up while she's walking in the air. In Any Rags Betty's Skirt slips to reveal she's wearing a frilly bra. In S.O.S Sink or Swim, Betty's skirt lifts into the air while she's singing on the raft, when she's taken captive by pirates the captain quotes "Leave the Damsel to me" he then turns into a snake to which Betty replys "You mean?" which is the same quote she used in Boop-Oop-a-Doop. In A Hunting We Will Go Betty allow's Bimbo and Koko the Clown to feel her legs up and down.
In Betty Boop's Big Boss Betty flashes while standing on the table, According to Leslie Cabarga in one seen the boss can be seen rubbing her breast. In Betty Boop's Penthouse Bimbo and Koko watch Betty take a shower on her roof, when she dry's herself off her towel continues to rub her rear area until she move's it up to her back. In Popeye the Sailor Betty wears the same topless costume she wore in Betty's Bamboo Isle. In Is My Palm Read Betty is invited to have her fortune told by Bimbo when she enters Bimbo turns off the lights, which show allows them to see through Betty's dress. Betty is then hypnotized into "remembering the naked truth of her childhood days" You see a flashback of a nude Baby Boop taking a bath. In 'I Heard' Betty goes down of the elevator to underground, but she crushes Bimbo underground and reveals her underwear because of Bimbo had and swapped her dress.
In Red Hot Mama as Betty passes in front of flaming pits, her nightie turns see through. In Betty Boop's Rise to Fame there is a frame showing a naked breast. In Betty Boop's Trial Betty lifts her skirt in the air one last time when she twirls around, which reveals her underwear. In Poor Cinderella while Betty's in the carriage a horse starts to sing "They call her poor cinderella", the top part of her dress slips she quickly lifts it up and states "But i'll be a princess someday."
In Pudgy and the Watchman Betty Boop is tricked into hiring Al. E. Katz. He uses a fake mouse to scare Betty out of her home, when she jumps over him he takes a quick look up her dress. This is the only known sexual reference in the Betty Boop series from 1938. In Buzzy Boop when the train stops Betty's skirt flips one last time to reveal her garter.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
According to sources Betty Boop had appeared topless in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) as a reference to her old cartoon series. When Eddie Valiant and Betty have their brief meet-up in the Ink and Paint Club there was an moment in this scene where, just for a single frame the strapless dress that this classic cartoon character slipped off of her breasts and thus revealed Betty's bare nipples. According to the new DVD release the statement was that her dress was made to small and that it had made her look topless which might be untrue due to the nature of the original Betty Boop cartoon series, which might indicate that the scene has been removed from all VHS & DVD releases.
- There is brief nudity from Jessica Rabbit in the film & Baby Herman can be seen putting his finger up a woman's dress.
- According to a source the only reason the animators who worked on Who Framed Roger Rabbit had slipped in a topless scene of Betty Boop was to pay tribute to the people who worked on the original Betty Boop series.
- This scene could also be a reference to why some people reference Betty Boop as "Betty Boob".
- The images could be photoshopped, but Betty Boop was known to do these things in the original series, when she stopped doing these things from 1934-1939 her cartoons series plummeted.
- According to a source Betty Boop was classed as being drawn fully nude under her clothes in the film, although there is no proof to back this claim.