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Betty Boop Forever  cover image

Betty Boop Forever 2019

Recommended with Reservations

Distributed by Film Ideas, 308 North Wolf Rd., Wheeling, IL 60090; 800-475-3456
Produced by Anne Schuchman-Kune and Marianne Lere
Directed by Claire Duguet
Streaming, 52 mins

College - General Adult
Animation; Popular Culture; Social Movements

Date Entered: 02/26/2021

Reviewed by Lara Fountaine, Student Success & Engagement Librarian, NC State University Libraries

Betty Boop is an animation icon. She was the first female human and lead character in the history of cartoons. Known for her sensuality and good looks, Betty launched from a seemingly innocent jazz singer to a feminist icon. This documentary takes a look at the past 90 years of Betty Boop and evaluates the ways her image has changed. Viewers will explore the themes of the original cartoons along with its groundbreaking achievements. They will also see how artists today have been looking to Betty for inspiration.

Overall this documentary presents a compelling argument for Betty Boop as a feminist icon and really highlights her impact on animation and pop culture. It uses wonderful archival footage of her original cartoons and interviews with several folks who have been influenced with her in some way. Several parts of this documentary could easily be evaluated and discussed in much more depth. This documentary is recommended with reservations because it can sometimes be hard to follow. The first half seems very disjointed and it is at first unclear how the interviewees are connected to the subject matter. However, the second half presents this information and the argument of Betty Boop as a feminist icon. I recommend including an introduction or overview before the viewing of this documentary as that might clear up some of the confusion that can stem from the first half. Other than that, the topic is very timely and presents an intriguing look into the life of Betty Boop.

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