Betty Boop was the first female star of animation. Styled as a Jazz Age flapper, she was flirtatious, sweet, and simply charming and had a voice that you'd never forget, provided by actress Mae Questal (with occasional stand-ins). The persona of Betty Boop was patterned after a singng star at Paramount Studios named Helen Kane. Betty made her first appearance in 1930 in the cartoon "Dizzy Dishes".
You can't talk about Betty Boop without talking about a true pioneer of animation, Grim Natwick. Natwick designed the animated character Betty Boop in the 1930's while working with the Fleisher Bros Studios. Grim was also an animator of Snow White for Disney.
We were pleasantly surprised when in the late 1980's we asked a long-time friend who shares the same last name as Betty's creator if he was related to the legendary artist. He casually replied, "Oh, you mean Uncle Grim!" We were awestruck! We also learned he was related to the legendary movie actress Mildred Natwick who appeared in such classic films as "The Adventures of Robin Hood" with Errol Flynn, and "The Court Jester" with Danny Kaye and Basil Rathbone. It turned out that our friend hadn't spoken to his uncle in many years and was motivated to make contact. Soon following this conversation, our friend took his son to attend Grim's 100th Birthday Party in August of 1990, which was thrown for him by his fans and fellow artists in Hollywood where Grim was hailed all night. Sadly, Grim Natwick passed away shortly thereafter, but we were thrilled that our friend's family got to meet their famous relative. Mr. Natwick was born in Wisconsin Rapids, WI and they have recently been holding Betty Boop Film Festival in his honor, where up and coming animators can showcase their work.
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Click on the item name or picture for detailed information about each of these Betty Boop Animation Cels.
Large drawing by Grim Natwick
Famous Animated Flapper in a charming pose.
From a modern era Betty Boop cartoon.
A cute cel from a modern Betty Boop cartoon.