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Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Volume 1 [Blu-ray]

Mae Questel , Bonnie Poe , Dave Fleischer  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Volume 1 [Blu-ray] + Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Vol. 2 [Blu-ray] + Betty Boop: Essential Collection 3 [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mae Questel, Bonnie Poe, Ann Little, Cab Calloway
  • Directors: Dave Fleischer
  • Producers: Max Fleischer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Animated, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 20, 2013
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00D4C6780
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,262 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Betty Boop: The Essential Collection, Volume 1 [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

When Betty Boop made her debut in "Dizzy Dishes" in 1930, she had something no other cartoon character did: a genuine female anatomy and believably feminine style of movement. In "Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle" (1932), she danced a hula wearing only a lei and a grass skirt. Her comic sex appeal attracted not only her regular costars Bimbo and Koko, but every male in the vicinity, down to the king on a chessboard. Walt Disney pushed his artists to greater realism and believability; Fleischer Studios took the "rubber house" animation of the 1920s to its logical conclusion: an elastic, metamorphic, often surreal style. The characters bend and stretch like so much Silly Putty; plants and inanimate objects grow limbs and faces to comment on the action. (A flower is so scandalized by Betty's hula, it buries its head in the sand, leaving its roots in the air.) In contrast to the lush Technicolor beauty of Disney's Silly Symphonies, the Betty Boop cartoons have an urban, black-and-white edginess that fits the jazz soundtracks. Despite the character's continuing popularity, there's never been a satisfactory set of Betty shorts on disc--until now. The prints in the Essential Collection are clean, clear, and free from dirt and scratches. The black on the characters seems a bit intense in places, but the delicate ink-wash backgrounds have been lovingly preserved. In addition to "Bamboo Isle," high points include Betty's impressions of Fanny Brice and Maurice Chevalier in "Betty Boop's Rise to Fame" (1934) and her comic politics in "Betty Boop for President" (1932). Oddly, this first volume doesn't include "Dizzy Dishes" or the three cartoons set to Cab Calloway songs that are the high point of the series. Presumably they'll be included in later installments. The Essential Collection is the set Betty's fans have been waiting for. (Unrated; suitable for ages 8 and older: cartoon violence, risqué humor, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon

Product Description

Newly re-mastered in HD from 4K scans of the original negatives and finegrains. Regarded as one of the first and most famous sex symbols on the animated screen; she was a symbol of the Depression era and a reminder of the more carefree days of the Roaring Twenties. Her popularity was drawn larger from adult audiences and the cartoons, while seemingly surreal, contained many sexual and psychological elements. "Boop-Oop-A-Doop" The queen of the animated screen returns to allure and entice audiences all over again in this fantastic four-volume compilation featuring many of her greatest adventures. Volume One includes 12 animated short films available for the first time on DVD and Blu-rayT. All 12 shorts were produced by Max Fleischer and directed by his brother Dave Fleischer. Featuring the voices of Mae Questel, Bonnie Poe and Ann Little as Betty Boop. Also featuring guest voices of Cab Calloway, Jack Mercer, William Pennell and The Royal Samoans. This collection includes the cartoons CHESS NUTS (1932), BETTY BOOP, M.D. (1932), BETTY BOOP'S BAMBOO ISLE (1932), BETTY BOOP FOR PRESIDENT (1932), BETTY BOOP'S PENTHOUSE (1933), BETTY BOOP'S BIRTHDAY PARTY (1933), BETTY BOOP'S MAY PARTY (1933), BETTY BOOP'S HALLOWE'EN PARTY (1933), BETTY BOOP'S RISE TO FAME (1934), BETTY BOOP'S TRIAL (1934), BETTY BOOP'S LIFE GUARD (1934), and THE FOXY HUNTER (1937)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best We've Seen of Betty Boop on Video! August 19, 2013
This is the first legitimate DVD release of the Fleischer/Paramount Betty Boop cartoons still covered by copyright...and long overdue I might add! About 44 of the Betty Boops are in public domain and have been released by several companies on DVD, mostly using the Republic Laserdisc box sets or well used 16mm prints as their source, Olive Films has licensed 48 of the copyrighted films from Paramount and apparently is using the excellent UCLA restorations as their source material. Purists won't like it that the U.M.& M. TV logos have replaced the Paramount mountain logo on the main titles but those were apparently cut into the original negatives when U.M.& M. TV acquired the TV rights way back in the mid 1950's. Volume 1 (of 4) of this series consists of 12 cartoons, mostly from the early and best (pre-Code!) Betty Boop era. The cartoons are look terrific! No heavy noise reduction which ruined the two Republic box sets, the cartoons have never looked better since their original release in 35mm.

I'm taking one star away from my rating only because this is the typical no frills Olive release with no extras of any kind and lackluster two color carton packaging, Betty Boop really deserves some special editions with documentaries, commentaries, etc. Too bad they didn't invite cartoon guru Jerry Beck to participate and make this series something special. The price is a bit high for no frills DVDs with only 12 cartoons per disc too. That being said I highly recommend these discs and commend Olive Films for doing what no other previous owner of the Betty Boop elements had any interest in us stellar quality Betty Boop cartoons...and in Blu-ray too!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GET IT (in spite of my quibles) September 4, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase

High definition transfers from the best possible source material. No other release of these cartoons has looked this good before.

The design work of the packaging is nicely done. The Blu Ray (and I assume the DVD too) comes in a nicely designed slipcase that actually does contain a little bit of information about the cartoons including the years that each one on the set was released. Even the on disc printing is nicely designed and the cover art looks much better in real life than it does listed on Amazon.

The cartoons are in chronological order

Cartoons are uncensored.


While these are scanned in from the best possible source material. There has been no attempt at restoration. No cleaning up of the film scratches, no restoration of the original opening and closing titles (The original film titles where changed when they where sold to TV). They could have at least restored the original opening and closing film titles (they do exist).

No extras. No commentary tracks from animation historians. No extra bonus features. There are only 12 cartoons in this set and quite frankly a little something extra would have been nice and made this set a better value for the money that they are charging.


If you are an animation fan or Betty Boop fan: GET IT.

I have to admit, I almost didn't get this because it was such a bare bones release with only 12 cartoons for 25 dollars.

The price point for this package was "almost" unacceptable, and I have heard that some animation fans are not buying it for that reason.

But we need more vintage animation restoration releases and not buying this will only send a message that there is not enough market to justify doing it (as opposed to sending a message that these releases need to be done properly....which they do).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking Animation Remastered June 29, 2013
The Fleischer brothers were groundbreaking pioneers at the dawn of animation whose work deserves a 4K upgrade. Many people who are only familiar with the tawdry, cloyingly cute, Betty Boop merchandise machine don't realize how racy and wild these cartoons are, with fantastic soundtracks by many of the era's biggest stars.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I of course am thrilled that these are being release FINALLY, but a Blu-Ray disc that's barely over 80 minutes? No extras, documentary, model sheets or commentaries by Jerry Beck or countless others? And they couldn't have at least done it in chronological order as a 2 or possibly 3 disc set?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome set! August 23, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This set is the best set that featured the shorts of the Boop girl. No restoration, but quality still looks great in Full HD. Every cartoon still bears the U.M.&M. logos in the beginning, and end, but none of the scenes were cut. Six of the cartoons still bear the Paramount copyright, but still has the replaced logos in the beginning. They could've done better with that, since it was licensed from Paramount. But the quality still looks very superior than any set you'll find out there!! Very impressed! They used 4k scans of original elements, and it sure looks like they did! No extras, or captions, by the way. Olive Films have done it again. I recommend this set.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! 35mm Nitrate Fine Grain transfers in Hi-Def! August 29, 2013
While these classic gems may not be "restored", the original 35mm Nitrate Fine Grain masters have been used to master this Hi-Def release.
The image is sharp, the contrast is good. The sound is crisp, clear and free of most noise.
There is occasional picture movement that could have been fixed with an image stabilization program, but this would be restoration work, which was not done.
White negative dust does appear, mostly at the beginning & end of the cartoons, but it is not distracting.

One advantage of a lack of 'restoration' is NO DVNR like the old Laserdiscs & VHS tapes.

It has been demonstrated at the Cartoon Research webpage that in the early days of sound Max Fleischer did not use the standard 1:37-1 square picture ratio. His cartoons were made in a slightly narrower frame ratio (called Movietone Ratio). These cartoons have been scanned to capture the original full frame, but slightly stretched to fill the 1:37-1 square video image. For the most part this stretching will be unnoticeable, but if you compare the frames to old VHS tapes you will see more picture at the top & bottom on this new HD Blu-ray transfer.

Unfortunately the original Television distributor spliced their replacement UM&M-TV logo right into the Nitrate Fine Grain masters! So the original Paramount Logos are lost. This poor judgement on UM&M's part keeps their name on the films forever even though they were only in business for a few years. However, many of these have their original Paramount title cards intact.

AS FOR THE CARTOONS: They are classics. Many of these are "Per-Code" and have risque humor, you will see Betty's garter & underwear here. Only the last two cartoons are "Post-code" and had to be kept clean for the Hays Office.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It!
Love It! Can't wait to get Volumes 2,3, 4. A must have for Betty Boop fans!
Published 23 days ago by Pasheeda Soree Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Some things to know about Betty
Published 2 months ago by Pumpkin Toss
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not for the kids
This is the original Betty Boop and maybe a little too reiue for the younger one in your house. But adults will enjoy it and catch the double meanings and the laughs
Published 5 months ago by avidreader
2.0 out of 5 stars 4k HD Film Transfer for 16mm is Overkill and Irelevant for 1k Blu-ray.
The industry is still working in the analog era with little to no understanding with digital.

First off it is irrelevant for a Blu-ray HD 1k downscaled image as to what... Read more
Published 5 months ago by tvideo
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite an essential collection but a great one with (mostly)...
Hands down, the most indispensable DVD/Blu -ray collections released in 2013 are the two volumes of the Fleischer original Betty Boop cartoons from Olive films. Read more
Published 5 months ago by THE BLUEMAHLER
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of a Letdown
Man, we've waited a long time for Betty to come to DVD in an official way. But come on, this is not the quality release that the Fleischer Popeyes received. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Robert Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars my childhood remembered, part 2
I grew up watching Betty Boop cartoons on a very small, probably fourteen inch, black and white television. Viewing the Blu-ray was a trip down memory lane for me. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Charles from Redondo Beach
5.0 out of 5 stars Betty Boop Volume One
Was initially sent the DVD edition by mistake, having specified that I wanted this in the BluRay format. Error was quickly rectified and the correct item shipped to me. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Raymond Cabana
5.0 out of 5 stars At last!
For the first time in Region 1, a collection of Booperies taken from decent prints and transferred responsibly. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jon Hildreth
5.0 out of 5 stars Best BB shorts I have seen.
These are the best copies of Betty shorts I have seen. The picture is great and the sound is really nice. I can not wait for the next 3 volumes. Read more
Published 11 months ago by M. Kenny
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