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Western Animation / Minnie the Moocher

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"I'm not afraid, are you, Bimbo?..."note 

Folks, now here's a story 'bout Minnie the Moocher...

A classic Max and Dave Fleischer Betty Boop short from 1932, this short has Betty running away from her overbearing family with her dog boyfriend, Bimbo... only to encounter a singing walrus ghost (voiced by Cab Calloway, no less, and the opening sequence features the earliest known footage of Cab dancing with his band), which proceeds to sing them the title song. Deranged Animation ensues.

The short is in the Public Domain, and can be watched in its entirety here.

Tropes Used In This Short:

  • The Cameo: Koko the Clown is accidentally dragged out of an ink well as Betty writes a note to her parents before running away. Doubles as a Visual Pun, as Koko is from the Out of the Inkwell shorts.
  • Creepy Jazz Music: The ghost Wily Walrus sings the old jazz song that the short is titled after, in order to scare Betty and Bimbo into going home.
  • The Dead Can Dance: All manner of ghost and skeletons can be seen singing and dancing in the cave.
  • Dem Bones: The acid sequence includes a bit with three skeletons at a bar drinking beer. However that works.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Once Betty and Bimbo make it to the cave, and encounter the walrus.
  • Emo Teen: Betty waxes a bit Emo Teen after the fight with her parents when she starts down the old familiar "they'll be sorry when I'm dead!" train of thought.
  • Funny Foreigner: Betty's German-accented parents, complete with the obligatory "Was ist los?", "Dunnawetta!"note , and "Ach, du lieber Augustin!". Her dad also wears a Jewish kipple.
  • Interspecies Romance: Between Bimbo and Betty.
  • Lethal Chef: The flower on the table takes a single bite of Betty's hasenpfeffer, and instantly dies.
  • Picky Eater: The short starts with Betty refusing to eat her hasenpfeffer. Considering how the flower reacts to eating it, she may be justified.
  • Pie-Eyed: Bimbo, typical of the animation style of the time.
  • Rotoscoping: Cab Calloway's dance moves were rotoscoped on the walrus. Calloway himself is said to have gotten a kick out of the end result, and would lend his singing and dance moves to two more Betty Boop shorts.
  • The Runaway: Betty
  • Security Cling: Betty and Bimbo do this, such as in the page image.
  • Signs of Disrepair: When Betty runs away from home, she leaves a note for her parents that reads, "Dear Ma & Pa, I'm leaving Home because you're not so Sweet to me. I won't ever be Home again. -Betty." When she runs back home and hides her bed cover,; her note, which her parents never read, rips around the top, bottom and sides, so it now vertically reads, "Home Sweet Home".
  • Talking Animal: Bimbo, the Walrus, the cat and her kittens.
  • That Poor Plant: To show how terrible Betty's parents' cooking is, a flower on the table tries some of the hasenpfeffer, instantly loses all its petals, and dies.
  • Titled After the Song: Minnie the Moocher is titled after the Cab Calloway song heavily featured in the short.
  • The Walrus Was Paul: Not helped that the short has an actual Walrus to go with the shorts already Mind Screw nature.
  • Wily Walrus: The ghost walrus isn't exactly evil, as he apparently does what he does to show Betty and Bimbo the dangers of running away from home. But he is very frightening due to being one of the many surreal, dark images in the cartoon. It doesn't help that the song he sings (which the cartoon shares its title with) is rather dark, being about a beggar woman who turned to drugs and was later found dead.


Video Example(s):


Betty Boop and the Flower

As Betty Boop's parents argue, a flower tries to convince Betty to eat her father's cooking.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThatPoorPlant

Media sources: