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Western Animation / The Old Man of the Mountain

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Look out! Look out! The Old Man of the Mountain!

Betty: Whatcha gonna do now?
Old Man: Gonna do the best I can!
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The Old Man of the Mountain is a 1933 Betty Boop short from The Golden Age of Animation. It is one of three Betty Boop shorts that Cab Calloway performed in, the other two being Minnie the Moocher and Snow White.

The short opens with a mountain lion running down from a mountain into a nearby town, warning everyone about "The Old Man of the Mountain." They all panic and begin rushing out of town. Betty asks what's wrong, and an owl (voiced by Calloway) stops to tell her through song about the Old Man of the Mountain. Betty then makes her way up the mountain and meets face to face with the Old Man (also voiced by Calloway).

The short is in the public domain and can be seen here.


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This short provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: The short is based after a pre-existing song, where the Old Man isn't quite so villainous as in the cartoon.
  • Antagonist Title: The Old Man of the Mountain is the Big Bad.
  • Big Bad: The titular Old Man.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When the Old Man has Betty cornered, the townsfolk sneak up from behind and subdue him.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Played with. When Betty first arrives at the Old Man's cave, there's a boulder that's very obviously not painted and very prominent in the scene. She walks right up to it and then turns her back to it, making it look like the Old Man is going to come out from behind it. He then pops out of a completely normal, painted part of the background instead, surprising her. He does later destroy the light rock with a lightning bolt, however.
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  • Creepy Jazz Music: The short opens with everyone in town panicking and running as jazz music plays. One townsperson, an owl, stops when Betty asks him what's wrong, and he explains through song that everyone is running from the titular Old Man. Betty goes up to the mountain to try and stop the Old Man, and when she finally meets him, he starts flirting with her through song.
  • Dirty Old Man: When the Old Man meets Betty, he starts flirting with her, and before long begins chasing her, apparently with the intent of raping her! Another woman running from the Old Man has a stroller with three babies that look just like him.
  • The Dreaded: The Old Man is evil, and everyone knows it.
  • Evil Old Folks: The Old Man is definitely a nasty fellow, and the Big Bad of the short.
  • Giving Them the Strip: Betty escapes from The Old Man by slipping out of her dress. The dress then slaps him in the face and runs off after her.
  • Mickey Mousing: Much of the action in the short is synced up to the music provided by Cab Calloway and his orchestra.
  • Puddle-Covering Chivalry: A bear removes its fur and covers a puddle with it so Betty could cross.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • It's implied that this is why the Old Man is so feared. He flirts with Betty and tries to grab her, even ripping off her clothes.
    • This is most strongly suggested by the crying woman with a baby stroller. When Betty asks why she's crying, she says "the Old Man of the Mountain", and shows Betty her baby triplets who have beards like the Old Man, implying that the Old Man raped her and fathered the triplets.
  • Rotoscoping: With Cab Calloway's rotoscoped moves, even a creepy old guy can dance!
  • Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying: The animal at the beginning, which is apparently a mountain lion, has a mane. Unlike lions (which are a different species), mountain lions do not have manes. This may or may not have been intended as a Visual Pun.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: As Betty climbs up the mountain, she runs into a crying woman with a baby stroller. Inside the stroller are three babies that look exactly like the Old Man, complete with long beards.
  • Visual Pun: When the Old Man is approaching Betty, we see him licking his thumbs. This is a visual play on the long forgotten phrase "Hot Licks", which was slang for "Catchy music."


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