Cab Calloway Sings for Betty Boop in 1933 (Video)

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So how's this for awesome: in 1933, animator Roland Crandall singlehandedly animated a seven-minute Betty Boop cartoon (a version of Snow White) in only six months. In 1994, animators voted the piece #19 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of All Time. Wikipedia says (emphasis added):

Crandall received the opportunity to make Snow White on his own as a reward for his several years of devotion to the Fleischer studio, and the resulting film is considered both his masterwork and an important milestone of The Golden Age of American animation. "Snow White" took Crandall 6 months to do.

So in 1933, using, you know, pens and pencils and what-not, it took Crandall only six months to create a seven-minute animated film. I know people who routinely spend twice that long making animated shorts using computers! Crandall also rotoscoped Cab Calloway -- using film of Calloway's dance moves, Crandall traced his animation frames over the film, to give the "Koko the Clown" character a realistic dance style. It's technically impressive, visually brilliant, and "St. James Infirmary Blues" is a great song. Here's a clip of just the Cab Calloway portion:

Tim Carmody, writing for Kottke.org, points out:

Fleischer's Snow White was animated by ONE person, produced by a Jewish animation studio, in the Depression, featuring images of gambling and alcohol, starring a jazz singer. Take that, Walt.

View the complete Betty Boop Snow White after the jump.

(Via Kottke.org.)

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August 18, 2010 - 10:06am
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