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Minnie the Moocher (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Minnie the Moocher
Original opening card of 'Minnie the Moocher' (1932).png
Original opening card.
Directed byDave Fleischer
Produced byMax Fleischer
StarringCab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra
Mae Questel
Billy Murray
Cab Calloway
Animation byWillard Bowsky
Ralph Somerville
Bernard Wolf
Color processBlack-and-white
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
February 26, 1932
Running time
8 minutes
CountryUnited States

Minnie the Moocher is a 1932 Betty Boop cartoon produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures.[1]

In 1994, Minnie the Moocher was voted #20 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.[2]


The cartoon opens with a live action sequence of Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing an instrumental rendition of "St. James Infirmary".[3] Then Betty Boop gets into an argument with her strict, Jewish parents, and as a result, runs away from home with her boyfriend Bimbo, and sings excerpts of the Harry Von Tilzer song "They Always Pick on Me" (1911) and the song "Mean to Me" (1929).

Betty and Bimbo end up in a cave where a walrus-like apparition appears, which has Cab Calloway's voice, who sings "Minnie the Moocher" and dances to the melancholy song. Calloway is joined in the performance by various ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and other frightening things. Betty and Bimbo are subjected to skeletons drinking at a bar; ghost prisoners sitting in electric chairs; a cat with empty eye-sockets feeding her equally empty-eyed kittens; and so on. Betty and Bimbo both change their minds about running away and rush back home with the ghouls in hot pursuit. Betty makes it safely back to her home and hides under the blankets of her bed. As she shakes in terror, the note she earlier wrote to her parents tears, leaving "Home Sweet Home" on it. The film ends with Calloway performing the instrumental "Vine Street Blues".


The Film Daily, on January 10, 1932, wrote: "This Max Fleischer musical cartoon is one of the best turned out so far with the cute pen-and-ink star, Betty Boop, who seems to be getting more sexy and alluring each time, and her boyfriend, Bimbo. The musical portion is supplied by Cab Calloway and his orchestra, and what these boys can't do to the 'Minnie the Moocher' number isn't worth mentioning. Cab and his boys are shown only for a brief moment at the opening. Then a cartoon character, a big walrus with serpentine hips, performs the gyrations to the tune of the 'Minnie' song. The effect is short of a knockout, especially to those who are familiar with Cab's stuff on the radio or stage or night club. Betty Boop's part in the action concerns her running away from home because of her bad parents. With Bimbo she goes into a cave, where spooky figures and eerie noise give them such a scare that they beat it back home."[4]


Clips of the redrawn colorized version were used in the compilation movie Betty Boop for President: The Movie (1980).


  1. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 142. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7.
  2. ^ Beck, Jerry (1994). The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals. Turner Publishing. ISBN 978-1878685490.
  3. ^ Vilas-Boas, Eric; Maher, John, eds. (October 5, 2020). "The 100 Sequences That Shaped Animation". Vulture. The film was a follow-up to Calloway’s popular Minnie the Moocher Fleischer short from the year prior, which opened with live footage of Calloway dancing before rendering him into a walrus.
  4. ^ Sampson, Henry T. (1998). That's Enough, Folks: Black Images in Animated Cartoons, 1900-1960. Scarecrow Press. pp. 188–189. ISBN 978-0810832503.

External links

This page was last edited on 15 August 2021, at 21:48
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