Aaron's Thing of the Week- 11th June, 2009

I know I promised these every Wednesday, but I was busy with the draft yesterday, and taking the cat to the vet, and I just plain forgot. If it makes you feel any better, I feel just awful. No? Is there anything I can do to make it up to you? 

Well, fine, if you don't want to be reasonable, then that's your problem. And you kiss your mother with that mouth? 

This week's thing comes to us out of the distant past, courtesy of the animation genius of Max Fleischer. It is a cartoon short produced by Fleischer Studios in 1931 entitled "Bimbo's Initiation," starring the now long-forgotten character Bimbo in the title role, and featuring an early Betty Boop, back when she was still usually drawn with dog ears. 

This was right around the time the Hays Code came into being, and both the subject matter and tone of "Bimbo's Initiation" was very much in opposition to the principles of the code. It's one of the last truly great, dark animated shorts produced by the Fleischers, and one of my very favorite bits of forgotten history. If Franz Kafka had been an animator, this is the sort of thing he would have produced. 

Tomes could be written about the messages contained herein; about society, conformity, sex, suicide, and pretty much anything else you care to put in there, but I won't bore you with all of that. I just love the fact that this is a bizarre, surreal, disturbing, and brilliant cartoon, and I'll let you make up your own mind about it. 

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