The Socionomist—August 24, 2010
In the climax, Mickey eludes a buzz saw, only towake up in bed and realize that the whole ordeal wasa nightmare.The post-crash plot is a major departure romMickey’s pre-crash adventures. Nowhere does Mickeycause mischie. The antics and songs are gone, while thedoctor’s menace and his castle are righteningly real.With the subsequent rally in mood in the mid 1930s,Mickey received yet another role: that o the heroicleading man. The transormation mirrored America’sshit toward optimism, and it is this triumphant Mickeywho endures today.Meanwhile Mickey’s predecessor, Felix, ailed to adapt to the negative mood o the 1930s. Despitethe breakthrough o sound, the cat clung even to hismuteness. His audience grew similarly silent, and his popularity plummeted. Four times since, producershave tried to revive Felix—in 1936, 1958, 1991 and 1995, always in bull markets. The most successul wasFelix’s run in the 1950s during Cycle Wave III up, whenhe starred in 260 new shorts and regained much o hisormer purr. Each revival, though, aded when socialmood again turned down. Hollywood plans a Felixmovie in 2012. But the release is years prior to our orecast nal low in 2014-2016. As such, Felix’s sixthlie should be short.
Betty Boop, Vamp
Meanwhile, the Max Fleischer studio struggled tocreate a star to rival Mickey and Felix. It nally struck gold ater mood collapsed in the early 1930s. Their star: Blatantly vampish Betty Boop. Boop routinelydropped her skimpy top, and her skirt was orever ridingup. Betty was so risqué that one 1933 short,
, proved too much or even bear-market tastes and was banned in Philadelphia.Betty Boop tackled both coerced sex and druguse. In
(1932), the Black Knight nearlydefowers Betty beore Bimbo the dog comes to her rescue. In
(1932), Betty is a highwire perormer in a circus as the villainous ringmaster lusts or her rom below. Ater the perormance, theringmaster ollows Betty to her tent, where he caressesher legs and threatens her job i she reuses to submit—asore topic at the time, with a quarter o the U.S.unemployed. Koko the clown rushes in and knocks theringmaster unconscious with a test-your-strength mallet.When Koko asks i Betty is ok, she answers in song, "hecouldn't take my boop-oop-a-doop away!"In another episode,
Ha! Ha! Ha!
(1934), Bettytries to ease Koko’s toothache. She administers nitrousoxide but drops the mask and accidentally exposes theentire town to gas. What ollows is downright trippyas townsolk, plants, cars and bridges all collapse intoconvulsive laughter.
Cycle Wave I Up: The Mid 1930s Suggest Recovery
Betty Slows Down While Popeye Takes Control
The reign o sexy, druggy cartoons was short-lived. As social mood recovered in the mid 1930s,Betty’s creators ashioned a more modest wardrobe, but Betty couldn’t make the transition. Her boop-oop-a-doop zzled.Betty’s successor at Fleischer studios, Popeye theSailor, debuted in 1933. His scruy appearance and can-do spirit mirrored the battered but upturning mood thatueled the 1932-1937 bull market. Popeye’s nemesis,
Bear-Market Sex Symbol
: Her torso covered by just alei, Betty dances a near-topless hula (1933).
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“What ollows is downright trippy astownsolk, plants, cars and bridges all collapse into convulsive laughter.”