Out of the Inkwell (1938)

Out of the Inkwell (1938)
Article 5956 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-26-2021
Directed by Dave Fleischer and Thomas Johnson
Featuring Oscar Polk and the voice of Bonnie Poe
Country: USA
What it is: Betty Boop cartoon

A black janitor learns hypnotism out of a book and he uses his power to create Betty Boop out of an inkwell and makes her do tricks. However, the worm turns when Betty finds the book and learns how to hypnotize…

I do like that the title of this one is the same as the original silent cartoon series that popularized Koko the Clown and that, like those cartoons, this one is a combination of live action and animation. I also like that we actually get to read the book’s instructions for hypnotism ourselves (which also works on inanimate objects), but don’t get too elated, because it doesn’t work (I know. I tried it.) Less likable is the lazy black stereotype played by Oscar Polk. It’s also a pretty tame cartoon in comparison to the earlier wilder (pre-code) Betty Boops. Betty would have about one more year before she would be retired.


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