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Bimbo's Initiation (1931)

by Nicholas Sammond

Bimbo is trapped under a manhole by an unknown figure (somewhat resembling Mickey Mouse), and ends up in a room surrounded by robed figures with candles on their heads. The figures are part of a secret society and chant "wanna be a member?" Bimbo yells no and escapes (he thinks), though soon realizes he is completely trapped. He is sent through several rooms in which he must constantly evade dangerous sadistic traps and be confronted by a secret society which asks him "wanna be a member?" Finally Betty Boop lures him into a room, but when Bimbo enters the room he only finds a robed figure. The figure takes off their costume, revealing themself to be Betty Boop - a wall is raised and all members take off their costume is reveal they are Betty Boop. The darkness of this cartoon, and its focus on secret societies, collapses a number of interesting political and social remarks, while also freely exploring the absurd and fantastical possibilities of animation as a medium. The humour and sexuality of the animated short come through in its violence and play on bodily harm and division between mind, body and control over space, raising questions of how animated manipulation can parallel - and extend - how these issues operate in reality.

Bimbo's Initiation (1931)

Bimbo is trapped under a manhole by an unknown figure, and is sent through several rooms in which he must constantly evade traps and be confronted by a secret society which asks him "wanna be a member?" The members are revealed to all be Betty Boop.

from Talkartoons - Bimbo's Initiation (1931)
Creator: Dave Fleischer
Posted by Nicholas Sammond
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