4 April 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Bimbo and Betty's hold up
Fleischer were responsible for some brilliant cartoons, some of them still among my favourites. Their visual style was often stunning and some of the most imaginative and ahead of its time in animation.
The character of Betty Boop, one of their most famous and prolific characters, may not be for all tastes and sadly not as popular now, but her sex appeal was quite daring for the time and to me there is an adorable sensual charm about her. That charm, sensuality and adorable factor is not lost anywhere here, nor her comic timing. She is definitely more interesting here than Bimbo and steals the show, who is fun enough but is stuck in a standard role with not much special to do. Do enjoy their chemistry though.
Betty, Bimbo and Fleischer have done much better than 'The Bum Bandit'. It's pleasant enough and is a decent cartoon, but it's not a great one and doesn't stick in one's head as much as other offerings of theirs. For me, while a long worst from being one of Betty's worst cartoons (pretty much all her lesser efforts being when the Production Code was enforced, the material became tame and Betty while still engaging lost her trademark identity), 'The Bum Bandit' is among the weaker Betty and Bimbo collaborations.
Admittedly, the story never was one of the best assets in a Betty Boop cartoons but 'The Bum Bandit' is story-wise one of the flimsier and most predictable efforts and doesn't always have the momentum. Due to that the material is not as inspired, the gags are plentiful and are amusing and well-timed, they are not hilarious though and not very creative or imaginative not to mention reasonably tame by pre-Code Betty Boop standards.
However, the animation is outstanding, everything is beautifully and meticulously drawn and the whole cartoon is rich in visual detail and imagination. Every bit as good is the music score, which delivers on the energy, lusciousness and infectiousness, great for putting anybody in a good mood.
On top of these, 'The Bum Bandit' is amusing and charming with a delightful Betty and adorable and fun chemistry between her and Bimbo. Other than Betty, the ending is the highlight. The voices are good, and 'The Bum Bandit' is most interesting and notable for having a deeper-voiced Betty, unusual but doesn't jar with her image too much.
Concluding, decent but for pre-code Betty Boop it was a little disappointing too. 6/10 Bethany Cox