35. Bimbo’s Initiation -Dave Fleischer

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SUMMARY: Bimbo is put through a series of gruelling, often life-threatening rituals by a strange secret society who want him to become a member.

WHY IT’S HERE: After his terrifying graveyard experience in ‘Swing You Sinners!’, ‘Bimbo’s Initiation’ made it clear that the Fleischers had a sadistic penchant for putting their little dog character through the ringer. This memorably creepy cartoon starts innocently enough with Bimbo walking down the street whistling but he immediately plunges into a manhole and the depths of a hellish initiation ritual to a club that he never asked to be a member of in the first place. Once again the Fleischers demonstrate their skill with eye-popping, edge-of-the-seat surrealism, especially as the trials mount up and begin to follow each other without pause for breath. ‘Bimbo’s Initiation’ is a little more focused than the gloriously loose splurge of ‘Swing You Sinners!’ and its tighter approach makes it more akin to a thriller than a complete head-trip. Look out for an appearance by Fleischer icon Betty Boop in her early incarnation as a part-dog character.

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