53. Poor Cinderella – Dave Fleischer

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SUMMARY: A retelling of the Cinderella story with Betty Boop in the title role.

WHY IT’S HERE: The Fleischer brothers started their Color Classics series with this lavish Betty Boop cartoon, the only original Boop short in colour. At the time of ‘Poor Cinderella’s production, Disney still held an exclusive contract with Three Strip Technicolor so the Fleischer’s had to use 2 strip Cinecolor. Though less striking visually, the more faded colours of this process somehow fit the storybook atmosphere and give ‘Poor Cinderella’ a more authentic feel. The Fleischers also made Betty a redhead to take advantage of the extra colour, although that seems less convincing. Unlike the more inventive flights of fancy in the Fleischer’s ‘Snow White’, ‘Poor Cinderella’ is an extremely faithful if truncated telling of the fairy tale. There’s an obvious attempt to make something classy going on here and it succeeds to an extent, although the Fleischers would soon surpass ‘Poor Cinderella’ with their 3 strip, double length, colour Popeye shorts that remain masterpieces of the medium.

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