Simon Cowell is Producing an Animated Feature Film for 'Betty Boop'
by Ethan Anderton
August 14, 2014
The classic cartoon Popeye is getting the big screen animated feature film treatment with Sony Pictures bringing the sailorman to theaters sometime in 2016, but it looks like he's not the only retro cartoon character getting a movie deal. Simon Cowell and his Syco Entertainment have announced a team-up with animation house Animal Logic Entertainment to bring Betty Boop, the first animated female star who debuted all the way back in 1930, appearing in over 100 cartoons, many of them her own animated shorts on the big screen, not to mention popping up in the live-action/animated hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
The curvy cartoon is a caricature of a jazz age flapper from the 20s, known for dancing and spouting her signature catchphrase "Boop-oop-a-doop!" Betty has seen various adventures and jobs in her cartoon shorts and comic strips, but it's not clear what kind of story we'll see with this feature film. In a really cheesy publicity quote, Cowell may offer a slight hint, saying, "Betty is an icon, and one of the biggest stars in the world – I'm thrilled to be working with her. Betty, I've worked with some serious divas but I think you could be the biggest of them all!" Maybe we'll see her rise to fame, not unlike Cowell has helped many singing contestants do on the reality competition series "American Idol."
The question is, who will voice the iconic leading lady? Betty's voice was first performed by Margie Hines, and was later voiced by other actresses like Kate Wright, Bonnie Poe, Ann Rothschild and Mae Questel, who began voicing Betty Boop in 1931, and held the role until her death in 1998. Today, Betty is voiced by Tress MacNeille, Sandy Fox and Cindy Robinson when Betty appears in commercials every now and then. Will Cowell and the animation house behind The LEGO Movie try to get a big star to voice Boop, or will they go with a seasoned voice actor? It's hard to say, but it's also early, so we'll see what happens.