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Birth of An Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation

Nicholas Sammond, Author
Labor, page 13 of 21


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Labor, Page 119

The coming of sound to film did not technically preclude the animator's presence in the frame. In Harmon and Ising's  Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid (1930) Rudy Ising enages with his creation; in the Fleischers' Betty Boop's Rise to Fame (1934), Betty rides "Uncle Max's" pen into her next scene with him and chats with him and with a reporter writing a profile on her. The back and forth between "Uncle Max" and Betty, or between Rudy and Bosko, has its roots in the banter between the Interlocutor and the minstrel side men, Tambo and Bones. Betty's review performance also re-enacts vaudeville in a nostalgic tone, treating it as a relic of the past, even in 1934.

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