Friday, March 21, 2014

post hays code bettie...,


archive | The Hays code left the Fleischers scrambling for new directions in which to take a very much toned-down Betty, and new characters for her (since Bimbo was out), with whom she could interact. Pudgy was cute but, being that he was not anthropomorphic, his scope was limited. What a great character they came up with in Grampy, who was a reflection of their own creative and innovative energy, and no doubt inspired both by Rube Goldberg's Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts character (the supposed inventor of Rube Goldberg machines) and Max Fleischer's own penchant for gadgeteering (he invented the rotoscope, rotograph, and several other processes). In their usual spirit of parody and satire, they combined three cliches-- a thinking cap, the mortarboard hat of a professor, and the idea light bulb (which, according to an article on tvtropes.org, originated in the 'Felix the Cat' cartoons of the 1920's)-- into something for Grampy to wear while brainstorming problems for Betty. Grampy's eminently singable theme song, "We're On Our Way to Grampy's," the melody which became Grampy's signature theme in subsequent cartoons, sets the tone perfectly for this cheerful and energetic character.

The Fleischers knew that they had a strong character in Grampy, and used him in a Color Classics episode ('Christmas Comes But Once a Year') in a possible spin-off attempt. Despite his frenetic energy in that cartoon, his interaction with Betty is at least half of his appeal as a character.

[Update] I think I've finally got the lyrics...

I'm on my way to Grampy's
Oh! He's such good company
It's the only place to be
(Tweet!)
Over at Grampy's house

So I'm on my way to Grampy's
For he always treats me nice
Always something on the ice
(Where?!)
Over at Grampy's house

Daw d'dee d'daw d'dee
It never is too late
Daw d'dee d'daw d'dee
He will always wait!

And when everybody's rusty
He is always full of pep
Everybody's going to be
(Where?!)
Over at Grampy's house

So we're on our way to Grampy's
Oh! He's such good company...