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Europe Uses Classic Cartoon Characters to Sell Women’s Cosmetics

French comics artist/animator Joann Sfar created this brand new, somewhat bizarre animated promo for Lancome Cosmetics. Betty Boop stars in the commercial for a new line of mascara, together with spokesmodel Daria Werbowy.

Meanwhile in London, Opi has introduced a new line of nail polish, brought to you by a character famous for wearing gloves! I love how the pose shows Minnie admiring her nails, somehow, using X-ray vision to see through the gloves.

(Thanks David Freedman)

  • Mapache

    Minie Mouse selling nail polish? That was a bad marketing decicion.

  • I had to watch the Betty Boop spot three times to be able to understand what she was saying. That’s not a problem I ever had with Mae Questel. The spot looks good, though.

  • Dee

    So stiff and lifeless! Cringeworthy! Like watching a wooden plank. And Betty Boop was awful, too.

  • Betty’s costume is from the early ’30s but her proportions are from the late ’30s. It’s an odd mix. If she’s wearing that costume, her head should be a lot bigger. In any case, her eyes are too big.

    • wever

      Gee wiz! Never try to mess with fans of insane historical details!

  • d. harry

    horrible. and what was with that camera work?? amateur hour.

  • Those . . . eyes

  • Joann Sfar is talented but I was expecting more of the Betty Boop video. The combination of animation and life action is well done, but Betty looks lifeless and inexpressive and the dialogue is nothing special, could have been funnier.

    Minnie’s thing is funny for the reasons you have already explained.

  • Andrew Hunn

    That Minnie pose looks like it was taken from a cartoon, like she’s hula dancing!

  • tredlow

    Frankly, I’ve always thought Betty Boop was kind of annoying. Just being honest, and no disrespect towards old animation.

  • Russell H

    Betty’ eyes look more *anime* rather than Fleischer, which doesn’t help.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      of course when you get to learning about anime’s history, it all comes full circle!

    • You’re right! She looks bloody creepy in this version.

  • tony

    I’ve noticed how Joan Sfar’s recent work seems to be more and more about using existing properties, characters or artists and put his name next to them (Gainsbourg, french singer Gorges Brassens, the little prince, Chagall, now Betty Boop)
    The camera work and editing are indeed quite bad, here.

    • Wait, Joan Sfar is a boy? I’ve always assumed she was a she. I’m gonna stick with he being a she regardless. I love her work, but this seems a little bit uninspired to me, mostly due to the dialogue though.

  • Scarabim

    Well, OPI was selling Miss Piggy nail polish last year, and she wears gloves too!

  • purin

    Wow, bad all around. I would have at least expected the delivery and dialog to carry it, though a bit corny, but this is just weak, weak, weak, right down to saying Boop boop a doop “wrong.”

    I mean, yeah, it’s an ad for cosmetics with a cartoon property slapped on. I wasn’t expecting a continuation of some legacy or whatever, but that doesn’t mean absolutely everyone who worked on this had to phone it in like that.

    It’s so strange how in the side view she does look a 60s anime character.

  • rnigma

    I recall the commercial from the early 70s that featured Betty … I read somewhere (probably in the Leslie Cabarga book) that Dave Tendlar animated it.

  • esteban

    Europe is doing this? What an insensitive continent!

  • ShouldBeWorkin’

    Until they bring Myron Waldman, Grim Natwick or Lillian Freidman back, I thought it was good.

    Y’know who I always thought they should get to do Betty’s voice? Cyndi Lauper.

  • wever

    Fun Fact: Betty Boop in this ad is voiced by Sandy Fox, who is most famous for appearing in anime dubs.

    Animation looks nearly fluid except for a few obvious Flash shortcuts.

  • Scarabim

    As a rule, when a voice actor does high-pitched voices, he or she needs to enunciate more clearly and speak more slowly. Hope Sandy Fox learns that someday, because, aside from not being able to understand everything Betty said, the voice work wasn’t bad.

  • tjr

    I understood the voice acting just fine (And I enjoyed a lot of the dialog) …..But Betty’s proportions (Head, Eyes, Body) seemed completely wrong and off model. ….It just looks wrong. Also the animation just feels wrong too (not to mention who synching of Betty’s mouth to the dialog looks weird and unnatural too.

    I’m not an animation professional so I don’t have the technical vocabulary to better express what is wrong with this, but I went back and watched the Betty Boop clip from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and could immeadiatly how they completely got it right.

    Now this is how you do it:

    • wever

      Was her mouth even moving?? It was too small and it was making too small movements for me to keep track.

  • dabadie

    That’s not only off-model. That is UGLY, and pure bad taste. They choose to use a character but are not able to understand how she should pose, howe she should move, how she should be composed, how she should talk.

    That stuff may have cost a lot, and it is an awful waste of money. A work made by amateurs.

  • Tim Dunleavy

    I agree with just about everything posted so far, especially the poor lip movements.

    One interesting thing I noticed in the closing credits is that the “Betty Boop Double” is Lizzie Brocheré, who Wikipedia describes (correctly) as “a French film, television and theater actress known for her sensuous screen presence in French art house cinema.”

    So what does “Betty Boop Double” mean? Did they rotoscope her?

  • tjr

    I didn’t read the credits, but yeah, it sounds like they rotoscoped this actress, and that may explain a lot.

  • Every time she says “Daria”, my eardrums recoil in pain.

  • Polecat

    I love Betty Boop, but she’s not the same without Mae Questel’s voice.

  • Vivian

    The comic/anime Berusai no Bara (The Rose of Versailles) has been used to sell mascara and fake lashes for a while now in Japan. The characters all have crazy long eyelashes.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      That’s typical in shojo works.

  • Why this Daria person gets billed above Miss Boop is what I’d like to know.