Simon Cowell photo via Shutterstock. Simon Cowell photo via Shutterstock.
Feature Film

Betty Boop Film Planned by Simon Cowell and Animal Logic

Simon Cowell photo via Shutterstock.
Simon Cowell photo via Shutterstock.

What do you get when you cross a British reality TV show host, the studio that made Happy Feet, and an 84-year-old cartoon sex symbol? You may not have to wait much longer to find out.

Simon Cowell, the grumpy man who judges amateur performers on American Idol and The X Factor, has announced that his company, Syco Entertainment, will produce a live-action/CGI-hybrid Betty Boop film with Animal Logic, the Australian studio responsible for the Happy Feet series, Walking with Dinosaurs, and The LEGO Movie.

This isn’t the first time that an entertainment company has attempted to resurrect the character in a feature-length project. Unsuccessful attempts have been made in the past to produce both a Betty Boop theatrical feature and Broadway play.


The project is being touted as a “music-driven comedy,” but don’t hold your breath for Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong. Cowell has previously stated that whenever his company produces films, “the music has to be current;” the first film that Syco made was the documentary One Direction: This Is Us.

Betty Boop, created by animation legend Grim Natwick, made her debut in the 1930 Fleischer Studios short Dizzy Dishes, and appeared in dozens of shorts throughout the 1930s. As American tastes changed, the jazzy, surrealistic vibe of the theatrical series was tempered until the character turned culturally irrelevant. But the story doesn’t end there, because the character has slowly transitioned from an animated personality into a merchandising mascot. Today, Betty has 200 licensees in the United States and nearly 400 licensees internationally, with her image used indiscriminately to sell everything from lottery tickets and rubber ducks to paper towels and chicken wings.

No director or writer has been attached to the the new project. Creative Artists Agency (CAA), representing Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic, brokered the deal with King Features Syndicate representing Fleischer Studios (which is operated by attorney Mark Fleischer, the grandson of Fleischer Studios’ co-founder Max Fleischer).

  • anon

    well this sounds awful

  • Machionx

    I would say I hope they find someone like Mae Questel to portray Betty, but they would probably pick a star. Probably someone like Katy Perry. The last movie which was scrapped by MGM would have featured Bernadette Peters.

    • DBenson

      I thought Peters was being talked up for the stage version. Anyway, she did play Betty on SNL, doing a cheerful number about venereal disease.

    • At least the MGM flick seemed honest enough, going by what Steve Moore had in mind in this animatic…

  • Josh Moore

    Well this can’t be good so far. Anyway, I thought Warner Bros was done with Animal Logic. Wasn’t that mentioned after the Lego Movie was a hit and they wanted more of the budget/profit for the sequels?

    • Jack Burns

      I think you mean Village Roadshow.

  • DangerMaus

    Not another one of these crappy things that will either end up turning her into a supporting character or the butt of the joke.

  • elliot Lobell

    haha that image at top, between simon cowell and happy feet, makes me very skeptical about this…

  • Steven Bowser

    I don’t know much about Betty Boop, but I can say from my naive perspective that she looks like the most unappealing female character I’ve ever seen, and her voice is annoying.
    How on earth can people watch that thing for more than two seconds? How can she hold an entire film up?

    • Kevin

      Betty Boop started life as an anthropomorphic dog. She had a feminized bulldog’s head on a sexy woman’s body. Literally. Bosko, her boyfriend, was the male version. Over time, her dog ears became human with big hoop earrings, and she became somewhat more human, but never lost the dog’s head shape. Hence the strangeness of her design. Oh, and Bosko stayed a dog-headed boyfriend.

      • Jess

        it was actually Bimbo. Bosko was WB and a whole other story. cheers!

        • A minor goof I’m sure, I think you could edit your comments here.

    • ea

      I feel the same way about most female characters in anime.

      • Steven Bowser

        Especially because most anime characters all look exactly the same, men and women. They draw them all as generic people with generic personality archetypes.
        I think humans look much more attractive when they look HUMAN. The way Freddie Moore and Chris Sanders draw people is way more attractive because there is a believable realism to them.
        But what am I saying, I’m here talking about cartoon characters. It sounds like I need to get a life. But there is something to be said about it.

    • Johnny

      Not even her creator knows the answer to that.

  • Gumbo

    So from an early 30’s flapper with jazz music from Cab Calloway, Betty Boop is a twerker and the music will either be auto-tuned pop or rap from the likes of Iggy Azalea or Justin Bieber. I’ll pass

  • UsaMiKo

    “The music has to be current” ? So does this mean that Betty is going to try to boo-doop to dubstep or… ?

    • hitface

      “boo boop be-D-D-D-DDROP THE BASS *screeching and wailing noises*”

  • Pedro Nakama

    Nothing original yet? It should come one of these days.

  • George Comerci

    …seriously? Are people REALLY doing this?

  • Toonio

    Simon Cowell has Animal Logic? Indeed….

  • lil green baseballs

    If this is made, it will end up being Simon’s personal promotional tool. Just a long, tasteless, tacky commercial for whatever lame, pop music act Cowell is pushing at the time.

    I can’t imagine any big fans of the Fleischer Betty Boop cartoons liking this thing.

    • Certainly sounds like a film I would avoid unless he doesn’t hire someone who understands Betty Boop to a T to do it right, but I doubt it.

  • ea

    I wonder if they’re going for the PG-13 rating.

  • SarahJesness

    I think a Betty Boop movie could be pretty good if properly done. I’d love to see a Betty Boop film (either animated or live-action, not a hybrid) with a 30’s feel and music, about a cute and sexy flapper girl having adventures. But this looks like it’s going to be the opposite of what I want, so I’ll pass.

  • Ryoku240

    If there isn’t any bizarre rubber-hose animation then you can count me out, I already know that the music wont be nearly as catchy as the stuff the Flesichers use.

    I dont wanna sound old but I’ve yet to hear a modern song I could get into, its all the same rhythms and beats.