Who’s That Girl Titles

Below are the striking titles for the Madonna film WHO’S THAT GIRL (1987). The titles, which reimagine Madonna as a Betty Boop-ish figure, were designed by Daniel Melgarejo (1948-1989), an Argentinean cartoonist who did a lot of work at Disney’s Character Merchandising division in the 1980s. Among the artists who animated on this opening were John Canemaker and Elinor Blake. Last year, Oscar Grillo posted some of Daniel’s illustration work on his blog and there’s a tribute site to Melgarejo here.

UPDATE: A reader, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote in to say that the Madonna character in the video was animated entirely by Doug Frankel, who is currently an animator at Pixar.

UPDATE #2: Animator Norma Rivera-Klingler, who worked on the titles, writes to say that the Madonna character was not animated entirely by Doug Frankel, as mentioned above. Norma writes:

The scenes Doug animated were the ones where she turns around and lip syncs to the song, then she dances with the local hookers, then the one where she steps in front of the store with multiple images of herself walking…the walking animation was animated by Bob McKnight and he animated quite a few of her scenes as well. Dan Haskett, Bill Plympton, Bob Scott, Rick Machin, Ed Rivera and I, Norma Rivera (his sister, not wife), also animated on the titles. I animated the opening where she steps out of the Warner Bros. shield, strikes a pose then drops. Bob McKnight’s animation picks up from there. I also animated when the thugs are running and one gets stuck in the manhole and when the thugs toss the body in the trunk as Madonna gets in her car…Bob Scott’s animation picks up from there. Ed animated the crowd of blue people who ogle at Madonna as she passes…those are caricatures of some of the people working at the studio….Broadcast Arts, now Curious Pictures NY…Ed is the curly haired guy, Rick Machin is the Smooth haired guy and I think Daniel was one of them…the bald guy. I don’t remember exactly who animated what in the rest of the title, but I’m sure there will be someone else to pass on any information.

(Thanks, Marc Crisafulli)


  • http://jamieleo.com Jamie Leo

    Thank you for this history Amid.

    You may want to also note that the great typefaces of the brilliant WHO’S THAT GIRL opening were specifically designed for the opening by designer Peter Fahrni (who was also a close colleague and friend of Daniel Melgarejo).