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Happy Birthday, Betty Boop!

Hey, there, Boopsters!

Did you know? According to the 1998 edition of Guiness Book of World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” – or more simply, “Happy Birthday” – is the most frequently sung song in the English language. That’s right. The lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages and the song is sung in countries around the world.

This Saturday, August 9, we can all sing “Happy Birthday” to our favorite cartoon sweetheart, Betty Boop!

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Happy Birthday, Max!

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Max and me in Miami, Florida
Circa 1940. Collection: V. Mahoney

MAX and Me
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by Ginny Mahoney
Granddaughter of Betty Boop’s creator, Max Fleischer

Since tomorrow — July 19th — is Max’s birthday, I thought I’d celebrate by sharing some fun facts about the man himself.

Max was born in 1883, the second eldest of Wilhelm and Amelia Fleischer’s six children. From a very early age, he had a restless, inquiring mind always eager to learn, understand and explain the world around him, and growing up in New York offered fertile ground for his active and adventurous imagination. He loved to draw, was fascinated by machines and for a time he even considered becoming an engineer. Max was also greatly influenced by his father’s love of music. All six of the Fleischer children played instruments and growing up, Max and his siblings enjoyed many evenings at home playing music together. Click to enlarge Continue reading

Let’s Draw Betty!

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Max and me in Miami, Florida
Circa 1940. Collection: V. Mahoney

MAX and Me
by Ginny Mahoney
Granddaughter of Betty Boop’s creator, Max Fleischer
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With a little practice you, too, can draw Betty …

Max Fleischer was a great artist — but he wasn’t born that way.  From the time he was a boy, he loved to draw, but he had no formal art instruction as a child.  Instead, he taught himself the basics by drawing things he found around the house.

Max practiced his craft diligently. And because he taught himself, he always believed that others could learn to draw, too. Not only did he create the Movie Cartoon Lessons drawing book — he created a mail-order animation school as well! Continue reading

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