Cartoon Reviews

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Swim Or Sink (1932)

"I'm the only shipwrecked female, and I'm lonesome too; I'm so scared, oh, I can't stand it, must be something we can do!" -Betty Boop
Another one of Betty's early Talkartoons escapades, S.O.S. (Swim Or Sink) is a high seas adventure cartoon with our favorite trio: Betty, Bimbo, and Koko. Although they aren't introduced until after their ship sinks when they are lost at sea floating on a piece of the wrecked ship. While floating along, ever the city girl, Betty laments the groups current problem of being shipwrecked with a delightful little song and dance performance before they are rescued by pirates and things go from bad to worse. Since Betty is the only female on the pirate ship, the captain, aroused by Betty, orders that the prisoners, Bimbo and Koko, be sent below so he can have Betty to himself (some men can be real snakes).

It's all comical and lighthearted throughout despite their grave situation. As usual things workout, and the bad guys get theirs.

The songs in the cartoon are catchy, with the drinking song "What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?" being the one you'll most likely walk away with, as it is repeated a few times and is quite upbeat.
 
Swim or Sink looks to have came out after Minnie the Moocher (1932), which is a tough act to follow. It isn't the greatest, but there's something fun about the 'Betty Boop versus the pirates' aspect to the short. The ship sinking gags at the beginning are rather forgettable, but things do get interesting once Betty enters the frame. She's the star, and as the Talkartoons show went on at this point, it became more and more apparent that the show belonged to her.

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