Friday, 10 March 2017

Uncle Max's Laughing Mailboxes and Sedans

New York City breaks out into uncontrollable laughter in the Betty Boop cartoon Ha! Ha! Ha! (1934), thanks to animation over live action film and still photos.

The cartoon starts out as Betty turning into a dentist to extra Ko Ko’s bad tooth (made painful by biting into a Hershey Milk Chocolate bar). She turns on some laughing gas to help but the gas eventually wafts out the window of Max Fleischer’s drawing room.

The laughing gas affects mail boxes.

People. I wonder if these are Fleischer employees.

A bridge. Can anyone in New York identify this spot?

Cars. Is that a 1933 Chrysler on the left? It looks like a Model T on the right.


Finally, Betty and Ko Ko escape the gas by jumping back into the inkwell in a time-honoured Fleischer tradition. However, the inkwell succumbs to the gas as the cartoon ends.

Seymour Kneitel and Doc Crandall are the credited animators.


  1. A remake of the OOTI short The Cure from 1924. The innovation is still present in both..

  2. The car on the left is a Pierce-Arrow.

    1. So it is. A '33 maybe? Thanks Anon.

  3. The overpass is definitely a Robert Moses-influenced parkway bridge. Could be in eastern Queens or around Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, which would still have sported semi-rural surroundings in 1934.

  4. I always wondered if the view out the window was taken from 1600 Broadway where the Fleischer studio was located..