Betty Boop, that singing and dancing ray of cartoon sunshine, takes on the wacky and wonderful world of Hollywood and its moguls, mansions and mysteries in this adventure. Set in the 1930s and reflecting the original Max Fleischer "rubber hose" style of animation, "Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery" mixes music, surrealism and the classic detective genre.
Our story opens at a run-down but busy diner somewhere near Nowhere and Vine in the heart of old Hollywood. Here we find Betty and her pals, Bimbo and Koko, working for Diner Dan, the grumpiest boss on earth. Dan's motto, "Shut up and eat," leaves little room for appreciation of his employee's musical talents, and when he catches Betty and her friends entertaining the customers with a jazzy Hawaiian hula revue, he explodes in a rage and fires them.
But the trio has caught the eye of one Sam Slade, self-proclaimed "best detective in town," who makes them an offer they can't refuse: a job as undercover musical detectives at the fancy costume party that night. Their assignment: keep an eye on a million-dollar diamond necklace worn by the elegant hostess of the party, none other than big Hollywood movie star Lola DaVille. At first, our heroes have the time of their lives at the splendid ball. They wow the rich and famous with a wild Latin mambo-rumba number, complete with dancing skeletons and trumpet-blowing hobgoblins, and they even get to meet Maxwell Moviola, a big director over at famous Moolah Studios. But soon, things take a nasty turn: they spot a suspicious skulking figure wearing a sinister mask, then the chandelier is shot out, and in the darkness, someone steals Lola's necklace and leaves Betty Boop holding- a smoking gun! Koko and Bimbo watch helplessly as Betty is arrested by Lt. Snuffer and carted off to jail, but soon, they turn up (disguised as lawyers) and give Betty the lowdown on the caper: the thief got away, but he dropped the sinister mask, which bears the insignia "Property of Moolah Studios."
Betty's chance to find out who stole the mask from the studio comes as Lt. Snuffer engineers her release from jail, hoping that by following her, the police can find the necklace. The trio head straight for the vast and mysterious Moolah Studios, where they find out that Lola's secretary, Miss Green, was behind the robbery, and that her accomplice was none other than- Sam Slade, the detective! He had hired them with the idea of setting them up as the fall guys, the scapegoats, for the jewelry heist. Held at gunpoint by the double-dealing detective Slade, the clever Miss Boop blinds the villains with their own loot, the brilliant dazzling diamond, and our trio leads them on a wild chase through the big Hollywood dream factory. The pursuit ends in a climatic scramble on a Busby Berkeley set, with director Maxwell Moviola a witness to Betty, Bimbo and Koko outwitting the villainous Slade and Green. "Brilliant, Brilliant!" cries Maxwell, and Betty's hopes of stardom seem to be realized, but... it turns out that a goldfish from one of the fishbowl costumes is what's caught the director's attention, and Betty, Koko and Bimbo are left in the dark.
But a pleading (singing) telegram from a reformed Diner Dan gets them back to the old diner, where they now are given free musical rein and the customers are regaled with a final musical number, in which Betty sings of lessons learned and values reaffirmed with the song "You don't have to be star... to be star." As Betty sums up: "The best place to wait for your big break is with your friends!"
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