Monday, 15 August 2016

Betty Boop and Tweety Bird - Are They Chibi?

The word Chibi is Japanese for 'short' or 'midget'. Typically, a chibi cartoon character has a squat body and a large head with large eyes. A better way to describe modern [Japanese] chibi cartoons is 'childlike' since many of them are innocent-looking. Hello Kitty is an example. So is Sailor Chibimoon, as provided in this example from deviantArt artist xCutieAzNx:

Image result for sailor chibimoon

So now we discuss American-made cartoon characters with similar traits:

1) Betty Boop - though her body isn't 'squat' like a midget's body, she does have tiny features, especially in proportion to her big head. Also, though she is a young woman in her early 20s, she has a very girl-like face and high-pitched voice (based on 1920s cutie Helen Kane).

Image result for betty boopimage from fellow blogger

2) Tweety Bird - he was actually created after Betty, though both are very old cartoons. He does have a squat body, despite large feet and a large head, the rest of his body is tiny. Also, he does have big blue eyes and the high voice of a child, so he is a baby bird. Though not Japanese, could they both be considered 'chibi' because of their traits?

Image result for tweety bird

A word of caution though: Don't call someone (who speaks Japanese) Chibi as a term of endearment though, since it could be perceived as calling them a "shrimp" or "shortstack" which is offensive.
Image result for emoji embarrassed
Here is an example from my own artwork, when I used to draw astrology-based manga characters. I did a normal version of them as well as a chibi version:

images Copyrighted to Daryl Ann DeRoche, 2008

So join the debate and let us know: Do you consider these cute American cartoons to be chibi as well?

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