Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Overlooked Cartoons: Popeye the Sailor (1933)


If you've never met the one, true Popeye, and by that I mean the one depicted by E.C. Segar in the 1930s comic strip Thimble Theater, you really should. The strips, both daily and Sunday, are finally back in print, the Sundays are even in color. The stories, the art, the characters and the humor are all fantastic.

But the next best thing to the REAL thing is the Popeye of the Fleischer cartoons. The Fleischers always delivered great animation and great music, and Popeye's screen debut is no exception. This first one is actually  a Betty Boop cartoon, though Betty has only a minor role as a hula dancer. After this, Popeye got his own series, and punched his way through dozens of cool cartoons.



More Overlooked Thrills each week at Sweet Freedom.

14 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I've seen the original Popeye. Pretty interesting.

Deka Black said...

I believe (and only beliebve) When i was a very little kid TV here broadcasted the fleischer Popeye cartoons. In fact, broadcasted A LOT of fleischer cartoons. but don't know if the Popeye ones were

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am probably the only one in the world who enjoyed the Robin Williams /Shelley Duval version.

Richard Prosch said...

They are reprinting the original TT strips with Popeye in big, gorgeous hardcovers. Think they are up to Volume 5. I've got the first two. Seek them out!

Evan Lewis said...

You're the only one I know, Patti.

Richard R. said...

I've not seen the original strips, though it looks from the pic that there was no Bruno (my least favorite character). The cartoons always ended up, like this one, to be simply a fight between the two, almost always over Olive Oyl. Still, I watched a lot of them as a kid, enough to have had my fill, I guess. Give me Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, Roadrunner, Scrooge, etc. any day.

Richard R. said...

I didn't see that version, Patti, but doubt I'd have liked it...

Cap'n Bob said...

I recall the character being named Bluto, and later Brutus, Rick. I loved those fight scenes. They were amusing and creative IMHO. But I like your alternate choices, too.

Yvette said...

I love the original POPEYES. Used to watch them on early tv. Our old Admiral set which lasted a good twelve years! In fact, I liked almost all of Max Fleischer's work including, later, the SUPERMAN ones.

In 1960, upon graduation from The High School of Art and Design (aka The School of Industrial Art) in Manhattan, I went to work for Paramount Pictures which had a small animation studio in midtown. They were then turning out the later POPEYE stuff for the awful television cartoon version.

All the animators were men and most of the 'painters' - we filled in the inked cells - were women. I lasted for six months until boredom overtook me. (I know we had an official name for what we did, but damn if I can remember...I think were called 'opaquers'. Anyway, I was one, for a short while. :)

Evan Lewis said...

Wow, Yvette. That makes you an actual acquaintance of Popeye. I'm impressed.

Oscar said...

I have a couple of Popeyes setting on my bookshelf, part of a sailor collection of miniature stuff mostly.
I enjoyed the cartoons.

Todd Mason said...

I like the Altman-directed movie POPEYE, as well (Duvall is brilliant)...and my father LOVED it. So that's two you know virtually, Evan!

Kenneth Mark Hoover said...

Believe it or not I am related to Segar. True story!

Evan Lewis said...

Whoa! A brush with royalty!