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Popeye the Sailor (Fleischer and early Famous Studios eras, 1933-1948)

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Popeye the Sailor (Fleischer and early Famous Studios eras, 1933-1948)
Popeye title card.png
When America's favorite sailor first came to the screen.
Genre: Comedy
Country: United States
Release Date: July 14, 1933 — August 9, 1957
Created by: E.C. Segar
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures (formerly)
Starring: Jack Mercer
Mae Questel
Jackson Beck
Episodes: 230


Popeye the Sailor is an animated series based on the comic strip with the same name. It would also spawn two more shows: The All-New Popeye Hour from 1978 to 1983, and Popeye and Son from 1987.

Why It Is “Ahoy Mate”

  1. It's quite faithful to the source material while still adding a unique twist to the stories. The show in fact effectively created one of the most famous formats in the history of entertainment (Popeye and Bluto competing against each other, with the former saving the situation thanks to his spinach).
  2. While the plots mostly follow the same format, we still get to see episodes where the plots have something new.
  3. The stories are always lighthearted and this make even the propaganda episodes of the series entertaining to watch.
  4. Amazingly pure and fluid animation.
    • The Fleischer-style animation looks very faithful to the comic strips
  5. Great voice acting for it's time.
  6. Popeye's character design is amusingly grotesque.
  7. Good use of comedy and slapstick, with the former based on amazingly exagerrated feats of strength performed by Popeye and Bluto while the compete against each other.
  8. Great characters that are still iconic even if they aren't totally likable, like Olive Oyl. The series allowed a wider audience to know Popeye, one of the most recognizable characters ever, with his unique characterization of both hero and anti-hero.
  9. Incredible action scenes provided by Popeye with his incredibly over the top fistfights.
  10. Great music. The show presents both original music in the opening theme and famous sailor songs.
  11. It gives a lesson that spinach is good for you.
  12. It has spawned several TV spin-offs such as Popeye the Sailor (1960), The All-New Popeye Hour, and Popeye's Island Adventure (although bad) as well as movies such as Popeye (1980) and Popeye's Quest for Poopdeck Pappy.
  13. A lot of good sound effects.
  14. A lot of great and memorable cartoons, such as:
    • "I Eats Me Spinach"
    • "The Man on the Flying Trapeze"
    • "Strong to the Finach"
    • "Shiver Me Timbers!"
    • "We Aim to Please"
    • "Beware of Barnacle Bill"
    • "King of the Mardi Gras"
    • "A Clean Shavin' Man"
    • "Little Swee'Pea"
    • "Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor" (the first Popeye color film)
    • "Protek the Weakerist"
    • "Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves"
    • "A Date to Skate"
    • "Goonland"
    • "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp"
    • "Fightin' Pals"
    • "Me Musical Nephews"
    • "Cartoons Ain’t Human"
    • "We’re On Our Way to Rio"
    • "Puppet Love"
    • "She-Sick Sailors"
    • "Rocket to Mars"
    • "Her Honor the Mare"
    • "Lunch With a Punch"
    • "Let's Stalk Spinach"
    • "The Anvil Chorus Girl"
    • "Customers Wanted"
    • "Popeye and the Pirates"
    • "Klondike Casanova"

Famous Studios era

  1. During the Famous Studios era, Olive Oyl received a redesign where she became cuter, looked younger than she previously did, and even wore her very adorable 1950s-style tomboy-esque outfit, as she's given the audiences a many of very larger laughs.

Bad Qualities

  1. The 1960 adaptation, while a good show and very faithful to the source material has some problems, the most notable being the below average animation.
    • The All New Popeye Hour and Popeye and Son both toned down the violence, so Popeye could not punch Bluto in either of those shows.
    • Popeye and Son and Popeye's Island Adventures are both easily the weakest and worst entries to the Popeye franchise due to how dull and bad they happen to be.
    • Popeye and Son was so bad that it had killed any chances of Popeye coming back for any more new television cartoons, as of now.
  2. Olive Oyl is often fickle and hypocritical and sometimes annoying.
  3. The World War II propaganda episodes can be pretty unpleasant, as they feature racial stereotypes of the Japanese.
  4. Some cringe inducing scenes from the shorts every now and then, usually whenever Popeye fights off animals and turns them into byproducts, such as bulls into meat and crocodiles into luggage during the Pre-Code era (before July 1934) cartoons.
  5. The 1980s redrawn colorized remastering of the black and white shorts isn't done-well, as it makes the animation look jerky and terribly glitchy.
  6. Some gross-out jokes are pretty disgusting, including Popeye puked out the cards for Bluto's magic trick in "A Balmy Swami".
  7. Shorts like "Pop Pie A La Mode" and "Popeye's Pappy" were so bad and offensive that they were banned from US networks due to featuring Popeye fighting African American stereotypes.
  8. Characters like Shorty and Popeye's Nephews are incredibly annoying and pointless. Even if their annoying tendencies are toned down in later appearances, they're still pointless.
  9. On "Puppet Love", Popeye makes Bluto (who’s being used as a puppet) use a knife on Olive to make it look like that Bluto is threatening to kill Olive (depending on others who would view it).
  10. The cartoon shorts went downhill from 1949-1957 of the Famous Studios era.
  11. It had some bad cartoons even before Famous Studios' downfall such as:

Trivia

  • Thanks to its positive representation of spinach, the series effectively boosted spinach sales and actually taught children to eat more vegetables.
  • Despite being the main antagonist of the animated series, Bluto only appeared once in the comic strips.
  • Popeye was initially supposed to open his spinach cans with a bite but this was rejected out of fear that kids could try to imitate the character, thus harming themselves.
  • It seems that there were a few "man-can't-hit-girls" messages in some episodes, such as one where in the end while Popeye sings his song, Olive puts on the mask of the monsters he fought earlier, and when Popeye notices her, he (unintentionally) punches her, mistakening her for a monster or to show an example, only for Olive to punch Popeye twice after he finished his song while the episode ended. And in another episode where the announcer accidentally hits a woman behind him with a microphone he was holding while he cheered and raised his hand, only for the woman to punch him.
    • However, since it showed female characters striking male characters back because the male character (unintentionally) hit them, it might seem like it was saying if a man hits a girl, she gets to hit him back, as well as a "defender is always right" message.

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