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Popeye The Sailor: 1933-1938: The Complete First Volume (2007)

 NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)

List Price: $64.92
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Popeye The Sailor: 1933-1938: The Complete First Volume + Popeye the Sailor: 1938-1940: The Complete Second Volume + Popeye the Sailor: 1941-1943: The Complete Third Volume
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Box set, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 550 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000P296AS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,267 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • 60 cartoons on four discs
  • Retrospectives on Popeye and Max Fleischer
  • Commentaries
  • Behind-the-toons featurettes
  • Bonus shorts

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The plot lines in the animated cartoons tended to be simple. A villain, usually Bluto, makes a move on Popeye's "sweetie", Olive Oyl. The bad guy then clobbers Popeye until Popeye eats spinach, which gives him superhuman strength. The fundamental character of Popeye, paralleling that of another 1930's icon, Superman, also invokes traditional values possessing uncompromising moral standards and resorting to force only when threatened, or when he "can't stands no more"! The first volume includes 58 (7-10 min) theatrical blk & white shorts from 1933 to 1938 and 2 two-reeler 20 minute color cartoons. (Notable shorts: * POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS SINDBAD THE SAILOR was an Academy Award� Nominee. Betty Boop appears in a cameo as a hula dancer in the 1st short "Popeye The Sailor")

DVD Features:
Music Only Track

In 1933, a squint-eyed sailor with outsized forearms danced a hula with Betty Boop--and began one of the great series in American cartoon history. Popeye had made his debut in Elzie Segar's comic strip "Thimble Theater" four years earlier, and the jump to animation only increased his popularity: by 1938, he rivaled Mickey Mouse. During the '30s, when Disney was creating lushly colored, realistic animation, the Fleischer Studio presented a gritty black-and-white world that was ideally suited to the bizarre misadventures of Popeye, Olive, and Bluto. The animators ignored anatomy, with hilarious results: Olive Oyl's rubbery arms wrap around her body like twin anacondas, and her legs often end up in knots. Exactly what Popeye and Bluto saw in this scrawny, capricious inamorata was never clear, but they fought over her endlessly. As the series progressed, the artists grew more sophisticated: in "Blow Me Down" (1933), Olive does some clumsy steps to "The Mexican Hat Dance;" one year later, in "The Dance Contest," she and Popeye perform deft spoofs of tango, tap, and apache steps. The stories are little more than strings of gags linked by a theme: Popeye and Bluto as rival artists; Popeye and Olive as nightclub dancers or café owners. But the minimal stories allow the artists to fill the screen with jokes, over-the-top fights, and muttered asides from the characters. Cartoon fans have waited for years for the "Popeye" shorts to appear on disc, and the Popeye the Sailor 1933-1938 was worth waiting for. The transfers were made from beautifully clear prints with only minimal dust and scratches. The set is loaded with extras, including eight "Popumentaries," numerous commentaries, and 16 silent cartoons. It's a set to treasure. (Unrated, suitable for ages 10 and older: violence, tobacco use, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
299 of 306 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is The Real Thing... At Long Last !!!! April 13, 2007
By JohnL
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is it, Popeye cartoon fans! We have dreamed about it, wished for it, and hoped for it. Warner Brothers Video, by arrangement with King Features Syndicate, is issuing here the first 60 ORIGINAL Fleischer Studios Popeye cartoons. Wonderful! These fantastic cartoons are being released in chronological order of their theatrical release, FULLY RESTORED from the original negatives in beautiful black and white, UNCUT, with all Paramount titles restored. Volume 1, 1933-1938, is a 4-disc collector's edition. Also included in this release are the first two Three-Color-Technicolor two-reel specials: "Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor", and "Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves". If that isn't enough, 5 hours worth of bonus materials are included: Audio commentaries from Mark Kausler, Jerry Beck, Mark Evanier, and others. More features include restrospectives on Popeye and Max Fleischer, behind the toons featurettes, and bonus shorts.

So many of us remember seeing many of these vintage Popeye shorts when we were kids, and fondly remember the incredible animation from those early Fleischer Studios Popeye's. In 1933, the original Popeye voice was done by William Costello. Sometime in 1935 he was fired and The Sailor Man's voice was taken over by Jack Mercer, who kept at it for the remaining duration of these great cartoons. Remember that wonderful muttering in those early years by Popeye? That was the great Jack Mercer. Who could forget that fantastic "Is that so?" and all the other regular mutterings that Popeye would utter, more so especially during the Fleischer years. Bluto was fantastic, too, with some great back-and-forth quips between himself and his rival. His voice was delivered by William Pennell from 1933-1935, then Gus Wickie from 1935 until his death in 1938.
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147 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than spinach. . . April 28, 2007
As a lifelong fan of classic animation, I simply could not be more THRILLED at the prospect of finally owning restored versions of the Fleischer Popeye cartoons. Other reviewers have expertly detailed the contents of this set, so I'd like to take a moment to try and convince/convert those folks who may not know and love these things as much as I do. . .

There has been, as long as I can recall, a misconception about Popeye cartoons. I recently had this discussion with a good friend, who could not understand why I was so excited about this release. She, like so many people, was raised on the color Popeye cartoons made in the 1960's. "They're all the same," she complained. "Popeye and Bluto fight over Olive Oyl, and Popeye eats spinach and beats up his rival. Big deal." And you know something? Based solely on the cartoons my friend had seen, she was right. She knew nothing of these original black & white gems made by the Fleischers beginning in the early 1930's. And while the voice of Popeye in most of those shorts is the same (Jack Mercer) as the later ones, that's where the similarities end. The early 'toons are full of creative gags, ad-libs and boundless energy. Plus, they have the inimitable Fleischer style, which can also be found in Betty Boop and, later, the first Superman cartoons.

I hope that those of you who only know Popeye from the later, bland incarnations will check out this set. Forget Poopdeck Pappy or Popeye's nephews (those these will eventually surface in the Fleischer versions); this is the REAL POPEYE in all his elastic, mumbling glory.

Essential viewing for Popeye enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the early history of animated sound cartoons.

P.S. I wish I could get back all the money I've blown on cheapskate VHS and DVD versions by Goodtimes, etc. Those things are headed for a garage sale faster than you can say "I yam what I yam!"
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95 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Well, blow me down! As a Disney writer, I didn't think I'd like these competing cartoons from the golden age of Mickey Mouse. But I was wrong! Like the best early Mickey shorts, these Popeye cartoons are truly entertaining and funny, with boundless energy and many creative gags. Whether you're a classic animation fan or just someone looking for something different, here are five reasons you should buy this set:

1. All of the cartoons are from Popeye's original Fleischer Bros. incarnation, when the series had its most cockamamie characters (including the Sailor Man in all his gruffy, mumbling glory), cockeyed plots, fluid animation and detailed backgrounds.

2. The shorts are the original, black-and-white, uncut versions, fully restored from the master negatives and never before made available to the public.

3. Unlike the more familiar 1950-1960s Popeye cartoons, these don't all have the same plot! Yes, Bluto tries to kiss Olive Oyl in a couple, but otherwise the stories on this set jump all over the place. In one ("Lost and Foundry"), Baby Swee'pea saves Popeye and Olive from being crushed.

4. Each disc comes with a full slate of extras, including documentaries, featurettes and rare bonus cartoons, most of which are early silent films and ten of which star Koko the Clown. Altogether there are more than five hours of bonus features.

5. Ten cartoons have audio commentaries, featuring film and animation experts such as Jerry Beck and Leonard Maltin.

Here's a complete rundown on what you get:

1. "Popeye the Sailor" (1933) (with commentary)'
2. "I Yam What I Yam" (1933)'
3. "Blow Me Down!" (1933)'
4. "I Eats My Spinach" (1933)'
5. "Seasin's Greetinks!" (1933)'
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought for me and some as gifts.
Published 1 month ago by MARK C URICK
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
the best cartoons of all time! thanks!
Published 1 month ago by dX
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 1 month ago by Ahmad Abdulla Alawadhi
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, the memories
When you look back to the days when watching Popeye didn’t make you question the condition of his arms and whether or not his speech problems are a sign of stroke, it really gives... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Darrel S.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dance Contest is too good.
The Dance Contest is too good.
Published 2 months ago by H.E.W.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
My Mom Likes it. I think My Husband would Love it more :)
Published 2 months ago by Laura
5.0 out of 5 stars For the nostalgia
Having grown up on Popeye, this is perfect for those of any age group that has seen the cartoon and would like to feel a little nostalgic.
Published 2 months ago by Hagen Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
nice an all time great to add to the collection
Published 3 months ago by ishmael
5.0 out of 5 stars Great memories
I got the first 3 of the older volumes. They were gifts and he loved them. They were before his time so all new to him.
Published 3 months ago by mamaj1949
5.0 out of 5 stars an absolute lu-lu!!!
Highly reccomended for all conniseurs of vintage cartoonery, the lush detail, invention, and sheer off-the-wall entertainment inherent within these 4 shiney disks is quite simply... Read more
Published 4 months ago by R. Smith
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Topic From this Discussion
None of the Popeye shorts were lost in any fire. The set stops close to the beginning of 1938. Vol. 2 will include the rest of the 1938 cartoons.
Jul 9, 2007 by K. |  See all 10 posts
Any news on Volume 2?
June, 2008
Nov 3, 2007 by J. Hudak |  See all 6 posts
Sudden price drop
I don't know but I'm certainly not complaining!
May 18, 2012 by Afficianado |  See all 2 posts
Question about A Certain Cartoon Being On This DVD
Not to my knowledge. I don't remember seeing that. I think all the cartoons on volume 1 predate the nephews.
Jan 16, 2008 by John Emm |  See all 2 posts
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