Popeye The Sailor: 1933-1938: The Complete First Volume
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Popeye The Sailor: 1933-1938 Volume One (DVD)
Spinach--YUCK! But not to the most famous, fearless comic strip sailor in the world--Popeye. Whether romancing his longtime sweetheart, Olive Oyl, rescuing defenseless infant Swee'pea, or wrestling his nasty nemesis, Bluto, Popeye summons his spinach-induced strength to save the day. With one gulp of the vitamin-rich vegetable, Popeye transforms his scrawny body into a human dynamo! For high seas hijinks or landlocked levity, turn to the hilarious animated antics of that two-fisted tar--Popeye.]]>
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
Top customer reviews
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. The voice of Olive Oyl was delivered by Mae Questel.
So, all you Popeye fans... this is what we have been waiting for many a year. Throw out all your other Popeye videos and DVDs. Get rid of your VHS tapes that you made from the Cartoon Network. Destroy (with pleasure) all of those horrible colorized Popeye's made infamous by Mr. Turner. Animation historian Jerry Beck says that "your eyes will POP at the restorations. If you've never seen them you are in for a revelation." At long last...the first official release of the Max Fleischer cartoons on DVD. Without a doubt, you will be absolutely, positively delighted!!!