Popeye: The Sailor Man (75th Anniversary Collectors Edition) restored.
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Casual fans may not know that there has never been an "official" release of the classic Popeye cartoons, on VHS or DVD, in the history of home video. The best the one-eyed sailor's fans could ever get were either iffy bootleg collections or a handful of murky public-domain short subjects.
VCI's set is also comprised of PD shorts, but some work has been done to them and the package has been treated with the respect it deserves (except for the simple and rather disappointing cover, which belies the quality within. Too bad Leslie Cabarga - a cartoonist and author of "The Fleischer Story" - wasn't brought in to do a better one).
The stars of the package are the three Technicolor 2-reelers created by Max and Dave Fleischer in the later 1930s, POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS SINDBAD THE SAILOR, POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS ALI BABA's FORTY THIEVES, and ALADDIN AND HIS WONDERFUL LAMP. These are three of the grandest, most colorful, and most imaginative cartoons of the golden era, and they've been restored and color-corrected and look - while not perfect - at least better than they have in a long while. As usual, ALADDIN is in somewhat worse shape than the first two, but it still looks better than I've ever seen it before. These cartoons feature some of the Fleischers' finest animation and deepest and most creative backgrounds (including 3D effects). SINDBAD in particular is a favorite.
In addition, six other Fleischer Popeyes are included, all from the late `30s B&W series. Titles include I'M IN THE ARMY NOW, LITTLE SWEE' PEA (another favorite), I NEVER CHANGES MY ALTITUDE, PANELESS WINDOW WASHER, DATE TO SKATE, and CUSTOMERS WANTED.Read more ›
Another problem with the set...when selecting individual episodes, the DVD continues to the next episode instead of returning to the menu, at the completion of the selected episode.
If you want a cheap way to see some old Fleischer Popeyes without any added sound effects (as on the Good Times release) this is probably the way to go.
Just don't set your expectations too high.
After watching both discs a few times, I have to say that the restored color 2-reelers on disc 1 look & sound great, but a few of the B&W fleischer shorts look terrible. You can find better copies on the internet. And although I dont mind the selection of later 'Famous Studios' titles on the disc 2, I do have to complain about the image-processing that was done on them. I noticed alot of 'outline damage' on random titles. This is where the 'digital restoration' process accidentally 'erases' the black outlines around the characters when they move. Apparently the software or whatever they use thinks the moving lines are dirt. hahaha. Arggg!! Its pretty obvious and intrusive & distracting once you know what to look for. Its pretty noticable on Fright To The Finish. At least on my copy it is. This problem has occured with animated titles on DVD before, like on the Schoolhouse Rocks 2 disc set. It also plagued the Art of Tom & Jerry and the Betty Boop Collection Laserdisc box sets back in the 90's.
Oh well... still waiting for the 'definitive' popeye set...
THIS collection, from VCI, is the real thing! Disc 1 features 9 cartoons from the Max Fleischer era, including the three famous long color features, and they've never looked better. Disc 2 features 25 cartoons from the Famous Studios era of the '50s, and while they can't hold a candle to the earlier Fleischers, they are still worthwhile. Add a commentary by historian Jerry Beck, and you have a package worth every penny of its reasonable price.
I hope "Apalachicola" purchases THIS compilation and retracts his/her earlier review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For 10 dollars, You can't go wrong. You get a lot of episodes from your favorite sailor man and it's pretty lengthy too.Published 2 months ago by Michael H
My kids love it! 2 DVDs for them to watch several different popeye movies.Published 3 months ago by Kelly B.
Best selection of Popeye from all his vast cartoons of an historic era and has me eating spinach after a lifetime of hating it.Published 4 months ago by Beverley R. Enright
Video quality decent, some color but mostly black and white. A great addition to the kids DVD selectionPublished 6 months ago by St. Philologus
Popeye is a wonderful cartoon. Great that it is on DVD. Loved it.Published 7 months ago by southernlass