Pastor Steve's Popeye Page

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FROM OLIVE DRAB TO OLIVE FAB
(Parts 1-8)

The Famous Studios' creators sent Olive to the beauty parlor and to charm school to make her...well, more beautiful and charming! 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Page last updated on 10-18-2008. 
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PART 1

If you are only, or primarily, familiar with the other incarnations of Olive Oyl (the comic strips, the Fleischer brothers' animation, the much later Hanna-Barbera cartoons, or the Shelley Duvall live-action version), you might think I'm nuts to suggest that Olive was the apple of many a boy's eye.  After all, isn't Olive Oyl gangly, awkward, clumsy, irritating, whining, self-centered, greedy, scheming, disloyal, and homely, to boot?  Yes, she does have a heart of gold, but it often takes her a very long time to find it.  She's a strong comic, and even dramatic, character, to be sure (Segar's Olive Oyl is an absolute riot!), but about as far from a pin-up girl as you can get.

However, you may not be aware that the creators at Famous Studios performed quite a make-over on Olive.  It's almost like she became a different person.  In fact, some people don't consider the Paramount/Famous Studios' cartoons to really be Popeye cartoons at all, but instead, adventures of characters who call themselves Popeye and Olive Oyl, but who are, in fact, only dim reflections of the real deals.  Anyway, the seeds of change that had been planted in earlier films bore fruit in 1945's Mess Production when Olive debuted her new hairstyle, new face, and in one infamous scene, even her new figure! 

From that point, in many films it seemed as though Olive was getting more and more attractive as time went by. 

The creators probably amped up Olive's appeal in order that the cartoons would make sense and hold our interest.  The majority of their plots concerned a love triangle.  Why should Popeye and his rival battle each other for the hand of this woman?  Why do other guys want to take Olive away from the sailor?  Why should we viewers be concerned with whether or not Popeye winds up with the girl?  Make Olive into a real prize and suddenly all questions are answered and the stories work.  And make Bluto or another guy much more civilized, charming, handsome, and subtle than he had been in the Fleischer cartoons (as the creators also did), and suddenly the level of suspense increases all the more.  There's now a real chance that Popeye could lose Olive forever!

What are the main differences between the Famous Studios' Olive Oyl and the "other" Ms. Oyls?  How did the creators make Olive into such a gem?  Let's find out with illustrations from some of the cartoons.

#1 - Instead of a grating personality, they gave her an ingratiating one.

There are two words that Olive Oyl speaks which perfectly summarize the philosophy, attitude, and actions of her Famous Studios' incarnation.  In Vacation With Play, she invites Popeye to join her in taking advantage of the resort's activities.  She exhorts him with, "Let's live!"  The Famous Studios' Olive Oyl is full of energy, enthusiasm, and the joy of living. 

#2 - She throws herself totally and cheerfully into whatever she's doing -
from something as mundane as giving her dog a bath (Barking Dogs Don't Fite) or feeding squirrels in the park (The Royal Four-Flusher)

to something a little more exciting like going to the beach (Snow Place Like Home, Beach Peach) or cheering at sports/entertainment events (Rodeo Romeo, A Balmy Swami), to exotic adventures like exploring the desert (A Wolf In Sheik's Clothing)

or climbing the Alps (Alpine For You).  And when Olive listens to music, she gives herself into it completely, swaying and dancing along without being embarrassed (Symphony in Spinach).

#3 - Even Olive's voice has an insouciant, Betty Boop-like quality,
which isn't surprising as the actress who played Olive Oyl, Mae Questel, also voiced the "Boop-Oop-A-Doop" girl.  And like Betty, Olive's voice could go from naive innocence to effectively flirtatious at the drop of a hat.  Because when Olive came onto a guy, she REALLY came onto a guy, throwing herself into romantic teasing with the same youthful abandon that she did everything else.

#4 - Olive's dreams were also filled with boundless excitement and optimism. 
And whenever she got the chance to make her dreams come true, whether they were romantic fantasies (A Wolf In Sheik's Clothing, 

Popeye And The Pirates, Parlez-Vous Woo), or career plans (Cops Is Tops, Olive Oyl For President),

or new skills she wanted to learn someday (Car-azy Drivers), she went for it and wouldn't let anything stand in her way.  In fact, she could even be seen, in a sense, as a proto-feminist because in those latter three films, she perseveres and refuses to be discouraged by Popeye's sexism or society's (at the time the cartoons were made) understanding of what women could or couldn't do. 

#5 - Olive was a can-do person, confident that she could get the job - and the man. 
She knew she could attract any guy's attention she wanted by using her feminine wiles (Popeye Meet Hercules, Vacation With Play, Cops Is Tops).

Not that she was a "pay attention to me world, you owe me that because I'm beautiful" type.  In fact, one of the charming things about Olive Oyl is that she, like Betty Boop, is often just going about her business, blissfully unaware that guys are going crazy over her (Anvil Chorus Girl, Tops In The Big Top, I'll Be Skiing You, The Royal Four-Flusher, Robin-Hood Winked, Gym Jam, Beach Peach,

Farmer And The Belle, Alpine For You, Nurse To Meet You, A Job For A Gob).

#6 - Even when she was feeling romantic, she was very moral.  She enjoyed the wooing and the snuggling, but if things started getting out of hand or going too far in her view, she had no problem with saying, "No" (or more accurately, something like, "You keep all your hands to you...you, you, you Octopus! HELP, POPEYE!!")  See Beach Peach (where the quote was from),

Symphony In Spinach, Klondike Casanova, Quick On The Vigor, Vacation With Play, Abusement Park, Alpine For You, and The Royal Four-Flusher. Olive's even willing to risk her life by jumping out of a moving car over the railing of a high overpass rather than give her kisses to a guy who has shown himself to be evil (Jitterbug Jive)

#7 - And while Olive enjoys having two guys fight over her, she becomes appalled when things get too cruel and too violent... 
("too cruel" and "too violent" being very relative terms when it comes to animated cartoons) and tries to stop it.  Check out A Wolf In Sheik's Clothing, The Island Fling, Snow Place Like Home, and Wigwam Whoopee.  Olive will try and get Popeye and his rival to cease hostility and get along, even suggesting or planning something that the three of them could do together (A Wolf In Sheik's Clothing,

Beaus Will Be Beaus, Beach Patrol, Baby Wants A Bottle, Cookin' With Gags, Fright To The Finish).

In short, she was not only someone who'd make a fun date, but someone you could also take home to mother.
 

LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE

The touch of a creator can change a character's personality and fill him or her with an enthusiastic joy of living.  Isn't that what The Creator's touch is supposed to do to us?  There are too many dour Christians around.  The Bible tells us to "Rejoice in the Lord, always," and to "Worry about nothing," and to "Cast all your burdens on him, because He cares for you."  It tells us that we are to do everything we do with all our might, as unto the Lord.  And a book like Song Of Solomon certainly teaches us that passion isn't necessarily wrong.  Do we need The Creator to touch us again?  Are we being all He wants us to be in the stories he's given us to act out?

Whenever Madison Avenue wants to sell me something, it will surround the product with youthful, energetic, enthusiastic people.  These sorts of people are appealing and, by association and implication, the product they are singing about also seems appealing.  And Bill Clinton's handlers (during his first and second run for the White House) sold him to the country the same way Famous Studios sold us on Olive Oyl.  I remember during his campaign hearing young people interviewed who said, "I'm voting for him 'cause he's young at heart, like us!  He jokes and plays sax on late night TV.  He goes on MTV and talks about his underwear.  He's a huge and gushing fan of current music and movie stars.  He enjoys life!!!"  And so it was that a man in his fifties was accepted by those in their twenties.  I need to be careful to judge products and ideas on their merits, not on how bubbly the person is who is presenting them to me.

I know this will be hard for some to believe, but one's character and personality are even more important than looks in determining how appealing one is, particularly as one ages or when crises come into one's life.  And when I was single, I knew some physically lovely women that I wouldn't even consider dating because when you took away their looks, there was nothing else there.  With the emphasis today on being physically fit and improving your appearance (even through cosmetic surgery), it's too bad there's not an equal emphasis on improving what's inside.


 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

PART 2

They showed us strong men falling for her.

Consider all the male figures and cultural icons who were crazy over Olive Oyl: Popeye

and Bluto; 

a zookeeper who worked with dangerous animals; Superman; a ringmaster/trapeze artist; Frank Sinatra; a fur trapper whom all men feared;

Cupid; crowds of tough frontiersmen; a mystic fakir; Robinson Crusoe; a skating instructor; a pirate captain; a millionaire playboy count; Tarzan; a carnival strongman; an Indian chief;

a caveman; Hercules; a sheik; an arctic fur-trader/storekeeper; Robin Hood; The Sheriff Of Nottingham; a lumberjack; a top musician; a hypnotist; a wild west outlaw; a gun-toting hillbilly;

a muscular blonde lifeguard, the coolest guy in town; a hot air balloonist; the athletic director of a camp/resort; a mountain-climbing guide; a knight; a bullfighter; a naval Captain; Santa Claus;

a bank robber; a muscle man; firemen; moving men; a famous sophisticated TV star/screen lover who boldly fought and won duels for his ladies.  (Granted some of these were Bluto in disguise, or Popeye and Bluto in other occupations or time periods, but the effect on us was still the same.)

Not only that, but these guys chose Olive Oyl over dozens of very beautiful women (Popeye Meets Hercules, Vacation With Play, Beach Peach), giving the clear impression that in the Popeye Cartoon Universe, Olive was the fairest of the fair. 

In the Famous Studios' cartoons, males reacted to  women who were drawn in a more traditionally beautiful style the same way they did toward Olive Oyl (see Seein' Red, White And Blue, Cartoons Ain't Human, Peep In The Deep, I'll Be Skiing You, Pre-Hysterical Man, Lumberjack And Jill, Hot Air Aces, Private Eye Popeye, Double-Cross Country Races).  This left us with the impression that Olive Oyl was a traditionally beautiful woman and that "normal" guys would notice, and/or be attracted to, her.
 

These were our heroes, the kind of characters we pretended to be when we were outside playing, the guys we wanted to be when we grew up!  And they were all in love with Olive Oyl.  It made us feel that we should be, too.  After all, if those guys couldn't resist Ms. Oyl, what chance did we mere mortals have?  In fact, seeing men desire Olive Oyl again and again, led us to believe that the normal reaction to her was to morph into a wolf and let out a long howl, and soon, whenever she came on screen in a cartoon, we felt like doing that, too. 

(For more about the exaggerated, cartoony ways that males responded when they first laid eyes on Ms. Oyl, similar to the outrageous ways Tex Avery's Wolf character always reacted to Red in the classic, hysterically funny MGM cartoons, see 
"The Top 20 Male Reactions To Olive Oyl" .)
 
 

LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE

What is the media conditioning me to believe is "normal" belief or behavior by showing me examples over and over again - people sleeping around; everybody talking dirty at home, work, or wherever; all worthwhile, competent people also being "hot" looking; people insulting and mistreating all who are annoying; cool people continually complaining about everything; all adults (or kids) behaving strangely; certain political opinions being more noble and the only thing sane people can believe; most religious people being dangerous, right-wing fanatics?

I don't have to buy Ball Park Franks just because Michael Jordan tells me that my summer can't start without them.  And no amount of Gatorade or new athletic shoes are going to make me "be like Mike."

 


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

PART 3

They changed her appearance from old maid to pretty, young maiden.

The comic strip and Fleischer Olive Oyl had a rather severe face.  And it didn't help to alleviate her school-marmish looks that all her hair was tied so tightly in back of her that you were afraid her scalp would rip under the pressure.  In many Famous Studios' cartoons, Olive had much softer, more feminine features which took years off her appearance.  And she would often enhance her looks with makeup.  While she still wore some hair tied back, she also had a big wave of it on top of her head and some on the sides.  She often had large, pretty, expressive eyes which were framed by long lashes, too.

The comic strip and Fleischer Olive Oyl mostly wore a dumpy, dowdy dress and flat, gunboat shoes.  The Famous Studios' Olive had a much smarter looking outfit, including a short-sleeved blouse and high heels.  In a few films she was even seen in designer evening wear!

The comic strip and Fleischer Olive Oyl was skinny as a rail with measurements of 14", 14", 14".  And Poopdeck Pappy didn't call her "Lathe Legs" for nothing.  The Famous Studios' Olive, though, was sometimes pictured as having a figure, and/or shapely legs, and/or curvy hips, and/or a cute derriere, and/or a bust(!!).

While the character remained recognizably Olive Oyl, and you'd never mistake her for Jessica Rabbit, she could, at times, look like Olive Oyl crossed with a glamour girl.  And the "pretty Olive" might not be on display throughout an entire film.  Rather, the creators would sometimes cut between scenes or even frames of a more traditional looking Olive and the Famous Studios' knockout.  It helps to use the slow motion function on your VCR to determine if you really saw what you thought you did.  Whether this "morphing" of Olive was a conscious effort on the creator's part to subliminally draw us to Ms. Oyl or just the result of different animators and artists working on the same cartoon, it still helped us view Olive as being quite attractive. 



Also, according to a recent issue of U.S. News And World Report, historical, sociological, and psychological studies have been done to determine what initially attracts a man to a woman.  (How can I get paid to undertake such difficult studies?)  What the researchers found was that in every society on our world and, as far as can be determined, throughout the entire history of mankind, the two strongest initial physical characteristics that lure a man to a woman are large, lively, expressive eyes and curvy hips.  The Famous Studios' creators, being male, instinctively knew this and so, even in cartoons where Olive is plainer or more Fleischeresque in appearance, they would throw in scenes where she was using her eyes to their fullest advantage and/or had curves in the right places.  Seeing these cartoons, and others where Olive was drawn prettier, usually by emphasizing her eyes and hips even more, attracted us to her.

She never ceased to be a cartoon character, however.  So, while she is morphing between the beanpole look and an hourglass shape in Alpine For You, her legs are stretched way out to impossible dimensions, straddling the dangerous crevices.

And while she looks alluring in the latter part of her act in Klondike Casanova, her neck suddenly stretches up to the rafters as she holds a note a long, long, LONG time.  But these kinds of things didn't detract from her appeal.  Every kid knew that in the cartoon universe everybody could do that sort of thing.  If you need proof, consider what happened to Michael Jordan in "Space Jam."

Click here for The Top 20 Films Featuring The Best "Physically Beautiful Olive" Moments/Scenes.
 
 
 

LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE

The Bible calls The Church "The Bride Of Christ" and tells us to beautify ourselves for His return.  How?  By adding the doing of righteousness to our lives (Revelation 19:6-8) and by taking off the dowdy clothes of our old selves and putting on the new self created to be like God in true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).  And why only let your new, improved self show just during certain scenes or frames in your life?  Some people are all gussied up Sunday morning while they are attending church, but the rest of the week they are just the same old people they have always been.  Why not be "glamorous" all the time?

In the midst of your daily grind, be alert for little things happening, or small insights coming your way which indicate that life is worth living.  If you see enough evidence over time, you'll come to believe that life is a beautiful gift and you'll act that way, just as enough quick glimpses and little scenes added up to convince us that Olive Oyl was Miss USA.


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


 

PART 4

They effectively used music.

Love songs from the music halls, movie theaters, and airwaves of the first half of the 20th Century filled the Popeye cartoons.  While watching the adventures of The Sailorman, we heard "Too Romantic," "I'm In The Mood For Love," "I Don't Want To Walk Without You, Baby," "Every Little Breeze Seems To Whisper, 'Louise'," "Love In Bloom," "By A Waterfall," "I'm In The Mood For Love," "June In January," and others.  These were songs we heard on the radio, or found in books with titles like, "The World's Greatest Love Songs," sitting on our family pianos, or saw couples singing to each other or dancing to on the black-and-white films that were rerun on TV.  They were songs we felt were adult and conveyed adult feelings.  Sometimes Olive Oyl herself would sing them in the cartoons, or a smitten guy would sing them to her, or they'd be playing in the background as Olive was being wooed by her suitor.  Soft, "mood music" also often played, too.  Sexy versions of "Frankie and Johnny" and a feverish rendition of "June In January" were used when guys were happily girl-watching Olive. 

All of which served to convince us that Olive Oyl and feelings of romantic love and sexual attraction went together like bread and butter.

When Olive is engaging in activities, whether flirting or playing sports or just traveling around, exciting, energetic, "this is fun, things are going great" music was often heard giving us the impression that Ms. Oyl was very pleasant to be around indeed.

Finally, when that part in each cartoon came where Olive is trying to escape from the human wolf's clutches, the music was usually very suspenseful, like that which would be a part of an adventure film or a dramatic movie.  Outrageous, funny stuff might happen as she ran from her pursuer, but the orchestra treated the scenes as being deadly serious.  The silly, cartoony, character-and-situation-mocking music was almost always reserved for Popeye himself (!) or for his rival after Popeye bested him.  As a consequence, we took Olive's plight to heart, almost as though we were watching a real woman in trouble and rooting for someone to come and rescue her.


 

LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE

Music can very powerfully influence my heart, mind, and spirit.  When Martin Luther couldn't seem to shake his depression, he would often go to dances or to taverns to listen to the music.  In the Bible, when Saul was tormented by an evil spirit, the music of David would bring him relief.  Music is one of the cheapest and most readily accessible forms of therapy there is.  I need to make use of it.

Also, I need to be careful.  If I listen to too much negative, jarring, or angry music, I don't have to wonder why I'll be on edge all the time.

 


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


 

 

PART 5

They referred to her in 
endearing terms.

Males in the cartoons used a variety of names/descriptive phrases/terms to either address or talk about Olive Oyl.  Many of these were consistent with the attitudes of men toward women in the '40s and '50s.  Of course, the sensitive, enlightened males of today would never say things like this to or about a woman.  (And if you believe that, I've got a big bridge in Brooklyn to sell you!)  Here are some of them: Angel; Angel Puss; Babe; Baby; Baby Face; Bait; Beach Peach; Beautiful; a beautiful doll like you; The Belle; a charming cherub; Cherie; Chick; Chickie; Cookie; Cupcake; Cutie; Cutie Pie; Date; a diving beauty; Doll; Dollface; Dreamboat; Gorgeous; Little One; lovely girl; Lovergirl; Ma Cherie; Me Pretty; M'Lady; a most delicious dish; My Beautiful Louise; My Cute Tamale; My Little Cactus Cutie; My Little Desert Flower; My Little Mountain Flower; My Little Peach Blossom; My Proud Beauty; Plume; a pretty wench; Quail; Shape Ahoy; Sleeping Beauty; some angel; a spouse for me house; Sugar; Sunshine; Sweetie; Sweet Potato; Terrific, Tender, and Tall; that cutie; that figure; Toots; tres jolie; What a doll; What a feminine female; Wotta a woman; Wow!

As we heard Olive consistently spoken of in these terms over and over again through the years in many cartoons, we came to believe that she more than deserved all the compliments.
 

LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE

The Bible calls me God's child, a joint heir with Jesus, one of the redeemed, a saint, holy, one whom God loves, Christ's friend and brother, etc.  I need to listen to and focus on what the Word calls me, because the world certainly has other, not so complimentary, names for me.

I need to watch how I address and talk about people.  The old adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," is not true.  The names I use can affect someone's self-esteem and the way others perceive him or her.

 


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

PART 6

They showed us what 
her kisses did to men.

When Olive gives Shorty a smooch in Happy Birthdaze, he goes into an enraptured trance and floats in the air gently down to the ground.  Likewise, she puts Popeye into a similar trance with a kiss that makes him oblivious to, and immune from, the dangers in the factory in Mess Production.

When Olive kisses Bluto during Shape Ahoy, he turns into a sizzling rocket, writing "Wow!" across the sky.  And the touch of her lips causes Popeye to take leave of his senses, acting like an animal.  Knight Popeye is melted into a pool of red hot metal by one of Olive's passionate kisses in Wotta Knight.  Olive's kisses makes Popeye literally walk on air in Bride And Gloom, straighten out as stiff as a board in mid-air with delight in Nearlyweds, and blush brighter than the glow of a gem in Private Eye Popeye.  Popeye thinks it's worth it to let Bluto pulverize him if it means Olive will cover him with kisses in sympathy (Beaus Will Be Beaus).

In fact, when she gets started kissing him, he never wants her to stop (Gym Jam) and loves anything that makes her do it (Fright To The Finish). 

When Popeye is unconscious in Hot Air Aces, a kiss from Olive brings him to and energize him, just like spinach!

We male viewers couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to kiss Ms. Oyl ourselves (particularly since few of us had ever kissed a real live girl).  Seeing the Famous Studios' males do anything and everything in their power to try to get a kiss from Olive, made us see her kisses as a valuable prize worth any sacrifice.

And the fact that when they started kissing her, they couldn't (and didn't want to) stop strengthened that feeling.  (See Tops On The Big Top, Pre-Hysterical Man, Gym Jam, and Alpine For You.  Also, in The Fistic Mystic and The Royal Four-Flusher, after guys had been lucky enough to plant a passionate kiss on Olive, they wanted to get another.)


 

LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE

If you see a male in a Paramount cartoon dancing down the street with a huge smile on his face, his eyes shut, and hearts whirling around his head, chances are he's been kissed by Olive Oyl.  You can tell by his actions and his attitudes.  Those who have been touched by God should also be easy to spot.  You should be able to tell by their actions and attitudes.  Can people tell I've been touched by God if they observe me?

Watching guys doggedly pursue Olive for a kiss sometimes put me, as a Christian, to shame.  Even though the Bible talks about wrestling with God until one obtains a blessing, perseverance in prayer, giving up everything else just to have the Pearl Of Great Price, and forcefully seeking to enter the kingdom of God, do I really believe and practice these things?  Doesn't Bluto devote himself to his "goddess" more than I devote myself to my God?

 


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

PART 7

They placed her in romantic (dare I say, "sexy"?) storylines.

Suppose you were watching a movie starring Cary Grant as a sophisticated, rich, playboy Count who meets a beautiful, innocent commoner, played by Marilyn Monroe or Claudette Colbert, in a city park.  After getting his annoying, dumb, bumbling rival, played by Jerry Lewis, out of the way, he invites the smitten miss up to his penthouse, where he impresses her with his wealth and tempts her with a fur coat.  Don't you think that you'd start to get those warm, gooshy, excited feelings as you watched such a film?  Well, I've just described the plot to the cartoon The Royal Four-Flusher, only instead of Cary, we have Bluto, instead of Marilyn or Claudette, there's Olive Oyl, and the Jerry Lewis role is played by Popeye.

Many Famous Studios' cartoons depict locales, situations, and couples which are straight out of America's collective romantic fantasies.  Consider: the ringmaster and the female acrobat (Tops In The Big Top); the fur trapper and the cabaret singer (Klondike Casanova); the rodeo star and the cowgirl (Rodeo Romeo); the electrifying magician and the pretty volunteer from the audience (The Fistic Mystic, A Balmy Swami); two castaways alone on a tropical island (The Island Fling); the sailor on shore leave and the girl at the amusement park (Abusement Park); the ski instructor and the student (I'll Be Skiing You); the pirate and his willing captive (Popeye And The Pirates); the jungle man and the girl lost on safari (Safari So Good); the strongman and the carnival-goer (All's Fair At The Fair, Quick On The Vigor); the caveman taking a mate (Pre-Hysterical Man); Hercules and the Greek lass (Popeye Meets Hercules); the sheik acquiring a desert beauty for his harem (A Wolf In Sheik's Clothing); the arctic French fur trader warming up the girl he saved from freezing to death (Snow Place Like Home); the Sheriff Of Nottingham and the wench who owes back taxes (Robin Hood-Winked); the virtuoso and the swooning music lover (Symphony In Spinach); the lumberjack and the new cook (Lumberjack And Jill); the traveling salesman and the country lass (Silly Hillbilly); the outlaw and the saloon singer (Tar With A Star); the libidinous lifeguard and the beach bunny (Beach Peach); the coolest guy in town and his hip chick (Jitterbug Jive); the resort's athletic director getting real physical with the attractive vacationer (Vacation With Play); the guide and the mountain climber (Alpine For You); the bullfighter and the senorita (Toreadorable); the detective and the heiress he helps (Private Eye Popeye); a handsome Santa paying a Christmas Eve visit to a merry miss (Mister And Mistletoe); the dashing, sophisticated television star romancing his biggest fan (Parlez-Vous Woo).

As we saw characters on TV and in the movies and read about characters in books with plots like these, and noticed that Bluto, Olive, and Popeye did what these characters, and even people in real life did, (flirting, teasing, hugging, snuggling, smooching, nuzzling, dancing,); we came to associate Olive with romantic love and even came to feel that she was as attractive as the actresses who found themselves in similar storylines.


 

LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE

People will form impressions of me as I formed my impressions of the Famous Studios' Olive Oyl, by observing my actions, the people I surround myself with, and the situations and environments I allow myself to get into.

I need to be the self God created me to be and not try to fit in where I don't belong or take jobs that don't utilize my gifts and personality.  The Famous Studios' Olive Oyl is at her best in the romance-centered cartoons.  After all, why would the creators go to the trouble of making a classic cartoon character more appealing, ending up with a single woman who was attractive in many ways, and then featuring her with two single men as co-stars, if not to have stories about love and courtship?  In fact, when Olive is featured in non-romance cartoons, she seems strangely out of place.  While the Fleischer Olive Oyl was fine as a funny sidekick or as just another member of the cast, the Famous Studios' version was not.  Why was Olive even in Popeye For President, Taxi Turvey, and Spooky Swabs?  Her part could have easily been written for Wimpy or somebody else.  And why were she and her pet pig in Thrill Of Fair?  They added absolutely nothing to the picture.  Consider that in Barking Dogs Don't Fight, after a brief appearance by a vivacious Olive, the majority of the cartoon centers on four not-very-appealing characters (Popeye, Bluto, and their dogs).  What a waste! 

No, Olive Oyl, at least the later Famous Studios' version, was created to be part innocent young miss and part flirty vamp, who therefore drove men crazy.  When she's used to fill other parts, the results are less than satisfying.  So, too, my life will be less than satisfying until I fill the parts I was meant to play.


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 


 

 

PART 8

They used several subtle hints to convince us.

When the Famous Studios' creators wanted to draw, animate, and characterize an ugly, unappealing woman, they had no problem doing so.  See the old maid in Olive Oyl For President and Possum Pearl in Hillbilling And Cooing.  When Olive is viewed in comparison with them, it's obvious that we're meant to think of her as their opposite.

The dressmaker's frame that's in Olive's house displays quite a figure in Jitterbug Jive, Parlez-Vous Woo, and Fright To The Finish.  Presuming that Olive uses it to make her own clothes, we come to the conclusion that Olive must have quite a figure, too.  If we needed any more proof, the creators provided it by showing us a form fitting dress inside Olive's closet in A Haul In One.

In two films, objects were meant to imitate or represent Olive.  They became very attractive as they did so.  The microphone that becomes a model of Olive as sleeping beauty has a very feminine, pretty, and flirtatious face in Wotta Knight.  The heart that goes flying over to Hercules (Popeye Meets Hercules) could be described as sexy and the kiss Olive sends to Popeye is portrayed as two, luscious, full red lips.

In the cartoons Pre-Hysterical Man, Popeye Makes A Movie, Seein' Red, White, And Blue, Her Honor The Mare, I'll Be Skiing You, Lumberjack And Jill, Rodeo Romeo, Private Eye Popeye, Hot Air Aces, and Double-Cross Country Race, there are scenes that make it clear that the standards for physical beauty are the same in the Popeye universe as they are in ours.  We see men appreciating what we would call beautiful women.  And we know that they REALLY APPRECIATE Olive Oyl.  Therefore, Olive Oyl must be a beautiful woman.

When Olive is shown applying makeup and/or perfume, she always is doing it happily and confidently, not desperately.  She acts like she knows the cosmetics will only enhance the beauty that's already there, not like she's hoping by some miracle that they will transform her into something she's not.  See Popeye Makes A Movie, Silly Hillbilly, Snow Place Like Home, Cops Is Tops, I Don't Scare, and  Quick On The Vigor.

And, finally, while Bluto is high on loco weed in Rodeo Romeo, he hallucinates that Olive is a young, innocent-looking calf.  Not even drugs can make him see her as anything unappealing.
 

LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE

What subtle, nonverbal cues might I be giving out that would let people know how I feel about them or what kind of person I am (ex. looking away from certain individuals when they are talking, getting nervous when I mention God, looking at my watch a lot, smiling at inappropriate moments, etc.)

Is your local church giving off hints that it doesn't really want new members (ex. visitors ignored when all the cliques get together and talk, not giving enough information in announcements for newcomers to fathom what's going on)?

I believe it was non-verbal cues in a debate which cost George Bush the election to Bill Clinton (1998).  He acted annoyed, and condescending, and incredulous that anyone was taking Clinton seriously.

We need to watch our actions and attitudes and mannerisms as much as we watch our words.

 


 

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SOUL-TREKKING WITH PASTOR STEVE

My home page with links to my Buffy, Popeye,  TV/Movies, Beliefs, and other pages.

BACK TO TOP

Return to top of this page.

The Bluto Booster Page

All the aspects of Bluto I could think of are discussed on various Bluto pages.  Go here for a complete listing.

Oodles Of Olive Oyl

As the title says, lots about Olive Oyl.  You can choose from a number of titles to link to many other of my pages about this lovely lady.

POPEYE PAGE

My Popeye Page.  Lots of links to my pages about the King Of Spinach.


 
 
 
 

This page was created using Corel Word Perfect Suite 8 and Netscape Navigator Composer. All characters and images are legal properties of their respective companies and are used here without permission for entertainment, review, and informational purposes only. All other material is copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 by Steve R. Bierly.