Pastor Steve's Popeye Page

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Olive News Page

Want to know what writers in other media outlets say about the Famous Studios' Olive Oyl?  You've come to
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Page last updated on 10-17-2008. 
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Oyling Her Way In

While the cartoons featuring the attractive, appealing Olive Oyl are relatively few in number when compared with all of the times during 70 years worth of appearances in comic strips, comic books, animated films, and licensed merchandise in which she was portrayed as the irritable, self-centered, "old maid" type, there are definite signs that the Famous Studios' version of the character left a lasting impression in the minds of some.  While many still picture her in her comic strip and Fleischer incarnations, there are those who think of her as being a fun, youthful beauty.  (See my Olive Is Beautiful pages for lots of pictures and my opinions about her changing from drab to fab.)

I'll list examples in print that I've found where Olive Oyl was described as being desirable.  There are many people over the years who, in conversations with, and in personal letters to, me, have said that, in their memories of the character, Olive Oyl is appealing.  However, I will focus on the examples that are out there in the public eye for anyone to read.

Here we go:

I read somewhere (sorry, I can't remember where) Olive Oyl is described as "the eye-popping Olive Oyl," referring to the "Wolf Reactions" that males had to her.  These were portrayed in the Famous Studios' toons.


In a back issue of the Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine, a question was asked of the readers, "Besides super strength, what do Popeye and Superman have in common?" and the readers were told that, "They both have beautiful girlfriends," was  the answer being sought.  Notice that the author felt that the idea that Popeye has a beautiful girlfriend would be one of the first things to pop into his reader's minds.



In a humor column on a comic book site, an author spoofed Popeye in a story called "Thimble Theater Of The Absurd."  (I can't recommend the story, or provide a link, though parts were funny, because it got VERY crude, but it still makes my point.)  In it, Popeye and Olive Oyl attend a party with other King Features Syndicate comic strip characters.  Olive tries to flirt with every male there and most of them respond in kind.  It turns out that The Phantom, Flash Gordon, Wimpy, and, of course, Bluto have all had affairs with Ms. Oyl in the past and are most anxious to do so again.  Even Little Nemo dreams about her.  Though, the author describes Olive in Segar terms, the idea that Olive was totally irresistible to men was in her mind as she wrote this piece.


In an article re-printed in the Fanclub News-Magazine from an Illinois newspaper, an author, thinking of the comic strip version of Ms. Oyl, ridiculed her lack of a figure and "pickle-nose."  However, he later schizophrenically referred to her as "a beauty."  (Actually, this type of schizophrenia is common when people write or talk about Olive.  A person can call her ugly one minute and "the fair Olive" the next.

Fred Grandinetti, a person I consider to be one of the world's foremost Popeye experts, noticed and noted the beautiful Olive Oyl of the Famous Studios' era.  In his commentary on the back of the Popeye trading cards, he marked Mess Production as the debut of "the more eye-pleasing appearance of Olive." 


And in his book, Popeye: An Illustrated History Of E.C. Segar's Character In Print, Radio, Television, And Film Appearances, 1929-1993, he writes:

When Famous Studios took over the production of the Popeye film series from the Fleischer Studios in 1942, they decided, starting with the 1945 cartoon Mess Production, to redesign Popeye's girlfriend.  Her hair became much fuller on the top of her head, and she developed - gasp! - a bust!  Mess Production includes a nice shot of Olive applying makeup; in this shot her newly discovered improvements are clearly visible.  She also began wearing a short-sleeved shirt, rather than her long-sleeved attire, and her trademark long shoes were replaced by high heels.



Richard Ranke brought to my attention that, in a book celebrating Popeye's 60th Anniversary, Glenn Mitchell, seemingly inspired by later Famous Studios' cartoons, summarizes Shape Ahoy in this manner: "A rare truce between Popeye and Bluto exists as they share a tropical island where women are banned.  Peace ends with the arrival of castaway Olive Oyl on a raft with her bloomers as a sail.  The boy's surreptitious attempts to woo the attractive stranger become open warfare until Olive's attentions are diverted by another castaway - Frank Sinatra!"   Notice that Olive is described as "attractive."


An online reviewer of the "70 Years" DVD was shocked by, in his words, "the fairly voluptuous Olive Oyl" of Parlez-Vous Woo.  Evidently he hadn't seen many of the Famous Studio's romance cartoons.




Someone who has seen many of those toons, the webmistress of the Animated Lust website, wrote this: "Yearbook entry for Olive - Most likely to succeed with guys."



In Animation World Magazine, issue 24, July 1997, Mark Langer, a film professor in Canada, writes about the Popeye cartoons.  Speaking of the Famous Studios' cartoons, he says, "A redesign of the major characters included white U.S. Navy uniforms for Bluto and Popeye (in keeping with their war-time service in the armed forces), and more comely fashions for Olive."



A message posted at Yesterdayland writes: "As depicted in the 1946-1957 Famous Studies cartoons was a BABE!  She was, in Bluto's words: 'The most delicious dish for a guy that's been starvin' fer a date!'  Interesting that the more I grew up and saw Popeye from that period, the more I could identify with Bluto."



 On a site about storytelling, I found this, which obviously is referring to the Famous Studios' or KFS Olive Oyl:

"Of course storytellers had to hone their acting skills. The best among them could play several
characters at a time, effortlessly shifting from the menacing vibrato of a Bluto-type villain to the sweet ‘Who, me?' tones of an Olive Oyl. 



On a site asking how a cartoon version of "Lord Of The Rings" should be cast: 

"Arwen - either Olive Oyl, Jessica Rabbit, or Minnie Mouse." 

   Notice that Olive is cast as a pretty character and Jessica Rabbit would be competing for the same role.



On another site about strong cartoon women who would do good in politics, I found this description:

" Olive Oyl -  A major guy magnet who manages to keep both Popeye and Brutus interested without going all the way."



The Drudge Report used the adjectives "lovely" and "sexy" to describe Olive Oyl.



A writer on the NET said that Gwyneth Paltrow was "an Olive Oyl lookalike, if there ever was one.", in a summary of the cartoon, A Haul In One, says that Popeye and Bluto "catch sight of their newest client, the ever-beautiful Olive Oyl."



British actress Jane Horrocks is flattered by the fact that one of her directors compared her to Olive Oyl.  And the article where this fact was found said that the comparison was an apt one because she has enormous eyes and constantly changing facial expressions and is "surprisingly pretty."



Ex-Charlie's Angel Kate Jackson though it was sweet when a boyfriend called her "Olive Oyl."



Many sites, attacking the Minute Maid commercial that some feel portrays Popeye and Bluto as being gay, used this sentence:

"The two sworn enemies are usually depicted as fighting for the attention of the lovely Olive Oyl in cartoons and comics."



Talking about the cartoons and Popeye and Bluto, a site says:

"Their duels are a delight, both for toddlers and the adults.  They've been cheered in their almost legendary wooing game for the comely Olive Oyl."



A page on olive oil (the food) calls Olive Oyl "a real fox."



In a humorous column on a sports webpage, while discussing young men being attracted to cartoon characters, an author writes:

"Such behavior dates back to Betty Boop, continued through Olive Oyl, and now is focused on Japanese imports."



On a message board, a poster reluctantly comes to the conclusion that Popeye must be gay.  He posts a picture from Friend Or Phony of Popeye handing Bluto a bouquet of flowers and can't believe that Popeye and Bluto would pass up Olive Oyl to be together in Minute Maid commercial saying:

"And, hey, Olive Oyl is a fox!"  (He then posts the close-up of Olive's face found on my site from Nearlyweds.)



In an online sermon, a pastor, making a point about God's faithfulness, used the illustration of Popeye being loyal to "that ideal of womanhood, Olive Oyl."



A poster writing about a battle between The Hulk and Popeye speculated that Popeye was a lucky guy because the fact that Betty Boop and Olive Oyl had the same voice may have meant that they were meant to be the same person.  I think this poster is right.  They were meant to be the same person, or, more accurately, the Famous Studios' Olive Oyl is a spiritual continuation of Betty Boop.  See my Hot Topics page for details.



In a DVD review of a collection of several public domain Popeye cartoons from the 50's, which didn't even feature Olive in her most attractive mode, a web writer showed that he, nonetheless, got Famous Studios' point when he posted:

"...Olive has even been given a makeover in an attempt to make her less geeky and more 50's ditzy.  In short, she's supposed to be a bit of a looker..."


Lessons In Life And Love

Jesus says that the Kingdom Of Heaven starts small, but grows and grows, and that a little bit of yeast leavens the whole loaf.  A "little bit" of pretty Olive Oyl went a long way in America's collective thoughts.  Even though the "little bit" you do for the Lord may not seem like much in the face of everything else going on in the world, the kind, encouraging word you say to another, the morality you exhibit in your words and your daily behavior, the Sunday School class you teach, etc., may have long-term cumulative effects that you are as yet unaware of.  Who knows?  Maybe you'll make an impression on the hearts and minds of those around you so that, even if they are first inclined to reject Jesus as unappealing, something will be there inside them which will say, "Yeah, but I knew a Christian who was okay.  If Jesus is like him or her, then maybe Jesus is all right, after all."







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


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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.


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.