The Famous Studios'
As I point out on my Drab To Fab page, it was often her voice, character, attitude, motions, actions, reactions, etc., which helped endear her to so many of us baby boomers.
Below, listed film-by-film, are examinations of how Olive's beauty was more than just skin deep.
LESSONS IN LIFE AND LOVE
Make sure your beauty and the beauty of those who attract you is more than skin deep. And even if on the surface you're not much, you can still become attractive as you let your spirit shine through. Work on all aspects of your being, not just on your appearance.
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* When Popeye and Olive are seen on the raft, it's Ms. Oyl who is busy scanning the horizon, looking for signs of hope and a future. Popeye is just sitting there bored.
* Olive's romance with Mr. Crusoe seems quite proper. At first, on the beach, when he's welcoming her with kisses all over her hand, arm, and shoulder, she lets him know she likes it (she's clearly delighted, and then is shocked when Popeye interrupts) and strikes a flirty pose, but still gives him a little message that he needs to go slower - "Mr. Crusoe, must you schmooze sooo (Laughs)?"
Later, as they have dinner together, Olive first concentrates on the food (as befits a starving castaway)
and only after Crusoe's third try at pitching woo does she give in with her eyes closed and a dreamy expression on her face as he holds her head in his hands and they both pucker up.
On the couch with Mr. Crusoe, though she seems to enjoy his advances and gives him an encouraging gesture, she also answers his, "L'amour! L'amour! It's you I adore," with, "Mr. Crusoe, such highfalutin language!"
Finally, alone with Robinson in the bungalow, she gives him the doe-eyed "come hither" look right from the start
and doesn't even playfully resist as he answers her unspoken invitation and wraps his arms around her. In other words, Olive let the love affair take its course. She took her time (relative to a six minute cartoon) and didn't move right into the smooching.
* As she and Crusoe come to the table, she proves herself a lady by letting him seat her and push in her chair.
* On the couch, Olive first sweetly and innocently looks at Crusoe's etchings, as though that's what he truly brought her back to his place to do.
* When Popeye interrupts during the bungalow scene, Olive puts her hand on Crusoe's shoulder and then twice wraps her arms around Crusoe's massive arm. It's as though she's finally fallen in love and will stand by her man even when an old boyfriend/friend appears on the scene.
* Of course, after Crusoe violently dispatches Popeye right in front of her, she sees him for what he is and rejects him.
* She cheers for Popeye even as she's turning on the log and being repeatedly dunked in the water. Which of us could do that? (It helps to be a cartoon character.)
* At the end of the cartoon, she seems to have learned her lesson that not everything that initially looks good really is. (Of course, being a cartoon character, she'll forget it by the next film. Hopefully, we being "real people" can do better.)
* Realizing who her true boyfriend should be, she uses flirty, feminine motions while talking with Popeye at the end.
* Olive spends time getting made up to celebrate Popeye's birthday.
* She rushes forward and gives The Sailorman a big kiss for his birthday.
* Olive welcomes Popeye's guest and "new friend" with a kiss, too, that leaves the little guy floating on air.
* When Popeye's cake comes out well, Olive is all excited.
* Ms. Oyl shows that she is not one to be trifled with as she breaks up with Popeye when she thinks he's been the one wrecking her apartment and injuring her.
* The cartoon opens with Olive enthusiastically traveling to a resort, looking forward to her and Popeye's vacation.
* Olive originally just wants to have fun. She's not going to the resort to meet guys or to dump Popeye.
* Olive's exuberant exhortation to Popeye, "Let's live!" while joyously throwing her hands in the air sums up the Famous Studios' Olive Oyl's philosophy and personality.
* Notice that she does give Popeye the first chance to be with her and only gets mad and leaves him after he blows her off.
* At points in the film, Olive has a decidedly feminine walk - when she's first coming over to Popeye's hammock and also as she's leaving that scene, and when she leaves the golf course with Bluto.
* When Olive arrives at the pool for athletic lessons, she finds herself in an unspoken competition with the other ladies for the instructor's attention. She is poised and unintimidated, confident in herself and her appeal. And, sure enough, one pose and the batting of lovely eyes later and she's won Bluto's heart. Confidence, without arrogance, can be very appealing.
* This cartoon gives us another look at Olive falling in love and completely giving herself to the romance. She flirts, compliments, snuggles, and goes cheek-to-cheek. Olive gushes over the simple gift of an apple on an arrow.
But she still does her patented "pull away without pulling away or discouraging" move at the golf course, indicating that she's definitely interested but that she's not rushing things either. Olive likes things to proceed at a natural pace and wants to know a guy before getting physical. It's only after she and Bluto have spent a lot of time together (for a six minute cartoon) that she happily doesn't budge when he starts to kiss her and goes off with him to a very romantic spot where they can be totally all alone, boating on the lake.
As Bluto serenades her with guitar and voice, she is REALLY appreciative and effected to her core, so she swoons the mother of all swoons and puts herself in a position that says she totally trusts Bluto (big mistake), gives him a romantic, "I'm in love with you," look, and closes her eyes with a contented expression on her face that says, "I don't think there's a way I could possibly feel any better."
Unfortunately, she'll quickly discover that Bluto knows a way. But before that happens, as Bluto begins his fast "I'm a male taking my mate home" rowing, Olive lifts her feet up and down in a rhythm to match his strokes. It's cute and gives the impression that she's driving the romance forward, too, and that she's in sync with Bluto (as her facial expressions have been in many frames of the cartoon.)
* Olive actually seems to be enjoying both the sports activities and the wooing, a fact that makes a very effective scene on the tennis court possible. Olive is caught up in the game, rejoicing over every good hit she and Bluto make. Bluto matches her exuberance and the two seem totally in sync, but then we realize what's really happening. Olive is innocently zeroing in on the ball, while the wolf is zeroing in on Olive. She's just enjoying herself while he's maneuvering her into position for a kiss.
* Olive gets pretty angry at Popeye throughout the cartoon, but with good reason. He's trying to horn in on her date with another guy. She utterly rejects him, as she should, and keeps leaving him behind to go off with Bluto and start a new activity. Even so, she mercifully gives Popeye a chance at the tennis court to join in the fun. She then accepts Bluto's invitation for a "canoeing lesson" after it looks as if Popeye has blown her off again. She walks past Popeye without giving him so much as a glance, focusing all her attention on her date.
* Olive lets out two sexy "Ohhh"s in this cartoon, one when she's startled in a pleasant situation (the arrow returning with the apple) and one when she's in jeopardy (Bluto has hooked her and is yanking her into the boat).
* When Bluto whisks Olive into his island cabin without asking and locks her in with him, she rejects him. The big idiot moved way too far way too fast. If he had just gently started kissing her on the lake, he would have had all the necking he wanted and would have cemented Olive's affections toward him instead of repelling her. As it is, Olive rightly won't let a guy take her farther than she wants to go. She yells for help from Popeye and tries to escape out a window and even through the chimney. Off camera, she breaks away from Bluto after he kisses her and then we see her break down the side door using it as a sort of raft to help her paddle away and she scolds, "You keep your hands to you!" As Bluto is pulling her into his boat, she smacks him in the face with a fish and calls him an octopus.
* Her whistling and calling for a taxi, as she's trying to escape the cabin, and her trying to sidetrack Bluto, as he's got her trapped in the net and is drawing her close for an inevitable kiss, by asking him if he's read any good books lately, are sweet in their futility.
* She girlishly recoils as Bluto falls out of the sky and Popeye belts him.
* At the end of the cartoon, Olive has found a way to throw herself into having fun with Popeye, even though he's making only a minimal effort, if you can even call it that, and is basically ignoring her again. Granted that there's a visual joke involved, but repeated viewings of this cartoon and others made me feel sorry for Olive. She's a sweet girl who deserves better. I began to wish that the other guys hadn't blown it.
* At the start of the cartoon, Olive is innocently engaged in reading a book, oblivious to the effect she's having on guys going by.
* She enjoys flirting with the boys, yet acts endearingly self-effacing at the same time. She's delighted for the attention and lets them know it, but is coy as well.
* She cheers for Popeye and hugs herself when he succeeds.
* Once again, Olive is sweetly oblivious to what she's doing to the guys.
* Her job of mercy comes before romance.
* Olive is a confident showgirl.
* She rejects the known outlaw right off the bat.
* She praises her hero and snuggles with him at the end - "Love that sheriff!"
* Olive's kisses revitalize Popeye like spinach
* She defends Popeye and encourages him over Bluto throughout the film.
* Popeye needs her help to start the race.
* Olive goes to kiss and congratulate Popeye at the end.
* This cartoon shows us that, while Olive appreciates the finer things in life (she's impressed with The Count's penthouse and gushes over the expensive fur coat he gives her),
she can also have just as much fun and get just as emotive in a park feeding squirrels,
or can get excited over having a hot dog from an outdoor vendor.
In other words, she's a "cheap date" (in the best sense of that term). She just enjoys life!
* Olive is appreciative of Popeye's ability with animals and tells him so.
* Olive is sweetly, blissfully unaware that feeding the squirrels is causing her to strike a revealing pose which is guaranteed to attract the playboy's attention, nor that wiggling the peanut in her mouth is sexy in its own way.
* When Olive is in love, she totally throws herself into the romance. The Count's passionate kiss lifts her off the ground, causing her to kick her feet together and then straighten out in a delighted "stun mode." As he kisses her arms and hand, she has a dreamy, pleased expression on her face and briefly snuggles cheek-to-cheek with him (this is particularly evident when the scene is viewed in slow motion). At the hot dog cart, Olive takes the initiative by putting her arm around his and leading him away from Popeye. As the two stroll off together, their steps are perfectly in sync and Olive, with an enraptured look on her face, focuses her entire attention on The Count, never even looking where she's going.
She trusts The Count. She laughs when her new beau bests Popeye and happily goes horse back riding with him, willingly accepting his invitation to view his "penthouse in the clouds."
* Olive seems to want to do what's right and proper when interacting with royalty. She stops Popeye from slugging The Count and gives an embarrassed, apologetic laugh. Then she officially introduces Popeye to The Count and curtsies before him.
* Olive has a very feminine walk in two scenes of this cartoon, first when strolling arm-in-arm with The Count and then when she does her sexy fashion model show for him in his penthouse.
* Speaking of the fashion show, Olive may just be caught up in the fantasy and excitement of owning a fur coat or may be purposely flirting with The Count. Both would be in character.
* When Olive is riding with The Count, watch her hands. They start out on the saddle, but then end up on his shoulders. And when the horse is entering the elevator, Olive suddenly sits way forward in expectation, leaning against The Count, eagerly trying to see what's coming next. It's a nice touch by the creators and heightens the already high sexual tension over what will happen in the penthouse, but it also gives the impression that Olive feels that she's taken her time with The Count, can trust him now, and is ready for some serious romancing.
* Olive exhibits some very feminine motions, stances, and mannerisms in this cartoon. At the end of the duel, as she's laughing uproariously, she hugs herself. She puts her hands together in pleasure when she sees The Count's rich, palatial digs. As she examines the coat and gushes over it, she is standing and moving in decidedly female ways. And as The Count is helping her on with it, her movements are demure, yet flirty, and queenly ladylike.
* When swooning over the coat, she uses a sexy voice - "Oh, oh, it's wonderful! (Gasp!) It's gorgeous! (Gasp) It's just too, too!"
* After The Count's extremely wolfish plans are revealed as Olive is tricked into the straight jacket, she completely rejects him and keeps managing to elude him despite the encumbrance.
* At the end of the cartoon, Olive's laughs the righteous laugh of a wronged woman who has seen justice done.
* Olive is excited about the movie, not worried as Popeye is. She tries to get him to calm down.
* Olive chides Popeye to get him to behave during the screening.
* She enthusiastically cheers during the right time in the movie.
* In the last scenes, she has a feminine walk
when going to the limo and an inviting look on her face as she snuggles with Popeye
* She swoons over our hero and wastes no time wooing him.
* Olive enthusiastically cheers during the
* Olive Oyl's picture comes to life and tacks down her billowing skirt in order to protect her modesty.
* Olive happily sings and skips as she's doing the laundry and her song emphasizes the positive.
* She has a flirty laugh and giggle when she's with Popeye.
* Hill gal Olive stands up to Bluto, defending Popeye as her man, then she jumps into Popeye's arms and snuggles with him cheek-to-cheek.
* Grabbing her rescuer, she gives him a big kiss at the end.
* The first scenes capture the paradox that is the Famous Studios' Olive Oyl (and that was Betty Boop as depicted by some of these same creators before her). On the one hand, she knows she's pretty and likes to get all dolled up, enjoying what her appearance does to guys, and enjoying, basically, being a girl.
On the other hand, she can be sweetly oblivious to the males around her and just go about doing her daily job. It's a paradox that works for the character, and works in real life, too. There's a big difference between an attractive person who wants to look nice at work and one who is consciously "on the prowl." We may respect the former, but shake our heads over the latter.
* When Bluto initially tries to flirt with Olive, she is annoyed. After all, she has a job to do and is trying to get to it. But then, being the romantic she is, she enjoys the flirtation. She is coy and self-effacing during it. And after it ends, she goes right back to work. Obviously, she's not there to waste the company's time.
* Olive wants to reward Popeye, the guy who saved her, with a kiss.
* During her "sleepwalking" sequence, Olive gets some feminine looks on her face and at the end of the film, as she's come out of the trance, she is very female after she has kissed Popeye.
* Olive innocently strikes a very revealing pose while she's working.
* Throughout the film, she cheers for, and encourages, guys doing a good job.
* Olive acts cute at the beginning of the cartoon, enjoying her day on the bay with Popeye while eating three ice cream cones at once (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, of course.)
* At first, Olive is innocently looking around at her surroundings, unaware that Pierre is ogling her.
* She's understandably ecstatic when her ice prison is being melted by Pierre's fiery gaze, but her facial expression also matches Pierre's, implying, too, that she's getting turned on by it all and that she's happy she can give a guy "the hots" (in this case, literally).
* She's appreciative of the fur coat Pierre gives her. "It's just gorgeous!"
* Olive puts on a mini fashion show, parading around in the coat. She seems to be caught up in the joy and fantasy of having a full-length fur coat and is utterly and sweetly oblivious to the fact that Pierre is about to lustily grab her.
* Wanting to look her best for a date with Pierre, Olive powders her face wearing a happy, confident, and expectant look on her face. She's clearly enjoying the process of getting "all prettied up" for her man and looking forward to what the evening with him will bring.
* After Pierre blows a bubble shaped like a heart and it pops during the scene where the two of them are using bubble gum as a courting prop, Olive gives him a sexy, flirty, encouraging laugh.
* Olive naively concentrates on blowing her own gigantic bubble, while Pierre eagerly waits to pop it with a pin so that she'll end up in his arms for a kiss.
* Speaking of the attempted kiss, as I point out in the Fun With Slo-Mo section of my Were The Creators On Bluto's Side? page, there are different ways to interpret what happened. Each of them still makes Olive attractive, though. If she's starting to pucker up, it's because she's spent time with Pierre, had fun, and now is going to share a kiss. If she is turning away because she doesn't want the kiss, it can't be because she doesn't like Pierre as the cartoon up to that point proves the contrary. It may be, however, that Olive thinks Pierre is moving too fast. She wants the wooing to continue, but doesn't want to rush the physical aspects of a relationship. If she's suddenly stunned by Popeye's reappearance and brought back to the reality of having two beaus competing for her, it's because she gets so totally caught up in a guy romancing her that it's like nothing else (or nobody else) exists.
* When Pierre immobilizes Popeye in the bear trap and is proceeding to launch him away attached to the giant harpoon, Olive is shocked and then leaps to Popeye's defense, even futilely beating on Pierre.
* After seeing what Pierre did to Popeye, Olive rejects him utterly, running away from him as he tries to kiss her,
finally trying to find refuge by locking herself in a pot-bellied stove.
* Olive ends the cartoon happy, safe, and
contented, though on a long trek back to Miami.
* Olive patiently plays checkers with Popeye while they are stranded at sea.
* She tries to lift the anchor to save Popeye.
* Participating in the dispatching of the villains, Olive sews the ghosts together to form a sail for the ship. This seems to have been her idea. She's sort of a cartoon universe MacGuyver!
* Olive gives credit where credit is due. At the end of the cartoon she sings a song about Popeye and hugs him.
* Olive takes on the task of hosting Christmas for Popeye and his nephews at her house.
* Gladly participating in the kid's Christmas fantasy, Olive envies their innocent belief in Santa Claus and wishes there was a Santa Claus for adults, too.
* She joyfully throws herself into the Christmas decorating.
* When her fantasy comes true, she lets out a delighted squeal, "Oooohhh! It's Santa Claus!"
* Olive innocently acts like a Christmas hostess, offering Santa a Santa-like thing, hot chocolate. She doesn't at first realize his intentions, even though he's called her "Babe" and put his arm around her. And though he's quite handsome, she's not instantly trying to win him or to dump Popeye, but seems content to have him just join her and Popeye for holiday fun.
* She has a self-effacing, yet expectant, flirty, and even sexy laugh when Popeye calls her to the mistletoe.
* When Olive does fall in love, though, she really falls deeply in love. She really gets into the wooing when she realizes Santa's intentions. As she snuggles with him on the couch, her eyes are closed and she has a contented look on her face. She shares Santa's facial expressions as the bag with Popeye in it comes crashing into the couch, sending the lovers flying and landing with thumps beside The Sailorman. They look as if they had been in their own romantic little world and that Popeye stunned them and pulled them out of their dream. Later, when Olive and Santa are decorating the tree together and she's in his arms, she's enraptured, delighted with both the activity and the flirting. When Santa says, "Ah, My Dear, too bad Christmas comes but once a year," she responds with a very sexy and inviting laugh and then sighs and answers, "Drop in any time at all, Santa." Then, once again, she shares Santa's reaction to Popeye interrupting. They both are shocked and surprised - Santa probably didn't think Popeye could recover so quickly from the train trap, but for Olive, it's as though she forgot anyone else was in the house as long as she was with Santa. She was totally caught up in the lovemaking, and then Popeye disrupted the mood.
* But even though Popeye butted into her romance with Santa, Olive still was nice to him and happily and willingly welcomed him into the tree decorating.
* Olive gets righteously indignant when Santa dynamites Popeye away.
* When Santa is revealed to be Bluto, OLive lets out a feminine, emotional yell in an endearing voice which reflects hurt over a lost dream, "Why, you're not Santa Claus! You're Bluto!" She fights off his advances, flees, and calls for help.
Olive gains some points, I suppose, for being a
modern woman who doesn't wait for the guy to make the first move. This
time, she invites Bluto to go out on the lake in a rowboat with her.
But, Olive is way out of character throughout the rest of the cartoon.
She's cruel and laughs over other people's pain, discomfort, and humiliation,
while she herself can't take a joke. She prefers Bluto almost from the
word "Go," though he's not being charming here, just a bully.
Then, at the end of the film, she suddenly, inexplicably shifts her
allegiance to Popeye! This cartoon is not one of Olive's shining
* Olive lets herself get caught up in the romance of her surroundings.
* She gives Popeye a chance to pick up on her cue and get romantic with her. But he makes a joke and hurries off to indulge in a long bath. And when he returns, he shows no inclination to get intimate. He just wants to continue the journey!
* Olive continues her fantasy, only this time without Popeye, and rightly so in my humble opinion. She daydreams, sighing, "I wish I could meet a big, strong, sheik who'd kiss me all to pieces and leave me sooo weak," and then gasps and swoons. When she finds a sheik who's more than willing to do just that, she's willing to spend what looks like her life savings for her dream.
In fact, she throws herself into her fantasy, happily remarking as the sheik carries her off, "Oh, boy! Just like in the movies!"
Then she plays the part of harem girl to the hilt, putting on the outfit, striking a pose, and wiggling her hips while saying in her best Mae West voice, "Mmmmm, I feel so Cleopatric!"
* When Olive first sees the sheik, she lets out a sexy, "Oh, bar-uh-ther! (gasps) Hubba, Hubba, Hubba, Hubba!"
* This cartoon gives us a chance to see what Olive in love is like. She responds to the sheik's kisses throughout the cartoon. True, her reactions are slapsticky, but they convey that her man turns her on. At one point she even enthuses, "Look at me! I'm a lovebird! I'm a lovebird!"
* Olive willingly gives in to the sheik in his tent, swooning, "Oooooh, Sheiky!" and letting him take her in his arms and move in for a kiss on the lips. Why does she do that in this cartoon and not others? It's interesting that in this cartoon, the sheik proposes marriage to her first. She thinks he's committing himself to her and that makes the difference.
* Olive moves in very feminine ways and has feminine mannerisms as she approaches the sheik's booth, getting out and offering her money, and when she arrives with the sheik at his tent,
curtseying before him (in fact, her movements are elegant in that scene), and as she walks away from Popeye and the sheik after giving them the peace pipe.
* Olive gives a flirty laugh as the sheik bids her to enter his tent and then, when she sees that it's so rich, ornate, palatially spacious, and bigger on the inside than it is on the outside (This is a cartoon universe, remember?), she says in a breathless, sexy, my wildest-dreams-are-coming-true voice, "I don't believe it!"
* When Popeye interrupts the sheik and Olive in the clinch, Olive tries to play peacemaker between the battling beaus.
* Olive becomes upset with the sheik when he's getting rid of Popeye. She tries to stop him to no avail. After Popeye is gone, she tells the sheik that she hates him because of what he's done to Popeye. She refuses to smooch with him and tries to get away.
* At the end of the cartoon, Olive adores and kisses her hero, Popeye.
* Olive cheers for, coaches, and encourages Popeye throughout the cartoon.
* Popeye would have lost the race if not for Olive Oyl! She saves him from Bluto's first trap and gets him going in the right direction. Later, she revives him after the mine explosion. Then, she pumps him his spinach when he's at the bottom of the Channel, encased in cement.
* Even though she was embarrassed by Popeye, she still stands by him and helps him re-knit his suit.
* Olive has a feminine walk at the beginning of the cartoon.
* She's all excited about her day at the beach, feeling alive and romantic. She makes a pun and tells Popeye "The beach just sands me," and closes her eyes with a delighted expression on her face while hugging her hands together.
* Though the focus of the cartoon is on Olive's
romance with the lifeguard, Popeye actually doesn't do too badly in this
department either. Olive wants to be alone with him in an
"excluded spot." She swoons over the spot that he
Later she's pleased when Popeye comes up with a way to ride the waves, telling him he's "smart like anything." Putting her arms around his shoulders, they start off on the rubber horse.
* She lets out a cute, "Hmmm?" when Popeye and the equipment go flying.
* In fact, it's Olive's cute laugh and voice which initially attract the lifeguard's attention.
* Olive applies make-up at the beach innocently oblivious to the fact that the lifeguard is giving her the once over and having one of the all-time great Wolf Reactions (For lots of Wolf Reactions, see the Wolf Reactions page). While she's using her compact, she has a happy, flirty, dreamy expression on her face. Was she doing this for Popeye, or for all the guys on the beach, or for herself? Here, once again we have the appealing paradox of the Famous Studios' Olive Oyl - she's the totally innocent total flirt.
* Not actually seeing Popeye being dispatched the first time, her attention is caught by the handsome lifeguard. Once again, we see what Olive's like when she's being romantic or even falling in love. She totally throws herself into it and blocks out any distractions around her. When Popeye is dispatched the second time, she appears not to notice. She's too caught up with the lifeguard. When he reappears the second time, she seems suddenly shocked back to reality. Before that happens, though, she swoons over the lifeguard's physique and loves his way of wooing. He does show some real finesse, giving her an "I'm in the mood for love" look as he eats a sandwich using the hand on the arm that's around her, pulling her close with each bite and leaving no doubt what else he's hungry for.
Olive responds (of course, that's what Olive does best) with an enraptured, "Ooooo...(laughs)...Mr. Lifeguard!" She willingly snuggles with him but draws away just minutely enough to be demure and keep him interested. Olive lets him know she's definitely interested but slows things down just a pace to keep the fun courting going. Then, after they've been together for awhile (according to the time restraints relative to a six minute cartoon), it seems like she was going to let him kiss her...but Popeye interrupts.
Later, when the lifeguard rescues her, she comes on to him big time with her facial expression, body language, and "(large gasp) You saved my life (little gasp), you great, big hunk of hero!"
The two then gaze adoringly at each other and she then gives him a flirty "I'm yours," laugh while watching him dive.
* She doesn't want Popeye and the lifeguard to fight or even necessarily to be in competition. It upsets and worries her. Instead, she'd rather have the three of them spend the day together playing games.
* Though she got distracted (and how!) by the lifeguard, she cares about Popeye, too, and warns him to be careful when he's diving.
* She's shocked and horrified at what the lifeguard does to the pool in order to get rid of Popeye. She yells for Popeye to turn back, but it's too late. Popeye is gone and Olive turns on the lifeguard, "You, you sea monster! What have you done to my Popeye?!?!?!?!?"
* Having seen the lifeguard's true character, she rejects his attempts to neck with her on the boat even though it leads to him throwing her overboard holding on to the line.
* Olive cheerfully throws herself into giving her dog a bath, singing, "It's A Hap, Hap, Happy Day," and popping bubbles in time to the beat with her fingers and nose.
* She wants her French Poodle to give Popeye a smooch.
* Her feminine will and wiles win out over a protesting Popeye and he ends up taking the dog for a walk.
* Though Olive certainly enjoys the attention she receives from men, she doesn't want the rivals for her heart to physically pound on each other. She's essentially peace loving and won't go out with either Popeye or Bluto unless they promise to stop fighting.
Her initial desire in this cartoon is that all three of them together can enjoy a day at the beach.
And after they arrive, she invites both men to go swimming with a giggle. And though she strolls away with Bluto after they've changed into their bathing suits, Bluto has told her that they'd meet "that slowpoke Popeye" on the beach.
She didn't know that Bluto had tried to fix it so that Popeye would be trapped inside the bath house and never show up. It's only after it seems as if Popeye, and later, Bluto, have broken their promises that she rejects them.
* Olive throws herself into having a fun day at the beach. In the car, she has her eyes closed in happy anticipation. She quickly scampers up the ladder to the diving board ahead of Bluto and, without hesitation, jumps off into space. She has a blissful look on her face as she's falling through the air toward the water, confident in the dive she's executing. After she hits the water, she cheerfully swims to the edge of the pool. She's already enjoying life again after the unpleasant interlude with Popeye and isn't letting anything totally ruin her day. Later, as Bluto is giving her swimming lessons, it seems like she's into the instruction and exercise as well as the wooing (see the 6th paragraph below). In fact, it seems as though the reason she didn't realize that Popeye was playing his underwater trick and moving her away from Bluto and, then, that Bluto was finally dispatching Popeye, was that she was so into these things.
* Olive's not a dippy, dumb push-over. She has a look of suspicion and caution on her face initially when Bluto says he will drive and also when he invites her to join him on the sand while they wait for Popeye to catch up.
* She gives Popeye several reminders to stop breaking his promise and a couple of chances to repent before she decides she'd rather be exclusively with Bluto for the rest of the day and on into the night.
* Though shocked and angry at the boys for fighting at her doorstep, she nonetheless has a decidedly female voice when she screams, "(Gasp!) Boys! Boys! Break it up!"
* Like a lady, Olive happily lets Popeye help her into, and Bluto help her out of, the car.
* Olive has very feminine, appealing body language in parts of the cartoon: her stance and walk as she happily comes toward Bluto after he's taken her hand and escorted her out of the car; her mannerisms and her walk again as she scolds Popeye, and then as Bluto helps her up and offers to take her away from "this ruffian;" her gait and stance as Bluto walks her back to the changing booths and then asks her for a date.
And Olive has a flirty, coquettish look on her face as she pulls away and out of the scene after kissing Popeye.
* This cartoon, along with many others, shows us what Olive's like when she's in love. As she drives off with Bluto, her facial expression changes from suspicious to neutral, and by the time they reach the beach, it's happy and smitten. Evidently she thought that Bluto was a gentleman to offer to drive and he probably pitched woo to her during the whole trip as he does throughout the rest of the cartoon. So after they pull into the parking spot, Olive only has eyes for Bluto and doesn't notice that the rest of the car is gone. She gives Bluto a big smile as he comes around to her, opens the door for her, and takes her hand and helps her out. In fact, she keeps moving toward Bluto so that the two are coming together, presumably for a hug or a kiss.
Popeye, of course, squeezes between them and pushes them apart. After she and Bluto have put on their swimming attire, she lets him take her arm and gets in step with him. She seems to get a slightly happier expression on her face the longer they stroll.
Later, after they have set up under a beach umbrella and are sitting on the blanket together, Bluto says in a sexy voice, "Isn't the beach romantic, Olive?" She lets him hold her hand and put his other arm around her to draw her close and hold her. She gives him the eye and turns her head away in a flirting manner that's clearly inviting him to pursue her further. Then in response to Bluto's wooing, she turns back toward him and snuggles into his chest. Her eyes are closed and she's in a dreamlike, contented, and happy state. When Popeye interrupts, she shares Bluto's shock, but doesn't pull away from the big guy. She only breaks away to stop Popeye from slugging Bluto. Then she happily lets Bluto lead her away from Popeye, delighted to be "rescued" and that Bluto's still being romantic and calling her "Sunshine."
She has a look on her face that says she admires him, too. And, as Bluto later gives her swimming lessons by holding her suspended in the water with his hands and arms around her tummy and waist while saying sweet nothings to her in a romantic voice, she has a delighted, contented, and yet excited look on her face. Afterward, they stroll happily hand-in-hand and in step toward the bath houses. When Bluto asks her for a date, she finds a creative way to enthusiastically say, "Yes," using a pun.
She moves her head toward Bluto with a cute expression on her face while accepting and, as she enters the booth to change, it's obvious from her features that she's looking forward in joyous, excited anticipation to what she knows will be a romantic supper. She comes out of the booth with a happy, expectant look on her face. Thank goodness for spinach, or Olive and Bluto would have been sharing a dessert of kisses later, and I don't mean candy ones!
* Olive's delight quickly turns to shock as she sees the results of Popeye's spinach trick - Bluto is pummeling The Sailorman. She marches angrily right over to Bluto and announces, "You broke your promise, you brute! I'm through with you!" Then Olive gives him an uppercut that sends him flying into the air to land, trapped, in a trash can. Hell hath no fury like a woman who believes she has been lied to! Olive's morality and sense of decency take precedence over her hormones and romantic feelings.
* Tending to the injured Popeye, Olive uses a sympathetic voice and covers him with kisses. Popeye enjoys it thoroughly and thinks it was worth getting beat up for!
A GENERAL OBSERVATION: This cartoon is the perfect illustration of one of the points I'm trying to make on this page - that attraction entails more than just good looks. Because in Pre-Hysterical Man, Olive isn't drawn all that pretty, at least to me. She's sort of a cross between the plain jane Fleischer Olive and the Famous Studios' eye-catcher. Plus, she stretches and contorts during some scenes the way only cartoon characters can. Yet, she's still very attractive throughout the film due to her actions, mannerisms, and attitudes. (To be fair, I've known guys who think Olive is a cutie in this cartoon and may want to include it in their own Top 20 lists of "Pretty Olive Oyl Films," but I think they are being influenced by the way Ms. Oyl's personality comes across, not by her appearance, thereby proving my point.)
* When we first see Olive, she's happily participating in Popeye's anthropological expedition, eagerly scanning her surroundings through a telescope.
* Arriving at the top of the rock formation/mountain, Olive appreciates the stimulating environment, breathing in deeply, hugging herself, rubbing her hands together, and striking a dramatic pose so that Popeye can take her picture.
* She's not self-centered, asking, "Is this pose all right, Popeye?" and obviously valuing his opinion.
* To those Olive Oyl detractors who say that anytime she's in trouble all she does is yell, "Help, Popeye," I point out that when a bird makes her realize that she's fallen off the top of the formation and is now plunging to her doom, she resourcefully (as only a cartoon character can) uses her nylon stockings as parachutes. And when she gets to the bottom of the deep, hidden ravine, she first tries to find a way out herself. It's only when she's about to be a meal for a hungry dinosaur that she yells for help. And later, encountering the same dinosaur, Olive thinks fast, covering all bases when she yells, "Help! Murder! Police! Popeye!"
* When the caveman rescues her from the dino, she's understandably excited to see him and smitten. She strikes a flirty pose. After he uses his club to court her and to "ask" her to be his mate as cavemen did in cartoons and comedies made during that era (though now he'd be arrested for domestic violence), she leaps into the air forming hearts with her arms and legs. Pronouncing him, "Wonderful," Olive than leans way over to him with an enraptured look on her face, putting her hands together in a feminine gesture of delight. From the expression on his face, the caveman gets her message of acceptance and so does photographer Popeye, who is observing the goings on from high atop the formation (his one eye must be way better than 20/20) and makes one of the greatest double entendres of the whole cartoon series - "Wow! I hopes Olive ain't overexposed!" As Popeye drifts down, Mary Poppins' style, Olive has let her hair down for the caveman and is letting him gently drag her back to his place as fictional caveman are wont to do. She has one shoe playfully half off and is using a daisy to happily, dreamily play, "He loves me, he loves me not." When Popeye tries to interrupt, the caveman and Olive go right over the top of him, barely noticing The Sailorman. Olive asks, "Oh, Popeye, isn't he wonderful?" When Olive gives her heart to someone, she REALLY gives her heart to someone. (I'm glad none of my exes ever asked me if I thought their new beaus were wonderful!! Yet, this illustrates another point I've made elsewhere on this site, namely, that in the Famous Studios' cartoons, Popeye seems to be just one of Olive's potential suitors, or a friend, or a brotherly figure who maybe someday could be something more, but not her steady boyfriend.)
* After Popeye wins the baseball game, which mutated Bugs Bunny-style from a fight between he and the caveman over Olive, Ms. Oyl comes out of her romantic fantasy and back to reality. Recognizing the heroic cleverness and toughness of Popeye, she cheers for him and lets him start to lead her out of The Land That Time Forgot back to the world where she belongs.
* Things change between Olive and the caveman. Now, he snatches her against her will and carries her into his cave. She's shocked and scared as he locks the door and then hungrily advances on her. The look on Olive's face is one of a female who knows she's endangered as she backs away from the caveman. All of his carvings on the wall (the caveman equivalent of "girlie pictures" and centerfolds) add to our sense of Olive's desperation as she backs past them. She had counted on romance and love, not being at the mercy of a wolfish bachelor. She asks to be let out, but the tone of her voice indicates that she know her request is falling on deaf ears. And because the caveman is forcing his will on her, she doesn't enjoy the repeated kissing which she would have gladly participated in earlier in the cartoon. (Guys, please take note!) Thanks to Popeye's intervention, she's able to get away. But, alas for Olive, The Sailorman is no match for the caveman this time and the villain is quickly in hot pursuit once again. Reaching a dead end, Olive desperately and naively jumps up on the caveman's bed. (Girls, if you ever find yourself trapped in a guy's apartment, it's not really a good idea to get on his bed!) But, thanks to the way things work in the cartoon universe, the hide-away springs back into the wall once again, knocking Olive through the rock face and into the great outdoors. She continues to protect her virtue by hiding behind a waterfall. When the caveman, using Toon World powers, parts the water and finds her, she has her hands over her eyes in a sweet, but futile, attempt to save herself from what's coming next. Olive quickly zips the waterfall together again. It's a good sight gag, but, in light of what was happening, and because a zipper was used, it also conveys the sense that Olive is chastely covering herself up. Of course, the caveman plunges in and Olive is able to swim upstream in an attempt to get away. (Being a cartoon character has its advantages.)
* At the end of the cartoon she's driving away with her hero, Popeye, she has her arms tightly around him, snuggling cheek-to-cheek, with her eyes closed and a dreamy expression on her face.
* The woman, who also vocalized the legendary Betty Boop, outdoes herself portraying Olive Oyl in two scenes of this cartoon. As she's rapturously being dragged away by the caveman and Popeye asks her if she's hurt, she replies in the very feminine, teasing voice of one who is looking forward to physical displays of affection or who has just been ravished (emotionally in this case), "(sexy giggle) Of course not, You Silly! A real caveman saved me!" And when she's behind the waterfall, she lets out what is possibly the sexiest sneeze ever recorded.
* When we first see Indian maiden Olive Oyl, she's taking a shower in a waterfall, singing and enjoying every minute of it,
innocently oblivious to the fact that her silhouette keep striking eye-pleasing poses and that she's about to meet Popeye while she's clad only in her "Indian bikini."
* Olive's sense of propriety is offended as she encounters Popeye. She's scared of him and doesn't appreciate his wolf whistle or his attentions or intentions. Far from being what one writer called "a mischievous miss on the make," she quickly ducks behind a bush to get fully clothed and emerges with a bow and arrow to defend herself.
* Through a series of mishaps that can only happen in a cartoon universe, Olive and Popeye wind up inadvertently passionately kissing. Olive, acting like a young woman in love for the first time, finds that she likes it and him. In a charming anachronism (one of many in this cartoon), she calls him "heap hep." Then the two spend time kissing, hugging, and snuggling cheek-to-cheek.
* Meanwhile, the chief is smoking a pipe and we see that Olive is on his mind - AND How!!
Olive just goes about her daily business, blissfully unaware that guys are having sexy fantasies about her. (Girls, until we all gain mind-reading powers, exercise caution around members of the opposite sex.) She innocently introduces Popeye to the chief and believes that the chief really wants to make Popeye a member of the tribe. She prepares a meal for the celebration, not realizing that the chief is using it as a way to get Popeye into a trap and to execute him.
* Olive is on the side of the angels in this cartoon. She laughs as Popeye overcomes a dirty trick by the chief and bests him. When she realizes that the chief is burning Popeye at the stake, she rushes to desperately put out the flames. The chief snatches her and says, "Ah, My Little Sugar, come have tea in my teepee." She replies (in a New York accent), "I ain't thirsty!" Then she breaks free and runs away, even utilizing stilts at one point.
* At the end of the cartoon, Olive lays in Popeye's arms, grabs him, and gives him an intense kiss that causes his headdress to fly off and his hair to stand straight up in pleasure.
*Though Olive is apprehensive at first, she gamely tries ice skating, trusting that Popeye can teach her.
* As she skates along, she gains confidence and really starts enjoying herself, blissfully unaware that her skating stance and stride are emphasizing a part of her anatomy that's sure to turn the winter resort's official skating instructor into a wolf (literally). She doesn't know that he's lustfully zooming in on her and howling. In this cartoon, as in so many others, Olive is not, as critics say, "Asking for it." Here, she is just having fun and MINDING HER OWN BUSINESS!!
* Olive has good reason to become spitting mad at Popeye and to go off with the official instructor in this cartoon. As Popeye tries to teach beginner Olive advanced moves, he endangers her. Olive seems very forgiving and happy when he catches her in a net and she's ready to try again. But Popeye hasn't learned his lesson and quickly puts her in danger two more times! It's the instructor who saved her from being frozen, embedded in the ice, and who freed her after she was tangled around the tree.
* Olive has a very feminine reaction to what Popeye has done - "Don't you touch me!"
* She happily and eagerly goes off with the instructor, holding his hand. And why not? He saved her twice, called her, "Gorgeous," and promised to teach her how to skate well. As the class begins, the instructor has his hands on Olive's hips (the cad!!!) supposedly showing her how to skate backwards while supporting her. What he's really doing is steering them toward the chair lift so he can get her alone in a place where she can't escape. As they start to go up the mountain on the lift, Olive, smitten, having an enjoyable time, and oblivious to what's actually happening, leans back against the instructor with her eyes closed and sighs, "Ohh, Professor, I feel like I'm skating on air!"
* When Olive Oyl realizes where she is and that she actually IS skating on air, she knows that the instructor has deceived her. She wants the lift to stop and yells for help. At the ski jump, when the instructor wants a kiss, she again yells for help, though she's doing a pretty good job of holding him off on her own using boxing and kick boxing.
* Some critics maintain that Olive always gets herself into trouble and Popeye always has to bail her out. But here, it's Popeye and the instructor themselves who put Olive in hot water. They accidentally bop her while brawling and send her flying onto a pair of skis and racing down the jump.
* After continually being caught in the crossfire as the boys battled over her business, Olive (echoing the sentiments of many viewers) declares, "I've had enough!" and starts to walk away after Bluto jackhammers Popeye into the ground.
* Olive's content, at the end of the cartoon, to ride to her destination on Popeye's makeshift "pedi-cab."
* Olive is Action Chick when we first see her in this cartoon. Although she's called in a private detective, she's not exactly helplessly waiting around for him to show up. Instead, she's guarding the gem using a submachine gun.
* Olive plays the role of The Rich, Young, Attractive, Heiress in fictional detective stories to the hilt in this cartoon. She's dressed up in the middle of the day, uses a breathy, sexy voice to say to Popeye, "I'm so glad you're here. I have a job for you," and she walks over to the safe and opens it in a feminine way.
* At the end of the film, she calls Popeye, "My Hero," and gives him a kiss that causes him to turn brilliantly red.
* Olive obviously enjoys dating and is appreciative of, and attentive to, the guys who ask her out. She perfumes herself to get ready to be with Popeye and it's only after it seems like he's purposely tempting fate and causing harm that she rejects him. Then when she steps out with Bluto, she gazes happily at her date and takes his arm as they walk along. She doesn't even glance at Popeye.
* Ms. Oyl has a strong will and guys can't force her to do what she doesn't want to do. Here, she refuses to leave with Popeye when she thinks that it's Friday The Thirteenth.
* She's capable of ejecting Popeye bodily from her house.
* Olive uses a cute voice when she says, "Well, that's different!"
* At the end of the cartoon, she doesn't just mindlessly accept Popeye back. After all, from her perspective, Popeye had caused her lots of grief and inherited seven years of bad luck. So she just walks beside him looking very wary. But then when it turns out that Popeye is superstitious, too, the ice is broken and she shares a hearty laugh with him.
* Olive works hard to get ready for the move, even using her feet resourcefully as only a cartoon character can.
* Swooning over the movers, she enjoys flirting with them, giving them coy and encouraging looks, smiling at them, complimenting Popeye and expressing feminine delight at his manliness - yet, nonetheless keeping her mind on the job.
* When Bluto dispatches Popeye, she's shocked and worried.
* She gazes at Popeye with admiration and attraction as they drive off in the cab of the moving van at the end of the cartoon.
* While it's true that Olive Oyl rejects Popeye at the outset of this cartoon, breaking a date with him, it's equally true that Popeye, as portrayed here, is the kind of a guy a girl ought to break up with. He's impatient, interrupting Olive before the end of her program.
He refuses to give Olive Oyl the right to change her mind. Popeye's totally unromantic. He hasn't even put the sections of the sofa together so that he and Olive can sit together.
By contrast, when The International arrives, that's one of the first things he does.
Popeye can't turn Olive Oyl on at all without first eating spinach (and a DOUBLE DOSE, at that - one dose to recover from being defeated during the duel and another to become a lover!!). He won't enter Olive's world. She's in the mood for intimate, classy romance, and he keeps whining about going to the movies. Popeye won't leave, even though he's clearly unwelcome in Olive's house and keeps intruding as she and her beau are trying to be alone.
So what does that make Popeye? Looked at from one perspective, the cartoon can make one feel sorry for poor dumped Popeye at the beginning. Looking at it differently, though, can make us say to Olive, "You go, Girl!"
* Olive's getting dressed to the nines and wearing a "no male can resist this" dress to watch a romantic TV show strikes a chord with fan boys everywhere. After all, I used to grease my hair and wear my leather jacket and sunglasses when I went to Sha-Na-Na concerts. And I would don my Fantastic Four T-shirt to attend comic book conventions.
* Some might find it strange that Olive would stay home hoping to win a date with a TV star, but it just proves that she's an incurable romantic and that's one of the things that makes the character attractive in the first place. It also shows the faith that Olive has in things working out for her, or in the "gods" of her universe - namely the creators - or in her own allure which may somehow reach out to The International across the miles. After all, in other cartoons when she wished to meet a pirate, or be kissed by a sheik, or that there was a Santa Claus for adults, or that the beach would be a romantic setting, these things happened! So it would be perfectly natural for the TV star she has a crush on to show up at her door intending to date and woo her.
For Olive, hope always springs eternal and she always does her best to keep it alive. Watch the eager way she scoots to the door when the bell rings, trampling Popeye in the process, not letting him stand in the way of her dream.
* Olive has a cute, appealing voice throughout the cartoon, not the least when she discovers Bluto's deception at the end and announces in the voice of injured innocence and shattered dreams, "He's a fake! It's Bluto!" And her voice is sexy and breathy when she admonishes, "Shush, Popeye! Don't interrupt The International!" and when she sees who's at the door and swoons, "(Gasp!) Oooohhhh, ahhh it's The International!"
* Olive has very feminine mannerisms, actions, and reactions throughout the cartoon. And in The International's suave male hands, she's a totally female responder. As she watches the program she sighs, bats her eyes, and squeezes her hands together. When the broadcasted International tells her to come closer, she moves toward the set. When he says her eyes are sparking pools, that's what they transform into. When he talks about her lips, she confidently applies lipstick (as only a cartoon character can). She sighs and closes her eyes dreamily when the potential date is announced and she lets out an excited schoolgirl giggle with a touch of womanly maturity as she explains to Popeye that she may have a date.
Talking to Popeye, Olive is sitting in a very feminine way with her hands first on her hips and then in front of her. As the night progresses, Olive is patiently waiting to see if she's won the date, and seems to be having a delightful daydream. When she answers the door, she has an eager smile on her face and then has a "Wolf Reaction" as she sees that it's The International standing there. But her reaction is a feminine one, having to do more with being overwhelmed by The International than with the urge to grasp and to possess that the males in the cartoons exhibit when they spot her.
She assumes a feminine stance and The International then kisses her hand. The power of the kiss travels right up her. Olive's heartbeat gets loud and strong; in fact her eyes turn into hearts while her hair stands straight up. She stays enraptured as The International continues to kiss her hand. Moments later, he prepares the couch and invites her over. She does so with a very feminine, elegant, flouncy, flirty walk, holding her skirt out with a flair. Olive clearly enjoys the fact that she's being checked out by a guy who definitely likes what he sees. She has a come-hither, "I can't wait, I'm in love" look on her face, which is somehow coy, too. Continuing to be coy, yet flirty, sitting on the couch with her beau, Olive manages to give The International the go-ahead without being trashy and cheap about it. Then, as they slow dance together in a very romantic scene (a Waltz?), both Olive and her partner are light on their feet.
She lets The International lead her around the floor, sometimes leaning back on his powerful arms, other times leaning into him so that there doesn't appear to be room for even a piece of paper between them. They close their eyes and have dreamy, enraptured looks on their faces.
After The International rescues Olive from Popeye's enforced dance, she gazes up at him only, as arm-in-arm and in step they head off for their stroll in the moonlight.
* When Olive decides on a guy, she thoroughly rejects his rivals. Popeye's kiss freezes her into a block of ice with a feminine look of disgust and dismissal on her face. She scolds Popeye, telling him he has a lot of nerve moving in on The International. She leaves Popeye stuck in the ceiling to dance with The International. And she puts up her hands in a feminine gesture of shock when Popeye gets in their way as they're leaving to be alone.
* Olive, caught up in her fantasy, thinks that a duel over her is perfectly romantic. She acts in a dreamy, delighted fashion as it begins. But she screams in horror when the fantasy goes too far and she thinks Popeye has been stabbed.
* When Olive finds out she's been lied to, she puts her hand to her mouth and shouts in an appealing voice that conveys injured innocence and profound disappointment, "He's a fake! It's Bluto!"
* After Popeye dispatches Bluto, Olive praises Popeye, swooning over him and making delighted motions. And she melts into a pool of butter when he kisses her this time. Of course, it helps that he's now spinach-powered. It's interesting that the spinach transforms him into a tuxedoed, sort-of-cultured gent.
It's as though the wonder veggie knows an important truth - to woo a woman you have to reach her where she's at.
My home page with links to my Buffy, Popeye, TV/Movies, Beliefs, and other pages.
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All the aspects of Bluto I could think of are discussed on various Bluto pages. Go here for a complete listing.
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.