Pastor Steve's Popeye Page






 While I know some only like one particular incarnation of The Sailorman, and I respect their opinions, I'd like to give you my own two cents worth.

       To me, Popeye is like James Bond. The books that followed Ian Fleming's were subtly different than the ones in his canon (ex. de-emphasizing the travelogue aspects; having modern-day, high-tech threats; a female Q; more military involvement in the cases; "Bond as paid assassin" sometimes downplayed; etc.). And certainly the films are MUCH different than the books. And Pierce Brosnan is not Timothy Dalton, who is not Roger Moore, who is not George Lazenby, who is not Sean Connery. Each actor brought out certain aspects of the character.  While I still believe that Sean Connery IS James Bond, I enjoy the others' performances and films as well.  These different incarnations have enough of the "real" Bond in them, so that I can appreciate them all for what they are.

So it is with Popeye. While I agree that Segar's Popeye IS Popeye and that Segar was a creative genius, I've also enjoyed the material I've seen by Sagendorf and the much-maligned (unjustly so in my opinion) Bobby London. The Fleischer films are full of laughs imagination, and manic energy, with a Popeye who is very close to Segar's. The Famous Studios' babe-ification of Olive Oyl and their making Bluto (or another guy) seem initially more charming seems to me to be the natural evolution of the love triangle storylines. The creators were trying to answer the questions of why guys were attracted to Ms. Oyl and why she is tempted to dump Popeye and why we should worry for our hero. And Popeye still overcame impossible odds, had super strength and abilities even before he ate the spinach, and stayed loyal to his fickle girl, as he had since his Segar days. The KFS toons were definitely hampered by tight budgets, impossible schedules, and limited (very limited) animation. Still, the best of them were either based on Segar's stories and/or characters from Thimble Theater, or at least tried to capture Segar's spirit, or evoked themes and memories of the Famous Studios' cartoons. (The worst of them it's best not to talk about.)  Fred Grandinetti's summaries of the KFS toons in the The Official Popeye Fan Club News-Magazine and information he and fellow Fanclub member, Richard Ranke, provided me have made me realize how much these cartoons were a pleasant part of my growing up.  Critics are definitely wrong to pan all KFS toons and tar them with the same brush.  (For my own summaries/quick reviews of the KFS cartoons click here.)  All of the above incarnations had enough of the "real" Popeye in them to satisfy me. I enjoy each for what it is.

       The Hanna-Barbera incarnations of Popeye were the ones that didn't do it for me. First, they returned to using very Thimble Theater, comic strip, Fleischer-looking designs for the characters, but used stories that had none of the wit or excitement of those earlier days.  So to me, the cartoons always seemed like only half-way attempts to recapture past glories. And I couldn't stand Bluto's voice. It had none of the meanness and threat of the Fleischer's Bluto and none of the clever, evil, con man intelligence, or lust, of the Famous Studios' incarnation. Bluto always sounded dumb and always reminded me of Sam The Butcher from The Brady Bunch. I wonder why? :-) I hated Olive's voice as well. It wasn't funny, as the Fleischer's Olive had been, nor as full of life as the Famous Studios' Olive was. It was just annoying.  Not to mention that the music was inferior to the earlier cartoons.

        And the essence of many characters was violated.  Popeye and Bluto not able to punch each other??!!??!! (Just what we needed. a politically correct Popeye - NOT!)  Olive Oyl and Alice The Goon in the army taking orders from Joanne Worley!!??!!??  Then a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing Popeye and a sweat-suit-wearing Olive married (talk about a dysfunctional family) with a California surfer son??!!??!!  Bluto looking like a Goodfella and marrying a bruiser (what happened to his taste for skinny dames)!!??!!??





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.

My Olive Yahoo Group

Discuss the Famous Studios and KFS cartoons featuring Olive Oyl with other fans .


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.