Pastor Steve's Popeye Page

 
  
 

Rewind With Popeye Part III

Reminisce with me as we review

the Famous Studios' cartoons.


 
 
 
 

Last updated 10-24-08. 
See What's New for details.



 
 
 
 
 

Rewind With Popeye

 

On this page, I will go into more detail about the Famous Studio's toons.  I'll discuss:

 

Humor

The Final Popeye Trap

Memorable Popeye Stunts

Music

Ogling Olive Oyl Opportunities - For a further description of the moments in the cartoons that feature an appealing Olive Oyl and some pictures, visit The Top 20 Beautiful Olive Oyl Films/Scenes page.

"Wolf Reactions" to Olive Oyl - For a fuller description and some pictures, visit the page entitled The Top 20 Wolf Reactions .

Romance

Oddities
 

(Not every category will be applicable to every cartoon.)


 

A Job For A Gob

Tops In The Big Top

Quick On The Vigor

Parlez-Vous Woo

Jitterbug Jive

Double-Cross Country Race


 
  
 


  

A Job For A Gob

Popeye and Bluto compete to be ranch hands on Olive's spread.

Humor

Bluto and Popeye have unique ways of riding bucking broncos.  Bluto glues his pants to the saddle and Popeye binds the horse's legs together.

Popeye uses a pogo stick and a bucket of paint to brand the cattle.  He hops from the back of one steer to another, leaving a mark behind.

The Final Popeye Trap

Popeye must find a way to save Olive from the stampede and put out the fire raging in the barn.

Memorable Popeye Stunt

Our hero lifts an entire well out of the ground, tips it up and drains it to quench the flames in the barn, then sets it down length-wise between Olive and the herd.  The cattles' horns become embedded in the side of the well.

Music

Serviceable, but not memorable.  Cowboy standards, "I'm An Old Cow Hand From The Rio Grande," and "I Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle" are used.

Ogling Olive Oyl Opportunities

Olive makes a cute, shapely cowgirl, and when the boys first spot her, she is inadvertently and innocently striking one of her most revealing poses ever.

"Wolf Reaction" To Olive Oyl

Bluto floats off the ground and hearts appear around he and Popeye.  Popeye lets out an "Anchors aweigh!"

Romance

Just a very little flirting at the beginning.  Most of the cartoon is taken up with ranch jokes.

Oddities

Olive Oyl talks with what is supposed to be phraseology and an accent of the American West.  But it's very disconcerting and she sounds more like she's from a "B Western Movie."

Bluto is truly and irrationally evil in this cartoon as he sets out to destroy Olive's ranch by causing a stampede and setting the barn on fire.  It's difficult to fathom what he intends to gain by this, except maybe revenge, and Bluto committing arson is hard to watch.


 
 
 
 

Tops In The Big Top 

Whenever Popeye, Olive, and Bluto are together, it's always a circus.  But in this cartoon, there's a literal one.  Popeye and Olive are performers and Bluto is The Ringmaster who wants to break up their act so he can partner with the fair damsel.

Humor

- Popeye, Olive Oyl, and even the lion each do a little dance move thingy when they are introduced to the crowd.

- Olive Oyl stretches her mouth to outrageous proportions as she watches Popeye put his head in the lion's mouth.  Then she and Popeye make outrageous puns on the words "butchering" and "steak."

- Popeye goes every tightrope walking act I've ever seen one better by balancing a musical Olive and her piano while blindfolded!!

- Our hero ends up in Olive's costume and, as he and Bluto fight, they make sure the show continues to go on.

- Really high diving Bluto is "saved" when Popeye catches, and traps him, in a watercooler.

The Final Popeye Trap

Having framed Popeye as an incompetent drunk and turned Olive against him, Bluto throws the unconscious sailor up on top of a monkey cage where three apes pull his limbs through a hole and begin to stretch him out of proportion.  (When I was younger, I thought this was pretty gross; likewise, the lion chomping down on Popeye's neck earlier in the cartoon.)

Memorable Popeye Stunts

- Popeye escapes the lion's mouth by filling the beast with smoke from his pipe.  And they say that smoking is bad for your health!  Well, I guess the lion did turn green and get ill, now that I think about it.

- He knocks the apes into the familiar "Hear No Evil, See No Evil, and Speak No Evil" positions. 

Music

Good combination of circus act ditties, "reaction" music - i.e. the music reacts to and reflects what's happening, such as when it sounds sickly and humiliated after the lion incident, and Popeye's theme.

Ogling Olive Oyl Opportunities

This cartoon was made before the big revamp of Ms. Oyl, so here she is drawn very Fleischeresque, yet the script treats her as though she's the Famous Studios' knockout, her face is a tad cuter in some scenes, her costume gives her an hour glass figure (it does the same thing for Popeye when he wears it!), and her voice is transitioning from the Fleischer whiner to the FS and KFS siren.

"Wolf Reaction" To Olive Oyl

Since this cartoon is a literal circus, it's only fitting that Bluto has a literal "wolf reaction."  As he gives the innocently oblivious Olive Oyl a very close "once over," his face morphs into a wolf's as he strokes his mustache and says, "Mmmm, what a feature attraction I'd make with Olive Oyl!"

Romance

 If you can overlook the fact that Bluto used sabotage and dishonesty to set the stage, the scene where he, portraying the dashing acrobatic hero, reveals himself to Olive Oyl and promises to save the show is pretty romantic.  And Olive certainly thinks so as she puts herself in his arms while swooning over his looks.  Then when Bluto dispatches the "villain" Popeye, Olive approves and is admiring him.  If only she knew the truth!

Oddities

- Maybe this could be classified as a blooper, but suddenly Bluto is in the sky falling outside the tent.  How did he get there?

- Granted that Bluto is impatient, impetuous, and insensitive (he's a villain, after all), his action in this cartoon seems pretty irrational as well.  He's put his master scheme into operation (and a pretty clever one it was, too), has utterly disposed of his rival, and is winning Olive's heart.  And so he - TIES HER UP AND USES HER AS A KISSING YO-YO?!?!?!?  Why not go ahead and save the show with her, then ask her out to dinner and receive all her goodnight kisses willingly given?  I guess it proves the point that so many psychologists make.  When a cad forces himself on a woman, it's more about power and control than it is about sex.


 
 
 
 
 

Quick On The Vigor

Olive confesses that "strong men are my weakness" and sideshow muscle man Bluto says, "My weakness is a pretty face."  So, when the two of them get together at the fair/amusement park, it spells trouble for Popeye.

Humor

As Popeye is locked in the safe and trying to burst it asunder, he literally sweats buckets and buckets.  And then when he hears Olive's cry for help and needs to escape, he first uses his pipe as a blowtorch to make a huge hole in the safe's side.  Then he leans out of the hole and bends around to the front of the safe, dials the correct combination on the lock, opens the door, and steps out!  The water goes everywhere.

The Final Popeye Trap

Bluto smashes a steel girder down on top of our hero, effectively encasing Popeye in it and separating him from his spinach.  However, let's be thankful Popeye has a pipe.

Memorable Popeye Stunts

Popeye does lots of incredible things in this cartoon without eating his spinach.  Therefore, when he breaks out of the girder, and shakes the roller coaster track after eating the green stuff, it's almost anti-climactic.  Without spinach Popeye could bankrupt the poor guy running the "Ring The Bell And Test Your Strength" concession, outdo the Strongman in every feat (until Bluto cheated), and rip the supporting beam off of the ferris wheel.

Music

Another good job conveying all sorts of moods and actions, from attraction and romance to frantic activity to danger to the hero coming to the rescue.  Carnival type themes are used as well.

Ogling Olive Oyl Opportunities

Since Bluto's weakness is a pretty face, the creators did their best to give Olive one.  In addition, during the scene where she's flying across the sky in the runaway airplane ride, they gave her the loveliest legs a Famous Studios' Olive Oyl ever had.

"Wolf Reaction" To Olive Oyl

Bluto's eyes turn into hearts and his mouth opens in happy delight when he spots the cute Ms. Oyl.  Then he wastes no time in wooing her.

Romance

 Most of it is early in the film as Bluto and Olive flirt with each other and profess their feelings, walk off arm-in-arm to enjoy the day together, and get stuck (thanks to Bluto's superstrength) alone together at the top of the Ferris Wheel.

Oddities

Olive's quick change of heart and cry for help is hard to understand in this cartoon.  She leaves Popeye to flirt with Bluto (in Ms. Oyl's defense, it should be pointed out that Popeye was being a boring showoff at the time), tells Bluto that he has won her heart, freshens her make-up for him, leaves Popeye behind locked in a safe in order to have a date with Bluto - and then she objects when Bluto wants to kiss at the top of the Ferris Wheel!!  I thought that's what tops of Ferris Wheel's were for!  Bluto shows his villain side, of course, by not respecting the lady's wishes and refusing to take "No" for an answer.  But Olive starts going nuts before Bluto misbehaves!  Maybe since she knew she has to end up with Popeye at the end of the cartoons she figured she'd just save time.

- Though Bluto calls their location a "fair," it seems more like an amusement park to me with permanent rides like the roller coaster.  Maybe it's a fair held on amusement park grounds?


 
 
 
 
 

Parlez-Vous Woo 

Olive thinks she may have won a date with the romantic TV star she has a crush on, and since Bluto, after shaving and putting on a tux, looks and sounds just like the star, he sees no reason to let Ms. Oyl down.

Humor

- Olive's eyes turn into literal limpid pools as the televised International gives his compliments.  She then applies her lipstick with an ink pad (er, I mean lipstick pad) and a huge stamp.

- Olive plows Popeye right into the carpet as she hurries to the door to greet "The International."

The Final Popeye Trap

He's stabbed during a duel for Olive Oyl's hand.  Luckily for The Sailorman, he carries cans around under his shirt.  What?  You mean you don't?!?!?!?

Memorable Popeye Stunt

Popeye's split sword repairs itself after he eats the spinach.

Music

Soft romantic songs and a classical waltz that Bluto and Olive dance to help convey the "in the mood for love" feeling of this cartoon.  The music also brings out the drama of the duel.

Ogling Olive Oyl Opportunities

One shocked INTERNET writer, who obviously wasn't familiar with the Famous Studios' Olive, expressed surprise and disbelief over her appearance in this cartoon, using the adjective, "voluptuous" to describe her.  And even those of us who are fans of the FS films are amazed at this Olive Oyl, who is the culmination of the FS revamp.  Throughout the cartoon, she's consistently portrayed as having a pretty face and a beautiful figure.  It doesn't hurt that she's in a fancy, red, strapless evening gown either.  Plus, a smitten Olive Oyl has a cute voice and an attractive personality.

"Wolf Reaction" To Olive Oyl

Not Applicable.  There is a memorable, prolonged reaction conveying a rush of hormones and physical attraction in this cartoon, but it's the reaction Olive has to Bluto.  See "The Top Female Reactions To Bluto" on the Bluto Lists page for details.

Romance

The idea of meeting a favorite star is a common fantasy.  And Bluto woos Olive the old-fashioned, classy way - kissing her hand, whispering sweet nothings to her on the couch, dancing by holding her close, taking a stroll in the moonlight.  It's very romantic, too, that Olive and Bluto got all fancied up for their date.  The televised "International" is pretty smooth as well, saying things like "The flowers that bloom in the spring do not compare to your exquisite beauty."

Oddities

- This cartoon is a spoof of the '50's television program, "The Continental," featuring a tuxedoed gent reading love poems.

- Bluto shaves off his beard and ditches his white sailor duds for a tux.  He looks quite dashing and one wonders why he doesn't go for the clean-shaven look more often.  Olive certainly goes for it!

- In fact, one wonders why Olive should be so upset to find out that her suitor is really Bluto.  If the big guy can be that imaginative, romantic, and attentive, why not choose him as her steady beau?

- Poor Popeye doesn't fare too well in this cartoon.  Granted that he has to be the underdog in order for his eventual triumph to be satisfying, but in this film, he's pathetic.  Not only does he want a girl who would rather moon over a television show than pay him the slightest bit of attention, but Bluto disguised as The International keeps outclassing and outthinking him.  And our hero can't turn Olive on at all until he eats spinach and transforms into something he's not.  When he's being himself, his kiss turns her into a cold block of ice.  Popeye won't accept Olive's rejection but keeps trying to horn in on Olive and "The International's" date.  Ironic because when Bluto or other guys won't take Olive's "No" for an answer, they're considered villains!  And didn't Popeye actually technically lose the duel for Olive?!?!?

- Olive's musical tastes have changed since Jitterbug Jive.  In that cartoon, she hated old music and wanted to dance to modern, swinging jazz.  In this cartoon, she wants to waltz with Bluto and can't stand Popeye's be-bopping.  Maybe it depends on the mood she's in.

- Bluto just stands there holding the spinach can on his sword while Popeye eats it!  Not a bright move!


 
 
 
 

Jitterbug Jive 

A be-bopping Olive Oyl wants to have a swinging dance party.  Bluto is anxious to join her, but Popeye prefers quieter pastimes (at least until he becomes spinach energized at the end).

Humor

- Bluto turns Popeye into a literal square and Popeye returns the favor later by turning the big guy into a literal drip.

- While blindfolded during a game of "pin the tail on the donkey," Popeye is tricked into going outside and winds up getting kicked by a real donkey.

- After driving his car through a barn, Bluto thinks he's smooching with a trapped Olive Oyl, but he kisses a calf that ended up inadvertently hitching a ride.

- Olive, trailing Bluto's car after being roped by a string of hot dogs, is being pulled in ever closer to a kiss as he quickly devours each of the hot dogs in turn.

The Final Popeye Trap

Bluto pours a bag of quick drying cement into the wooden tub where Popeye is bobbing for apples.  The tub bursts and Popeye winds up with his head encased in a large cement oval.  As he tries to maneuver and fails, he starts helplessly rolling through neighborhood traffic.  Meanwhile, the hepcat (or should I say, "hepwolf") is driving off with Olive Oyl.

Memorable Popeye Stunt

Spinach transforms Popeye into a zootsuited hipster who has, not a watch at the end of his chain, but an anchor which he uses to hook Bluto's car.  He then proceeds to beat on the bully while dancing with Olive.

Music

This is one of the cartoon's strong points.  Swinging jazz is heard throughout the cartoon, light and fun while Bluto and Olive are dancing, and fast, furious, and driving as they take their wild car ride.  As Popeye tries to introduce his old-fashioned ideas during the party, a bucolic theme plays.  The spinach-transformed Sailorman is accompanied by jazz, though.

Ogling Olive Oyl Opportunities

Olive is very attractive in this film, not only because she's drawn cute, and even curvy, in many scenes, but also because she's hip*, enthusiastic, and full of life and fun.  She's in full flirt mode, too.  While it's true that she's mean to Popeye, it's just as true that he deserves it (see "Oddities" below).  And when Bluto's true colors are shown, she utterly rejects him, even jumping from a moving car rather than giving him a kiss!  Kids, don't try this at home!

* Or at least she was when the cartoon was made.  Nowadays, expressions like "Reet neat," and "Let's do something jivey," and "We're gonna boing and bop and blow our top," wouldn't win you any popularity contests.

"Wolf Reaction" To Olive Oyl

Not applicable.

Romance

T his is another of the cartoon's strengths.  Bluto and Olive Oyl seem really gone on each other as they "slip each other some skin," flirt and almost kiss (before Popeye intervenes) at the piano, do cool moves in sync across the floor as they get ready to dance, perform a perfect jitterbug together while wooing by giving each other flirty looks and using attractive body language.  Bluto calls Olive such things as "Dreamboat" and "Date" throughout the film and Olive breathlessly confesses that his musical technique leaves her weak.  When I was younger, I used to think that this cartoon proved Olive and Bluto were really going steady.  I'm not sure this next observation really falls under "Romance," but I didn't know where else to put it.  As Bluto makes short work of the hot dogs, drawing Olive ever closer to him, his face is so, well, er, MALE, for lack of a better way to describe the combination of cockiness, anticipation, satisfaction, flirting, and inevitability.

Oddities

What is with Popeye in this cartoon?  He's invited to Olive's party and proceeds to try to take it over, introducing activities the hostess and the other guest have no interest in.  It's Olive's party and she'll dance if she wants to!  (Sorry, Leslie Gore, but I couldn't resist.)  Popeye comes across as selfish and overbearing.  He's like the annoying little brother who demands everybody drop what they're doing and pay attention to, and play with, him.  Granted that Popeye has to be the underdog whose hidden virtues are only discovered by the heroine late in the film in order for the story to work, but in this cartoon, he doesn't have many!  One of the problems is that Popeye and Bluto seem so similar in this story.  Hero and villain are almost interchangeable.  Bluto uses trickery and violence to get Popeye out of the way in order to have Olive to himself?  So does Popeye!  Bluto tries to force himself physically on Olive?  Popeye forces his presence and ideas on an unwilling, disinterested Olive Oyl!  And it adds to the impression that Popeye is a "little brother" when, at the end of the cartoon, he and Olive's dance together is played mainly for the camera.  Popeye and Olive look at us.  When Bluto and Olive danced, they gazed at each other.  Notice, too, that Popeye needs magical, spinach-enabled personality and wardrobe changes in order to be attractive to Olive Oyl in any way whatsoever.

- Olive wants to have a party, but she only invited Popeye and Bluto?!?!?!?!  Didn't she know what would happen?

- Olive sets the last plate on the table upside-down for some reason.

- Popeye's pipe is nowhere to be seen sticking out of his cement encasement - until the writers need it to be there, of course.

- Bluto is clean-shaven in this cartoon and decked out in a snazzy zootsuit.  It makes one wonder why he doesn't ditch the beard and white sailor's duds more often.

- Bluto and Olive spend the cartoon talking in rhyming "jive".


 
 
 
 

Double-Cross Country Race 

Popeye competes with a rival in an auto race across the USA.

Humor

Lots of cartoon racing gags, some of which have been used elsewhere in films by other studios.  My favorites are:

- The running gag of the motorcycle cop trying to catch up and hand out tickets.

- The visual puns on "Dust Bowl" and "Outskirts Of Los Angeles."

- The talking cow's skeleton head that warns, "You'll be sorry!"  I used to have plastic skeleton heads like that in my cowboy playsets while I was growing up, and I always made them say that in my adventures because of this cartoon. 

- Count Noah Count seeing Popeye drive by the teepee on the TV while he's pitching woo to an Indian Maiden.

The Final Popeye Trap

Popeye is tricked into putting poison water into his car's radiator.  The car instantly comes to life, only to choke and become deathly ill.

Memorable Popeye Stunt

Popeye feeds his anthropomorphic car spinach and it is instantly cured, energized, and zooms past the competitor to win the race, wrecking Count Noah Count's car in the process.

Music

Adequate "cars racing along" music, but nothing all that special.

Ogling Olive Oyl Opportunities

Not applicable.  Ms. Oyl doesn't appear in this cartoon.  There is a pretty Indian Maiden on screen in one sequence, though.

"Wolf Reaction" To Olive Oyl

Not applicable.  The Count does react to the Indian Maiden.  His eyeballs and pupils pop out.  He lets out an "Ooo La La!" and after morphing into a wolf, a howl.  He pronounces her, "Tres nifty!"

Romance

T he Count briefly flirts with the Indian Maiden, saying, in very non-PC language, "Ma cherie, you pitch plenty woo, ugh?"

Oddities

- This is one of the relatively few cartoons in which no member of Popeye's supporting cast appears.

- Popeye's enemy this time is not Bluto, but Count Noah Count.  The Count is a villain in this Famous Studios' mode, though.  He's handsome, muscular, more sophisticated than Popeye and has a better car than our underdog hero. Jackson Beck voices The Count in a voice similar to Pierre's, but different enough to belong to a separate character.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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.

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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.