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).
Bluto turns Popeye into a literal square and Popeye returns the favor later
by turning the big guy into a literal drip.
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.
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
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
The Final Popeye Trap
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
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
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
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
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.
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".