…and this guy.
Just finished watching the 60 wonderful cartoons in Warner Bros. Popeye The Sailor Volume 1 and it’s an instant Most Cherished Possession. From the packaging, to the menus, to the restoration, to the extras, to the glory of the cartoons themselves, everything about this set is first class and I can’t wait until Volume 2 is released in June.
One of the things I love most about the Fleischer Popeye cartoons is their use of music. Whether accessing Paramount’s vast catalog of in-house songs (such as in the terrific "A Dream Walking", a clinic on perspective and timing) or using original scores (the glorious color two-reeler "Popeye The Sailor Meets Sinbad The Sailor"), the Fleischer animators excelled at infusing Popeye’s world with music.
My favorite musical cartoon in this first set uses an existing song in a way that turns the story into a mini-operetta. This cartoon has an early role for Wimpy in his referee/host/emcee mode, which I like, and it also features, to my knowledge, the only Fleischer appearance of Nana Oyl, Olive’s mother.
Keep your eye on the cat for added fun as the Fleischers, YouTube, and I present "The Man on the Flying Trapeze"
Popeye is all about honor, loyalty, justice, and being who you are. Failing that, he’s about unbridled violence.
For me, he’s the first, and still the best, cartoon superhero.
PS: If you’ve never read them, I highly recommend you dive into the original E.C. Segar Popeye comic strips. As marvelous as the Fleischer cartoons are, the original strips are full of well-developed characters and serial adventure plotlines. Great stuff.