I have few personal heroes, but two of them are Teddy Roosevelt…
April 20, 2008

…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"

YouTube Preview Image

 

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.

-JJJ

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.

Jason "JJJason" Chirevas
Jason Chirevas is a toy collector whether he likes it or not (and he often doesn't). This former Would've-Been Action Hero is as interested in the humanity, psychology, and psychosis of collecting as he is in the action figures themselves. Fun guy.
Read other articles by Jason "JJJason" Chirevas.

 

 

 

5 Comments »

  • Glenn Moss Glenn says:

    I thought I’d seen every Popeye cartoon made, but that one was a welcomed surprise. Thanks for sharing it! The Fleischer studio created some really classics.

    Back when I was a kid and dinosaurs roamed the earth, Popeye and Mighty Mouse were my two favorite cartoons. I’ve often wondered about that. Both series always ended with the hero beating the thunder out of the opponent. A simple solution for a simpler time, I suppose.

    It’s a shame we don’t have cartoons of Teddy Roosevelt. I bet those would be a hoot!

  • robiwan says:

    Man! That brings back some good childhood cartoon memories! They just don’t make cartoons like they used to! Now if we can just get DCUC to make a Teddy Roosevelt figure…. perhaps a con exclusive.

    -R

  • AFi Admin admin says:

    Who’s the most remarkable, extraordinary fellow? WHO?

    Why, JJJason, of course! Definitely a man after my own heart. My very first web page was going to be a comprehensive Segar/Fleischer online guide, but that Super Powers thing derailed me. ;)

    I think the Segar strips are my favorites out of all comics, and that’s saying something. I also recommend reading Bill Blackbeard’s article, “The First (Arf, Arf) Superhero of Them All”, in the book “All in color for a dime”.

    J.

  • Jeff Cope says:

    Ah, those Popeye opening credits bring back a lot of fond memories of being with my family, sitting in Shakey’s Ye Old Pizza Parlor in San Jose, Ca. That was the first thing to come to my mind. Those were good times.

    Funny how a few images and some music can be so evocative and conjure up old memories, even smells and tastes!

    Thanks Commish!

  • Jason JJJason says:

    “Thanks Commish!”

    Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time…a long time.
    ;-)

    -JJJ

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