Posts Tagged ‘Popeye’

This is just hideous, obviously draw by some really horrible artist for the Albany Cinema back in 1953. I also find it funny that they are showing Donald Duck, Goofy, Heckle & Jeckle, Popeye and Bugs Bunny cartoons yet of those mentioned only Donald is pictured. The cartoon characters pictured seem to be Barney Bear, Droopy, Donald Duck, some elves (or are they dwarves?), pluto and one of Donald’s nephews.


Directed by Dave Fleischer
Produced by Max Fleischer
Voices by Jack Mercer (Popeye)
Mae Questel (Olive Oyl)
Gus Wickie (Bluto)
Music by Sammy Timberg, Sammy Lerner & Bob Rothberg
Animation by Willard Bowsky, George Germanetti, Edward Nolan & Orestes Calpini
Studio Fleischer Studios
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) November 27, 1936
Color process Technicolor
Running time 16 min (two reels)
Language English

Today I am going to do something a little different. Instead of watching a feature film I have watched a number of great short films. The first of those is this one from 1936, Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor.

Now I know what you grown ups will be saying, cartoons are strictly for kids. That is simply rubbish. So many artists worked on this, so many drawings done, for this simply to be something to amuse children.

These Fleischer Popeye cartoons have become my favourites and it is easy to see why. Whilst they were never the best animated cartoons they do have a grittiness about them that is different to what the other studios, notably Disney, were doing.

I also love the 3D backgrounds that Fleischer used here and in their other cartoons too. This gave them a unique feeling as did the great ad-libbing between Jack Mercer, Mae Questel and Gus Wickie.

It is easy to forget how popular Popeye was and just how important short cartoons were on a film program. In the 1930s, 40s and 50s patrons would often go to the cinema just to see Popeye, Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny rather than the feature length film that the cartoons accompanied.

Here’s a list of the 100 cartoons that I enjoy the most. These are NOT the greatest cartoons ever made, just the ones that I enjoy watching over and over. Other than the top 10 these cartoons aren’t really in a strict order. Hopefully I will later go through each cartoon and describe why I like it so much… or maybe I’ll just be really lazy again and not do that. I must also specify that I have not seen every cartoon ever made and there are some that I am not that familiar with such as Terrytoons. Perhaps if these were somehow released onto DVD or were more readily available to be viewed then I would have a higher opinion of them.

I also realise that there are no Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew or Foghorn Leghorn cartoons and very few Tweety and Sylvester or Tom and Jerry ones. There is a reason for this. I am not saying that this is correct, just my opinion, but I do find these cartoons to be a bit formulaic and repetitive. Maybe it’s a case of familiarity breeding contempt (whatever that means) as these cartoons were screened endlessly on TV when I was a kid and they are now perhaps a bit too familiar. I still enjoy them, but maybe just in small doses.

I also have to clarify, so it seems, that these are all theatrically released cartoons, not those that were made for TV. This is why there are no Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Rock & Bullwinkle etc cartoons listed. I think that a lot of people don’t realise that cartoons were shown in cinemas before the main feature which means that a Porky Pig cartoon would have been shown prior to one of Warner Bros. gangster films or Woody Woodpecker would have been on the same bill as a Universal horror film. Heck, I’ve even had someone tell me that in 1970 in NYC they played Looney Tunes cartoons before showing Fritz the Cat.

Made for TV cartoons are different to the theatricals  in other ways. From the 1960s or so, most TV cartoons were made exclusively for children and are quite childish as a result. It wasn’t until the arrival of The Simpsons (or just slightly earlier) that TV cartoons became a little bit more mature.

# Film Director Character Studio Year
1 One Froggy Evening Chuck Jones Michigan J Frog Warner Bros. 1955
2 Duck Amuck Chuck Jones Daffy Duck Warner Bros. 1953
3 The Band Concert Wilfred Jackson Mickey Mouse Disney 1935
4 Gerald McBoing-Boing Robert Cannon Gerald McBoing-Boing UPA 1951
5 Little Rural Riding Hood Tex Avery The Country Wolf/ The City Wolf MGM 1949
6 The Great Piggy Bank Robbery Bob Clampett Daffy Duck Warner Bros. 1946
7 Puss n’ Booty Frank Tashlin Rudolph Warner Bros. 1943
8 Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1936
9 You Ought to Be in Pictures Friz Freleng Daffy Duck & Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1940
10 Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century Chuck Jones Daffy Duck Warner Bros. 1953
11 Red Hot Riding Hood Tex Avery Red Hot Riding Hood/The Wolf MGM 1943
12 The Fox and the Grapes Frank Tashlin The Fox and The Crow Columbia Screen Gems 1941
13 What’s Opera, Doc? Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny Warner Bros. 1957
14 The Ugly Duckling Jack Cutting The Ugly Duckling Disney 1939
15 Rooty Toot Toot John Hubley Frankie & Johnny UPA 1952
16 Tortoise Beats Hare Cecil Tex Avery Bugs Bunny Warner Bros. 1941
17 Ragtime Bear John Hubley Mr Magoo UPA 1949
18 Goonland Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1937
19 Peace on Earth Hugh Harmon MGM 1939
20 Feed the Kitty Chuck Jones Marc Anthont/Pussyfoot Warner Bros. 1952
21 The Big Snooze Bob Clampett Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd Warner Bros. 1946
22 Puss Gets the Boot Bill Hanna & Joe Barbera Tom & Jerry MGM 1940
23 Bimbo’s Initiation Dave Fleischer Bimbo Fleischer 1931
24 Hockey Homicide Jack Kinney Goofy Disney 1945
25 Sh-h-h-h-h-h Tex Avery Walt Lantz 1955
26 Lost and Foundry Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer
27 Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs Bob Clampett Coal Black Warner Bros. 1943
28 Ferdinand the Bull Dick Rickard Ferdinand the Bull Disney 1938
29 Minnie the Moocher Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1932
30 Der Fuehrer’s Face Jack Kinney Donald Duck Disney 1941
31 Bad Luck Blackie Tex Avery Bad Luck Blackie MGM 1949
32 The Old Mill Wilfred Jackson Disney 1937
33 A Clean Shaven Man Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1936
34 The Three Little Pigs Burt Gillett The Three Little Pigs Disney 1933
35 Brave Little Tailor Burt Gillett Mickey Mouse Diseny 1939
36 Snow White Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1933
37 Lonesome Ghosts Burt Gillett Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck/Goofy Disney 1937
38 A Wild Hare Tex Avery Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd Warner Bros. 1940
39 Rabbit of Seville Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd Warner Bros. 1950
40 Porky Pig’s Feat Frank Tashlin Daffy Duck & Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1943
41 Symphony in Slang Tex Avery MGM 1951
42 Chow Hound Chuck Jones Warner Bros. 1951
43 Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1936
44 Thugs with Dirty Mugs Tex Avery Warner Bros. 1939
45 Clock Cleaners Ben Sharpsteen Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck/Goofy Disney 1937
46 Who Killed Who? Tex Avery MGM 1943
47 Brotherly Love Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1936
48 Donald’s Cousin Gus Jack King Donald Duck Disney 1939
49 Northwest Hounded Police Tex Avery Droopy MGM 1946
50 Giantland Burt Gillett Mickey Mouse Disney 1933
51 Goofy and Wilbur Dick Huemer Goofy Disney 1939
52 Three Little Bops Friz Freleng The Three Little Pigs Warner Bros. 1957
53 Fresh Airedale Chuck Jones Shep, Cat Warner Bros. 1945
54 Daffy Doodles Robert McKimson Daffy Duck/Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1946
55 Tubby the Tuba George Pal Tubby The Tuba Paramount (Puppetoon) 1947
56 Donald’s Crime Jack King Donald Duck Disney 1945
57 Horton Hatches the Egg Bob Clampett Horton The Elephant Warner Bros. 1942
58 From A to Z-Z-Z-Z Chuck Jones Ralph Phillips Warner Bros. 1953
59 King-Size Canary Tex Avery MGM 1947
60 A Bear For Punishment Chuck Jones The Three Bears Warner Bros. 1951
61 Farmyard Symphony Wilfred Jackson Disney 1938
62 Daffy Duck Slept Here Robert McKimson Daffy Duck/Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1948
63 Modern Inventions Jack King Donald Duck Disney 1937
64 Porky in Wackyland Bob Clampett Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1938
65 The Dover Boys Chuck Jones The Dover Boys Warner Bros. 1942
66 I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1932
67 A Gruesome Twosome Bob Clampett Tweety Warner Bros. 1945
68 The Hypo-Chondri-Cat Chuck Jones Claude Cat, Hubie, Bertie Warner Bros. 1950
69 Mickey’s Service Station Ben Sharpsteen Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pete Disney 1935
70 Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid Bob Clampett Bugs Bunny Warner Bros. 1942
71 Me Musical Nephews Tom Johnson Popeye Famous Studios
72 John Henry and the Inky Poo George Pal John Henry Paramount (Puppetoon) 1946
73 Magoo’s Puddle Jumper Pete Burness Mr Magoo UPA 1956
74 The Barber of Seville James Culhane Woody Woodpecker Walter Lantz 1944
75 Tulips Shall Grow George Pal Jan, Janette, Screwball Army Paramount (Puppetoon) 1942
76 Duck! Rabbit! Duck! Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck/Elmer Fudd Warner Bros. 1953
77 Cartoons Ain’t Human Seymour Kneitel Popeye Famous Studios 1943
78 The Blue Danube Hugh Harmon MGM 1939
79 The Pink Phink Friz Freleng The Pink Panther DePatie Freleng 1964
80 Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Graham Heid Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Disney 1938
81 Baby Bottleneck Bob Clampett Daffy Duck/Porky Pig Warner Bros. 1946
82 The Tell-Tale Heart Ted Parmelee UPA 1953
83 Thru the Mirror David Hand Mickey Mouse Disney 1936
84 The Magic Fluke John Hubley The Fox and The Crow UPA 1949
85 Mickey’s Mechanical Man Wilfred Jackson Mickey Mouse Disney 1933
86 A Dream Walking Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1934
87 Mickey’s Trailer Ben Sharpsteen Mickey Mouse Disney 1938
88 Little Hiawatha David Hand Little Hiawatha Disney 1937
89 The Old Man of the Mountain Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1933
90 The Paneless Window Washer Dave Fleischer Popeye Fleischer 1937
91 The Little House Wilfred Jackson The Little House Disney 1952
92 A Language All My Own Dave Fleischer Betty Boop Fleischer 1935
93 Pigs Is Pigs Jack Kinney Disney 1954
94 Madeline Robert Cannon UPA 1952
95 Lambert the Sheepish Lion Jack Hannah Lambert the Sheepish Lion Disney 1952
96 The Hungry Goat Dan Gordon Popeye Famous Studios 1943
97 Clash and Carry Jack Hannah Chilly Willy/Wally Walrus Walter Lantz 1961
98 Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B Walter Lantz Walter Lantz 1941
99 Munro Gene Deitch Munro Rembrandt Films 1960
100 Betty Boop M.D. Dave Fleischer Betty Boop, Bimbo, Koko Fleischer 1932

I really love the little Google Doodles that can sometimes be found on the Google homepage. Today the Google Doodle featured the famous one eyed sailor who loves his spinach, Popeye. Popeye has over the last couple of years become my favourite cartoon character, thanks to Warner’s releasing his black and white animated adventures that were created by the Fleischer studio, onto DVD. (Now if only they could hurry up with the colour cartoons made by Famous Studios.) However we should not forget that Popeye started out in the funny pages as a member of the Thimble Theatre comic strip. The Google Doodle is actually to commemorate the 115th anniversary of the birth of E. C. Segar, the creator of the Thimble Theatre, Popeye, Olive Oyl and the rest of the gang.

For the best information on Popeye and the Thimble Theatre, you can always visit the Thimble Theatre website which contains lots of interesting information.

There is also lots of Popeye related stuff available from Amazon.

There are three editions of Fleischer Popeye cartoons on DVD. I have all three of these and they have become my favourite DVDs over the last two years. Volume 1, which is four discs is priced at $44.50. It is available hereVolume 2 and Volume 3 only contain two discs each and are priced at $28.50. They can be found here and here.

There are also 4 editions of Popeye’s comic strip adventures available that were written by Segar. They are priced at just under $20 each. Volume 1 which features the 1928 – 1930 Thimble Theatre strips is available here. Volume 2, covering the 1930 – 1932 strips can be found here. Volume 3 features strips running from 1932 – 1934 and can be found here, while Volume 4 features strips from 1934 and can be found here.

There are other Popeye related books, such as Steve Bierly’s Stronger Than Spinach: The Secret Appeal of The Famous Studios Popeye Cartoons, which takes a close look at the Famous cartoon series. It is priced at $22.45 and can be found here. Fred Grandinetti has written two books about Popeye, the first being a biography on Jack Mercer, the voice of Popeye in the cartoons and is priced at $20 and can be found by clicking here. Fred’s second book is Popeye: An Illustrated Cultural History and is priced at $40.50. Fred is of course the co-founder of the International Popeye Fanclub and has a great knowledge of everything Popeye. This book can be found here.

The final Popeye item is pictured here. It is a talking Popeye plush toy and is priced at just $20. He looks adorable and can be found here.

Here’s the poster from my favourite Popeye cartoon, the 2 reel special Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor. This film and the other two reelers, were used to prepare the Paramount to the idea of making a feature length animated film.

I really like lookin’ at these old cartoon posters. They are a great piece of animation art and replicas can be bought quite easily form e-stores such as Moviegoods. Here are two different posters that were used for Popeye The Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves.198003_1020_a143501_1020_a

Look at the scan below. If anyone was in doubt that cartoons can be great works of art, hopefully this pic can help to dispel that idea. This is a brilliant painting used to help animators get an idea of what the cartoon that they are animating should feel. (I didn’t really articulate this at all well!)

This is one of my favourite Fleischer Popeye cartoons.