Thursday, December 8, 2011

Strong to the Finich

Popeye and Olive Oyl in A Date to Skate (1938)

My love for classic cartoons is well established on this blog. But one of my favorites is Popeye the Sailor, originally created by E. C. Segar in 1929 for his comic strip, Thimble Theatre.

Yeah, the plots are nonsensical, mere vehicles for absurd fisticuffs and overt brutishness, but I can't help enjoying the simple-minded mayhem. The creativity with which Popeye and Bluto assault each other, ever escalating to new heights of fantastic brutality, captivates me. I often enjoy seeing just how much of a pummelling that Popeye will receive before he pops open a can of spinach.

Crazy stuff!!! Yet, as a child, I spent countless Sunday mid-mornings watching these cartoons on Tom Hatten's Popeye Show, featured on KTLA. Obviously, this was well before the "Shelter the children from violent images" trend that came into prominence during the 1980s.

Popeye and Bluto in Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor (1936)

In any case, let's spend a few moments to enjoy some purposeless animated mayhem. ;-)

Here are a handful of vids:

Popeye the Sailor (1933) - First Episode

Shiver Me Timbers! (1934) - Popeye vs. a ship of ghosts

The Hyp-Nut-Tist (1935) - Bluto is a hypnotist

A Clean Shaven Man (1936) - Traditional brutal competition over Olive Oyl's affection

How Green Is My Spinach (1950) - Bluto finally figures out Popeye's source of strength


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