Friday, October 7, 2016

Popeye as a Sculptor

In this 1937 Fleischer cartoon, Bluto is a painter and Popeye is a sculptor who share an art studio. Along comes Olive Oyl for her portrait, and the mayhem begins. 

(If you're receiving this blog post as an email, you might need to follow this link to YouTube)


Kyle said...

These cartoons were always so clever. I'm never disappointed! Thanks for the post

Alan Anderson said...

A favorite when I was a kid.

Warren JB said...

Agreed with Kyle. It's difficult to keep up with the jokes and puns!

It's strangely refreshing to see how they didn't worry too much about lip-synching, or animating the mouth at all as the characters are speaking. Almost like a stream of consciousness or audible thoughts rather than dialogue spoken by the characters. It also gives me a little nostalgia for that grand British, Oliver Postgate/Ivor Wood, budget-stop-motion tradition I grew up with. :)

Pierre Fontaine said...

Three things stand out with the Fleischer Popeye Cartoons of the 1930s.

The first thing is the stream of consciousness dialogue and lack of lip syncing as mentioned by Warren.

The second thing is the distinctly urban setting of the Popeye cartoons. While other characters lived in suburbia, Popeye looked like he lived in the middle of New York City which is a strange choice given the nature of the Thimble Theater and Popeye strips that Segar produced. The subway line outside the art studio was something the animators at the Fleischer studios would have been familiar with since they were in fact located in Manhattan.

The third point is that Jack Mercer's voice for Popeye is a remarkable invention all its own. Granted, he wasn't the original voice for the character (William Costello established that gravelly voice for the first few cartoons) but Mercer soon took over, refined the voice and added so many wonderful ad-libs that the character truly came to life with his unique performance.

I LOVED these cartoons as a kid though I find them hard to watch now. Regardless, I've always admired the skill it took to produce these lovely black and white cartoons and appreciate that they were a production of an east coast studio.