HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Windom's Way
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
   
 
Newest Articles
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Popeye the Sailor meets Sindbad the Sailor Strong To The Finish
Year: 1936
Director: Dave Fleischer
Stars: Jack Mercer, Mae Questel, Gus Wickie, Lou Fleischer
Genre: Comedy, Animated, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Sindbad the Sailor (voiced by Gus Wickie) lives on an island in the middle of the ocean on the back of a whale, or so he claims, and is a boastful sort who likes to sing of his exploits as the "most remarkable, extraordinary fellow" while his menagerie of exotic animals which he has collected over the years join in on the chorus. He keeps these creatures in line with a regular, well-placed biff to the head, so his lions, gorillas and dragons will never try to best him, knowing he is too strong, and even his two-headed monster and giant Rokh, a huge bird, follow his every command. However one morning when Sindbad is singing his song, he is interrupted by a voice drifting over the sea: Popeye the Sailor (Jack Mercer)!

Popeye the Sailor's song is far better known than Sindbad's anyway, even today, such is its catchiness, and he used it to herald his every appearance in the Fleischer Brothers' cartoons which starred him, making him immediately recognisable: it was like an advertising jingle, and just as in the world of commerce, the world of animation in the nineteen-thirties was one of fierce rivalry. The Fleischers' main rival was Walt Disney, and as we now are well aware they may have won various battles, but Disney won the war as his company endured into the twenty-first century while they struggled in the forties and eventually fell away.

But those battles they succeeded in were worthy, including producing the first sound cartoon which even to this day Disney gets the credit for instead, but one of their most notable achievements was the run of three Technicolor Popeye cartoons of the late thirties. This was the first, twice the length of the black and white one reelers that had gone before and plonking the familiar characters down in a fable, as if to indicate to the audience that this was something special. Popeye, Olive Oyl (voiced by Mae Questel, also the voice of Betty Boop) and Bluto would adopt different roles in each of the shorts, but they were placed in a milieu recognisable to contemporary audiences.

So Popeye would not show up in medieval times as a knight, for example, as a regular Warner Bros. character might, he had to be grounded in some familiar reality even as the adventures he got involved with featured outlandish violence of the sort superheroes get stuck into in blockbusters, only with more of a sense of humour. The Fleischers were taking a gamble with these colour efforts and casting Bluto as Sindbad was one thing, yet having him kidnap Olive was certainly the kind of activity he would regularly get up to before, as he does here. This gamble paved the way for feature length cartoons with the Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but these guys never took to the longer format as well as their opponents did, which some saw as the reason they did not last.

They undoubtedly had popular characters with this line of animation, and all of it hand drawn, mixed with so-called tabletop backgrounds, actual models the characters could be placed over for the illusion of depth; director Dave Fleischer had used that before in the seven minute works, but the process really came into its own in these colour efforts, rendering them some of the best looking of their era. If you thought you'd prefer to see Popeye and company in a more traditional milieu, then you were not going to get on with the fairy tale versions, though audiences of the day loved these and flocked to them, in their way the signalling what much loved characters would do when they were taken out of the short form and into a production lasting over an hour, which may be a mixed blessing: Bugs Bunny playing sci-fi basketball in Space Jam was not exactly satisfying. Here, however, the Fleischers got it right, since no matter the plot, flimsy as it was, they were still the same cartoons, Popeye still sounded like Popeye, and the jokes were as surreal as ever. The eye-catching colour process was the icing on the cake.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2673 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: