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Popeye (Thimble Theatre)
Thimbledecem11951.jpg
Author(s) E. C. Segar (creator, 1919–1937, 1938)
Doc Winner (1937, 1938)
Tom Sims & Bela Zaboly (1938–1955)
Ralph Stein & Bela Zaboly (1955–1959)
Bud Sagendorf (1959–1994)
Bobby London (1986–1992)
Hy Eisman (1994–present)
Website www.popeye.com
Current status / schedule New strips on Sundays, reprints Monday through Saturday
Launch date December 19, 1919
End date July 30, 1994 (date of last daily strip, Sunday strips continue)
Syndicate(s) King Features Syndicate
Publisher(s) King Features Syndicate
Genre(s) Humor, adventure

Popeye the Sailor is a fictional hero notable for appearing in comic strips and animated films as well as numerous television shows. He was created by Elzie Crisler Segar,[1] and first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929. Popeye has now become the series' title as well.

Although Segar's Thimble Theatre strip, first published on December 19, 1919, was in its tenth year when Popeye made his debut, the sailor quickly became the main focus of the strip and Thimble Theatre became one of King Features' most popular properties during the 1930s. Thimble Theatre was carried on after Segar's death in 1938 by several writers and artists, most notably Segar's assistant Bud Sagendorf. The strip, now titled Popeye, continues to appear in first-run installments in its Sunday edition, written and drawn by Hy Eisman. The daily strips are reprints of old Sagendorf stories.

In 1933, Max and Dave Fleischer's Fleischer Studios adapted the Thimble Theatre characters into a series of Popeye the Sailor theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures. These cartoons proved to be among the most popular of the 1930s, and the Fleischers—and later Paramount's own Famous Studios—continued production through 1957. The cartoons are now owned by Warner Bros. Animation and Turner Entertainment by way of King Features.

Contents

Since then, Popeye has appeared in comic books, television cartoons, arcade and video games, hundreds of advertisements and peripheral products, and a 1980 live-action film directed by Robert Altman starring comedian Robin Williams as Popeye.

On January 1, 2009, 70 years since the death of his creator, Segar's character of Popeye (though not the various films, TV shows, theme music and other media based on him) became public domain[2] in most countries, but remains under copyright in the United States.

Characters and story

In most appearances (except during the World War II era), Popeye is a middle-aged sailor with a unique way of speaking, one eye apparently missing, disproportionately muscular forearms with two anchor tattoos, thinning red hair, and an ever-present corncob pipe (which he toots like a steamship's whistle at times). Despite some mistaken characterizations over the years, Popeye is generally depicted as having only one blue eye, his left. In at least one Fleischer cartoon, Bluto refers to Popeye as a "one-eyed runt." It has never been revealed specifically how Popeye lost his right eye, although he claims it was in "the mos' arful battle" of his life. Later versions of the character had both eyes, with one of them merely being squinty, or "squinky" as he put it. According to the official site, Popeye is 34 years old and was born in a typhoon off Santa Monica, California.

Popeye's strange, comic and often supernatural adventures take him all over the world, and place him in conflict with enemies such as the Sea Hag and Bluto. His main base of operations is the fictional town of Sweethaven. Popeye's father is the degenerate Poopdeck Pappy, who does not share his son's moral righteousness and is represented as having abandoned Popeye in some sources. Popeye's sweetheart (and in some sources, wife) over the years is Olive Oyl; although the two characters often bickered, especially in early stories after his first appearance. Popeye is the adoptive father of Swee'Pea, an infant foundling left on his doorstep. (Sweet Pea is a term of affection used by Popeye; in the cartoon We Aim to Please, he addressed Olive Oyl as "Sweet Pea" at one point.)

In addition to a gravelly voice and a casual attitude towards grammar, Popeye is known for having an apparent speech impediment (a common character-distinguishing device in early cartoons), which either comes naturally or is caused by the ever-present pipe in his mouth. Among other things, he has problems enunciating a trailing "t"; thus, "fist" becomes "fisk" (as sung in his theme song, which makes it conveniently rhyme with "risk") and "infant" becomes "infink." This speech impediment even found its way into some of the titles of the cartoons.

Popeye is depicted as having superhuman strength, though the nature of his strength changes depending on which medium he is represented in. Originally, the comic-strip Popeye gained his strength and invulnerability in 1929 by rubbing the head of the rare Whiffle Hen. From early 1932 onward, especially the cartoons, Popeye was depicted as eating spinach to become stronger. The animated shorts depicted Popeye as ridiculously strong, but liable to be pummeled by the much larger Bluto before his eating of the spinach.

When fed up with this treatment or exhausted, he would eat spinach, which would instantly restore and amplify his strength to an even greater level. In the comic strips, spinach is presented as a panacea, infusing Popeye not only with his extraordinary strength, but also making him invulnerable to all sorts of threats (including bullets, a basilisk's petrifying gaze, or aliens' weapons) and even capable of feats like flight or extraordinarily fast swimming (usually with the aid of his pipe as a propeller). In the animated shorts, Popeye's ingestion of spinach – which is almost invariably canned – is equally fanciful and often involves squeezing the can until the top opens, or sucking the spinach through his pipe, and on rare occasions, even ingesting the can as well. Occasionally, spinach has a similar invigorating power on other characters.

Other differences in Popeye's story and characterization show up depending upon which medium he is presented in. While Swee'Pea is definitively the adopted child of Popeye in the comic strips, he is often depicted as being related to Olive Oyl in cartoons. The cartoons also occasionally feature family members of Popeye that have never appeared in the strip, notably his look-alike nephews Peepeye, Pupeye, Pipeye, and Poopeye.

Even though there is no absolute sense of continuity in the stories, certain plot and presentation elements remain mostly constant, including purposeful contradictions in Popeye's capabilities. Though at times he seems bereft of manners or uneducated, Popeye is often depicted as capable of coming up with solutions to problems that (to the police, or, most importantly, the scientific community) seem insurmountable. Popeye has, alternatively, displayed Sherlock Holmes-like investigative prowess, determining for instance that his beloved Olive was abducted by estimating the depth of the villains' footprints in the sand, scientific ingenuity (as his construction, within a few hours, of a "spinach-drive" spaceship), or oversimplified (yet successful) diplomatic argumentation, by presenting to diplomatic conferences his own existence (and superhuman strength) as the only true guarantee of world peace.

Popeye's vastly versatile exploits are deemed even more amusing by a few standard plot elements. One is the love triangle between Popeye, Olive and Bluto, and the latter's endless machinations to claim Olive at Popeye's expense. Another is his (near-saintly) perseverance to overcome any obstacle to please Olive – who, quite often, treats him like dirt, and ends up being the only character capable of beating him up. Finally, in terms of the endless array of villain plots, Popeye mostly comes to the truth by "accidentally" sneaking on the villains, the moment they are bragging about their schemes' ingenuity, thus revealing everything to an enraged Popeye, who uses his "fisks" in the name of justice.

Thimble Theatre and Popeye comic strips

Popeye's first appearance in Thimble Theatre (January 17, 1929)

Thimble Theatre was created by King Features Syndicate comic writer/artist E.C. Segar, and was his third published strip. The strip first appeared in the New York Journal, a newspaper operated by King Features owner William Randolph Hearst, on December 19, 1919 before later expanding into more papers. In its early years, the strip featured characters acting out various stories and scenarios in theatrical style (hence the strip's name.)

Thimble Theatre's first main characters/actors were the thin Olive Oyl and her boyfriend, Harold Hamgravy. After the strip moved away from its initial focus, it settled into a comedy-adventure style featuring Olive, Ham Gravy, and Olive's enterprising brother, Castor Oyl. Olive's parents, Cole and Nana Oyl, also made frequent appearances.

Popeye first appeared in the strip on January 17, 1929 as a minor character. He was initially hired by Castor Oyl and Ham to crew a ship for a voyage to Dice Island, the location of a casino owned by the crooked gambler Fadewell. Castor intended to break the bank at the casino using the unbeatable good luck conferred by stroking the hairs on the head of Bernice the Whiffle Hen. Weeks later, on the trip back, Popeye was shot many times by Jack Snork, a stooge of Fadewell's but survived by rubbing Bernice's head. After the adventure, Popeye left the strip—but due to reader reaction he was quickly brought back.

Popeye and J. Wellington Wimpy in E. C. Segar's Thimble Theatre

The Popeye character became so popular that he was given a larger role, and the strip was expanded into many more newspapers as a result. Though initial strips presented Olive Oyl as being less than impressed with Popeye, she eventually left Ham Gravy to become Popeye's girlfriend-and Ham Gravy left the strip as a regular. Over the years, however, she has often displayed a fickle attitude towards the sailor. Castor Oyl continued to come up with get-rich-quick schemes and enlisted Popeye in his misadventures. Eventually he settled down as a detective and later on bought a ranch out West. Castor has seldom appeared in recent years.

In 1933, Popeye received a foundling baby in the mail, whom he adopted and named "Swee'Pea." Other regular characters in the strip were J. Wellington Wimpy, a hamburger-loving moocher who would "gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" (he was also soft-spoken and cowardly, which may have led to the coinage of the word wimpy); George W. Geezil, a local cobbler who spoke in a heavily affected accent and habitually attempted to murder or wish death upon Wimpy; and Eugene the Jeep, a yellow, vaguely dog-like animal from Africa with magical powers. In addition, the strip featured the Sea Hag, a terrible pirate, as well as the last witch on earth (her even more terrible sister excepted);Alice the Goon, a monstrous creature who entered the strip as the Sea Hag's henchman and continued as Swee'Pea's babysitter; and Toar, a caveman.

Segar's strip was quite different from the cartoons that followed. The stories were more complex, with many characters who never appeared in the cartoons (King Blozo, for example). Spinach usage was rare and Bluto made only one appearance. Segar would sign some of his early Popeye comic strips with a cigar, due to his last name being a homonym of "cigar" (pronounced SEE-gar).

Thimble Theatre soon became one of King Features' most popular strips during the 1930s and, following an eventual name change to Popeye in the 1970s, remains one of the longest running strips in syndication today. The strip carried on after Segar's death in 1938, at which point he was replaced by a series of artists. In the 1950s, a spinoff strip was established, called Popeye the Sailorman. Acknowledging Popeye's growing popularity, the Thimble Theatre strip was re-named Thimble Theatre Starring Popeye during the 1960s and 1970s, and was eventually retitled, simply, Popeye, the name under which the strip continues to run.

Artists after Segar

After Segar's death in 1938, many different artists were hired to draw the strip. Tom Sims, the son of a Coosa River channel-boat captain, continued writing Thimble Theatre strips and established the Popeye the Sailorman spin-off. Doc Winner and Bela Zaboly,[3] successively, handled the artwork during Sims's run. Eventually, Ralph Stein stepped in to write the strip until the series was taken over by Bud Sagendorf in 1959.

Sagendorf wrote and drew the daily strip until 1986, and continued to write and draw the Sunday strip until his death in 1994. Sagendorf, who had been Segar's assistant, made a definite effort to retain much of Segar's classic style, although his art is instantly discernible. Sagendorf continued to use many obscure characters from the Segar years, especially O.G. Wotasnozzle and King Blozo. Sagendorf's new characters, such as the Thung, also had a very Segar-like quality. What set Sagendorf apart from Segar more than anything else was his sense of pacing. Where plotlines moved very quickly with Segar, it would sometimes take an entire week of Sagendorf's daily strips for the plot to be advanced even a small amount.

From 1986 to 1992, the daily strip was written and drawn by Bobby London, who, after some controversy, was fired from the strip for a story that could be taken to satirize abortion.[4] London's strips put Popeye and his friends in updated situations, but kept the spirit of Segar's original. One classic storyline, titled "The Return of Bluto," showed the sailor battling every version of the bearded bully from the comic strip, comic books, and animated films. The Sunday edition of the comic strip is currently drawn by Hy Eisman, who took over in 1994. The daily strip began featuring reruns of Sagendorf's strips after London was fired, and continues to do so today.

Theatrical cartoons

In November 1932, King Features signed an agreement with Fleischer Studios, run by producer Max Fleischer and his brother, director Dave Fleischer, to have Popeye and the other Thimble Theatre characters begin appearing in a series of animated cartoons. The first cartoon in the series was released in 1933, and Popeye cartoons, released by Paramount Pictures, would remain a staple of Paramount's release schedule for nearly 25 years.

The plotlines in the animated cartoons tended to be simpler than those presented in the comic strips, and the characters slightly different. A villain, usually Bluto, made a move on Popeye's "sweetie," Olive Oyl. The bad guy then clobbered Popeye until Popeye ate spinach, giving him superhuman strength. Thus empowered, the sailor made short work of the villain.

The animated Popeye shorts were the first stories to suggest that Popeye's enormous strength came from a love of spinach; in the Thimble Theatre strips, Popeye did say he owed his strength to spinach, but was rarely seen actually using it until the cartoons. The 1954 Popeye cartoon Greek Mirthology depicts the fictional origin of spinach consumption in Popeye's family. Popeye's Greek ancestor, Hercules, originally sniffed garlic to gain his supernatural powers. When the evil Brutus removes the scent of the garlic using chlorophyll (an obvious incongruity), Hercules ends up getting punched into a spinach field, and, upon eating the leafy green substance, finds it empowers him many times more than garlic. (This story should be dismissed as just one of many fictional stories Popeye told his nephews so they would eat their spinach, a common theme in the Famous Studios cartoons.) The 1980 Popeye film depicted Popeye as initially disliking the vegetable until Bluto force-fed him some, resulting in great strength.

Many of the Thimble Theatre characters, including Wimpy, Poopdeck Pappy, and Eugene the Jeep, eventually made appearances in the Paramount cartoons, though appearances by Olive Oyl's extended family and Ham Gravy were notably absent. Popeye was also given more family exclusive to the shorts, specifically his look-alike nephews Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye.

Fleischer Studios

Popeye, about to eat his spinach, in Fleischer's Little Swee' Pea (1936).

Popeye made his film debut in Popeye the Sailor, a 1933 Betty Boop cartoon (Betty only makes a brief appearance, repeating her hula dance from Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle). It was for this short that Sammy Lerner's "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man" song was written. I Yam What I Yam became the first entry in the regular Popeye the Sailor series.

For the first few cartoons, the opening-credits music consisted of an instrumental of "The Sailor's Hornpipe," followed by a vocal variation on "Strike Up the Band (Here Comes a Sailor)," substituting the words "for Popeye the Sailor" in the latter phrase. After that the "I Yam What I Yam" tune was used as the theme song. As Betty Boop gradually declined in quality as a result of the Hays Code being enforced in 1934, Popeye became the studio's star character by 1936.

The character of Popeye was originally voiced by William "Billy" Costello, also known as "Red Pepper Sam." When Costello's behavior allegedly became a problem, he was replaced by former in-betweener animator Jack Mercer, beginning with King of the Mardi Gras in 1935. Jack Mercer copied Costello's gravelly voice style familiar to audiences. Olive Oyl was voiced by a number of actresses, the most notable of which was Mae Questel, who also voiced Betty Boop. Questel eventually took over the part completely until 1938. Gus Wickie voiced Bluto during the series' first five years of production until his death in 1938, his last work as the "Chief" in Big Chief Ugh-A-Mug-Ugh.

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

Thanks to the animated-short series, Popeye became even more of a sensation than he had been in comic strips. During the mid-1930s, polls taken by theater owners proved Popeye more popular than Mickey Mouse.[5][6] In 1935, as Popeye was able to surpass Mickey Mouse in popularity, Paramount added to Popeye's popularity by sponsoring the "Popeye Club" as part of their Saturday matinée program, in competition with Mickey Mouse Clubs. Popeye cartoons, including a sing-along special entitled Let's Sing With Popeye, were a regular part of the weekly meetings. For a 10-cent membership fee, club members were given a Popeye kazoo, a membership card, the chance to become elected as the Club's "Popeye" or "Olive Oyl," and the opportunity to win other gifts.

The original 1932 agreement with the syndicate called for any films made within ten years and any elements of them, to be destroyed in 1942. This would have erased all Fleisher films, which are considered the best of the series. King was not sure what effect the cartoons would have on the strip; if the effect was very negative, King was very eager to erase any memory of the cartoons by destroying them. However, the films were not destroyed, either through oversight or because of their success.[citation needed]

The Popeye series, like other cartoons produced by the Fleischers, was noted for its urban feel (the Fleischers operated out of New York City), its manageable variations on a simple theme (Popeye loses Olive to bully Bluto and must eat his spinach and defeat him), and the characters' "under-the-breath" mutterings. The voices for Fleischer cartoons produced during the early and mid-1930s were recorded after the animation was completed. The actors, Mercer in particular, would therefore improvise lines that were not on the storyboards or prepared for the lip-sync. Even after the Fleischers began pre-recording dialog for lip-sync in the late-1930s, Mercer and the other voice actors would record ad-libbed lines while watching a finished copy of the cartoon.[7] Fleischer Studios produced 108 Popeye cartoons, 105 of them in black-and-white. The remaining three were two-reel (double-length) Technicolor adaptations of stories from the Arabian Nights billed as "Popeye Color Features": Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (1936), Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves (1937), and Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1939).

The Fleischers moved their studio to Miami, Florida in September 1938 in order to weaken union control and take advantage of tax breaks. The Popeye series continued production, although a marked change was seen in the Florida-produced shorts: they were brighter and less detailed in their artwork, with attempts to bring the character animation closer to a Disney style. Mae Questel, who started a family, refused to move to Florida, and Margie Hines, the wife of Jack Mercer, voiced Olive Oyl through the end of 1943. Several voice actors, among them Pinto Colvig (better known as the voice of Disney's Goofy), succeeded Gus Wickie as the voice of Bluto between 1938 and 1943.

In 1941, with World War II becoming more of a source of concern in the United States, Popeye was enlisted into the U.S. Navy, as depicted in the 1941 short The Mighty Navy. His costume was changed from the black shirt and white neckerchief to an official white Navy suit, which Popeye continued to wear in animated cartoons until the 1960s. Popeye periodically appeared in his original costume when at home on shore leave, as in the 1942 entry Pip-Eye, Pup-Eye, Poop-Eye, An' Peep-Eye, which introduced his four identical nephews, and in the 1952 Famous cartoon Big Bad Sindbad, which featured clips from 1936's Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor and also featured Popeye's nephews, albeit reduced to three.

Famous Studios

In May 1941, Paramount Pictures assumed ownership of Fleischer Studios, which had borrowed heavily from Paramount in order to move to Florida and expand into features (Gulliver's Travels and Mister Bug Goes to Town).[8] By the end of the year, Max and Dave Fleischer were no longer on speaking terms with each other, communicating solely by memo.[9] Paramount fired the Fleischers and began reorganizing the studio, which they renamed Famous Studios.

With Famous Studios headed by Sam Buchwald, Seymour Kneitel, Isadore Sparber and Dan Gordon, production continued on the Popeye shorts. The early Famous-era shorts were often World War II-themed, featuring Popeye fighting Nazis and Japanese soldiers, most notably the 1942 short You're a Sap, Mr. Jap.

In late 1943, the Popeye series was moved to Technicolor production, beginning with Her Honor the Mare. Though these cartoons were produced in full color, some films in the late-1940's period were released in less-expensive two-color (usually) processes like Cinecolor and Polacolor. Paramount had begun moving the studio back to New York that January, and Mae Questel reassumed voice duties for Olive Oyl. Jack Mercer was drafted into the Navy during World War II, and scripts were stockpiled for Mercer to record whenever he was on leave. When Mercer was unavailable, Harry Welch stood in as the voice of Popeye (and at least one short had Mae Questel doing Popeye's voice as well as Olive's). New voice cast member Jackson Beck began voicing Bluto within a few years; he, Mercer, and Questel would continue to voice their respective characters into the 1960s. Over time, the Technicolor Famous shorts began to adhere even closer to the standard Popeye formula, and softened, rounder character designs — including an Olive Oyl design which gave the character high heels and an updated hairstyle — were evident by late 1946.

Theatrical Popeye cartoons on television

Famous/Paramount continued producing the Popeye series until 1957, with Spooky Swabs being the last of the 125 Famous shorts in the series. Paramount then sold the Popeye film catalog to Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.), which was bought out by United Artists in 1958 and later merged with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which was itself purchased by Turner Entertainment in 1986. Turner sold off the production end of MGM/UA shortly after, but retained the film catalog, giving it the rights to the theatrical Popeye library.

The black-and-white Popeye shorts were shipped to South Korea and Taiwan in 1985, where artists retraced them into color. The process was intended to make the shorts more marketable in the modern television era, but prevented the viewers from seeing the original Fleischer pen-and-ink work, as well as the three-dimensional backgrounds created by Fleischer's "Stereoptical" process. Every other frame was traced, changing the animation from being "on ones" (24 frame/s) to being "on twos" (12 frame/s), and softening the pace of the films. These colorized shorts began airing on Superstation WTBS in 1986 during their Tom & Jerry and Friends 90-minute weekday morning and hour-long weekday afternoon shows. The retraced shorts were syndicated in 1987 on a barter basis, and remained available until the early 1990s. Turner merged with Time Warner in 1996, and Warner Bros. (through its Turner subsidiary) therefore currently controls the rights to the Popeye shorts.

Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Bluto in a scene from Famous Studios' Floor Flusher (1953).
Popeye in Patriotic Popeye (1957).

For many decades, viewers could only see a majority of the classic Popeye cartoons with altered opening and closing credits. a.a.p. had, for the most part, replaced the original Paramount logos with their own. In 2001, the Cartoon Network, under the supervision of animation historian Jerry Beck, created a new incarnation of The Popeye Show. The show aired the Fleischer and Famous Studios Popeye shorts in versions approximating their original theatrical releases by editing copies of the original opening and closing credits (taken or recreated from various sources) onto the beginnings and ends of each cartoon, or in some cases, in their complete, uncut original theatrical versions direct from such prints that originally contained the front-and-end Paramount credits.

The series, which aired 135 Popeye shorts over forty-five episodes, also featured segments offering trivia about the characters, voice actors, and animators. The program aired without interruption until March 2004. The Popeye Show continued to air on Cartoon Network's spin-off network Boomerang. The restored Popeye Show versions of the shorts are sometimes seen at revival film houses for occasional festival screenings. The Popeye Show is currently airing on Cartoon Network in Pakistan as well as in India. A daily half-hour block of Popeye is currently airing on the Boomerang network.

Home video

MGM/UA Home Video had planned a VHS and Beta release of the Fleischer and Famous Studios cartoons in 1983. However, UA was informed by King Features Syndicate that only King Features had the legal right to release Popeye cartoons on video[citation needed]. United Artists did not challenge King Features' claim, and the release was canceled[citation needed]. While King Features owns the rights to the Popeye characters, and licensed the characters to appear in the Fleischer/Famous cartoons, King Features does not have any ownership in the films themselves.

A clause in the original contract between Paramount Pictures and King Features stated that after ten years, the prints and negatives of the Popeye cartoons were to be destroyed,[10] a clause the syndicate had for all of its licensed properties. The clause was never enforced for Popeye.

While many of the Paramount Popeye cartoons remained unavailable on video, a handful of those cartoons had fallen into public domain and were found on numerous low budget VHS tapes and later DVDs. Among these cartoons are a handful of the Fleischer black-and-whites, several 1950s Famous shorts (many of which went public domain after the MGM/UA merger), and all three Popeye Color Specials. When Turner Entertainment acquired the cartoons in 1986, a long and laborious legal struggle with King Features kept the majority of the original Popeye shorts from official video releases for more than 20 years. King Features instead opted to release a DVD boxed set of the 1960s made-for-television Popeye cartoons, which it retained the rights to, in 2004. In the meantime, home video rights to the Turner Entertainment library were transferred from MGM/UA Home Video to Warner Home Video in 1999.

In 2006, Warner Bros. finally reached an agreement with King Features Syndicate and its parent company Hearst Corporation. Warner Home Video announced it would release all of the Popeye cartoons produced for theatrical release between 1933 and 1957 on DVD, restored and uncut. The studio also plans to release DVD sets of the Popeye cartoons made for television in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the rights to which are controlled by Hearst Entertainment.[11] This is similar in most respects to the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD sets also released by Warner, except the Popeye shorts will be released in chronological order.

The first of Warner's Popeye DVD sets, covering the cartoons released from 1933 until early 1938, was released on July 31, 2007. Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938, Volume 1, a four-disc collector’s edition DVD, contains the first 60 Fleischer Popeye cartoons, including the color specials Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor and Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves. Restoration timelines caused Warners to re-imagine the Popeye DVD sets as a series of two-disc sets. This DVD set was included, either erroneously or through fraud, in a batch of boxed sets sold in discount outlets for $3 or less in the summer of 2009.[1]

A second volume of Popeye cartoons from Warner Home Video, Popeye the Sailor: 1938-1940, Volume 2 was released on June 17, 2008.[12] It includes the final color Popeye special Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp.[13] Warner also released Popeye & Friends, Volume One, a single DVD featuring eight color Popeye cartoons from Hanna-Barbera's 1978 TV series The All-New Popeye Hour, on the same day (Hanna-Barbera is also a division of WB).[14]

Popeye the Sailor: 1941-1943, Volume 3 was released on November 4, 2008.[15] It includes three seldom shown wartime Popeye cartoons: You're A Sap, Mister Jap (1942), Scrap The Japs (1942), and Seein' Red, White, and Blue (1943). A second single-disc volume of H-B produced Popeye TV cartoons was also scheduled for release titled Popeye & Friends, Volume Two,[16] but Warner decided to cancel the release of this DVD.[17]

Original television cartoons

In 1960, King Features Syndicate commissioned a new series of Popeye cartoons, but this time for television syndication. Al Brodax served as executive producer of the cartoons for King Features. Jack Mercer, Mae Questel, and Jackson Beck returned for this series, which was produced by a number of companies, including Jack Kinney Productions, Rembrandt Films (William L. Snyder and Gene Deitch), Larry Harmon Productions, Halas and Batchelor, Paramount Cartoon Studios (formerly Famous Studios), and Southern Star Entertainment (formerly Southern Star Productions). The artwork was streamlined and simplified for the television budgets, and 220 cartoons were produced in only two years, with the first set of them premiering in the autumn of 1960, and the last of them debuting during the 1961–1962 television season. Since King Features had exclusive rights to these Popeye cartoons, 85 of them were released on DVD as a 75th anniversary Popeye boxed set in 2004.

For these cartoons, Bluto's name was changed to "Brutus," as King Features believed at the time that Paramount owned the rights to the name "Bluto." Many of the cartoons made by Paramount used plots and storylines taken directly from the comic strip sequences-as well as characters like King Blozo and the Sea Hag.[18] The 1960s cartoons have been issued on both VHS and DVD.

On September 9, 1978, The All-New Popeye Hour debuted on the CBS Saturday morning lineup. It was an hour-long animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, which tried its best to retain the style of the original comic strip (Popeye returned to his original costume and Brutus to his original name of Bluto), while complying with the prevailing content restrictions on violence. In addition to providing many of the cartoon scripts, Mercer continued to voice Popeye, while Marilyn Schreffler and Allan Melvin became the new voices of Olive Oyl and Bluto, respectively. (Mae Questel actually auditioned for Hanna-Barbera to recreate Olive Oyl, but was rejected in favor of Schreffler.) The All-New Popeye Hour ran on CBS until September 1981, when it was cut to a half-hour and retitled The Popeye and Olive Show. It was removed from the CBS lineup in September 1983, the year before Jack Mercer's death. These cartoons have also been released on VHS and DVD. During the time these cartoons were in production, CBS aired The Popeye Valentine's Day Special – Sweethearts at Sea on February 14 (St. Valentine's Day, of course), 1979. In the UK, the BBC aired a half-hour version of The All-New Popeye Show, from the early-1980s to 2004.

Popeye briefly returned to CBS in 1987 for Popeye and Son, another Hanna-Barbera series, which featured Popeye and Olive as a married couple with a son named Popeye Jr., who hates but respects spinach. Maurice LaMarche performed Popeye's voice; Mercer had died in 1984. The show lasted for one season.

Popeye as he appeared in Drawn Together

In 2004, Lions Gate Entertainment produced a computer-animated television special, Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy, which was made to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Popeye. Billy West performed the voice of Popeye; after the first day of recording, his throat was so sore he had to return to his hotel room and drink honey. The uncut version was released on DVD on November 9, 2004; and was aired in a re-edited version on Fox on December 17, 2004 and again on December 30, 2005. Its style was influenced by the 1930s Fleischer cartoons, and featured Swee'Pea, Wimpy, Bluto (who is Popeye's friend in this version), Olive Oyl, Poopdeck Pappy and the Sea Hag as its characters. On November 6, 2007, Lionsgate Entertainment re-released Popeye’s Voyage on DVD with redesigned cover art.

The current voice of Popeye is Jim Cummings.

Popeye has made brief parody appearances in modern animated productions, including:

Theme song

Popeye’s theme song, titled "I'm Popeye The Sailor Man", composed by Sammy Lerner in 1933 for Fleischer’s first Popeye the Sailor cartoon,[19] has become forever associated with the sailor. As one cartoon historian has observed, the song itself was inspired by the first two lines of the "Pirate King" song in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, The Pirates of Penzance: "For I am a Pirate King! (Hoorah for the Pirate King!)"[citation needed] The tune behind those two lines is identical to the "Popeye" song except for the high note on the first "King."

A cover of the song, performed by Face To Face, is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.

Other media

Bud Sagendorf's cover of Popeye #50 (Oct.-Dec. 1959) shows Popeye with his corncob pipe, single good eye and girlfriend Olive Oyl.

The success of Popeye as a comic-strip and animated character has led to appearances in many other forms.

Comic books

There have been a number of Popeye comic books, from Dell, King Comics, Gold Key Comics, Charlton Comics and others. In the Dell comics, Popeye became something like a freelance police assistant, fighting the Mafia and Bluto's criminal activities. The new villains included the Ming dwarves, who were identical.

A variety of artists have created Popeye comic book stories since then; for example, George Wildman drew Popeye stories for Charlton Comics from 1969 until the late 1970s. The Gold Key series was illustrated by Wildman and scripted by Bill Pearson, with some issues written by Nick Cuti. Popeye Special #1 (Ocean Comics, Summer 1987) was edited by Pearson, who also lettered and inked the book-length story, "Borned to the Sea!", and the front cover.

Popeye also appeared in "TV Comic", a News of the World publication, and became the cover story in 1960 with stories written and drawn by 'Chick' Henderson.

In 1989, a special series of short Popeye comic books were included in specially marked boxes of Instant Quaker Oatmeal, and Popeye also appeared in TV commercials for Quaker Oatmeal, which featured a parrot delivering the tag line "Popeye wants a Quaker!". The plots were similar to those of the films: Popeye loses either Olive Oyl or Swee'Pea to a musclebound antagonist, eats something invigorating, and proceeds to save the day. In this case, however, the invigorating elixir was not his usual spinach, but rather one of four flavors of Quaker Oatmeal. (A different flavor was showcased with each mini-comic.) The comics ended with the sailor saying, "I'm Popeye the Quaker Man!", which offended members of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers. Members of this religious group (which has no connection to the cereal company) are pacifists and do not believe in using violence to resolve conflicts. For Popeye to call himself a "Quaker man" after beating up someone was offensive to the Quakers and considered a misrepresentation of their faith and religious beliefs. After a brief protest, the Quaker Oatmeal Company pulled the comic books and commercials in 1990, and the promotional campaign remains little-known.

In 1999, to celebrate Popeye's 70th anniversary, a one-shot comic book written by Peter David was released by Ocean Comics. Entitled The Wedding of Popeye and Olive Oyl, the comic book brought together a large portion of the casts of both the comic strip and the animated shorts, and Popeye and Olive Oyl were finally wed after decades of courtship. This marriage has not been reflected in all media since the comic was published, however.

Radio

Popeye was adapted to radio in several series broadcast over three different networks by two sponsors from 1935 to 1938.

Popeye and most of the major supporting characters were first featured in a thrice-weekly 15-minute radio program, Popeye the Sailor, which starred Detmar Poppen as Popeye along with most of the major supporting characters—Olive Oyl (Olive Lamoy), Wimpy (Charles Lawrence), Bluto (Jackson Beck) and Swee'Pea (Mae Questel). In the first episode, Popeye adopted Sonny (Jimmy Donnelly), a character later known as Matey the Newsboy. This program was broadcast Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights at 7:15pm. September 10, 1935 through March 28, 1936 on the NBC Red Network (87 episodes), initially sponsored by Wheatena, a whole-wheat breakfast cereal, which would routinely replace the spinach references. Music was provided by Victor Irwin's Cartoonland Band. Announcer Kelvin Keech sang (to composer Lerner's "Popeye" theme) "Wheatena is his diet / He asks you to try it / With Popeye the sailor man." Wheatena paid King Features Syndicate $1,200 per week.

The show was next broadcast Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7:15 – 7:30 p.m. on WABC, and ran from August 31, 1936 to February 26, 1937 (78 episodes). Floyd Buckley played Popeye, and Miriam Wolfe portrayed both Olive Oyl and the Sea Hag. Once again, reference to spinach was conspicuously absent. Now Popeye would sing, "Wheatena's me diet / I ax ya to try it / I'm Popeye the Sailor Man".[20][21]

The third series was sponsored by the maker of Popsicle three nights a week for 15 minutes at 6:15pm on CBS from May 2, 1938 through July 29, 1938.

Of the three series, only 20 of the 204 episodes are still known to exist.

Film

Director Robert Altman used the character in Popeye, a 1980 live-action musical feature film starring Robin Williams as Popeye (his first movie role), Paul Smith as Bluto and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl, with songs by Harry Nilsson. The script was by Jules Feiffer, who adapted the 1971 Nostalgia Press book of 1936 strips for his screenplay, thus retaining many of the characters created by Segar. A co-production of Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions, the movie was filmed almost entirely on Malta, in the village of Mellieħa on the northwest coast of the island. The set is now a tourist attraction called Popeye Village. The US box office earnings were double the film's budget, making it somewhat of a success.

Video and pinball games

The Nintendo arcade game Donkey Kong was originally conceived as a Popeye video game by game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. But due to licensing disagreements with King Features, this idea was scrapped.[22] When Donkey Kong went on to enormous success, King Features agreed to license the characters to Nintendo.

Nintendo created a widescreen Game & Watch called Popeye in 1981. The handheld game featured Popeye on a boat, and the aim was to catch bottles, pineapples, and spinach cans thrown by Olive Oyl while trying to avoid Bluto's boat. If Bluto hit Popeye on the head with his mallet or Popeye failed to catch an object three times, the game would end.

This was followed by a Popeye video game in 1982. The game was originally released as an arcade game and was fairly popular. It was later ported to the Commodore 64 home computer as well as various home game consoles: Intellivision, Atari 2600, ColecoVision, NES, and Odyssey2. The goal was to avoid Bluto (referred to as "Brutus") and the Sea Hag while collecting hearts, musical notes, or the letters in the word "help" (depending on the level). Hitting a can of spinach gave Popeye a brief chance to strike back at Brutus. Other characters such as Wimpy and Swee' Pea appeared in the game but did not greatly affect gameplay. The game is playable on the MAME game emulator computer program for PC. A board game based on the video game was released by Parker Brothers. A table top Game & Watch style game was also released by Nintendo in 1983, which featured Popeye trying to rescue Olive while engaging in fisticuffs with Bluto.

In 1994, Technos Japan released Popeye: Volume of the Malicious Witch Seahag (Popeye: Ijiwaru Majo Shihaggu no Maki) for the Japanese Super Famicom. A side scrolling adventure game that was mixed with a board game, the game never saw US release, but a ROM of the game can be found at various emulation sites. It featured many characters from the Thimble Theatre series as well. In the game, Popeye had to recover magical hearts scattered across the level to restore his frozen friends as part of a spell cast upon them by the Sea Hag in order to get revenge on Popeye.

Midway (under the Bally label) released Popeye Saves the Earth, a SuperPin pinball game, in 1994.

In 2005, a Game Boy Advance video game by Namco called Popeye: Rush for Spinach was released.

In June 2007, the video game The Darkness featured televisions that played full-length films and television shows (since their copyright has expired). Several full Popeye cartoons are featured in the game.

In Fall 2007, Namco Networks released the original Nintendo Popeye arcade game for mobile phones with new features including enhanced graphics and new levels.

Marketing, tie-ins, and endorsements

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, a fast food restaurant chain, is not named after Popeye the sailor but allegedly after the character "Popeye" Doyle from the 1971 film The French Connection, who was in turn named after real police detective Eddie Egan, who was called "Pop Eye" because of his keen observational skills, neatly sidestepping trademark laws. The restaurant chain would later obtain a license for use of the cartoon character and advertise the name as Popeye's after Popeye the sailor, causing some confusion as to the source of the name.

Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits locations in Puerto Rico make extensive use of Popeye the Sailor and associated characters.[23]

Allen's produces its own line of spinach called, 'Popeye Spinach' and comes in various canned varieties. The cartoon Popeye serves as the mascot on the can.[24]

In 1961 Buitoni Pasta marketed a Popeye-shaped spinach macaroni. During the 1960s, Popeye also appeared in advertising for Crown Gasoline.

Popeye also appeared in a 1979 Dr Pepper commercial during the "Be a Pepper" campaign (possibly as a tie-in for the movie, going so far as to modify his traditional catchphrase to "I'm Popeye the Pepper-man").

In 1990, Popeye appeared in an advertisement warning of the harmful effects of coastal pollution. Bluto is laughing as he carelessly dumps garbage over the side of his boat, to which Olive reacts in horror as seagulls and other sea creatures are caught in six-pack ring holders. Popeye punches out Bluto and cleans up his garbage; however, when some more plastic garbage sails by Popeye's boat, he says unsurprisingly, "I can't do it all meself, you know!"

In 1995, the Popeye comic strip was one of 20 included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative U.S. postage stamps.

From early on, Popeye was heavily merchandised. Everything from soap to razor blades to spinach was available with Popeye's likeness on it. Most of these items are rare and sought-after by collectors, but some merchandise is still being produced; for example Mezco Toyz makes classic-style Popeye figures in two sizes, and KellyToys produces plush stuffed Popeye characters.

In 2001, Popeye (along with Bluto, Olive, and twin Wimpys) appeared in a television commercial for Minute Maid Orange Juice. The commercial, produced by Leo Burrnett Co, showed Popeye and Bluto as friends (and neglecting Olive Oyl) due to their having had Minute Maid Orange Juice that morning. The ad agencies intention was to show that even the notable enemies would be in a good mood after their juice, but some, including Robert Knight of the Culture and Family Institute, felt the commercial's intent was to portray the pair in a homosexual romantic relationship—an allegation that Minute Maid denies. Knight was interviewed by Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central's The Daily Show over this issue.

In 2006, King Features produced a radio spot and an industrial for the United States Power Squadrons featuring Robyn Gryphe as Olive and Allen Enlow as Popeye.

World Candies Inc. also produced Popeye-branded "candy cigarettes", which were small sugar sticks with red dye at the end to simulate a flame. They were sold in a small box, similar to a cigarette pack. The company still produces the item, but has since changed the name to "Popeye Candy Sticks" and has ceased putting the red dye at the end.

The original newspaper strips were collected and published in multiple volumes by Fantagraphics. Wimpy's name was borrowed for the Wimpy restaurant chain, one of the first international fast food restaurants featuring hamburgers, which they call "Wimpy Burgers." [1]

In October 2007, to coincide with the launch of the Popeye mobile game, Namco Networks and Sprint launched a Popeye the Sailorman sweepstakes offering the authorized edition four-disc Popeye the Sailor: 1933–1938 Vol. 1 DVD set as grand prize.[25]

Also, Popeye is since 1940 the mascot of the Flamengo (Rio de Janeiro – Brazil), the most popular soccer team with almost 50 millions fans around the world.

Literature

In the short story "The Previous Adventures of Popeye the Sailor," writer Jim Ruland imagines Popeye's life before he met Olive Oyl. The story was first published in the The Black Warrior Review in 2004.

Cultural origins and impact

One historian believes Popeye was inspired from Frank "Rocky" Fiegel,[26] a man who was handy with his fists during Segar's youth in Chester, Illinois. Fiegel was born on January 27, 1868. He lived as a bachelor his entire life and never got married. It was said that later Segar sent checks to Fiegel in the 1930s. Fiegel died on March 24, 1947 at the age of 79.

Culturally,[27] many consider Popeye a precursor to the superheroes who would eventually come to dominate the world of comic books.[28] Some observers of popular culture point out that the fundamental character of Popeye, paralleling that of another 1930s icon, Superman, is very close to the traditional view of how the U.S. sees itself as a nation: possessing uncompromising moral standards and resorting to force when threatened, or when he "can't stands no more" bad behavior from an antagonist.[citation needed] This theory is directly reinforced in certain cartoons, when Popeye defeats his foe while a US patriotic song, usually either "Stars and Stripes Forever," "Yankee Doodle," or "Columbia, Gem of the Ocean," plays on the soundtrack. One of Popeye's catchphrases is "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam," which may be seen as an expression of individualism.

Such has been Popeye's cultural impact that the medical profession sometimes refers to the biceps bulge symptomatic of a tendon rupture as the "Popeye muscle."[29][30] Note, however, that under normal (non-spinach-influenced) conditions, Popeye has pronounced muscles of the forearm, not of the biceps.

At the end of his song "Kansas City Star," Roger Miller's character of a local TV kids show announcer says, "Stay tuned, we'll have a Popeye cartoon in just a minute."

The 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit featured many classic cartoon characters, and the absence of Popeye was noted by some critics. Popeye actually had a role planned for the film, but Disney could not get the rights from Paramount in time.[31]

Most prominently, Popeye has been associated with the vegetable spinach, and is credited by many with popularizing the vegetable among children.

In 1973, Cary Bates created Captain Strong, a takeoff of Popeye, for DC Comics,[32] as a way of having two cultural icons — Superman and (a proxy of) Popeye — meet.[33]

Spinach

Early references to spinach in the Fleischer cartoons and subsequently in further stories of Popeye are attributed to the publication in 1870 of a study by Dr. E von Wolf which, because of a misprint, attributed to spinach ten times its actual iron content.[34] The error was discovered in 1937 but not widely publicized until T.J. Hamblin wrote about it in the British Medical Journal in 1981.[34]

The popularity of Popeye helped boost sales of the leafy vegetable and the spinach-growing community of Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of the character in recognition of Popeye's positive effects on the spinach industry. There is another Popeye statue in Segar's hometown, Chester, Illinois, and a third in Alma, Arkansas, which claims to be "The Spinach Capital of the World," and is home to Allen Canning, which markets Popeye-branded canned spinach.

In addition to Allen Canning's Popeye spinach, Popeye Fresh Foods markets bagged, fresh spinach with Popeye characters on the package.

In 2006, when spinach contaminated with E. coli was accidentally sold to the public, many editorial cartoonists lampooned the affair by featuring Popeye in their cartoons.[35]

Word coinages

The strip is also responsible for popularizing, although not inventing, the word "goon" (meaning a thug or lackey); goons in Popeye's world were large humanoids with indistinctly drawn faces that were particularly known for being used as muscle and slave labor by Popeye's nemesis, the Sea Hag. One particular goon, the aforementioned female named Alice, was an occasional recurring character in the animated shorts, but she was usually a fairly nice character.

Eugene the Jeep was introduced in the comic strip on March 13, 1936. Two years later the term "jeep wagons" was in use, later shortened to simply "jeep" with widespread WWII usage and then trademarked by Willys-Overland as "Jeep".[36] Some dispute this claim, however, as the WWII jeep was designated a "general purpose vehicle," with "GP" or "GPV" aka "jeep" appearing on the paperwork.

Events and honors

The Popeye Picnic is held every year in Chester, Illinois on the weekend after Labor Day. Popeye fans attend from across the globe, including a visit by a film crew from South Korea in 2004. The one-eyed sailor's hometown strives to entertain devotees of all ages.[37]

In honor of Popeye’s 75th anniversary, the Empire State Building illuminated its notable tower lights green the weekend of January 16–18, 2004 as a tribute to the icon’s enormous love of spinach. This special lighting marked the only time the Empire State Building ever celebrated the anniversary/birthday of a comic strip character.[38]

Reprints

  • Popeye the Sailor, Nostalgia Press, 1971, reprints three daily stories from 1936.
  • Thimble Theatre, Hyperion Press, 1977, ISBN 0-88355-663-4, reprints daily from September 10, 1928 missing 11 dailies which are included in the Fantagraphics reprints.
  • Popeye, the First Fifty Years by Bud Sagendorf, Workman Publishing, 1979 ISBN 0-89480-066-3, the only Popeye reprint in full color.
  • The Complete E. C. Segar Popeye, Fantagraphics, 1980s, reprints all Segar Sundays featuring Popeye in 4 volumes, all Segar dailies featuring Popeye in 7 volumes, missing 4 dailies which are included in the Hyperion reprint, November 20 – November 22, 1928, August 22, 1929.
  • Popeye. The 60th Anniversary Collection, Hawk Books Limited, 1989, ISBN 0-948248-86-6 featuring reprints a selection of strips and stories from the first newspaper strip in 1929 onwards, along with articles on Popeye in comics, books, collectables, etc.
  • E. C. Segar's Popeye, Fantagraphic Books, 2000s, reprints all Segar Sundays (in color) and dailies featuring Popeye in 6 hardcover volumes. Vol. 1 "I Yam What I Yam," covers 1928–1930. Vol. 2 "Well Blow Me Down!" covers 1930–32. Vol. 3 "Let's You and Him Fight!" covers 1932–33. Vol. 4 "Plunder Island," covers 1933–35.

Thimble Theatre/Popeye characters

Popeye and his identical quadruplet nephews (Pipeye, Pupeye, Poopeye, Peepeye), in a scene from Famous Studios' Me Musical Nephews (1942).

Characters originating in the comic strips

  • Olive Oyl
  • Castor Oyl (Olive Oyl's brother)
  • Cole Oyl (Olive Oyl's father)
  • Nana Oyl (Olive Oyl's mother)
  • Ham Gravy (full name Harold Hamgravy, Olive Oyl's original boyfriend)
  • Popeye the Sailor
  • The Sea Hag
  • The Sea Hag's vultures, specifically Bernard
  • J. Wellington Wimpy
  • George W. Geezil (the local cobbler who hates Wimpy)
  • Rough House (a cook who runs a local restaurant, The Rough House)
  • Swee'Pea (Popeye's adopted baby son in the comics, Olive's cousin in the cartoons)
  • King Blozo
  • Toar
  • Bluto/Brutus
  • Goons, specifically Alice the Goon
  • Poopdeck Pappy (Popeye's 99-year-old long-lost father; also a sailor)
  • Eugene the Jeep
  • Barnacle Bill (a fellow sailor and old friend)
  • Oscar
  • Dufus (the son of a family friend)
  • Granny (Popeye's grandmother and Poopdeck's mother)
  • Bernice (The "Whiffle Bird" in 1960s King Features TV shorts)
  • O. G. Watasnozzle (a character with a large nose, as his name indicates)
  • Mr. Magoo

Characters originating in the cartoons

  • Pipeye, Pupeye, Poopeye, Peepeye (Popeye's identical nephews)
  • Shorty (Popeye's shipmate in three World War II era Famous studios shorts)
  • Diesel Oyl (Olive's identical niece, a conceited brat who appears in three of the 1960s King Features shorts)
  • Popeye, Jr. (son of Popeye and Olive Oyl, exclusive of the series Popeye and Son)

Filmography

Theatrical cartoons

231 Popeye the Sailor cartoons were produced for theatrical release by Paramount Pictures between 1933 and 1957.

Television cartoons

Television specials and feature-length films

DVD collections

  • Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938, Volume 1 (released July 31, 2007) features Fleischer cartoons released from 1933 through early 1938 and contains the color Popeye specials Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor and Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's Forty Thieves.
  • Popeye the Sailor: 1938-1940, Volume 2 (released June 17, 2008) features Fleischer cartoons released from mid 1938 through 1940 and includes the last color Popeye special Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp.
  • Popeye the Sailor: 1941-1943, Volume 3 (released November 4, 2008) features the remaining black-and-white Popeye cartoons released from 1941 to 1943, including the final Fleischer-produced and earliest Famous-produced entries in the series.
  • Popeye and Friends: Volume 1 (released June 17, 2008) features a collection of 8 cartoons from the The All-New Popeye Hour. A second Volume, containing cartoons from Popeye and Son was scheduled but was cancelled before being released.
  • Popeye - 75th Anniversary Collector's edition (released April 27, 2004) features 85 cartoons from the Popeye the Sailor 1960's series.

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b Segar, Elzie (Crisler) – Encyclopædia Britannica Article
  2. ^ CBC News, "Popeye, Grey Owl and Robert Service join the public domain," January 12, 2009
  3. ^ Lambiek comic shop and studio in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2007-06-16). "Comic creator: Bill Zaboly". Lambiek.net. http://lambiek.net/artists/z/zaboly_bill.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  4. ^ comic-art.com
  5. ^ 07:45 PM. "GAC Forums – Popeye's Popularity – Article from 1935". Forums.goldenagecartoons.com. http://forums.goldenagecartoons.com/showthread.php?t=2907. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  6. ^ "Popeye From Strip To Screen". Awn.com. http://www.awn.com/mag/issue2.4/awm2.4pages/2.4langerpopeye.html. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  7. ^ Culhane, Shamus (1986). Talking Animals and Other People. New York: St. Martin's Press. Pages 218–219.
  8. ^ Barrier, Michael (1999). Hollywood Cartoons. New York: Oxford University Press. Pgs. 303–305. ISBN 0-19-516729-5.
  9. ^ Popeye Volume 3 DVD documentary, released by Warner Brothers in 2008
  10. ^ Entry on lost Barney Google cartoons
  11. ^ (June 6, 2006). "Warner Home Video Opens a Can of Spinach as It Prepares to Distribute Popeye" [Press release]. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
  12. ^ Popeye DVD news: Popeye – Warner 'Retools' Popeye DVDs; Switches to 2-Disc Sets! | TVShowsOnDVD.com]
  13. ^ "Popeye DVD news: Early Info About Vol.'s 2, 3 and 4 | TVShowsOnDVD.com". TVShowsOnDVD.com<!. 2007-05-25. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Popeye-Early-Plans-For-Remaining-Sets/8389. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  14. ^ Cartoon Brew: Leading the Animation Conversation » Popeye and Friends
  15. ^ "Popeye DVD news: Announcement for Popeye the Sailor - Volume 3: 1941-1943 | TVShowsOnDVD.com". TVShowsOnDVD.com<!. http://tvshowsondvd.com/news/Popeye-Volume-3/9823. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  16. ^ "Popeye and Son DVD news: Announcement for Popeye & Friends - Volume 2 | TVShowsOnDVD.com". TVShowsOnDVD.com<!. http://tvshowsondvd.com/news/Popeye-Son-Popeye-And-Friends-Volume-2/9822. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  17. ^ "Popeye and Son DVD news: Cancellation for Popeye & Friends – Volume 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Popeye-Son-Volume-2-Canceled/10317. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  18. ^ Ian. "The S Dope Mailbag: Is Popeye's nemesis named Bluto or Brutus?". Straightdope.com. http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mpopeye.html. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  19. ^ CD liner notes: Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, 1995 MCA Records
  20. ^ 1930s Popeye the Sailor Wheatena audio clip
  21. ^ Old-Time Radio Commercials: Selling Stuff During the Golden Age of Radio: "Comic Strip Character Changes Diet for Radio Show", by Danny Goodwin
  22. ^ Mario Couldn't Jump At First
  23. ^ "Leading the Animation Conversation » Popeyes in Puerto Rico". Cartoon Brew. 2008-04-24. http://www.cartoonbrew.com/cartoon-culture/popeyes-in-puerto-rico. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  24. ^ "Bot generated title ->". Popeye Spinach<!. http://www.popeyespinach.com/. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  25. ^ http://www.namcogames.com/Popeyesweeps Namco Games
  26. ^ http://www.ncs-glc.com/GLC/ed_black/segar/rocky.gif
  27. ^ Popeye: The First Fifty Years. New York: Workman Publishing. Pages 44–45.
  28. ^ Blackbeard, Bill, "The First (arf, arf!) Superhero Of Them All". In Dick Lupoff & Don Thompson, ed., All In Color For A Dime Arlington House, 1970.
  29. ^ "Management of Shoulder Impingement Syndrome and Rotator Cuff Tears – February 15, 1998 – American Family Physician". Aafp.org. 1998-02-15. http://www.aafp.org/afp/980215ap/fongemie.html. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  30. ^ "Guideline not published". Guideline.gov. http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?view_id=1&doc_id=3694. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  31. ^ O'Connor, John J.. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/54379/Who-Framed-Roger-Rabbit/overview. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  32. ^ Action Comics #421 at OddballComics.com
  33. ^ Superman and Cap'n Strong at the Quarter Bin
  34. ^ a b De-Fact-O on spinach
  35. ^ "No Eats Me Spinach!". Cagle.com. http://www.cagle.com/news/Spinach/main.asp. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  36. ^ Word Origins
  37. ^ "Chester, Illinois :|: Official Website". Popeye Picnic. http://www.popeyepicnic.com. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  38. ^ "Welcome to King Features Syndicate". Kingfeatures.com. 2008-11-17. http://www.kingfeatures.com. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 

References

  • Grandinetti, Fred M. Popeye: An Illustrated Cultural History. 2nd ed. McFarland, 2004. ISBN 0-7864-1605-X
  • King Features Syndicate

External links

Fansites


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Popeye is the lead character from the Thimble Theatre comic strip. Since 1933, he has been adapted into several other media, including theatrical animated shorts, animated television series, radio programs, feature films, and more.

  • (Castor Oyl: You there, are you a sailor?) "Ja' think I'm a cowboy?" - Popeye's first line in the comic strip, therefore his first line.
  • "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam." -- Popeye the Sailor
  • "Well blow me down!" -- Popeye
  • "That's all I can stands, cuz I can't stands n'more!" - Popeye
  • "I'm strong to the finish, 'cause I eats me Spinach, I'm Popeye the sailor man! (toot, toot)" - Popeye (from theme song)
  • "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." - J. Wellington Wimpy
  • "Let's you and him fight." - J. Wellington Wimpy
  • "Popeye, Popeye!" --Olive Oyl
  • "Help, Popeye! Save me!" (among other variations) --Olive Oyl
  • "You keep your hands to you, that's what you are!" --Olive Oyl
  • "Don't you DARE 'reproach' me!" --Olive Oyl (she means to say "approach")
  • "Oh, Popeye!" --Olive Oyl
  • "Did you kill any Japs?" --Dufus, Popeye's shipmate during WWII
  • "I'll take you all on one at a time!"
  • "Where's the entrance to the exit?"
  • "Oh yeah? WHAM!" (from the earlier cartoons)
  • "A-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah!" (Popeye's laugh)

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Popeye

Plural
-

Popeye

  1. A tough cartoon sailor, full name Popeye the Sailor.

Derived terms

Translations

See also


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Popeye
Box artwork for Popeye.
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Japanese title ポパイ
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) Arcade, Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Commodore 64/128, Intellivision, Magnavox Odyssey², NES, TI-99/4A
Players 1-2
Popeye marquee

Popeye arrived in the arcades in 1982. Like all of Nintendo's early arcade hits, this game was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo's acquisition of the Popeye license was rumored to have coincided with the motion picture release of Popeye staring Robin Williams as the title character. Though it is not unusual in this day and age for a game to be based on a license, it was a rarer sight in the early 80s. Regardless of your impression of Popeye, chances are you will find this game as enjoyable and challenging as Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr..

Technologically, the arcade game uses a technique that was popularized by a few Bally Midway games which mixed high resolution foreground sprites with low resolution background displays. This resulted in extremely sharp and detailed graphics for the main characters, and contributed to its success. It also made the graphics difficult, if not impossible, to convert for home systems without a tremendous amount of compromise.

In 1982, Parker Brothers was determined to become a major player in the video game industry. As such, they joined the race with Atari, and later Coleco, to acquire the home conversion rights to several popular arcade hits. Along with Frogger and Q*Bert, they scored the rights to release Popeye for home systems and computers. In 1983, when Nintendo launched the Famicom in Japan, Popeye was one of the first three games made available for the system.

Story

It's the classic Popeye story. Olive Oyl is the love of Popeye's life, but Brutus has other plans in mind. Prove your love to Olive by capturing her heart(s), listening to her musical notes, and hearing her cries for help as you avoid Brutus through three stages. Turn the tables on Brutus every once in a while by grabbing that can of spinach, but beware of the wicked Sea Hag.

Due to an incorrect belief that Paramount Pictures owned the rights to the "Bluto" name, the character was changed to "Brutus" for the cartoon series after 1957, and wasn't changed back to Bluto until the 1978 Hanna-Barbera series. Despite the name returning to Bluto four years earlier, Nintendo kept the Brutus moniker for the arcade game.

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Gaming

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Popeye

Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Parker Brothers
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Magnavox Odyssey 2
Intellivision
Nintendo
NES
Release date Magnavox Odyssey 2:
1982 (EU)
1983 (BR)
Atari 2600:
1983 (NA)
Intellivision:
1983 (NA)
Genre 2D platformer
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
Atari 2600
Magnavox Odyssey 2
Intellivision
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Magnavox Odyssey 2
Intellivision
NES
Input Atari 2600 Joystick
Magnavox Odyssey 2 Controller
Intellivision Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Popeye is an arcade game released in 1982. It was ported to the Atari 2600, the Atari 5200, the ColecoVision, the Intellivision, the Odyssey 2, the Nintendo Entertainment System, and home computers. It is based on the classic cartoon character of the same name.

Gameplay

The action of Popeye takes place on three screens. On all of them your sailor hero must collect objects cast down by Olive Oyl (hearts, musical notes, and letters spelling HELP) before they reach the bottom floor and disappear into the drink. While doing so you must avoid Bluto as well as the mysterious Sea Hag's bottle tosses. By grabbing a can of spinach, Popeye can turn the tables on Bluto and send him flying around and landing in the drink for a brief while. Collect all of Olive's objects and you go on to the next screen.

Gallery



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Simple English

Popeye the Sailor is one of the most popular cartoon characters of all time. He first appeared in a comic strip called Thimble Theatre by EC Segar in 1929. Popeye is a sailor who smokes a pipe and mutters things under his breath. He has only one eye, he is short and uneducated, but when trouble occurs, usually saving his girlfriend, Olive Oyl from his arch-nemesis, Bluto/Brutus, he eats a can of spinach, and gets super-strength. He also appeared in a series of cartoons made for movie theatres by Paramount Pictures, which is what he is best known for of Robbin Williams.








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