Thursday, September 19, 2013

STILL the most phenomenal, extra-special kind of Popeye cartoon

You know, in the proverbial Pantheon of the three two-reel color Popeye shorts, it's Ali Baba first, Sindbad second, and Aladdin and his Lamp a sadly distant third.  That's the way it's always gonna be, and no one will change that.  Well, for one thing, Aladdin doesn't have any 3-D backgrounds, so perhaps its reputation is partly deserved.
But as everything moves online and mostly to YouTube, there's something to be said for DVDs besides the better picture quality.  They've included the full opening on the DVD which always used to get severely cut on broadcast TV, your TBSes and Cartoon Networks, what have you.  Why, even the old laserdisc wasn't completely restored!  Wotta gyp!
As for the actual cartoon itself, well, I've already watched it anew recently, and the tears came to my eyes at certain points, and as the years pass, my love for Bluto just grows and grows.  Great singing voice, you gotta give him that.  But he is the bad guy and Popeye has to ultimately triumph, what with the spinach and all.  And I didn't even refer to the Island of Bluto... I mean, Sindbad... as a man-cave!  Damn, I just did.  Oops.
Hard to say what my favorite sequence is, as they're all top notch.  Therefore, I'll give a shout-out to the part where Sindbad's singing his theme to Popeye, and all of Sindbad's buddies come out of hiding and point at him.  You might have noticed this as well: there's some kind of caveman among the animals who mouths the part "Sindbad the Sailor" in the song.  Ah, those Fleischers.  Such attention to detail.  "What, is the circus in town?" Popeye mutters as the song continues.  I didn't even have to re-watch it to remember that part!  It's all in my noodle!  Four stars.

****
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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