Saturday, June 28, 2014

...Not What You Think

How does that work, anyway?  Rachel Maddow's on in the next room, so let's do like she would do.  I used to be fans of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore... when I was twelve.  Rumer Willis?  Not so much, and even she is getting tired of doing Adam Sandler productions, go figure.  I like Sting and Paul McCartney... but their kids?  Meh.  Now, the daughters of Peter Gabriel and Al Gore... is that asking so much?  Must be.
Now, to bring it all back home to this week's Popeye short, Wimmin is a Myskery.  This is the introduction of Popeye's four kids.  I always thought they were his nephews; shows you what I know.  But I do know this: I hate those little f... darlings now.  I don't know what it is.  But this cartoon short provides me some of the evidence I need.  They're four of cartoondom's most spoiled brats, and it's certainly no "myskery" to me that Olive would found Planned Parenthood after the nightmare she had.
...oh, right.  The plot.  The mental slate of Popeye and Olive's not necessarily set back to zero on this one, but they find themselves once again on the precipice of impending marriage.  Popeye sheepishly proposes, and Olive asks for one night to sleep on it.  She kisses Popeye's picture before going to sleep.  Now that's old school.  And then, we enter Olive's dream, and the fun begins... or the nightmare, depending on your vantage point.
Olive's dream fast forwards to a typical day of Olive's motherhood.  She washes the portraits of her four brats that all look and sound like miniature versions of Popeye... boy!  A seaman's genes are very dominant!  The little brats are introduced after they have totally destroyed the kitchen.  Olive lovingly cleans up after them as they run off to leave more destruction in their wake.
Now, as we all should know, The Simpsons has been one of the most original shows on TV ever, of all time... including Cretaceous and Devonian.  But even a show that good gets its ingredients from other sources.  Take the Tube Bar tapes influencing Bart's early crank calls to Moe Syzslak.  For the instant case, the whole story arc of Wimmin is a Myskery is summed up in one exchange between Patty and Hans Moleman... I think it was Patty, I can't remember.  Anyway, these two sexually desperate people are in Patty's tiny car, and Hans goes in for the kiss.  But the female is ultimately smarter than the male, and Patty considers the long-term implications: a bunch of Moleman-based rugrats running around, half-blind, bashing into things?  No thank you!  She kicks Moleman out of the car and takes off!  Screw that!  Or, don't screw that, as the case may be.
Second example: Popeye's four brats are smart little devils, too, unfortunately.  They try to steal a pie from Olive's window sill.  "That's Popeye's dinner!" yells Olive.  "Pop's pie, eh?" says the leader of the brats.  And then... yup, they dress in Popeye's adult clothes and the gruesome foursome attempt to imitate Popeye and steal the pie right in front of Olive's face.  It almost works, but they walk over the table... pretty good visual gag, actually.  Olive gets mad and the chase begins.  The Simpsons did a similar ruse more recently when Milhouse pretended to be an adult, but with legs made out of paint cans, and some damned thing to make his voice sound more like his dad... I don't remember the episode.  I can't keep track of all these new ones like I once did the old ones.
Finally, the little brats get some punishment from Olive, and rightly deserved, IMHO.  It should've come a lot sooner, frankly.  But the four brats disagree, and they wonder what Popeye would do in a similar situation.  Olive, their mom, has become Bluto in their eyes.  "Spinach!" one of them exclaims.  One of the little brats just happens to have a can.  The first one puts spinach in his mouth.  ...oh, and I forgot to mention that they're all trapped in a window, their heads outside, and their asses inside, which are getting whipped by Olive and her broom.  Oh, it's Michael Fay all over again.  Anyway, the first brat puts spinach in his mouth, the second one chews it, the third one swallows the chewed spinach, and the fourth one burps.  The ruminant quartet breaks free of the window... by ripping out a giant chunk of the house.  The four of them are now all hopped up on spinach steroids, but do they use their powers to repair the many, many damaging things they've done to the house?  Of course not!  Background artists for that, apparently.  No, they start to attack Olive.  Olive protests, saying "I'm your mother!"  Nope, no respect for mom.  Olive has become just another bully, but apparently the four mini-Popeyes aren't total @$$holes, so they just treat Olive like a cartoon seal treats a ball for a few minutes.  Olive wakes up to hear Popeye at the door, and she tells him to go to hell.  You go, girl!  Let's hope Popeye himself never sees this cartoon.
The story is credited to Ted Pierce.  That name seemed familiar to me, so I dialed him up on the interwebs.  He's also known as... Tedd Pierce, and he's one of those guys responsible for some of the classic cartoon stories of the '40s and beyond.  Hold the Lion, Please is another favourite of mine.  Apparently, he worked a lot with Chuck Jones.  The Fleischers insisted upon spelling his name "Ted," go figure.  Welp, anyway, you know how I feel about those four brats, but since this is their first appearance, I'll rate this one a little higher than the others... there aren't any others, are there?

-so sayeth the Movie Hooligan

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