O.B.P.? Yeah, you know me! You know, I don't think they've celebrated Olive's boithday yet! So if any of your Christian friends tells you that Popeye cartoons have no family values, well... there's all the proof you need! Why, Popeye even sings about it at the beginning, forgoing his usual theme song. No royalties to the Hills this time, alas.
While on his way down the street, Popeye stops at Geezil's Furrier. For those of you who don't know the various characters in the Thimble Theater... well, count me among your ranks. But I do know this: Richard Libertini must've studied this cartoon when preparing for his role in the 1980 incarnation of Popeye... called Popeye. Gee, I hope Geezil's not supposed to be a Jewish stereotype, but I suppose he is. Anyway, Popeye doesn't get the usual a-cruel lesson in economics, or accounting for that matter. No, this time it's more of a "Buyer Beware" type of situation! I forgot to mention the setup: Popeye's got his heart set on buying Olive a bearskin fur coat. Geezil models a coat for Popeye. A tiny rabbit runs up to the coat and hugs it, crying "Mommy! Mommy!!" ...is Popeye taking a Richard Donner-esque political stance here? Could be! Anyway, one gag later, Geezil unwittingly gives Popeye the idea to go out into the wide world out there to get his own bear skin coat! Hoh boy, it's going to be another one of those shaggy dog stories, isn't it?
And so, with shotgun in hand, Popeye goes out hunting and finds some tracks. Popeye investigates a hollow log and sets his shotgun down. Meanwhile, the bear comes up behind Popeye. The bear looks at Popeye, then at the shotgun. Dayamn! Smart bear! The fight is on, but the bear runs away once Popeye regains his composure and, more importantly, the shotgun. And so, the chase is on.
And then... the chase comes to a halt! Popeye's got the bear trapped on the edge of a cliff, as one often finds in cartoons. The bear gets very sad, and Popeye starts to lose his nerve... dang! This is taking a stand! Whether it's political or not, I'm not one to say. And then, the bear lets out two sad howls. Soon after, the bear's family shows up. The bear bids the wife farewell and kisses all three of his cubs. The wife walks away, as do the three cubs. The last cub spits at Popeye. Now, if you're like me (scary thought, I know) you just might remember the big finale of Duck Soup to Nuts. And you'd be right, of course, and Duck came three years after our instant case. HOWEVER... both were scribed by the same man, Ted(d) Pierce ... so it's okay!
As for the Third Act... okay, Olive's apparently not going to be in this one, but no spinach? That'd be pushing things too far. Anyway, the bear mistakenly thinks that Popeye emptying his shotgun and tearing it in half is a sign of weakness. And just when we were on the precipice of a proverbial, veritable New Age in cartoons... it's back to the same old Fist Tornados. Comforting in a way. Comfort cinema, but without the excess calories. Now it's Popeye hanging on to the cliff! How's it feel, b'atch? And so, Popeye loses his grip on the cliff edge... is he just not trying because he knows the spinach will save him? Hmmm! Anyway, it's spinach time. Popeye half-morphs into a rocket and flies back up to kick the bear's ass. And soon, Popeye knocks the bear right out of its damn coat! I dare not spoil this gag... if I suffered through it, you have to too, damn it.
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan