Popeye and Friends Vol. 1
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Remember reading my review of Popeye the Sailor Vol. 2? You did read it, right? If not go back and do so. I’ll wait…………
All set? Good, Let’s continue.
I mentioned that there was a good period where Popeye was horrible. That period frankly was the late 60s until last Tuesday. Popeye and Friends falls into this sheit category coming out in the late 70s originally, and if you didn’t believe me when I wrote about this horrible period, run out and get this disc. Popeye and Friends is the single most painful thing I have seen done to Popeye since he caught Olive Oyl and Wimpy rolling around together in a bed of hamburgers and realized that Sweet Pee wasn’t his child. The show should have been a slam dunk. Popeye to the mass children with all the lovable characters. Hell, he even had his little nephews with him. The problem with this is the following:
A. The art is horrible. Hanna Barbara is not necessarily known for their fine detail (excluding Thundarr. That is pure genius) and once Fleischer studios was out of the picture the art of the shorts suffered. Especially at the hands of Hanna Barbara.
B. Every single plot is exactly the same. If Popeye is going boating, guess who else just happens to be boating? You guessed it, Bluto! Of course Bluto will ruin Popeye’s sailing until some Spinach comes up and Bluto gets what’s coming to him. Any situation is the same. What’s this? Popeye at the Sperm Bank. Guess whose next door trying to fill the cup up faster….
C. Popeye now talks. What was great about the older Popeye was that you needed to listen to the subtle, sly things that the man rattled off. It was hilarious. Sadly, here he is less squinty eyed and talks clearer and pronounces things incorrectly. It is like he took a speech class, but we realized his lack of intelligence the more we could understand him.
To be fair, while the plot and such are completely the fault of the shorts themselves, the art in cartoons that was coming out of that period was horrendous throughout Saturday mornings. Take the Super Friends. Good god. Try sitting through those shows today and you’ll be scratching your eyeballs out with your Wonder Twin rings.
So we’ve established that the cartoons themselves are not winners by any means. Let’s talk about the disc’s extras. Um..there are none. You get 8 cartoons which I think I’ve established that these are NOT the Popeye shorts that you want to remember, but that is all. You get a choice of playing all the cartoons in one long excruciating sitting, or you can play an individual cartoon to keep the torture light. Nothing else in on this disc.
This makes the disc ABSOLUTELY only for fans of the series. I (it turns out) am not a fan of Popeye and Friends. At least the disc showed me that. If you are reading this and thinking, “But Rufus, I loved the cartoon when I was younger.” then you have just been fooled by the fickle bitch known as Lady Nostalgia. It will bite you in the behind if you are not careful and strip you of your hard earned cash, leaving you in a gutter of shame and embarrassment for being fooled yet once again.
If you love Popeye like I do, stick with the classics. Like Tom and Jerry, the late 60s and 70s were not a good time for Popeye and this disc is not a good time for you.
Added: Tuesday, July 08, 2008
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