16 August 2011

Fishy's Film Reviews - Popeye

I recently watched some old Popeye cartoons because my brother, Fish1000, got this 500 cartoon box set with various stuff on it including Popeye, Felix the Cat, Tom and Jerry (not the cat and mouse versions, the 1930s Van Beuren versions) and Mighty Mouse

His girlfriend had never seen the 1980s film so I thought I would get it and give it a view

Certificate – U
Running time – 114 minutes
Version Reviewed – DoovdĂ©
Scene after the credits – Nope
Cast –
Robin Williams as Popeye
Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl
Paul L. Smith as Bluto

The plot
One night, Popeye rows his dinghy into the harbor of Sweethaven. When he arrives there everyone seems to fear him. He rents a room at the Oyls' boarding house, where he falls for their daughter, Olive. Olive's hand has been promised to Captain Bluto, a bully and ruffian who is in charge of collecting taxes for the mysterious Commodore. Popeye and Bluto are quick to dislike each other and fight.

What's right with it?
It’s like they’ve taken everyone from the Popeye cartoons and brought them to life. The whole cast is awesome!

Robin Williams is of course perfect as Popeye but at the time this was his first major film role, after only starting his stand up career and appearing as Mork in Happy Days, yep that’s right, I said Happy Days. M&M was a spin off show. He’s got the way he speaks and facial expressions down to a T and Shelley Duvall is amazing as Olive

Also, although there has been many Popeye cartoons we’ve only really seen the origin story in print in the E.C. Segar comic strips, more on those later.

It’s kind of like Popeye Begins in a way

What’s wrong with it?
It’s so damn long, nearly 2 hours for a Popeye film? I’m writing this bit halfway through and they are already repeating a song, although to be fair it is the Sweet Haven national anthem

Speaking of songs they’ve turned Popeye into a musical. I for one love musicals but some of the songs can grate on people that aren’t fans. I think they’re really catchy though ^_^

Here are some of the lyrics so you can see why they can be like fingernails on chalkboards for some people

He Needs me
He needs me he needs me
He needs me he needs me
He needs me he needs me

He needs me he needs me
He needs me he needs me
He needs me he needs me

Dah de da da da da da da da da dum

I Yam What I Yam
And I yam what I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam 'cause I yam what I yam

Wow what good timing, that leads right into my favourite scene from the film

Best Scene?

Best Quote?
Geezil: What is that glop you're eating?
Wimpy: It's a soup burger. These are difficult times. Burgers can't be choosers.


Popeye: I found him in Sweet Haven, that's why I am calling him Swee'Pea. That is his name.
Olive Oyl: Swee'Pea is the worst name I've ever heard on a baby.
Popeye: Well what do you wants me to call him? Baby Oyl?

Bonus Trivia
Many of the citizens of Sweet Haven, especially those who had to do some physical gags, were recruited from European circuses

While it may seem odd to most viewers that the movie's portrayal of Popeye does not like spinach, this was also a theme used in the original comic strip by E.C. Segar. Popeye originally boosted his strength by rubbing the hairs on the head of a Whiffle Hen when he first began appearing in Segar's "Thimble Theatre" in 1929. The consumption of spinach to explain Popeye's strength was introduced in the early 1930s, and was only infrequently referenced until it became a staple of the animated shorts produced by Fleischer Studios and Paramount Pictures starting in 1933

If you like Popeye this is a must see
If you like Robin Williams this is a must see
If you like Musicals this is a must see

Its one of those perfect Sunday afternoon films

Watch it!!!

Quick question....
How the hell did Popeye get his huge arms anyway? Is it in any association with his squinty eye?


  1. i love this film although there's alot of undecipheral muttering from popeye, but robin williams is perfect. the songs are funnily good brad!
    i like the slow musical beat all the way through as they complete everyday tasks and the acrobat way they achieve itwhile the film rolls along. Olive's hair and outfit are spot on. The only problem with it is that i remember popeye's dad as THE MARTIAN in his popular tv series many many moons ago!

  2. If you listen carefully it's not actually undecipherable. He comments on loads of little things going on around him. Maybe its just your old vhs copy causing you not to hear it?

    Yeah the the slow musical beat, especially in Everything is Food shows how the town goes about their business

    I liked that actor though, I never watched My Favourite Martian, only thing I really saw him in before was Of Mice and Men with John Malkovich



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