WHAT ABOUT THAD?
February 9, 2015 posted by

Paramount Sales News #37: Popeye Meets Rip Van Winkle

Despite the earlier reassurance he was too valuable to send to war, Popeye did indeed enter the service, donning a white Navy uniform and retaining it for the rest of his theatrical career (save a few exceptions). The sub-series of Popeye in the Navy takes on a serious tone that wasn’t present in the cartoons before, likely at Paramount’s insistence. Audiences needed to take America’s pending entrance into World War II seriously.

May 7th’s cartoon advertises Myron Waldman’s truly bizarre Popeye Meets Rip Van Winkle (released May 9th – two days after this cartoon appeared in print), a cartoon too stupefyingly off-the-wall to put any viewer to sleep. I’m also confused by May 21st’s… If Britain is on our side, why send them Gabby cartoons?

May-June 1941 (click to enlarge)

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6 Comments

  • After the excellent (if derivative) “Can You Take It?” early on in the series, it’s strange that Waldman never did another Popeye over the series’ 24-year history, save the two oddball Miami shorts where he goes out of his way to make sure the sailor doesn’t do the main thing audiences wanted to see him do at the end of the cartoon.

    Judging by the production numbers, Paramount really rushed “The Mighty Navy” through the pipeline to get it into theaters — the sales drawings were probably made contemporaneously to the work on the short (” Pip-eye, Pup-eye, Poop-eye an’ Peep-eye” apparently was Seymour Kneitel’s first cartoon back after his heart attack, but showed up in theaters a couple of months after Popeye made his Navy whites debut).

    • Waldman was an animator on “Popeye And The Man Who Hated Laughter”, but I guess that wasn’t the same as being head animator on a theatrical short.

  • I’d have thought they’d drop Gabby on the Germans to hasten their surrender, but I guess that would have violated the Geneva Convention.

    • Were the cartoons that bad?

  • I hadn’t seen this cartoon in at least forty years. Bizarre is the word. I’m not at all surprised that Dan Gordon wrote the story — he was one of Fleischer’s most creative people. “The Hungry Goat” is one of my favorite cartoons, and “Terror on the Midway”, despite its flaws, is truly terrifying.

    • “Happy Birthdaze” is my favorite of his.

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