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January 7, 2016 posted by

“We’re on Our Way to Rio” (1944) – and What Is Your Favorite Popeye Cartoon?

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Hands down, We’re on Our Way to Rio is my favorite Popeye Cartoon, period. It isn’t that I don’t love other Popeye cartoons- in fact, this is the *only* color Popeye in my top 10. I remember a time it was showing it in the 70s on WKBD Television, and somewhere near the middle of the cartoon I was lamenting the fact that it was going to end soon and I couldn’t watch the beginning song again.

Rio-creditsIn watching Rio compared to Famous Studio’s output, it’s clearly more extravagant (especially in the backgrounds) than the cartoons surrounding it; I’ve always wondered if the government had contributed to the budget of the short as part of the good neighbor policy (note the lyrics near the beginning of the picture). In any case, both the visuals and the music are top notch. Other entries around the same time, such as Puppet Love and She Sick Sailors, are also a lot of fun, but the musical element in this film I think is what makes it my own favorite.

The cartoon is neatly split into a clean three act story structure. That isn’t to say it makes *perfect* sense. It’s pretty unclear why Popeye and Bluto, in their US Sailor uniforms, are riding an Ox from the mountains into Rio, and that somehow Olive doesn’t know who they are, but I guess we just have to accept those things. I think it’s the best Famous Studio cartoon of the period, during what is perhaps the studios best period.

popeye-bluto-guitarAs many of the other Popeyes of the period, this features really fun, creative animation by Ben Soloman and Jim Tyer. They are both animator’s animators, but even more so, it’s clear that they are self directing their own animation. These particular animators seem to flourish in these films. The structure of Famous Studios followed a similar hierarchy as the one that existed at Fleischers, with the director of the film really overseeing production rather that actually directing the film, leaving the lead animator to do so.

The film contains many beautifully animated scenes, including a great scene (by Tyer) with Bluto reacting so strongly to the site of ‘Olive’ that he’s mistaken for a seal by a waiter, who inexplicably feeds him a fish! A shot following close behind (also by Tyer) has Popeye and Bluto riding around on a table, animated by their enthusiasm. I do wish the later cartoons from Famous has these sort of oddly freewheeling gags.The dancing animation near the end of the film (much of it by Soloman) is beautifully designed, timed and drawn. Maybe my favorite shot in the film is Popeye being slammed against a giant Tamborine as Bluto attempts to derail his Samba performance.

popeye-parrot-425The animation near the end of the film features some rotoscoping of Popeye and ‘Olive’ dancing. Many years back, I was lucky enough to visit Myron and Rosalie Waldman. On the back of one of the gag drawings that Rosalie had kept was one of the Rotoscoped Popeye drawings.

This was always a hard cartoon to see a decent copy of; even the best TV prints I’ve seen (and the one mastered by Turner) left a lot to be desired. It wasn’t until I saw this 35mm Technicolor print that the true hues of the film were revealed. We’ve shown this a little, and as I looked around my friends always had big smiles on their faces watching it. I think the folks at Famous would be happy to hear that 70 years after making their film, it still made people smile and laugh. It’s worth sharing, so here it is! Make sure to watch in HD.

Here is ‘Rio’ with it’s original titles and in Technicolor!

So, now, what is your favorite Popeye cartoon, and why? As long as it’s not Problem Pappy I’m happy!

Have a good week everyone!

Steve

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64 Comments

  • Here are my favorite Popeye Cartoons
    Sock-a-Bye Baby
    Pop-Pie a la Mode
    Popeye Meets William Tell
    You’re a Sap Mr. Jap
    Seein’ Red,White and Blue
    Shakespearian Spinach
    Doing Impossible Stunts
    The Natural Thing to Do
    Kicking the Conga Around
    Alona of the Sarong Seas
    Her Honor the Mare
    Popeye The Ace of Space (3D)
    Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp
    Onion Pacific
    Gopher Spinach
    Flies Ain’t Human
    Betty Boop presents Popeye the Sailor (Popeye’s first appearance)
    Spree Lunch
    Leave Well Enough Alone
    Goonland
    Hillbilling and Cooing
    Me Musical Nephews
    QUIET! Please
    Problem Pappy
    And
    The Mighty Navy

  • Sock-A-Bye Baby
    Popeye babysits for Billy Boop and try to keep things quiet
    Funniest moment was when Popeye takes on the music school by clobbering the whole school!

  • 1/7/16
    RobGems.ca Wrote:
    Thanks for mentioning WKBD-Channel 50 in Detroit, Michigan. I watched this Popeye cartoon on the same station too when it was owned by Kaiser Broadcasting Company from 1967-77, then by Fields Communications Corporation from 1977-85 before it was picked up by Fox Broadcasting Co. in 1986. Channel 50 was an independent UHF station since it’s inception in January 1965, exactly 51 years ago, and many of it’s film prints, including the Popeye cartoons wore out quickly after many airings, and were sometimes mercilessly butchered by the station to make room for more commercials. The HD showing of this first color Popeye cartoon brings it back to full justice after years of washed-out copies from many independent stations. Thanks!

    • Hi, RobG~~I was right there, too, enjoying Detroit TV and these great Popeye cartoons. Funny how all those Samba lyrics come right back even after decades. I guess we know Who Wants the Lady with the Skinny Legs….!

    • For many years, WKBD was Michigan’s “SuperStation” the way it was carried on multiple cable TV outlets during the 70’s and 80’s, even as far south as Northwest Ohio where it was a staple of Buckeye Cablesystems’s lineup since its inception in the mid 60’s. Toledo never really had an indie station at all until WUPW, channel 36 came on the air in ’85 (prior to that, there was WDHO, ch 24, which at first operated as a short-lived TV network of its own before switching to ABC), and even then, that quickly got swallowed up with a FOX affiliate shortly afterwards. I probably first became aware Popeye because of WKBD as I can’t remember 24 or any other station showing Popeye outside WTOL’s (ch 11) use of the 60’s KFS package during its kiddie show Patches & Pockets. I kinda miss those days when stations often had different things to show from each other, these days it all looks the same to me, which is why WKBD was dropped from my cable service I’m sure (aside from already having a CW affiliate locally).

    • Amen to Ch50 and Detroit/Toledo TV in general. Being situated in Monroe from 65/66, but around Detroit since 63, we got the best of both cities AND even then noticed the vagaries of various film/cartoon packages….one would have the Fleischer/Famous Popeyes yet the KFS would be somewhere else….after the demise of Captain Jolly and Poopdeck Paul, the poor old swab had a bit of a lull before Kaiser rescued him from oblivion. Of course he was never gonna disappear but did we know we had POPEYE AND SON to look forward to?….

  • I agree that “Rio” is the best Popeye short ever done. Everything about it is superb — the animation, the color, the backgrounds, the music — and, as you note, it really stands out among the hundreds of episodes that were made over the course of thirty years. I think “Rocket to Mars” (1946) is up there, too, but not as memorable as “Rio.”

    One of my favorite episodes, just for the sheer laughs, is “Too Weak to Work” (1943), which features Bluto faking illness in a hospital order to get out of his Naval duties. Popeye, wise to what’s going on, appears as a female RN in response to Bluto’s request for “a pretty nurse.”
    Bluto’s eye take upon seeing Popeye dressed in drag is absolutely precious. I laugh out loud every time I see it.

    • These comments might help give a much needed reconsideration of the reputation of Famous Studios, which did great cartoons following the transition from Fleischer. They reached their zenith at this period and only started to decline after World War II. In all, I think it’s fair to say that they did a respectable number of cartoon that deserve to be recognized.

  • My all-time favorite Popeye is “Sindbad the Sailor.” I watch it more than any other Popeye. I enjoy the extended length of the cartoon, the Technicolor, the three-dimensional effects, and the music. the story is just the right length to go at a leisurely enough pace, with some padding, and yet get everything in. By contrast the two other Popeye “specials” seem like they’re trying to cram too much story into too little time–they seem forced and rushed. I enjoy “Ali Baba” and “Aladdin” tremendously, but for my taste “Sindbad” has them beat.

    My favorite of the black and white shorts is “Cops is Always Right” because it’s sort of offbeat and a change of pace from the usual. Popeye’s house-cleaning methods are unorthodox to say the least. I especially enjoy the ending when, to atone for his accident that knocked the cop unconscious, Popeye puts himself in jail.

    Too bad the Famous shorts aren’t readily available, especially the early ones. I still keep hoping…

  • Steve – those two scenes you attributed to Tyer (Bluto’s take and acting like a seal and Popeye and Bluto with the table) were animated by William Henning.

    • Eek! Thanks much Bob! (by the way, folks, Bob, Mike Kazaleh and Mark Kausler are the best in identifying animators.. I am a mere piker..)

    • Did Tyer animate any scenes on “Rio”, or was he just animation director?

      The opening song is Ben Solomon’s animation, right?

      I take it Henning also animated the really loose scenes at the start of “Puppet Love” and the middle of “Shape Ahoy”?

    • Yes to the scenes at the start of ‘Puppet Love’. I conjecture that Henning used Tyer’s layouts so his work gets confused with Tyer even though the animation style is completely different.

      In Rio, Tyer animated the scene where Popeye shrinks into his shirt and his head comes out os his butt. Also the following 2 scenes where Olive blows the kiss and it hits Popeye and his heart beats out of his chest. Then the last scene – see the above frame grab that Steve posted.

    • Also yes to ‘Shape Ahoy’.

      All the animation at the start of ‘Rio’ is Ben Solomon’s and there looks to be a change in animator with the scene of Popeye and Bluto entering the club.

  • My favorites include “She-Sick Sailors,” “The Spinach Roadster,” “The Paneless Window Washer,” “Popeye the Ace of Space,” “Goonland,” “Cops is Always Right” and the three color 2-reelers.

  • You can pretty much tag the beginning of the downturn for Famous as the moment Jim Tyer lost his head animator’s position and subsequently fled midtown Manhattan for New Rochelle and Terrytoons. It cane just at the same time the studio began toning down their timing and slowing down the pacing of all their shorts.

    The thing about Tyer and Solomon at Famous as a team was that Tyer as head animator would assign himself the biggest action scenes, while Solomon would be the one to handle the main personality animation bits. In a Popeye cartoon (and all their cartoons except for “Cheese Burglar” were Popeye shorts), that normally meant Tyer would do all or part of the big fight scene at the end of the cartoon, but not here — in “Rio”, the big action scene is the Averyesque sexual arousal gags by Popeye and Bluto over Olive’s Samba song and dance. Since the end fight was going to be choreographed to the music, Tyer knew the chance to do his wildest takes would be in the middle of the cartoon, not at the finish, while Solomon gets the more personality-oriented interaction between the three characters.

    • Those wild takes were animated by William Henning.

  • My favorite is Goonland, Pookdeck Pappy is as irascible as any character in cartoons “I don’t like relectives”. Plus there is a neat goon music theme, and Popeye disguised as a goon is a hoot. Add to that breaking the fourth wall and you got a classic.

    My favorite in color is Popeye Meets Ali Baba’s 40 Thieves – amazing fast action as the thieves do their thieving. I love those dazzling 3D sets, and some of my favorite Mercer under the breath comments “this writing’s written rotten”.

    My favorite non-Fleischer Popeye is Cartoons Ain’t Human, what animator can resist a cartoon character creating his own toon.

  • Is w’ere actually a word?

    • The contraction “W’ere” is commonly seen in some French-Canadian Poem publications.
      In the U.S. thew correct contraction should be “We’re”.
      This makes one wonder who came up with that miss-spelled title card. Were they French-Canadian?

  • My favorite Popeye cartoons are:
    We’re on our way to Rio
    Spinach Packin’ Popeye
    Every Flieschier shorts including:
    Popeye Meets Sindbad The Sailor
    Popeye Meets Ali Baba’s Fourty Thieves
    Aladdin And His Wonderful Lamp

  • This is the first time I’ve been able to see a great print of this cartoon. So much more of the wonderful backgrounds are now visible that I had never seen before. Example: you can see the colored strings of the balloons above the dance floor and the grain in the floor of the movable stage in front of the giant tamborine. Also, notice the details in the mermaid water fountain!

  • My favorite is also GOONLAND. I love the flashback to Baby Popeye, just one of many highlights.

    • That was taken directly from one of Segar’s strips, which also had the year “1895” in the thought balloon.

  • I’ve always enjoyed “Popeye Presents Eugene, the Jeep” (1940).

    In my favorite scene, Popeye tries to put the Jeep outside for the night and races to beat him back inside the house. As Popeye slams the front door, leaning against it and breathing hard from his efforts, the camera zooms out to reveal the Jeep mimicking the panting Popeye.

    Cracks me up every time!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPQq-Tvzu4Y&t=3m54s

  • “Ali Baba” is my overall favorite; I don’t remember if I ever saw the complete version as a kid but I knew darn well the Famous cheater was only showing bits (although the Famous version did add some nice wisecracks).

    All the Fleischers and several of the Famous had at least one standout gag or bit (in particular Olive singing “Brotherly Love” or “Clean Shaven Man”). An early favorite had fireman Popeye save Bluto from a burning house, anxiously fret over his condition, and THEN punch him out.

  • I have far too many to mention, and listing them would be boring.

  • Not only do we finally get to see this cartoon in all its wonderful color but we get to hear the original music in the opening and closing titles. I’ll have that song in my head for the rest of the day but that isn’t a bad thing.
    Something we also get to see are some overshooting from the camera revealing the unpainted area of certain scenes. One at approximately 1:06, another at 2:39 and a few more sprinkled in afterward. They’re not as noticeable as the two shots in ROBIN HOODWINKED but they’re there. Usually the cameraman was a “straight shooter”.

  • What’s overlooked in this copy are that the registration lines can be seen on the characters in some sequences. It’s more fascinating than bewildering.

    • I didn’t crop this tight enough- thought I had. Projected you can’t see any of those, ,so in this care they did fine- I didn’t matt it to academy for here. If it’s full apature you can see even more, including the pan bar at the top…

    • Devon – I think you’re referring to paint lines. The registration lines (where the characters contact with an object on the BG or another character) are well done in this cartoon.

    • I didn’t crop this tight enough- thought I had. Projected you can’t see any of those, ,so in this care they did fine- I didn’t matt it to academy for here. If it’s full apature you can see even more, including the pan bar at the top…

      You certainly got a lot of the frame in here. I’m sure on TV, much of this was cropped like most cartoons would be so most of those ‘gaffes’ would be unseen. It’s nice to at least see the effort that went into a fine short like this beyond the animation alone.

  • In We’re On Our Way to Rio I always wondered who did Olive’s singing voice in Brazilian Portuguese?

    Other favorite Popeye cartoons involving Olive as a “Latin Beauty”
    Bulldozing the Bull (which I wonder if it was either Mae Questal or Margie Hinds who did Olive’s voice) and Kicking the Conga Around (a very funny scene involved was when both Popeye and Bluto started to brawl in the nightclub “Doña Olivia” (Olive Oyl) ran out in a panic crying out “Help,help,help,help!!!” Then instead of the local authorities the Shore Patrol (Navy’s version of the Military Police) enters and one said “Oh a couple of Jeebs!” Then after calling both Popeye and Bluto into attention haul both of them into the ship’s brig. I always wondered what the word “Jeebs” meant if it was a slang used in the 1940’s.

  • If ever a news item is discovered revealing the specialty singers hired for RIO, a great cartoon to be sure, I will celebrate! It’s a one-off trained basso for Bluto and I’m tipping it could be the same one heard the previous year in Dave Fleischer’s Oscar-nominated IMAGINATION for Columbia (after Dave had relocated to the Coast). Also as mentioned in BIGG’s comment above, a one-off Olive also, singing like Carmen Miranda…the East Coast voices continue to be the bane of my researching life with the almost total lack of documentation. I live in hope.

  • That print is amazing. “Rio” is easily my favorite Famous Popeye next to “She-Sick Sailors”.

  • What a gorgeous print, thanks Steve!

    Re: Olive. I think she was more of a Brazilian doppelgänger than someone who knew the sailors. There was a precedent set in Kijckin’ The Conga Around, a cartoon so good I wonder if they thought it worthy of a remake ie Rio.

    My fave? I was born a Goonand man, and I’ll die a Goonland man.

  • I am head over heels in love with the Popeye color specials: Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp, and Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves. As was already mentioned: the 3D backdrops, the Technicolor, the stories and the gags are some of the best ever done for Popeye, and some of my all time favorite cartoons. I’d kill to see them on a blu-ray set to match Warner’s great DVD sets.

  • Can You Take It
    What—No Spinach!
    Goonland
    Hello, How-Am-I
    Child Pyskolojiky

    Love almost any Popeye that either avoids the Popeye-Olive-Bluto triangle or puts a new spin on it. Personality-driven cartoons with Pappy and Wimpy are the best.

  • Now I know what to expect from a potential Famous Studios Popeye DVD release.

    • I still anxiously await this. Especially now that the movie has been canned.

    • CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG: It’s not canned, they’re just looking for someone to rewrite the movie. However, Gennedy Tartakovsky will not be involved with the Popeye movie now that he’s working on a Samurai Jack reboot for Adult Swim.

  • I love so many of the pre-1940 Popeyes that it’s tough to make this pick!

    A DREAM WALKING is a perfect cartoon. Its structure, complex animation, and the relationships of the characters are all spot-on. While it gets the spinach in, it also subverts a lot of the expectations of the series. And just thinking about the cartoon has its wonderful title tune running through my head on AutoPlay.

    My favorite Famouses are THE HUNGRY GOAT (black and white) and RIO (color). If only Famous had stayed this good and vital for just a little bit longer…

    • Frank, very well said about A Dream Walking! I’d also praise the amazing perspective and inventiveness of the “high steel” sequences. Also, Goonland seems to be one of the most frequently mentioned here, and with very good reason, not least of all because it taps the potential of Popeye as a great adventurer in his own right. I tend to like my Popeyes more exotic, less domestic.

  • Steve Thank You (and Jerry B) for posting Rio in all it’s glory. Of course we all appreciate it when a cartoon is shown in the original format and glory.
    It was mentioned elsewhere in the replies about Jim Tyer’s departure from Famous and the change of timing and pacing that followed. About the same time on the West Coast Bob Clampett left Warners to work at Screen Gems/Columbia cartoons. The reason I mention this could be a “hindsight is 20/20” BUT…what if Bob Clampett went to Famous.instead and was able to work with Tyer (and his legendary rubbery style), Solomon and the rest? After all Clampett did work with another “rubbery” animator named Rob Scribner at Warners. If nothing else the timing and story telling would had been better and might had given Famous better quality output going in the 1950’s. Just a thought.
    Thanks and again keep up your love for animation

  • “Samba Le Le”, which is heard over the opening credits of this cartoon (as well as being the featured number) was issued here on a three-disc 78 album by Victor. This release, which came out in late 1942, was another part of the “Good Neighbor Policy”, promoted by President Roosevelt at the time.

    This album was drawn from the many sides that Victor had recorded in Rio de Jaeiiro starting in 1929, and gong on well into the 1960’s. The version of “Samba L:e Le” is by Carlos Galhardo, and was issued here on Victor 20-1516.

    The “”Broadway Samba” lyric was new, and one wonders if it was not written expressly for this cartoon.

    Not only is Olive Oyl not the usual Mae Questel voice–Mae could sing, but not in Brazilian Portuguese–but it does not sound like the usual Bluto. When Jackson Beck (who took over the role) sang as Bluto, e sang in a deep bass voice, not the excellent Broadway baritone displayed here.

  • Most of the Fleischer Popeye shorts were very good to excellent, but two always stood out to me:

    Sindbad The Sailor, because it was very ambitious for its budget, and for the fact that it attempted an actual epic adventure rather than be an excuse for Popeye and Bluto to fight. And hearing Boola argue in that New York Russian Jewish dialect always cracks me up.

    Let’s Celebrake, because of the compassion Popeye shows Grandma. It really illustrates his “champion of the underdog” persona.

    I never had a high opinion of the Famous Studios shorts, but We’re On Our Way To Rio is the pleasant exception. The music is outstanding and it gives a very entertaining spin on the formula Popeye plot.

    • Olive’s Grandma was known as Nana Oyl in the Popeye comic strips.

  • My favorite Popeye cartoon would have to be “Popeye Meets Ali Baba’s Fourty Thieves”. Great gages, memorable jokes, great ad-libs, what more can you want?

  • We can dream…when will Warners ever let us see Volume 4 of Popeye. They claim there’s no market for DVD’s but I’ve seen a lot worse released on DVD the past few years.

    • It’s been said that Popeye Vol. 4 would be prepared in time for the Sony CGI Popeye movie which will be released sometime this year or next year. Other than that, it may make a surprise retail release (like the Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry DVD), especially since production on B&W Popeyes ended in 1943, which Vol. 3 completed.

  • This cartoon is very Fleischer like. It’s the kind of thing you imagine the studio would have been doing if things hadn’t blown up. As for my favorite Popeye it would have to be ‘Little Sweet Pea’. There’s 3-D sets and even when I was little I thought that alligator rubbing Popeye’s stomach was hilarious.

  • Lyndon Ware gives The Bean a Thunderous Applause…and it’s just not true what they say.
    Definitely not a Has-Bean… All out one of the Greatest TT’s since The Dead End Cats which was
    Totally Terry-ific. (Tea for me Please I’m Driving)

    It most definily has an end too soon feel to it, as though it is a two-reeler and the business end
    of the cartoon is just about to fade in and we get the Paramount Mountain.

    Oh to think that I should go…so young! …oops wrong forum! I almost expected Robert
    Benchley to flash on the screen saying “Hmmm they must have got a memo from the front office”
    In the second reel we find out that Samba Girl really isn’t Olive Oyl when the real Olive shows up
    and even Worser Samba Girl is actually a German Spy and the boys (with the help of the real
    Olive have to sort her out) I could tell you how it all unfolds but that is a military secret.

    Suffice to say that the picture ends with Popeye and Bluto back on the Ox with the camera paning back to show the Ox pulling a handcuffed Samba Girl along in a barred cell with Olive sitting on top looking victorious then the hat on Samba Girl’s head turns around and we can see it is the bird from the beginning of the picture, camera pans in and the bird now has Popeye’s pipe “Toot Toot” Iris out to The Mountain.

    And Thus we Call it a knight, or a wolf in sheeps clothing if you prefer.

    I also wondered if Tex Avery saw this and developed some inspiration for Little Rural Riding Hood, or at least a healthy interest in Samba dancing.

    • You may have this backwards. I think that “Red Hot Riding Hood” came first.

      “We’re On Our Way To Rio” has a 1944 copyright on it, while “RHRH” is usually thought of as a 1943 release.

      It should be noted in both cases that the Hays Office (or the Breen Office, as it was also known) had loosened up a little bit from its attitudes of the pre-War years. Some of this is thought to have stemmed from the idea that our Servicemen have to have their quota of cheesecake.

  • I suppose I don’t have a favorite Popeye per say. Much of what is already discuss here I would give a nod to anyway since those would be my picks too, though if I had to pick at least one or two I liked a lot, I would say “Happy Birthdaze” and “Me Musical Nephews”. The earliest of the Famous Studios shorts in particular strayed greatly from what the Fleischers’ had build Popeye up to literally tearing him down with a new, wilder style and a lot more comical gags unseen before, and in the case of these two (and even The Hungry Goat), Popeye doesn’t even get to use his spinach at all, and we don’t even care! In some ways, these are the most unconventional Popeye shorts because the character simply doesn’t win at the end but they’re just extremely funny anyway.

  • “A Dream Walking” has to be my favorite; for the wonderful aerial gymnastics, the perspective, the timing and the rhythm, the variation from the typical “Popeye” scenario; for me , it’s a Fleischer masterpiece. I love all the Fleischer’s, but particular favorites are: “For Better or Worser” ( it’s so over the top!); “A Clean Shaven Man”, “Brotherly Love” and “The Paneless Window Washer”. And of course, I’m a big fan of the color-two-reelers, particularly “Popeye Meets Ali Baba”. There are many of them I love as much for the vocal characterizations as for the animation. Thanks for posting “Rio”! I’m not much of a fan of the Famous Studios’ “Popeye”, but this certainly is a lovely example of what they could do.

  • 1/10/16
    RobGems.ca Wrote:
    By the way, my favorite Popeye cartoons besides this one about “Rio” are any Popeye cartoon with a Western or Farm setting, such as “Tar With A Star” or “The Farmer And The Belle”. True, these may not be the very best Popeye cartoons ever made(they’re formulatic, for one thing), but the down-home charms I always appreciated, and Olive Oyl may not be the most attractive cartoon character in the world, but she looks real darn cute in a cowgirl or farmer’s costume. So does Betty Boop. More favorites are “What, No Spinach?”, The Spinach Roadster”, “Hello, How Am I?”, and “Hold That Wire” simply because they’re so damn hilarious.

  • Just a thank you for posting this excellent copy of WE’RE ON YOUR WAY TO RIO. It’s a pleasure to see a favorite cartoon looking that wonderful. Several of the early Technicolor Popeye’s look much less than ideal, but none of them as bad as RIO.

  • Well… I’ve not watched all that many Popeye cartoons with any knowledge of the titles (it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a lot of Popeyes) but I love the one where Popeye and Bluto work together to build a building (I haven’t the faintest clue of that one’s title) as well as Wotta Nightmare … I do have a taste for wacky animation, apparently.

  • I’m not sure if they’re my absolute favourites or just a refreshing change of pace, but I like the Fleischer Popeyes where he and Olive already have a good relationship and Bluto is *their* enemy, rather than a rival for the fickle Olive’s hand – e.g. We Aim To Please, Stealin’ Ain’t Honest and the Sindbad and Ali Baba two-reelers – or non-Bluto entries such as A Date to Skate, The House Builder-Upper and Brotherly Love (which captures a theme present – but much more in the background – in other Fleischer Popeyes: keeping spirits up in a gritty urban Depression-era setting).

    On the other hand, one of my favourite Famous Popeyes is Shape Ahoy – a love-triangle with a *very* fickle Olive – but which is unique in its hazy atmosphere, deranged animation and approach to the love-triangle story.

  • Seeing this early color Popeye reminds me about just how gorgeous the artwork and animation on Famous Studios films looked prior to the budget cuts. This could of easily competed with the best animation from Disney and Warner Bros. It is a shame that poor quality prints are often shown on television and with bland TV Titles. I would start my own network of classic cartoon channels in which cartoons like this can be seen in glorious color and with the original movie titles. I think Famous Studios is underrated and needs to get a better look.

  • Any chance you could re-upload “We’re On Our Way to Rio” to Vimeo, like Thad did with “Tale of Two Mice”? Would love to see this beautiful print of it again…

  • Favorite Popeye Shorts:
    Popeye Presents Eugene The Jeep
    I’ll Never Crow Again
    Mess Production
    Shiver Me Timbers
    What? No Spinach?
    Happy Birthdaze
    Her Honor The Mare
    Customers Wanted
    Popeye Makes A Movie
    Big Bad Sinbad
    Popeye’s Premiere
    We’re On Our Way To Rio
    Abusement Park
    Me Musical Nephews
    The Marry Go Round
    The Hungry Goat
    Movin Aweigh
    Pop Eye A La Mode
    How Green Is My Spinach
    Mister And Mistletoe
    Assault And Flattery
    Puppet Love
    For Better Or Nurse
    Spree Lunch
    Shape Ahoy
    You’re A Sap Mr. Jap
    Seein Red White N Blue
    Popeye Meets Sinbad The Sailor
    Popeye Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves
    Aladdin And His Wonderful Lamp

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