Animation History
June 24, 2019 posted by Jerry Beck

What Do You Think Was Cut From “Popeye and The Pirates”?

This title card precedes the cartoon “Popeye and The Pirates” on the new POPEYE THE SAILOR: The 1940s – Vol. 2 blu-ray and DVD

By now I hope you’ve all received the latest Warner Archive Collection DVD or blu-ray of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s – Vol. 2. (If not you can order it here). To our delight, the cartoons have been beautifully restored, but to our mutual disappointment, Popeye and The Pirates (1947) – which always contained an obvious edit since at least the 1956 A.A.P. syndication of the Popeye cartoons to television – still has that obvious edit.

We learned while researching the master elements that the edit happened well before 1956 – it happened in 1947, and was there in the original release theatrical release prints right off the bat. Beyond examining a 1947 Technicolor nitrate release print (which contained the edit) we observed these single frames on the films original leader – one of which says “2nd Cutting”.

The “2nd Cutting” tag is unique among the Famous Studios negatives, appearing only on this one. We’ve seen this notation, however, on other negatives – for example on Blue Ribbon cartoons, when the studio made changes in the picture for theatrical reissue. Clearly there was a “first cut” of Popeye and The Pirates which was revised thusly for ultimate release. That first cut does not exist intact. The cut footage has not been found and we believe it was discarded at the time. The cartoon on the new disc is the way it was originally presented.

You might ask: How could they release a film with such an obvious edit? I have several answers – or perhaps theories – for this. First off, an abrupt cut isn’t all that uncommon in classic cartoons. We’ve seen it before (though maybe not this severe). For example that scene in Frank Tashlin’s Hare Remover where Elmer carrying Bugs Bunny is celebrating having “Twapped the rabbit! Hooray!” – and then abruptly goes silent. I’ll bet you can name a few others.

Additionally, general audiences were used to seeing spliced prints of cartoons, shorts and features back in the day – especially at second and third run theaters. Natural wear and tear was the usual cause, a film would ultimately (and routinely) be run with dirt lines and splices – hair and dirt would accumulate in the projectors and attach to the celluloid. A cut like this would have been noticed, but easily forgotten a few seconds later. Remember, these cartoons were essentially screened for movie patrons once. They were ephemeral – not expected to ever be seen again after their initial showings. No sales to television were contemplated in 1947, no thought of perpetual reruns on daytime broadcasts, cable television, VHS, DVD, blu-ray or on-demand streaming. Those things didn’t exist. No need to fix such an abrupt cut – its was more important to hit the deadline and deliver the film to the studio for its scheduled release.

So the mystery remains. What exactly was cut out? We may never know… but we can take some educated guesses. In the film, in classic trickster style, Popeye dresses in drag to distract pirate Pierre from his lascivious attentions on Olive Oyl. Animated in overt sexual style by Marty Taras, Popeye flaunts his figure while batting the brute about – ultimately locking him in a chest and dumping him into the sea.

As Popeye begins to remove his feminine disguise (in a shot animated by Tom Golden) the edit occurs – jumping abruptly to a shot of Pierre with two cannon balls stuffed in his cheeks! What happened!?

To me, it’s obvious that Popeye used a pair of barbells (or cannon balls) as his breasts and tossed them overboard just as Pierre is returning to the deck, about to pounce the Sailor Man. The objects land in his mouth as Popeye turns and notices Pierre has returned (thus explaining Popeye’s surprised “take”). Here are the two successive frames as they appear in the film – the first one “before”, the second one “after”:

——————————————-(Snip, Snip)——————————————————

Do you have a theory on what might have been contained in the cut footage? Let us know in the comments below.

Of course, this sort of ultra-violence was par for the course at Famous Studios – where the more painful the gag, the funnier the studio thought it would be. And this was not the last pirate ship picture for Paramount. Among others, Herman and Katnip, and Baby Huey, took to the high seas with “explosive” results:

Herman replaces Pirate Katnip’s wooden leg with a stick of dynamite in SHIP-A-HOOEY (1954), while Baby Huey smashes the fox (mistaken for an octopus) with an anchor in SWAB THE DUCK (1956).

And this wasn’t the last time barbells were smashed into an opponents face – Here Katnip uses two barbells as “muscles” to crush his opponents head (and literally kills him) in A BICEP BUILT FOR TWO (1955):

It didn’t stop there. Famous Studios ‘Ultra-Violence’ made its way into the Harvey’s ‘Approved by the Comics Code‘ comic books. And why not? The 1950s Harvey books were written and drawn by the Paramount animators! Here are a few fun examples of the “shove something dangerous down your opponents throat” motif they established.

Feel free to submit some of your favorite Famous Studios (or Harvey Comics) ultra violence sequences. We can all use a good laugh these days.

(Thanks to Bob Jaques, Mike Kazaleh, Thad and Mark Kausler)


  • Pre-ordered this from Amazon… they recently changed the shipping date to “1 to 3 months”! Did anyone get a copy?

    • I got the same “1-3 months” when I tried to place my order. I thought it was a problem with my account so I canceled the order.

      There seemed to be no way listed on the site to contact anyone at Amazon.

    • When I saw that, I canceled the order from Amazon and bought from Barnes and Noble online (package is due tomorrow, 6/25).

    • I remember getting mine 5 days after ordering it. But my copy of Volume 3 took almost 2 weeks to where I live.

  • I suspect I’m asking the obvious here, but are there overseas versions of this cartoon somewhere?
    Are the records of the Production Code Administration around that could answer the question?

    • That’s what I was thinking. Perhaps a print in France or England might have the missing footage?

  • I think Jerry’s right. Popeye must have used barbells for breasts in that deleted scene. I received my DVD Saturday and have watched all the cartoons. They look beautiful, especially “Popeye and the Pirates.”

    • I agree. I think Jerry nailed it.

      The cartoons on the new disc look fantastic! Even the Cinecolor ones look as good as Technicolor. Can’t wait for Volume 3 to see how the Polacolor ones look.

  • I think you mean cannon balls, not “barbells”. Barbells are for weight training and would have been out of place on a pirate ship. That said, I think your reconstruction of the gag is probably spot-on.

    • “I think you mean cannon balls, not “barbells”. Barbells are for weight training and would have been out of place on a pirate ship.”

      Jeez, it’s a cartoon. Since when does logic apply? If you want logic, barbells would help keep breasts in place, as opposed to a couple of separate cannon balls.

      Since censor moves have often been random and unpredictable, the Board probably took issue with a literal depiction of “breasts” being removed from the costume and placed in the pirate’s mouth.

      I can’t believe I just typed that for public view.

      • So which pirate did that red dress, hat and high heel shoes belong to??

    • I was reminded of this post today while watching “Porky’s Double Trouble” (Tashlin, 1937). Porky’s Pig’s doppelganger, “The Killer”, escapes from prison and evades the police dragnet by donning a drag disguise. Arriving at his gang’s hideout (an abandoned girls’ school), he removes his wig, mask and fur coat to reveal a set of barbells serving as false breasts — yes, actual barbells, with too short a bar to be of any practical use in weight training, but functioning admirably as an ersatz support garment. He then throws the barbells offscreen, not at his goons (all four of whom he has just knocked out with a single punch). Thank you, GDX, your logic is right on the money.

      So here we have a cartoon from the early PCA era with a gag involving barbells as part of a drag costume, which was NOT cut. It just goes to show how arbitrary and capricious cartoon censorship has been (and still is).

  • This is a great subject for a Monday morning post, although, yes, I did note the splice and wondered why it was allowed to remain, but the explanation brings up so many otherwise terrific moments that were cut by the studio from cartoons before releasing, like the most popular one, the original ending to “HECKLING HARE”.

    I even once suggested to Jerry that the Warner Brothers cartoon department actually reanimate how they assumed the gag would go upon original fade-out, especially if the sound disks of the original ending actually exist. Has anyone bothered to do the archeological dig for the sound elements to missing pieces like this in cartoons? From the sound portion, one could imagine what might have occurred and actually have their animation department reconstruct it! This is also true of missing titles, like that of “THE GOOD EGG”, an early Warner Brothers cartoon that still retains its full soundtrack, as revealed on the first of the CARL STALLING PROJECT CD’s co-compiled by Greg Ford.

    If Warner Brothers would allow for the cost of such a reconstruction, wow, there would be all kinds of possibilities! Maybe that lost scene in “POPEYE AND THE PIRATES” could actually be realized, especially with any vintage scores that could be found and used on such reimaginings. Ooh, the possibilities! One other imfamous missing scene occurs in “YANKEE DOODLE MOUSE”, involving a book of ration stamps. I don’t know where they would find the original master disks to the sound portion at Warner Brothers, though, because these are acquisitions and not cartoons that were created at the studio in the heyday.

  • I have always wondered about that cut on Hare Remover. Elmer looks so happy after catching Bugs, but then he’s crossed in the next shot. What did Bugs do or say to make him feel that way? I bet it was too funny for the censors.
    I do remember two other such cuts, both on Bob Clampett cartoons. One is in Baby Bottleneck with the sow getting a crocodile by mistake, trying to stop it from nursing with his sharp teeth. The DVD commentary explains that the pig would have said “Now don’t touch that dial!”, a popular radio catch phrase at the time, but far too suggestive in the context of the scene. The other is in Book Revue, when Daffy as “Danny Boy” serenades the “Morning glory”, there’s an abrupt cut to a flower covering herself up; perhaps her appearance before was too sexy for the Hays Office.
    There was also a cut on the original Dumbo, when Timothy is telling Dumbo “All we need is build an act!” He’s first climbing up to Dumbo’s face, and then suddenly he’s turned around and walking up to the end of his trunk. I doubt it was for anything inappropriate, just trimming the footage for time, rather hastily at that.

  • Bugs-in-drag in “Hare Splitter” from 1948 lifts up and then ties down his ‘breasts’ after Casbah crushes them, so fake breast gags by themselves weren’t automatic edits at the time. Either it was simply the shape of the barbells that irked the Hays Office, or possibly that the barbells came encased in a bra that might have gotten the scene cut (or it may have just been that whatever censor who viewed the cartoon on the East Coast was more sensitive/prudish about gags involving fake breasts than the person who reviewed Warners’ effort a year later).

  • It looks as though Popeye pulls the barbell out and it ends up in Pierre’s mouth!!

  • My biggest curiosity is the fade out at the end of Tashlin’s THE STUPID CUPID. I’ve heard a fan theory or two, but I’m sure it would involve Elmer in the finale.
    Will the world ever know???

    • Didn’t Mark Kausler post once that he discovered the ending via a dopesheet or script that had one of the characters (Daffy?) look at the camera and say something along the lines of “don’t knock it till you tried it?” which makes perfect sense as to why it was removed.

  • i’m sure you’re all probably correct. Even though it would have been out of place on the ship, It would have been even more suggestive if they had been “melons”. Ba-dum-BUM.

  • My suspicion would be that it had to be something a little more racy or suggestive. “Items-as-boobs” jokes were already left in several other cartoons. But the fact that it jump-cuts quite a bit in the timeline to when Popeye is fully out-of-drag means maybe the boob-joke may not have been the reason for the edit.

    Popeye reaches for the cannonballs then the scene is immediately edited. He still needed to take off the dress- and Pirate Bluto had just disappeared offscreen. I wonder if Bluto’s head appeared on the left screen, Popeye tosses out the cannonballs (which go directly into his mouth) but simultaneously the dress comes off …was there a lingerie/ pantyhose image that was a bit much for theatre audiences? The dress is still floating to the right side in the frame of the take- and Popeye’s shoes are already on. This makes me wonder if the ‘undressing’ part was the reason for the cut.

  • That Dave Tendlar rowdyism.

  • If anybody can locate the storyboard drawings, that would help. But I haven’t seen too many storyboard drawings of Popeye from this era.

  • The only thing I can think of, and I admit this is going in the most extreme state of mind, is that perhaps something visual was on the cannonballs that someone thought was suggesting nipples (or were painted in too close of a flesh color, for whatever reason). The fact that we clearly see the shape of the fake breasts in both Popeye’s dress and then Pierre’s mouth but never actually see the exposed cannonballs on their own is odd, which makes me wonder if the cannonballs were painted in such a way that would have been too suggestive to depict.

  • I have no idea what was cut.
    But if someone could start digging for information on this particular shorts original production information such as animators draft etc then perhaps we could finally get some light on what was cut.

  • As I wrote on facebook…

    I have a controversial theory (to say the least) – If you notice his nose is much loonger in this shot. Maybe after Popeye somehow squized the balls (or barbells) into his mouth he looked directly into the camera and his new chin and long nose looked like a penis and ballsack for few seconds?

    With Popeye cartoons having horses ass turn into Hitler’s face I can imagine the same people would came up with such joke…

    • That was my thinking, too. In the second frame, it looks like Popeye was afraid he was going to be teabagged,

  • Jerry,

    As long as we’re on the subject of Famous Popeyes, on Volume 1 on WE’RE ON OUR WAY TO RIO, after the final scene in which Popeye and the Brazilian Olive Oyl change clothes, the picture fades to the Paramount title, Is that the “real” ending to the cartoon. I know that the end music is correct, but I would have thought that maybe it ends with the curtain that we saw in opening titles, now coming down with the Paramount logo on it. Considering there is no iris out or fade to black prior I though it might be a recreation. Still it could be the true visual because , Famous did two Raggedy Ann cartoons SUDDENLY IT’S SPRING, & THE ENCHATED SQUARE that do indeed have a direct fade to the Paramount end title.
    Tell me what you know.

    • The end titles of W’ERE ON OUR WAY TO RIO on Popeye 1940s Vol. 1 is the real deal. Paramount – both during the Fleischer era and later at Famous – occasionally dissolved from the last scene to the Paramount end title. It wasn’t common, but there are many many examples of that.

  • Don’t have any different thoughts on what happened in the “cut” but thinking that we should not close the door on this. For example another recently discovered fragment was found and inserted in 1937’s LOST HORIZON…and even though it is black and white a copy of 1946’s SPREE FOR ALL. Anything could still happen and films rediscovered. Guess that is why we love and care about these film classics.
    Speaking of film classics been very impressed with the restoration on these Popeye Cartoons, in particular SERVICE WITH A GUILE…one can actually see now Jim Tyer’s gag direction and animation to a new level among with the much cleaner color. Can’t wait until the next Popeye issue to see how the Polacolor shorts will look.

  • I enjoyed the Popeye 1940s Volume two disc very much. I saw a scene in “Rocket To Mars” I don’t ever recall seeing before, an “8-Ball Planet” with a Tojo-like face hiding behind it! That must have been cut from the TV negative.

    I also was amused many times by just how FUNNY the Famous Studios animation was at that time in the Popeyes. I thought “Rodeo Romeo” was outstanding, Marty Taras did some of his best stuff on Bluto in this cartoon, and the “Loco Weed” sequence showing an X-Ray of Popeye’s brain disintegrating made me laugh out loud. Perhaps this was one of the Popeyes where Mae Questel did his voice? I love that line when he sniffs his spinach can and says “Dis is the REAL McCoy!”

    The scene in “Safari So Good” where jungle Bluto bounces along on one leg, the other leg, on his head, on his rear end, etc. to the tune of a little tooting horn, still makes me laugh every time I see it! Did Johnny Gent animate that shot? I’ve never seen Tony Loeb’s jungle backgrounds from “Safari So Good” look better than on this DVD, the color drips off the screen.

    I also thought Jim Tyer’s scene in “Service With A Guile”, as the Admiral is spit out of the tail pipe of his wrecked car, never looked better than it does here. All the little Tyer tricks, like his use of speed lines as Bluto does all the military saluting and bowing and scraping, and the way he pops the car cels off for one or two frames to accent the tires exploding, looks exceptionally crisp.

    As to the missing scene in Popeye and the Pirates, I think Jerry’s speculative description is very close to the way it was. I think that Popeye stuffing the barbells in the Pirate’s mouth was done deliberately, not accidentally. The timing, taking the barbells out of the dress was probably a little slow and teasing at first, then very abrupt as Popeye quickly takes them out and shoves them into the Pirate’s jaws. Quite probably, Popeye’s sailor suit just pops on to his body in sync with his “take”. That’s how I’ve always imagined it, anyway.

    • The edit done to “Rocket to Mars” was done by Turner – I saw that gag many times in the Politically Incorrect era

    • Hi Mark- I have a Fuji color print of Rocket to Mars printed in ’79 and the Tojo behind the 8 ball scene is definitely in it. (I actually checked my print this morning!) At one time I had an Eastman print as well- also with the Tojo segment. This scene appears in all the AAP prints unless the TV station cut it out which I’d imagine happened sometimes.

    • Hi Mark, I’ve still got a VHS recording I captured from WUAB-TV in Cleveland in 1988 when they aired “Rocket To Mars” and the 8-ball scene is intact.

    • “As to the missing scene in Popeye and the Pirates, I think Jerry’s speculative description is very close to the way it was. I think that Popeye stuffing the barbells in the Pirate’s mouth was done deliberately, not accidentally. The timing, taking the barbells out of the dress was probably a little slow and teasing at first, then very abrupt as Popeye quickly takes them out and shoves them into the Pirate’s jaws. Quite probably, Popeye’s sailor suit just pops on to his body in sync with his “take”. That’s how I’ve always imagined it, anyway.”

      That doesn’t explain why Popeye is so surprised to see the pirate in the “After” frame, though. And he had already locked Pierre in a chest and dumped him in the ocean BEFORE starting to remove his disguise. I think Jerry is right here; the barbells ended up in Pierre’s mouth by accident.

  • One Popeye-ular myth about the early Famous era that circled around for many years was that in 1945 and ’46 while Jack Mercer was temporarily in the military, was that Mae Questel substituted as Popeye’s voice for SIX or even SEVEN cartoons straight. Even Questal herself said that in Leonard Maltiin’s book OF MICE AND MAGIC.
    In more recent years that myth has been debunked. In reality Mae only did one cartoon as Popeye, and that was 1945’s SHAPE AHOY. The other six are Harry Foster Welch as the sailor.

    Anybody remember that myth? I know I do.

  • As I recall, the original, full ending to “The Heckling Hare” (Avery, 1941) exists in “script” form. (Not precisely a script, but a record of the dialogue.) Did such a thing exist for this cartoon? And yes, I would imagine that the Hays Office archives might have something, though I don’t know if/where they exist.

  • I agree with the proposed theory. Perhaps the censors objected to it based on indecency and not so much violence, since almost anything wasn’t too violent in those days in cartoons.
    In addition to Production Code records (if they still exist) another possible source would be Technicolor cutting continuity documents. (I believe this is how Roger Garcia found out that YOU’RE AN EDUCATION was edited for rerelease in his Tashlin book, since those documents are listed as a source).
    The topic of long lost footage in animation (and film in general) really warrants more research.

  • Several storyboards from the Famous Studios era survive, including an entire scrapped cartoon where Popeye tangles with the devil, as played by Bluto. Surely the gag from “Pirates”would be intact in such production material. The problem is, if these storyboards survive, they’re likely in the hands of a collector, or an action house. I’m hoping they one day appear online. I know that I’ve found huge chunks of storyboards from “Barking Dogs Don’t Fite”, “Double Cross Country Race”, “Pop-a-Long Popeye”, “Popeye’s Mirthday”, “Shaving Muggs”, “Popeye’s 20th Anniversary”, and the aforementioned devil cartoon. I suppose my point is – keep watching the auction sites (most notably Heritage Auctions who scans ridiculously high res scans available for free!)! It’s our best bet in finding out this gag!

  • One person claimed to have seen the complete cartoon on TV in the 1950s:

    Perhaps those early B&W A.A.P. prints of the color Famous shorts I’ve heard about (with the same A.A.P. titles as used on the B&W Fleischer and Famous shorts) would be worth checking out. (If Elliot’s comment on >>this< article a while back is any indication, some of them may also retain the original title music.)

    • Yeah, he saw it on his local station’s late, late show as an added attraction right before they ran “London After Midnight.”

    • Very interesting… his description of the scene (posted back in 2012) is almost verbatim the same as what Jerry is guessing:

      “In spite of the prints floating around out there, somewhere, someplace there has to exist a complete print of “Popeye and the Pirates”. I remember this cartoon and the missing scene as if it were yesterday. Mayor Art on KRON TV Channel 4 in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1950’s would show this cartoon intact. This is how the scene would go:

      After Popeye, disguised as a female, thought he took care of the Pirate Captain, he starts removing his disguise. The present day cut starts as Popeye reaches down the front of his dress to remove his “bosom”. In the now missing part, he pulls out a black barbell – two small cannonballs with a bar in-between them. He tosses the barbell over his shoulder after tossing his hat and shoes, etc., but then there is a quick pan and a cutaway to the Pirate Captain who has gotten the barbell thrown into his mouth!! When the cartoon resumes after the cut, one can briefly see that is what happened, with the Pirate Captain’s mouth and cheeks puffed out, with Popeye doing his “oh, no” take, running, etc. Now that you know how that scene went, this information will totally make sense when you see the cartoon once again.

      As a 7 year old, I thought that scene was funny. (And I am certainly not corrupted today!) When KBHK TV Channel 44 in San Francisco started showing the Popeye cartoons in the 1960’s, that scene was cut out like it is now. At that time, I thought the channel did the cutting. When I moved from the Bay Area in 1978, the Sacramento TV Station KTXL Channel 40 was playing it with that same scene cut, also. These stations were still using 16mm prints at that time. I am guessing the distributors to the stations did the editing in those packages, with prints now all having that cut.”

    • Regarding Steve’s reply: Something to bear in mind here is that this wouldn’t be the only instance of A.A.P. using rare or unreleased material.

      Bugs Bunny Rides Again is one example, as brought up in the linked thread. As is Tweetie Pie, where they ended up with a copy of the original release soundtrack to Tweetie Pie and proceeded to mate it with the reissue-modified (Blue Ribbon) picture element in at least some TV prints.

      Another point to consider is that in at least some cases A.A.P. received/used more than one master element to derive TV elements from. A case in point is Fleischer’s A Date to Skate: there’s the element that was used on the WHV DVD, where the opening A.A.P. logo more or less just replaces the Paramount logo and dissolve, there’s the usual (for the A.A.P.-modified Popeye elements) shrinkage/jumpiness in the remaining original picture, and there’s a splice in the opening title zoom-in. But there’s another master where the opening A.A.P. logo also replaces most of the “Popeye” title, the typical jumpiness is absent, and the opening zoom-in is complete (with noticeable negative damage among the frames that are missing in the other master).

      So even if one finds an A.A.P. TV print of Popeye and the Pirates that lacks the missing footage, keep looking, because it doesn’t mean there weren’t others derived from a different, uncut source.

    • Say Zachary:

      Were the earliest TV prints of the color Famous Popeye’s REALLY in black and white and used the version of a.a.p. from the Fleischer cartoons? I DO know that the earliest TV copies of color pre 1948 WB cartoons were grainy black and white and with the Technicolor notice “brick walled” out.
      Please reply, this is fascinating!

    • Chris: See Elliot’s comment on a Thunderbean Thursday post last year (third comment on the article), which I linked to. I haven’t owned one of these reported prints or seen one played back… though I just looked on eBay and there just happens to be a B&W print of Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp in the completed listings with the B&W A.A.P. titles:

      (I wonder if it has the original opening and closing music? Although Aladdin is the one Fleischer two-reeler that had both reinstated on the WHV DVDs.)

      There are also B&W prints of color Popeyes on eBay that have the same A.A.P. titles as the color prints.

  • When was this Popeye on the storyboard? Looks like a rather adult gag that would’ve sailed through during the war years as a “one for the boys” gag. Popeye has some hose to discard along with his, er… balls. But by ’47 a call for decency may have been in order by the studio brass, and this sort of thing just wasn’t right for Grey Flannel America.

  • Popeye resorting to a drag act to trap an enemy. The Warners influence was pervasive.

    • Yeah, Popeye in the Fleischer era would have just beaten him up.

  • The original ending of “Hollywood Steps Out” allegedly had Clark Gable saying “Forgive me Carole. But I’m a baaad boy” (a la Lou Costello) and kissing Groucho Marx. In all the current prints there’s a quick fade out after Groucho’s “well, fancy meeting you here”. I believe a snippet of the original ending was found recently,

  • Hi! First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for resolving a question from my childhood, I’m 24, but I’ve grown up with Popeye all my life. Recently I discovered this page and I am surprised with the professionalism that things are said, thanks again. On the other hand, I wanted to buy Popeye’s BluRays, but the shipping changes many times and I am not sure that it arrives, I am afraid of losing the opportunity to have some bluray if possible…, I wanted to ask if there is the possibility of obtaining A copy of some disc, I even settle for a chapter like the one described in the post, money is not a problem because I have already tried it officially, I mean I would pay for the copy. I understand that it is not a very accepted method, I am only a fan of classic cartoons, especially Popeye, and I greatly appreciate these articles that are apparently so complicated to get around my area… Thank you very much for everything in advance. Greetings from Spain. Ismael.

  • I think he took his boobs out of his shirt whether they be whatever they are and just stuff them in his mouth to get away

  • Popeye pulls out of his dress his “bust”… That is, a small barbell, which he shoves in the big pirate’s mouth. I remember this from when I was a kid watching this cartoon on the old Tom Hatten show on channel five, Los Angeles.

  • Speaking of breasts, something my wife and I noticed viewing this on TCM was that Olive Oyl had them in the opening of the cartoon while on Popeye’s boat. I can’t remember ever seeing them on Olive in my 60+ years of watching Popeye cartoons. They are gone again once she is on the Pirate ship. Are there any other instances of Olive being more than a twig?

  • Here’s some evidence I can tell about this scene:

    1. We can see that Popeye wore his standard Navy outfit *under* the dress, so there definitely was no actual nudity. Furthermore, we can see the last semblance of the dress after the cut, and it looks like it’s being thrown, so it’s likely that Popeye stripped it off right as he noticed Pierre returned and his Navy suit was right under it.

    2. It’s also clearly visible that the hat Popeye wore while he was disguised landed on Pierre’s head, and we saw him toss it to the left overboard, so we know for sure that happened in the cut scene. I also agree with the theory that the cannonballs were used to make fake breasts and were tossed overboard into Pierre’s mouth in the cut scene.

    3. I also noticed the background is altered between the two frames, so it seems like it zoomed out and angled to the left in the cut scene, probably would’ve moved as soon as Pierre got back up.

    So what I think happened is that Popeye took the cannonballs out of the dress, tossed them overboard, then the camera moved to show that Pierre returned. While Popeye doesn’t notice, he strips off the rest of the dress, and right as he strips off either the top or bottom half (that element is anyone’s guess), he notices Pierre’s back, has his shocked look, and thats what happened.

    Now, I’m not entirely sure why this was removed from the get-go since there was no actual nudity shown. It’s probably that the idea of Popeye pulling out visible fake breasts is too suggestive and against the censorship code, but we’ll likely never know for sure. Maybe someday I’ll find an animator who I can pay to try and fill in the gap on this scene with what I believe happened in it.

    • Also, we can see that Popeye isn’t wearing shoes after the cut, but the next shot after when he’s running away from Pierre has his shoes on, so that part was probably just an error on the animators’ part.

  • Guys I Want To See The Short. Is it free to watch

  • This post is more for educational purposes than a recount of a Popeye memory or guess as to the missing footage. My guess would have to do with Popeye having used bar shot for his bosom. What’s bar shot? Keep reading if interested.

    In the olden days, bar shot and other dismantling shot were common in naval warfare. They were made of two heavy pieces connected by a fairly short bar, with some having spherical end pieces and others being half spheres or short cylinders or whatever was on hand at the time they were made. Some dismantling shot were connected by chains instead of bars. When they were shot from the cannon they would end up with some rotation and would wreak havoc on sails, rigging, or whatever else was in the path, hence the term dismantling shot. This type of shot was not as abundant as the typical cannon ball but was more effective in taking down sails and rigging. It would have been less effective for punching holes in the sides of ships than a typical cannon ball. Therefore it would have been more for disabling a sailing ship than sinking one.

    Similar weapons have been used since at least the days of Ancient Greece. The Greek halteres were basically early dumbbells and could be used in war as well as for exercise, which in those days was training for war.

    So it would make sense that Popeye, on an old timey pirate ship might have access to one of these to use for breasts. Of course a couple of cannon balls might also be available. I have no idea how much the writers or animators knew about pirates, but it would not be surprising if someone on the team knew about bar shot— it’s no big secret since it’s been around a long time.

    Barbells, as opposed to halteres/dumbbells/barshot, are a more modern invention for exercise and wouldn’t be of much use on a ship, not to mention the bar would be longer and wouldn’t fit inside a dress as fake breasts.

    For an image of pirate bar shot, visit the Queen Anne’s Revenge Project website at

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