The Popeye the Sailor cartoon show was a 30 minute, syndicated kids cartoon series about a normally mild-mannered sailor who became a super strong heroic dynamo after eating spinach. Popeye was very fond of Olive Oyl who often had to be saved from the evil Brutus and he adored his darling baby nephew Swee'Pea.
Popeye the Sailor Characters
Jack Mercer .... Popeye
Mae Questel .... Olive Oyl
Jackson Beck .... Brutus
Swee'Pea .... No Voice
Popeye the Sailor Trivia
Popeye the Sailor sent a strong message to children about being a good, honest human being while being willing to stand up against evil when necessary. Oh yes ... it also taught them that they would become strong if they listened to their parents and ate their vegetables.
Popeye first appeared on January 17, 1929 in a comic strip titled "Thimble Theatre" by cartoonist E.C. Segar. Two of the strips characters decided to take a trip to an island and needed someone to sail their boat. Segar created a skinny elderly retired sailor who smoked a corn cob pipe as the captain of their boat. Popeye was only intended to appear in that one strip but by 1932 he became so popular that he literally took it over as the main character! Eventually he became more vital and youthfull and developed a relationship with Olive Oyl, getting his first kiss in August of 1929.
Popeye didn't even get his name until his third appearance in the comics. He said his famous exclamation, "Blow Me Down" for the first time in his fourth appearance.
In the beginning Popeye was actually a bit of a hothead! He often ended out beating up an innocent party! It would be impossible today to have a hero act in such a manner but that was during the post World War I era and in the era of the Great Depression. Lots of people were in a mood to knock somebody's block off at the time and Popeye's temperment didn't seem out of line at the time.
While spinach was mentioned as causing Popeye's tremendous strength in the comics, it wasn't emphasized much until he became a cartoon star. Within a short amount of time after the cartoons began, Spinach onsumption in the U.S. increased by 30%!
Most fans agree that these 220 episodes produced during 1960-1961 are the worst Popeye cartoons ever produced. Because of that they are very rarely broadcast and therefore, ironically, coveted by die hard fans.
Many fans also didn't appreciate the 1980 Popeye movie starring Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelley Duval as Olive Oyl. Critics said that the movie didn't capture the mood of the cartoons but that the stars were amazing in their roles.
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