Popeye (1980)

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 03/06/01 20:01:35

"Cute and whimsical live action cartoon."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

I'm a huge fan of Popeye and Robin Williams so this movie was perfect for me. It was underrated and met with critical snubbery but I thought it was cute, colorful and clever and pre-dated Jim Carrey trying to be a cartoon by a decade. I can still sit through the whole thing, loving every moment.

The movie is just like the cartoon. Dark and dangerous but cute and funny at the same time. Popeye mumbles, Olive Oyl frets and Bluto bulleys. Spinach cans pop open and Swee' Pea crawls on telephone lines. Its great. There are few characters in the movie that aren't in the cartoon but they embody the spirit of the cartoon so they seem more like forgotten characters than add-ons.

The physical stunts are very impressive. Shelley Duvall cranes her neck in every scene and Robin Williams keeps one shut and a pipe tucked firmly into the crook of his mouth.

Olive Oyl is the best. Every dress she owns is exactly the same and still she can't decide what to wear.

Thats funny, right?

A familiar slice of Americana given a new life on the big screen. I used to watch Popeye cartoons before church on Sunday. A two hour program on Channel 5 (KTLA) in Los Angeles just before the Family Film Festival which would feature classics like Ma and Pa Kettle, Pippi Longstocking and Sinbad, the Sailor. So as a seasoned fan I can say that if you like the cartoon, you'll like the movie. Whatever happened to programming like that?

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