Saturday, August 04, 2007

Popeye - "Blow Me Down" (1933) - fighting

Where else are you gonna get good beatings like this?






















33 comments:

podcast said...

the last panel is what gets to me. When I was a kid, we used to make flip books (and then super 8 animations), and our goal was always to make a "smoke fight." Maybe your next topic might celebrate one of the great (and now largely lost) animation mainstays...

Mark Stroud said...

I love this stuff, I remeber seeing a lot of these orginal popeys on local TV as a kid, along with some vintage Bugs Bunny, Woody the Woodpecker and plenty of others from around the same era. I never knew how good I had it. I can hardly wait to get this set. John I have to thank you for re-opening my eyes to how much fun cartoons used to be and how sad it is to see how far things have fallen.
I remeber seeing my first vintage popeys. The funny walks,and the almost subvocaled jokes. Watching this funny looking guy in a sailor suit go after the twiggy ugly chic, putting up with his slacker pal whimpy, his mean but funny pappy and beating the crap out of the villian. Not to mention the weird stuff like the goons,the mischievious sweet pea and the geep. "Its the natural thing to do." GOOD TIMES!!!

lastangelman said...

If this DVD set is a success, would King Features and Warner Brothers take that as some kind of "marketing" signal and collaborate on yet another sucky modern P.C. Popeye cartoon, or hire some small but dedicated animation team that would actually do it right - and no interference from studio about politically correct anything?

Joe Henderson said...

There's nothing like a good ol' Beatin'!!! Maybe one day cartoons will start to be funny again and we'll get to be witness to some more beatings.Hopefully.

John said...

Ahhh Violence in cartoons perhaps the closest thing to perfection we mere humans can attain....

Roberto said...

Now there's a funny beating right there. I like how Popeye is animated (the part where he's lighting his pipe. He looks like he's floating).

Nico said...

The DVD set is AMAZING John. Do you own/like it?

Tim said...

What stands out to me the most is how it's set to the music. That little detail I think doubles the "fun" of the whole thing.

Colin said...

Good ol cartoon violence. Damn Parents Groups for protecting their wussy kids from this great stuff.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Beatings are your best entertainment value!

Freckled Derelict said...

I LOVE Blutos fighting style in this cartoon!!!
Uhh heaven.

litlgrey said...

Once, in an interview clip that John filmed for the E! Channel (April March was still animating for him at the time), he referred to this violence in particular as "glorious beatings."
Dang if that ain't so!
The best fight sequence occurs either in 1933 or in 1934... as Popeye and Bluto really get into it and their action is obscured by smoke, Popeye emerges from the cloud just long enough to slowly and thoughfully relight his pipe before getting back into it. What was Bluto fighting at the time? Who knows? Who cares? It's an utterly magnificent throwaway gag.
It is quite interesting to see how the Fleischers appeared to have solved the problem of expressing speed in animation YEARS before their west coast counterparts did - and I have never, even once, seen them get any credit for this.

zoe said...

You know, I don't find this particularly good. Look at it slowly - Popeye and Bluto both fall to the ground at exactly the same time, and what's more, they both get up at exactly the same rate. All of TWO distinct punches are thrown by each party, then it's all indistinct.

When I was a kid, I soooort of liked Popeye cartoons, but there was always something about the elongated actions (like in this clip) that lost my attention. It was never quite as "snappy" as the Warner Bros. shorts that were to follow.

Nowadays I can appreciate where the Popeye cartoons were at for their time, but I don't admire them quite as much even as early Fleischer stuff.

Okapi Figment William said...

I really dig these old Popeye cartoons!

David Sloss said...

I agree with Zoe--the animation in these toons ain't that great. You don't feel the impact of the punches, the fall at the beginning is totally weightless, as are the characters themselves when they stand up. It's fun to look at once but it's all drifty feeling--much like my interest after 20 seconds.

PCUnfunny said...

Ah, good old fashion cartoon ass whompings !

PCUnfunny said...

Oh and how manly can you get in a cartoon ? Most Popeyes are about two guys beating the shit out each other in order to get a woman.

Jake Thomas said...

John, what do you think is the best college to go to for animation?

Barbara said...

Hey, you naysayers! There are Disney movies out there for those of you who only care about seeing real physics drawn out...for the rest of us, there's Popeye!

C. A. M. Thompson said...

I like Bluto's spherical body in the early Popeyes. Popeye is just the ultimate cool savage character in that cartoon. When he catches his pipe like that, holy cow. They should have had Tarantino direct the Popeye live action movie.

That Popeye DVD is nearly flawless, and it's hard to think of a better animation DVD. So good and so much fun. I wish they'd done the Looney Tunes dvds like this. It will take me a while to go through it all. I did notice some very slight effects of DVNR in Popeye Meets Ali Baba when I freeze framed but it's hard to complain since you can see so much more detail (and more footage) than any other print I've seen. Haven't noticed any in any of the other cartoons yet. My only other complaint is that it didn't have all of the year 1938. Two of my favorites, Goonland and The Jeep, will have to wait until the next set.

Joseph said...

Hey John. Got a question for you about the episode George liquor's wilderness adventure. If at all possible I'd like to communicate via email with you. Mine is shaggsbud@gmail.com

David Sloss said...

I don't want to see real physics Barbara--I wanna see the kind of exaggerated caricatured movement that can only be achieved through animation. I'm not a naysayer of the Popeye toons--I think some of them are excellent and highly entertaining--I don't think this a particularly good example though.

flashcartoons said...

i did just pick up the popeye box set, it was expensive compared to some of the other american cartoon boxsets but well worth it

Dume3 said...

Can anybody tell me if the cartoons on this set are DVNR'd or if anything else has been done to them?

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Hammerson said...

>> Can anybody tell me if the cartoons on this set are DVNR'd or if anything else has been done to them? <<

I have this set for several days and so far there seem to be no DVNR, only some JPEG-like artefacting on several cartoons, but nothing too serious. It's a fantastic set, and these are some of the greatest and most entertaining cartoons ever made.

NateBear said...

totally off topic. I just witnessed direct sponsorship online. I watch the video podcast of this fellow, Liam Lynch (most famous for that "United States of Whatever" song.) The show is mostly him being himself, writing funny songs and doing sketch comedy and just plain talking to the audience (reminds me a lot of Soupy Sales and old-fashioned TV). Anyway, the cost of teh bandwidth needed to broadcast his show became so exspensive that he had to get an advertiser to fit the hosting bill. Luckily he gota deal in which he basically makes his own commercial any way he wants for the company, Wizzard Media. This info is nothing spectacular, but it shows that your predictions are coming true, John.

GOD! Why does everyone have to mow their lawn all the fucking time can't lawn-mowing be restricted to a certain 2-hour period of time so i can enjoy my yard for the other 22hours of the day.

JohnK said...

Yes, it is DVNRed, but not as bad as some other cartoons.

You can see it during walks and pans. Popeye keeps going in and out of focus.

The contrast has been turned way up too, which makes the film flash bright and dark, so it flickers.

Lines have been sharpened and thinned. They have stair-step effect. In long shots the faces almost disappear.

This set is not as bad as the Looney Tunes or Woody sets, but I still don't understand why they do this stuff to the films at all.

Why can't they just leave DVNR off?

Dume3 said...

I don't get it either. Do any of you remember the special feature on one of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection sets where they dicuss their "restortion". They show one of the technicians working on "Corny Concerto" and boosting the color of Porky's red hunting hat until it looked like it was on fire! And they left it that way. They manner in which they arbitrarily play around with these peices of history is sickening.

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Mr. Semaj said...

Is this the same one where Popeye literally knocks Bluto across the globe?

David Nethery said...

I'm loving this new Popeye DVD . These shorts are great , with wonderful animation .

John, do you know why Robert McKimson was so down on the Fleischers ? In the only interview he gave before his death in 1977, McKimson commented "we tried to learn from Disney... but we would never look up to anything like Terrytoons or what Fleischer was doing. Popeye cartoons are terrible. They look like a child drew them."

Roo said...

has anyone ever seen a skinny old man that actually had much bigger foerarms than bicepts in real life. i thought that popeye was drawn goofy just cause it looked cool but its a caraciture of a real old man i didnt know that was physically possible but a guy i work with has those exact features and even talks like popeye, has no teeth except he would probably scare children. its bizar to see a person with those proportions

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Jim Rockford said...

There's nothing like good old fashioned cartoon violence!Cartoons used to be brutal and manly! (and hilarious)
They went after each other with bats,frying pans,etc.Teeth got knocked out,characters go shot,and would commit suicide!
Now look at the crap cartoons have become......RRRGgghHH..makes me want to commit some cartoon style violence!