Olive Oyl and Water Don’t Mix (1942)

Olive Oyl and Water Don't Mix ReviewOlive Oyl and Water Don’t Mix Review

 Olive Oyl and Water Don’t Mix is a 1942 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is such a welcome traditional Popeye cartoon.

I really enjoyed this one despite its many flaws. One flaw is again Bluto’s voice which is unfortunately atypical for him and it just doesn’t fit. Another flaw is that the film is overly action oriented and it isn’t as funny as it easily could have been. But it is very well animated and again well scored with the sound effects being great and the signature music of the series is well utilized.

There is a lot to love here. For one, you have all three of the famous characters from the series which is just great and Olive Oyl is especially memorable in this one and the title alone is really funny. The highlight is the last sequence which is excellent and an even better one is the scene in which Bluto and Popeye decide who is going to take Olive for a walk by spinning her on the ground. That was a hilarious use of her oddball physique.

Olive Oyl and Water Don’t Mix is sometimes very funny, but also very satisfying with its classic approach and with all three classic characters being well utilized.

 My Rating – 4.1

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Baby Wants a Bottleship (1942)

Baby Wants a Bottleship ReviewBaby Wants a Bottleship Review

 Baby Wants a Bottleship is a 1942 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is a major letdown of a short.

Baby Wants a Bottleship is the last Popeye cartoon ever. In fact, it is the final entry made by Fleischer studios. And as such, it is incredibly disappointing and of course such a weak swan song for the series. The series struggled in this decade a lot, but this one is even weaker than most of its entries because nothing really interesting happens in it.

Sure, the ending is fine and Popeye is as likable as ever, but Swee’pea is as boring as he usually is and the action here is so underwhelming. It isn’t a bad short as Popeye never got a bad film, but it is still far from anything resembling greatness as it is both weak in plot and humor.

Baby Wants a Bottleship isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either as the plot and humor and especially action are lacking leading to a very weak final entry for the series.

 My Rating – 3.4

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Popeye the Sailor Review

Many Tanks ReviewMany Tanks Review

 Many Tanks is a 1942 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is a typical war entry once again.

There is a lot to like here, but again there isn’t a lot really inspired happening in it. For example, the war tone in it is expectedly typical and forgettable. And the use of tanks could have been better plus the film really feels odd in structure as its middle act is way too extended. And it is never at all funny, not to mention hilarious.

But Many Tanks has again good animation and score and it benefits from a really fine use of Bluto and I liked those third and first acts with Bluto taking Olive and then losing her in the end. Popeye’s mumblings are of course pretty amusing as usual and the overall film is as good as these types of entries can get. But the action and humor remain flawed.

Many Tanks is never inspired or funny, but is well made and it features very good beginning and ending.

 My Rating – 3.9

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Pip-eye, Pup-eye, Poop-eye an’ Peep-eye (1942)

Pip-eye, Pup-eye, Poop-eye an' Peep-eye ReviewPip-eye, Pup-eye, Poop-eye an’ Peep-eye Review

 Pip-eye, Pup-eye, Poop-eye an’ Peep-eye is a 1942 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is a pretty weird, but good short.

Popeye teaches his cousins the importance of spinach, but they still don’t want to eat it and are forced after a spanking. But after they eat it, they get back at Popeye and spank him thoroughly. Of course this sounds very weird and it definitely is a weird entry. The use of music is also odd as the spinach score did not need to be repeated after each and every taking of it.

But I liked it quite a bit because the ending was funny and the ways they beat Popeye were all pretty memorable and even inventive in that elevator sequence. I liked Popeye’s demonstrations and I really liked how this is probably the first Popeye cartoon that really emphasized the importance of spinach to children, but it still does it in a really fun manner.

Pip-eye, Pup-eye, Poop-eye an’ Peep-eye has its problems in score and is weird, but still pretty good with a good message for kids and a funny finale.

 My Rating – 4

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Fleets of Stren’th (1942)

Fleets of Stren'th ReviewFleets of Stren’th Review

 Fleets of Stren’th is a 1942 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is another typical war entry.

This one is, unlike, ‘Blunder Below‘, quite forgettable and even more bland than usual. It does get its good moments such as the opening of the spinach which is once more pretty memorable with the bullets from the plane now doing the trick and the film is well scored and animated, but it is just too action oriented to be enjoyed more.

Literally all of the scenes here are action scenes with us basically watching a cartoon war picture with Popeye. Him turning into a plane was fun, but everything else fell short of being either exciting or memorable and it was just another excuse to make this all about WWII which is so typical of the films of its day.

Fleets of Stren’th has its memorable moments near the end, but other scenes are all either forgettable or uninspired in action and humor.

 My Rating – 3.7

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Blunder Below (1942)

Blunder Below ReviewBlunder Below Review

 Blunder Below is a 1942 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is a typical war propaganda film of its time.

Popeye is in the navy and has trouble learning the ropes, but when the Japanese submarine emerges, he attacks it using his specialty which is of course spinach. Needless to say, I really liked that ending. Despite its poor taste, those action moments were so great and it was funny watching Popeye in this environment. The entire short is pretty slow and sometimes even dull, but that ending is great along with the final line. The beginning is also pretty amusing.

But it is a typical war entry meaning that it is not much of a Popeye short as it is a propaganda piece. And I really disliked the stereotypical portrayal of Japanese people with large teeth and squeaky voice. That was awful to witness, but expected from the 40s. But having in mind its theme, the film could have been much worse.

Blunder Below is stereotypical and an unfortunate war entry, but it is still pretty solid owing to a great beginning and awesome ending.

 My Rating – 3.9

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Kickin’ the Conga ‘Round (1942)

Kickin' the Conga 'Round ReviewKickin’ the Conga ‘Round Review

 Kicking’ the Conga Round is a 1942 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is one of the best Popeye entries in quite a while.

I loved this one. It is such a throwback to classic Popeye episodes of the early thirties that I enjoyed it immensely. That doesn’t meant that it’s not without its problems as the action is still far from the greatest and the beginning is not as memorable, but this is for the most part a pretty commendable Popeye short that hits way more than it misses.

Not only do we have both Popeye and Olive, but also an exotic location, many dance sequences and we finally get Bluto who is back after a long hiatus. His voice isn’t the greatest, but he is still a good old Bluto and I loved the dynamic between the two. Olive’s laughs were pretty funny and some of Popeye’s lines were quite amusing. And the accidental use of spinach is new for the series.

Kickin’ the Conga ‘Round is not only funny, but also featuring both Olive and Bluto in a classic feeling, welcome throwback of an episode.

 My Rating – 4.2

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Nix on Hypnotricks (1941)

Nix on Hypnotricks ReviewNix on Hypnotricks Review

Nix on Hypnotricks is a 1941 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is a weaker than expected entry.

This is a weaker version of ‘A Dream Walking‘ and it’s basically a rehash of it in some areas. So we have Olive who is hypnotized and goes on a walk and it is up to Popeye to follow her and save her. The premise is typical and the execution isn’t great either. There is basically a lot of walking around on top of the buildings and barely anything more than that.

Some of the obstacles that Popeye faces are fun and the action is solidly executed. The scene with the birds is good as is the final superhero-like save which was quite interesting, but apart from that, all of the other scenes are very much forgettable and nothing to write home about.

Nix on Hypnotricks has its memorable scenes, but the premise and the execution are both typical and not great.

 My Rating – 3.9

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The Mighty Navy (1941)

The Mighty Navy ReviewThe Mighty Navy Review

 The Mighty Navy is a 1941 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is a typical war entry.

Even Popeye the Sailor series had to include war entries in its filmography during the forties and, needless to say, it is very annoying. The entire plot is very flawed and forgettable and that major character isn’t particularly memorable either. I liked the animation quite a bit here and the sound effects are excellent, but the script itself is rather dull and uninspired.

The only bright spot in terms of the humor has to be Popeye’s couple of lines during the first minute. Popeye is so lovable during this time that it’s a shame that he was rather forgettable in the next six minutes of this cartoon. I loved the line about him being the sailor all along as well as his remark about the other sailors. That was so amusing.

The Mighty Navy is humorous in the first minute, but very slight and dull afterwards.

 My Rating – 3.8

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I’ll Never Crow Again (1941)

I'll Never Crow Again ReviewI’ll Never Crow Again Review

 I’ll Never Crow Again is a 1941 animated short from Popeye the Sailor series. It is the best entry in quite a while.

The crows pester Olive’s garden and it is up to Popeye to get rid of them. Yes, Olive is finally back!! Not only is she finally here, but she is absolutely awesome and is the finest thing about this short. She ridicules Popeye while he gets fooled around by the crows and he eventually loses his temper and uses her as a live scarecrow to scare the birds away. I laughed so hard during that ending and it is actually one of the best scenes ever for the series.

The entire film is unfortunately never as great as its final scene is and I wish that the crows were utilized even more, but having in mind that this came out in 1941, it is actually quite impressive when compared to other weak entries of the time. This is a true return to greatness for the series. It has a great premise, both of the characters are so great and not only is she funny, but our sailor boy is also very amusing and I loved that he stood up for himself for once.

I’ll Never Crow Again has a great premise, very good Olive and one of the best and funniest finales ever for the series.

 My Rating – 4.3

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