directed by Dave Fleischer
USA

Popeye is not your typical superhero: He is old. He is bald. He is short. He only has one eye. He constantly smokes his corncob pipe. He does not have teeth. He has tattooed, bulging forearms. He is illiterate and unrefined. Yet, these oddly unique qualities have helped this simple straight-talking, hard-hitting sailor win the hearts of many generations around the world.

Popeye was a true hero of his time. By the mid-1930s, he surpassed even Disney's Mickey Mouse in popularity. With his charming "I Yam What I Yam" philosophy, the one-eyed sailor proudly expressed his genuineness, integrity, and take-charge personality, which made him stand out during the Depression era.

Even though he can be seen as an American hero from the past, Popeye does not necessarily need this kind of national and historical contextualization. In other words, Segar's pipe-tooting sailorman is "timeless" and "universal." His human qualities are as much to be strived for in our world of corporate globalization, media manipulations, and wars against and of terrorism, as they were during the Great Depression.

Even though he is a murderer of the modern English tongue, Popeye speaks, without any problems, the transnational language of selfless bravery, relentless belief in oneself, and uncompromising adherence to one's own set of moral/ethic codes.

For over 75 years now, Popeye has been breaking national and cultural boundaries, serving as a site of identification for kids and adults around the world. True, Popeye is long past his heyday. But that is due more to the corporate politics than to the passage of time or lack of public interest. There remains to be something timelessly charming about this simple, spinach-eating, pipe-smoking, unsightly underdog, who proudly remains "what he is," who takes no guff from anyone, and who is always ready to fight Bluto, that quintessential embodiment of bully-ness, to protect the girl he loves. I think that it is as easy today as it was in the 1930s to love the self-righteous, yet delightfully humble underdog who fights back "when that's all he can stands, 'cause he can't stands no more." How many of us wish we could just eat our spinach, fight back and teach all the annoying bullies in our lives a valuable lesson? In reality, that's not always possible. That's why Popeye has been doing it for all of us for three quarters of a century now.

Excerpt from Gordan Calma's article "Popeye Turns 75' at fleischerpopeye.com HERE

Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Volume 3, 1941- 1943) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

NOTE: Other volumes for Popeye are also available:

 

Runtime 3:40:00 (solely of Popeye shorts)
Video

4:3 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.57 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Bitrate

Disc 1

Bitrate

Disc 2

Audio Dolby Mono
Subtitles English (SDH)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 4:3

Edition Details:
• 32 Theatrical Shorts on 2 Discs
• Commentaries on selected shorts
• 3 Popeye Popumentary Featurettes (18:32)
• Documentary: Forging the Frame: The Roots of Animation, 1921-1930 (27:41)
• 3 Bonus Shorts from the Vaults (18:00)


DVD Release Date: November 4th, 2008
Box with fold out 2-tiered digipack

Chapters 31

 

Comments:

This is Volume 3 with the first two sets already coved (see above links.) Fans of Popeye (and our spinach-eating sailor has a HUGE following) are very appreciative of the diligent digitization of old shorts. There is a PC 'warning' preceding entry to each disc contents:

This is akin to the 2nd Volume (somewhat smaller than the first) with 2 discs spanning 1941-1943. The 32 shorts in this set are presented chronologically on two dual layered discs. There are 16 on each disc with the supplements (featurettes + commentaries) weighted fairly equally. The discs are coded for regions 1 thru 4 in the NTSC standard.

The transfers are progressive and, as you can see by the examples, the restored/remastered image looks impressive. Consider these uncut short cartoons are 65+ years old. Contrast is good but there is some flickering, light vertical scratches and speckles are intermittent.

Like the first 2 sets audio levels are fairly quiet but consistent and clear enough. The subtitle option (English - hearing impaired) is a beneficial inclusion that many might wish to utilize.
 

There are decent and relevant supplements including four commentaries on the first and three on the second. These impart valuable information and you can really appreciate the popularity - even after such a lengthy time and so long after their inception. As with the first 2 sets there are "Popumentaries" - features with animators, historians profiling specific cartoons from Vol. 3 focusing on characters, creators and plots. There are three on disc one totaling about 18.5 minutes and 4 shorts 'From the Vault' for another 18 minutes.  Disc two has a 28 minute documentary - Forging the Frame: The Roots of Animation, 1921-1930 which examines the hurdles facing pioneer animators over 80 years ago. There is input from many including vintage excerpts.

Popeye has moved from a simple cartoon - to a feeling, a lifestyle and a deep rooted Americana nostalgic figure. You start watching and it's hard to stop. This set is over 3.5 hours of Popeye's adventures, exploits and daily routines. My sons and I never seem to tire of watching him in action - they especially like him battling Brutus/Bluto.
These DVDs have a special place in my library and I watch them frequently.

 - Gary Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

NOTE: Other volumes for Popeye are also available:

 




 

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