Chronology of Popeye

Dub

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OK - I'm trying to figure something out for a project I'm working. Basically I'm trying to break down all of the eras of Popeye shorts and cartoons series - both theatrical and non-theatrical which has proven a bit of a task.

Now I know that there were 234 Popeye theatrical shorts produced between Fleischer and Famous Studios but what I need is some help filling in the blanks on the other stuff. This is the info I've compiled so far for my project. Anything in red I need help filling out:

108 at Fleischer Studios (1930-1942)

- Classic series
- Introduces: Popeye, Olive, Wimpy, Poopdeck Pappy, Sweepea, The Jeep, The Goons
- Black and White Series
- 3 extended color cartoons produced: Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba, Aladdin's Lamp
- Directors: Fleischer brothers
- Only a few banned WW2 cartoons near the end of the run.
- Syndicated on CN
  • 1st Cartoon - Popeye the Sailor
  • Final Cartoon - Baby Wants a Bottleship
126 at Famous Studios (1942-1957)

- 2nd Classic series, Starts out strong ends kind of weak
- Early cartoons are almost no different in style from the Fleischer run
- Far less concentration on the side characters during this series outside of sporadic Wimpy appearances.
- Latter cartoons have a limited "UPA studio-style" to them.
- Starts in black and white at the very beginning, ends in color
- Directors: Isadore Sparber, Seymour Kneitel (became synonymous with Popeye shorts during this and the latter run), Dan Gordon, Bill Tytla, David Tendlar
- Large amount of banned WW2 cartoons at the beginning of the run, many of which are considered the best Popeye shorts.
- Sparse amount of filler/remake shorts during this run.
- Syndicated on CN
  • 1st Cartoon - You're a Sap, Mr. Jap
  • Final Cartoon - Spooky Swabs
220 at King Features Syndicate (1960-1962)

- 3rd Series, Television shorts done in style/format of the classic shorts.
- Produced at six different studios
- All color
- Reintroduces the side characters from the Fleischer shorts and completely introduced Thimble theater characters and locales into the series: King Blozo, The Sea Hag (villian), Olive Oyls family, Diesel Oyl (Olive's niece), Roughhouse, Geezil, Alice the Goon and more concentration on Wimpy.
- Bluto renamed Brutus
- More concentration on fleshing out Popeye's universe that wasn't done in the Famous shorts.
- Not the greatest when stacked next to Fleischer and Famous, but there are quite a few gems here and there. Cartoon quality was largely dependent on the director:
  • The Kneitel produced shorts (2nd largest of this era), were done at Paramount by the original storymen and animators from Famous. They knew how to handle the characters and the stories were normally pretty good. These are considered the best of this series on par with the latter portion of the Famous run. Closest to the "classic series" in terms of style.
  • Jack Kinney produced the largest amount of shorts during this period. His Popeyes are not up to the standards of Fleischer and Famous but are usually considered second best in this era. Some shorts were quite funny, but when they failed, the failed miserably.
  • Gene Deitch's (Tom and Jerry) shorts have some really weird stories (like "Swee'pea Soup"), but there's some really good, wacky animation in the early run. The later shorts however, are very mediocre.
- Other directors incredibly weak or stitled even for TV by comparison. Some very bland
- Directors: Kneitel, Kinney, Deitch, Ray, McDonald, Fennel
- "Lost Popeye series", never syndicated after the 80's.
  • 1st Cartoon - Barbeque for Two
  • Final Cartoon - Hamburgers Aweigh
??? at Hanna Barbera - Original Run (1978-1983)
  • The All-New Popeye Hour
  • The Popeye & Olive Show
  • Olive Oyl in the Army
- 4th Series, 1st major Popeye revival, Consisted of shorts and long adventures
- Hour long format in the first part of the run, 30 minute in the latter run
- All color
- 1st Hanna Barbera Popeye series
- Puts Popeye back in his original costume (dress blues and reds)
- Brutus renamed Bluto
- Formatted similarly to the Super Friends Hour: halfway through the show, there was Popeye's Treasure Hunt, which sent Popeye & Olive on various scavenger hunts around the world, with Bluto the primary rival. There would be health & safety tips with Popeye and his nephews, among others.
- Popeye & Olive Show consisted of reruns of the first series plus Olive in the Army shorts
-Thimble Theater adventure style shorts
- "Other Lost Popeye series", never syndicated after the 80's.
- Typical HB animation of that period
  • 1st Cartoon - Unknown???
  • Final Cartoon - Unknown???
13 at Hanna Barbera - 2nd Run (1987-1988)
  • Popeye and Son
- 13 episode series
- Half Hour format
- "Future" series where Popeye is married to Olive Oyl and has a kid: Junior.
- Bluto's son: Junior's rival was named Tank. Name of Bluto's wife?
- Wimpy's son: Junior's sidekick was named Woody
- Largely considered the most derivative of the Popeye series. Not awful but certainly not good. Effectively killed the Popeye revival?
- Never shown in syndication.

  • 1st Cartoon - Unknown???
  • Final Cartoon - Unknown???
So there you go. Anybody that can help me fill out the gaps in red or expand any more on what I have now will be of great help to me. Coincidentally, I'm rather curious as to what you guys consider the best and the worst parts of each era if you've seen them all as well as the best and worst of the 5 Popeye series combined?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Jave

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- "You're a Sap, Mr. Jap" was actually the first Famous Popeye. The last Fleischer Popeye was "Baby Wants a Bottleship".

- Kneitel and Sparber were the primary directors at Famous, but there were also a few shorts directed by Dan Gordon, Bill Tytla, and David Tendlar.

- The KFS cartoons were done at six different studios, whose directors were:
* Seymour Kneitel (Paramount). The best of the lot, done by the original storymen and animators from Famous. They knew how to handle the characters and the stories were normally pretty good.
* Jack Kinney. The largest amount of shorts and for the most part a mixed bag. Some shorts were quite funny, but when they failed, the failed miserably.
* Gene Deitch. These shorts have some really weird stories (like "Swee'pea Soup"), but there's some really good, wacky animation in the early run. The later shorts are very mediocre, though.
* Gerald Ray
* Tom McDonald
* Paul Fennell

Sparber never directed for KFS. His last Famous credit was in 1959, I believe.
 

Dub

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Thanks Jave. Does anyone have any idea what the first and last KFS shorts were?

Also does anyone have any info on the HB Popeyes? Those have been rather hard to attain good information on due to their being "vaulted" along with the KFS series for so long.
 

Tobias

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- The HB Popeye series had a run on the old Family Channel (Before Fox and Disney gutted it) for a time. Not the greatest HB series, but I enjoyed it. It was typical HB family fare.

The Olive Oyl in the Army shorts were actually better than the Popeye adventures, and helped Olive become more than the mere 'damsel in distress'.

- Popeye & Son wasn't horrible, but it wasn't... good, either. If not for the opening credits where we see the birth of Junior, he could have EASILY been Sweet Pea with a more grown up name. There was zero mention of Popeye's nephews, who would have fit in better here than in the earlier HB run.

I don't recall if it was confirmed, but I believe Junior's best friend (can't remember his name) was Wimpy's son. We also saw Jeep (The little yellow magic creature) in this series as Junior's pet.

After leaving CBS, the show had a brief run on USA before disappearing completely off the radar.
 

Jave

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I've deleted some of the posts in this topic. People, if you're not going to contribute to the thread please don't post here. This topic is for gathering info on the Popeye series, not for one-line off-topic jokes.

Thanks.
 

hobbyfan

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Ah, the memories.

There are various websites that may have a more accurate filmography of the shorts. I'm going to focus on the H-B work.

1. The All-New Popeye Hour (1978-82).

Formatted similarly to the All-New Super Friends Hour from the previous year. Halfway through the show, there was Popeye's Treasure Hunt, which sent Popeye & Olive on various scavenger hunts around the world, with Bluto the primary rival. There was an additional feature not connected to Popeye at all, Digby Dog, whose adventures followed Treasure Hunt. There would be health & safety tips with Popeye and his nephews, among others.

2. The Popeye & Olive Show (1982-83).

Never saw this incarnation, as it was airing at lunch time when local affiliates would black out network shows in favor of more profitable (to them, anyway) syndicated programming. What I do know is that Olive was spun off into her own solo feature, putting her in the Army a full year after ABC tried the same thing with Laverne & Shirley. Alice the Goon joined Olive for these. At least they weren't on a base with a talking pig.......! Cancelled after one season.

3. Popeye & Son (1988-89).

10 years after his CBS debut, Popeye returned, and it was postulated that at some future point, he'd married Olive at long last and they had a child of their own. Bluto somehow had a son, too. Disney would try something similar a few years later by giving Goofy & Black Pete sons for Goof Troop. Never saw this until the reruns aired on USA. Cancelled after one season.

I should point out that the All-New Popeye Hour was trimmed in half, retitled the All-New Popeye Show, for its final season (1981-2). During the period from 1978-83, there was at least one Popeye prime time special, Sweethearts at Sea, with Sea Hag as the villain of the piece. Never saw this one, either.
 

Tobias

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More on Popeye & Son:

Bluto's son's name was Tank. Bluto's wife was a large, loud woman, who let's just say was perfect for Bluto. Bluto, like Pete would in Goof Troop, owned a car dealership, only I believe Bluto was a bit more honest in his dealings.

It should also be noted that Popeye took a backseat in many episodes, as the show focused primarily on Junior and Woody (Wimpy's son). Junior also had a HUGE disgust for spinach, similar to how Popeye did in the live action movie.
 

Eric B

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- Introduces Alice the Goon to the series.
Alice the Goon was in the KFS series. I particularly remember a Kinney episode, where Popeye and Bluto were hypnotizing each other to fall in love with various characters, including her.
 

A.Magik

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From the new DVD collection, I heard that the HB Popeye had to tone down the violence, so Popeye had to use other means besides his fists to defeat Bluto.
Were the OP and CL missing? I remember the Family airing omitted the OP and sped up the CL.

More on Popeye & Son:

Bluto's son's name was Tank. Bluto's wife was a large, loud woman, who let's just say was perfect for Bluto. Bluto, like Pete would in Goof Troop, owned a car dealership, only I believe Bluto was a bit more honest in his dealings.
And strangely tolerant to freaks. One episode had Junior befriending this new kid in town, an Eddie Munster clone complete with monster family (Dracula dad, Mummy, and Frankenstein's monster grandpa). Tank gets Bluto to send a torch-wielding mob to attack the family's house, accidentally setting a fire in the process. Fortunately, Junior and the monster family save the day, leading Bluto to browbeat his son for his bigotry.
We also got Popeye and Olive's wedding, on a tugboat with the captain doing the honors and a metal nut as a wedding ring (Popeye's anniversary gift is a diamond-studded nut-ring).

It should also be noted that Popeye took a backseat in many episodes, as the show focused primarily on Junior and Woody (Wimpy's son). Junior also had a HUGE disgust for spinach, similar to how Popeye did in the live action movie.
Actually, there was less focus on Woody, with Junior having a boy and two girls (names unknown) as his gang. And yes, every time Junior ate the spinach, he yelled YUCK!
 

tucsoncoyote

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A little More Popeye Info from me including.. The Jeep.

Here's some odd tidbits that I picked up from and these could be classified as Odd bits of Trivia.

The First Popeye Cartoon (Popeye the Sailor), there was a Cameo Role in it. Popeye and Olive go to a state/county fair and it's there were they first encounter Fleischer Studios' other famous hit cartoon, Namely Betty Boop. Betty's Cameo is a bit of a dance on part as she plays a hula dancer at said fair.

In a later episode in late 1930's, we are introduced to a cute little fellow called Eugene the Jeep, which in fact was the Cartoon's Title.

Now I found this little bit of Info on Eugene and how his name got attached to the US Military's most popular vehicle. According to Wikipedia:

Many, including US Marine Corp Gunnery Sargent, R. Lee Ermey of Mail Call fame, claim that the likelier origin of the term "Jeep" (Refering to the Military 'General Purpose' (GP) vehilce, refers to the character Eugene the Jeep in the Thimble Theater (Popeye) comic strip. Eugene the Jeep was dog-like and could walk through walls and ceilings, climb trees, fly, and just about go anywhere it wanted; it is thought that soldiers at the time were so impressed with the new vehicle's versatility that they informally named it after the character. The character "Eugene the Jeep" was created in 1936. Some 5 years before World War 2. Of course this is the first (and Only) time a Popeye Character got associated with a Military Vehicle

If I find any other tidbits I'll be sure to add them here..

:coyote:
 

Dub

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I think that should be enough for now. I'll leave the remaining parts in red up just in case someone comes across this thread and decides to fill in the blanks.

I am curious though. Most everyone agrees that the Fleischer/Famous series was the best, but of those people that have seen and remember the HB Popeyes (excluding Popeye and Son) how do the shorts/adventures for those compare to the KFS shorts? Which of the two did Popeye better/was more enjoyable? I don't hear many people talk bad about the HB Popeye's minus Popeye and Son, so I'm genuinely curious.

As for me, I haven't seen the KFS or HB series in years (not since the KFS series was shown in syndication when I was 5 or the HB's reruns on Family) so I can't really remember which ones were better...
 

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