Popeye the sailor navigates his ship through the seas, up onto dry land and through the city streets, finally parking it in front of Olive's house. Olive's mother delivers the sad news that Popeye's girl has run off with a "daring young man on the flying trapeze." Three boys, who worship the pop-eyed sailor as a hero, try to cheer him up, but it does no good. Popeye takes the boys and their cat to the circus, where he watches not only this daring young man perform, but also Olive Oyl herself. It seems she did more than run off with him; she became part of the act. She's clearly unhappy in her new role. Popeye comes to the rescue. Written by
"The Daring Young Man On The Flying Trapeze" did have a name, contrary to popular belief: Jules Leotard. He was a former law student who ran away from home and joined a circus as an adolescent. Young Jules was the first performer to wear the skin-tight suit of clothes that would later be named after him; he died of tuberculosis aged only twenty-eight, and the man in the cartoon is obviously modeled on him. In the song, a young man is bemoaning the fact that Jules has just run off with his fiancée. See more »
I yam what I yam, / And that's all what I yam. / I'm Popeye the sailor man. / I'm Popeye the sailor man. / I'm strong to the finitch / 'Cause I eats me spinach. / I'm Popeye the sailor man.
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This is an unusual Popeye cartoon in that 98 percent of the dialog is sung - and all of it one song: "The Daring Young Man On The Flying Trepeze." It gets to be a little much after awhile and I'm glad this sort of thing wasn't the normal fare. In fact, I don't if it ever was done again in a Popeye animated short. You can't use any verbal jokes or add to the story when all you are doing is repeating verses of the same song over and over.
However, the sight gags are very good in the beginning before the "trapeze song" took over, as Popeye sails an ocean liner through the dock and down the main street of a big city, right to Olive's house. We also see something else unique (at least, I've never seen her): what looks to be Olive Oyl's mom. It's a shorter, fatter and older version of Olive. She sings to Popeye that Olive has run off with the "man in the flying...."
Fortunately, the circus is right across the street so Popeye takes a bunch of nearby street kids to the tent, watches the big musclebound guy on the trapeze swing a terrified Oliver around like a wet towel, and then goes to get his girl. The ending is funny and unexpected. Olive really took her lumps in this episode!
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