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Do you want to see literal giants on the gridiron? Well, here they are
with Bluto and his football team, who come out on the field and are as
tall as the strange- looking goal posts! Bluto quickly grabs fickle
Olive out of the stands. Olive is wearing the big coonskin coat one
used to see at the football games back in the '20s and '30s. Popeye is
left alone and humiliated in the stands.
What's worse is Olive returns and gives a big cheer and sings "You've Got To Be Football Hero....To Get Along With the Beautiful Girls."
"I takes that from no woman," says Popeye, who then leaps out of seat and follows a sign that says "New Players Register Here." Only in cartoons can one be in the stands one minute, and be playing in the game the next!!!
What's happens after that is a series of silly and insane football visuals, especially 'cheerleader" Olive spelling out "Bluto" with her ultra-thin, elastic body! It's hilarious, as is "Swivel Hips" Popeye on the gridiron.
These old football games, from this one to Goofy to the Three Stooges to the Marx Brothers, are all the craziest, nonsensical farces you will ever seen....but a ton of fun to watch.
Fleischer Studios, particularly in the early years, did some extremely visually well-crafted cartoons. Most of the more unusual ones were Koko the Clown and Betty Boop shorts, but there were a number of Popeye shorts that are notable for great visual bits too. The most interesting ones here are Popeye giving new meaning to the nickname "Crazylegs" and Olive doing a cheer on the sidelines for Bluto (yes, Bluto-Olive is fickle, remember?) that reveals she's a contortionist. While not as good as Football Toucher Downer, this has its moments and a running gag that features Wimpy. What else can you ask for? There is a colorized version. The black and white is superior. Well worth watching. Recommended.
While this is a perfect cartoon to watch during this fall/football season, the reason I watched this one in particular right now is because this was the last one with original Popeye voice William Costello doing him. It seems he had a swelled head and was fired by Max Fleischer as a result. Jack Mercer-who was part of the studio staff at the time and did impersonations of Costello as the cartoon character to many of his colleagues' pleasure-replaced him and continued doing the voice for the rest of his lifetime. Anyway, Bluto is the football hero Olive Oyl loves which gets Popeye jealous so he joins the other team. I'll stop there and just say this was quite a funny cartoon to watch with many of the gags one associates with the Fleischer brothers (as usual, Dave Fleischer is credited as director but since he's always printed as such with each cartoon from the studio, that's a bit doubtful). Anyway, that's a recommendation for You Gotta Be a Football Hero.
You Gotta Be a Football Hero (1935)
*** (out of 4)
Olive Oyl forces Popeye to go to a football game where she ends up leaving him for Bluto, In order to win her back Popeye joins the other team. The highlight of this film is a scene where Popeye think he has the football and is running it back for a touchdown but in reality he just has Bluto's head and is dragging him. The football action is pretty nice throughout as Popeye ends up having to plan the other team by himself. Wimpy appears in a couple scenes and adds some nice laughs as well.
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