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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of those World War II Popeye cartoons that are now banned
from television, I am told. It depicts Japanese in a very
politically-incorrect manner. Actually, all of the WWII Popeye cartoons
involving the Japanese showed them in a poor light, so I assume they
must all be banned. Funny thing is, the stereotyped dumb Nazi
characters, as seen in Popeye cartoons like "Spinach For Britain,"
Whatever. This one is quite clever, at least when Popeye first encounters his Japanese opponent in the air. The Asian is disguised as a cloud, actually a big one painted and attached to his airplane. It's pretty funny. It takes Popeye awhile to figure this strategy out and when he does ("That cloudburst looks suspicious," he says), the two go at it like WWI flying aces.
"I've never seen a Jap that wasn't yellow," says that PC-challenged Popeye.
When the sailor man gets in trouble and has his spinach, he winds up opening up a battleship like you would open a can of tuna finish, or rather how people used to do that a long time ago with this metal opener that came with the can.~
During WWII, the film studios went into full patriotic mode-- churning
out tons of films supporting the war effort. So it wasn't at all
surprising that they'd also create cartoons which featured barely human
Germans and Japanese characters being foiled by the likes of Bugs
Bunny, Donald Duck and Popeye. However, this created a huge problem
after the war when we were suddenly allies with these same nations and
it was no longer fashionable to hate them! Add to that, modern
political correctness and it's not at all surprising you never films
like "You're a Sap, Mr. Jap" on television these days! While I
certainly can understand this, I am glad you can find them on YouTube
and hope they're also available on DVD as this IS a part of our
In this particular film, one of many Popeye films about the war, our hero is doing something VERY unusual for Popeye--he's flying a plane off an aircraft carrier! In a cute scene, a hidden Japanese plane comes upon him...and Popeye doesn't recognize it at first because it's disguised as a cloud. Soon, however, Popeye goes to work-- first beating the snot out of this pilot and then landing on a Japanese battleship and thrashing everyone. The Japanese are very stereotypical--sporting HUGE teeth and at the end are compared to rats! Subtle, it sure isn't...but it is entertaining, funny and did the job in helping drum up support for the war at home.
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