POPEYE AND BIG FOOT **; POPEYE'S ENGINE COMPANY **; GETTING POPEYE'S GOAT **1/2
I used to lap these up as a kid but, catching an episode of the series comprising three cartoons back-to-back now i.e. several years later (they preceded the theatrical screening of the pirate yarn RAIDERS OF THE SEVEN SEAS ), I can see how they don't hold up all that well! The character of Popeye isn't exactly sympathetic to begin with, Olive Oyl distinctly overbearing and Bluto's antics failed to elicit much interest either in short, the scripts were alarmingly thin, fairly awful and generally unfunny to boot. They're strictly juvenile fare, yet I doubt today's kids would even have the patience to stick with them!; furthermore, the animation style is unattractive.
Taking each short per se, I guess they improved from one to the other: after the initial shock, one adapted to its mediocre quality as it were, so that the third cartoon easily results in being the most enjoyable of the lot Popeye is entrusted with a mascot army goat whose immense appetite causes him no end of mischief (hardly original, I know, but always an amusing ploy). One interesting element here was that the shorts were bookended with Popeye delivering moralistic bits of wisdom to the kids in the audience.
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