Morbid Grimsby /
The President /
Dagwood Bumstead /
Alexander Bumstead /
Mr. Beasley the Postman /
Hi Flagston /
Private Beetle Bailey /
Sergeant 1st Class Orville P. Snorkel /
Lieutenant Jackson Flap /
Barney Google /
Snuffy Smith /
Steve Canon /
Flash Gordon /
The Phantom /
Tim Tyler /
Prince Valiant /
Howard K. Sturdley /
General Windfield Windtunnel III
I loved seeing the characters get together in one show like this.
All the comic strip characters receive invitations to a cruise by a little man with a big nose who doesn't like laughter. When he himself laughs, he pulls out a bug spray can and starts spraying all the Ha-Ha's floating in the air. Bluto is his amusing comedy relief sidekick.
Among those going on the voyage are Popeye, Olive Oyl at her most annoying (can still sing her bikini song), the Katzenjammer Kids, Hi & Lois, Blondie (the Flagstons and the Bumsteads were next-door neighbors), Beetle Bailey, Lil Iodine and Snuffy Smith. There were others but I haven't seen this thing in almost thirty years now. The cruise is diverted to an abandoned island. Popeye loses his spinach as he must save Olive's wardrobe. When the characters are told they are prisoners, they try to escape with a message in Snuffy's moonshine bottle. Funny moment for Snuffy as they didn't ask his permission to use the bottle. The heroes who show up are the Phantom, Terry & the Pirates and that Magician fellow.
Finally, Lil Iodine, the Katzenjammer Kids and a black child I didn't recognize head to the island's kitchen and make a Dagwood Bumstead sandwich then come face-to-face with . . . . the man who hated laughter!
This was one of the Saturday Superstar Movie offerings from thirty years ago and I have always enjoyed this story. Again I have not seen this thing since then and would hate to watch it now and wonder what I liked about it. I loved it then and thought its quick slapstick jokes and at moments pure silence with no music are what made it so different from continuous musical soundtracks in other cartoons.
Rarer still, it knew how to end. On the whitehouse lawn, we see the comic strip characters waiting to be addressed by the president of the United States (then Richard Nixon). "Where is he, Popeye?" "Oh, I think he is doing some very important paperwork," Popeye says of the president. Once inside, we see the prez laughing as he reads the comics.
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