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Popeye, the Ace of Space (1953)

Popeye is abducted by Martians who conduct a series of hideous experiments on him, but thanks to his copious spinach supply (4 cans), all the experiments fail.

Director:

Seymour Kneitel

Writers:

Carl Meyer (story), Jack Mercer (story)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Jackson Beck Jackson Beck ... Martians (voice) (uncredited)
Jack Mercer ... Popeye (voice) (uncredited)
Sid Raymond Sid Raymond ... Martians (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Popeye is abducted by Martians who conduct a series of hideous experiments on him, but thanks to his copious spinach supply (4 cans), all the experiments fail.

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rumskipper Skræk See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Famous Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two Paramount cartoons filmed in 3-D (the other was Boo Moon (1954). See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are slightly different from the usual credits of the Famous Studios Popeye cartoons (with the inclusion of "A Stereotoon"). Also, animated clouds are seen drifting to the right from the bottom. At the end, after Popeye sings "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man" and makes his trademark tooting sound with his pipe, the smoke from his pipe begins to take shape while the rest of the picture fades out and becomes the mountain and stars for the Paramount logo (sans the "A Paramount Picture" text). The smoke (from Popeye's pipe) then morphs into the text for "A Paramount Picture." See more »

Alternate Versions

Original theatrical version was in 3-D, whereas regular TV versions feature it without the 3-D effect. In the original opening credits, under the "Paramount Presents: Popeye The Sailor" title card (which, this time, fades in a second after Popeye's head-on-a-star fades out) reads "A Stereotoon" (right over "Color by Technicolor"). The shadowy texture around the titles (like in the other Famous Studios Popeye cartoons) is conspicuously absent, also notable in the Famous Studios credit (which also fades in a second after said title card fades out). Also notable are clouds at the bottom drifting to the right. Note that in non-3-D versions of the print, the said logos and texts are slightly shifted to the left from the Paramount mountain/stars (because of the 3-D effect). The opening and closing credits were replaced in subsequent TV versions with either the standard Paramount opening credits and/or Associated Artist Productions (AAP) logos, respectively. However, on December 23, 2001, the short in its integrity (sans the 3-D effects) premiered on Cartoon Network's POPEYE SHOW. The original opening credits and ending (where Popeye's pipe smoke morphs into the Paramount logo) were restored. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Underrated Popeye Gem
29 February 2004 | by stp43See all my reviews

Popeye: The Ace Of Space was made in the 3-D craze of 1953, and surprisingly few have noticed the strikingly effective visual quality the cartoon has. The cartoon has a visual depth that is rare among cartoons that were made for the 3-D craze and which harkens back to Max and Dave Fleischer's landmark mixture of cel animation with dimensional backgrounds in the 1930s. The cartoon does not look flat as others do; it displays genuine depth in its backgrounds, particularly in the early scenes and also some of the space scenes.

The cartoon makes copious use of Popeye's spinach from its opening as he is on a country drive, encounters a collapsed bridge, and uses his famed vegetable to gain the strength needed to fuse the gap and continue on. But overlooking him (cued via unusually lush and effective Winston Sharples music) is a spacecraft from an alien world whose race seeks information on Earth and uses Popeye as a typical Earth being. Taken to their homeworld, Popeye endures dangerous experiments, surviving by downing one can of spinach after another, which eventually causes the alien beings to grapple for his remaining container.

The plot moves along quite well and the gags help it move along. This is less an overt comedy than a mixed-mode melodrama in the vein the series had evolved to by 1953, and it works very well as such. But it is the visual depth that makes this cartoon stand out from others.


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