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Insect to Injury (1956)

Popeye tries to get rid of nematodes before they ruin his newly built house.


Dave Tendlar, Morey Reden (uncredited)


Isadore Klein (story) (as I. Klein)


Jack Mercer


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Uncredited cast:
Jack Mercer ... Popeye (voice) (uncredited)
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Popeye has just finished his house when a band of termites attacks. He traps them in a metal garbage can, but they soon escape and launch a new attack, consuming his picket fence. He comes after them with a garden roller; they run over a bridge, then double back and eat the bridge. Popeye still manages to beat them to the house, where he builds a moat and fills it with water. They are briefly thwarted, then use a can as a boat. They enter the house and start attacking furniture, then the house itself. Their job complete and bellies full, they rest long enough for Popeye to eat his spinach and rebuild his house in steel. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Did You Know?


In this short Popeye, the Sailor, is the only human being. Olive Oyl, Bluto/Brutus, Sweet Pea, his nephews, Wimpy or the Jeep are not in this short. See more »


Featured in The Darkness (2007) See more »

User Reviews

Gets my vote for the best of the "funny animal" Popeye cartoons
29 July 2006 | by david-2271See all my reviews

Popeye may have been the most formulaic series in cartoon history, but some noteworthy episodes managed to buck the formula. In most of these cartoons, Popeye is put up against not a threat to life or love, but simply a nuisance. The most common source of irritation in these cases was a "funny animal," a small creature no match for Popeye physically, but unremittingly mischievous. Most of these "funny animal" cartoon were pretty bad, but a few stand out, "Insect to Injury" in particular.

The cartoon opens with Popeye putting the finishing touches on his new house. No sooner is it completed when it is threatened by a army of termites. Popeye is righteously alarmed, but counters the threat creatively and intelligently (in cartoon logic at least). And yet, the termites outwit him time and again, building a genuine sense of drama until the conclusion.

Overall, this story is character driven. Popeye's struggle is quite reasonable, and one cannot help but feel for him. His reactions are amusingly extreme, but never panicked, so he never becomes annoying. The termites, for their part, are genuinely menacing, a sense created by their too-clever to-be-real ways of fighting back. They are further enhanced by the simple (but very effective) theme music that follows them.

"Insect to Injury" is a very different kind of Popeye cartoon. None of the usual supporting characters are there, and the threat is a very different one from those Popeye usually faced. Often, attempts to change the series formula did not work, but in this case, it worked well.

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Release Date:

10 August 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Skipper Skræk og husbukkene See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Famous Studios See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)
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