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Spooky Swabs (1957)

Popeye and Olive are shipwrecked; they think they are saved when they see a ship, but what they don't realize is that the crew of the Sea Witch is all ghosts, and soon they are under attack... See full summary »


Izzy Sparber (as I. Sparber), Seymour Kneitel (uncredited)


Larz Bourne (story)




Uncredited cast:
Jack Mercer ... Popeye (voice) (uncredited)
Mae Questel ... Olive Oyl (voice) (uncredited)


Popeye and Olive are shipwrecked; they think they are saved when they see a ship, but what they don't realize is that the crew of the Sea Witch is all ghosts, and soon they are under attack, but they don't know from what for a while. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Did You Know?


The last Popeye cartoon produced for theaters. See more »


After cutting the anchor rope with the sword fish, Popeye climbs up the rope but is unaffected by the grease on the rope. See more »


[first lines]
[Popeye and Olive are adrift on the ocean on a small raft]
Popeye: Looks, Olive - a ship!
Olive Oyl: Oh, Popeye! Now I can go home and watch television.
See more »

User Reviews

Lukewarm ghosts
13 April 2020 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The late 50s was one of Famous Studios', at its best in the 40s, weakest periods (and the lesser quality continued generally in the 60s), not just the Popeye series but actually especially overall. Even then though, the Popeye series was still generally the best of the studio's different theatrical series, even the worst of Popeye from the period was better than the worst of Casper the Friendly Ghost and Herman and Katnip from this period.

'Spooky Swabs' is sadly a lesser Popeye effort in my view, it was the final cartoon in the series and instead of the series going out with a bang it ends with a whimper. Is it bad? No, far from it, don't consider any of the Popeye cartoons bad even the more controversial ones. Compared to the Fleischer Popeye output, a much better and more consistent output than Famous Studios', in especially the mid-late-30s, 'Spooky Swabs' is quite a long way off in quality, not a particularly good representation of the series and quite a sad way to end it.

Will start with the good things. The music is wonderful, and was continually the best thing about the average or less Famous Studios efforts. It's beautifully and cleverly orchestration and the merry rhythms and character make it a lot of fun to listen to and enjoy, also adds a good deal to the action. The voice acting from Jack Mercer and Mae Questel, the most famous voices for Popeye and Olive and the best, is dependably good, especially Mercer who always made asides and mumblings fun regardless of the quality of the writing.

Nothing is hilarious here, but there are moments that amuse like as mentioned previously those with the swordfish mistaken for a saw and the (attempt at) swimming on board. The ghosts are suitably spooky and quite fun and have always found it difficult to dislike Popeye.

However, other Popeye cartoons other than 'Spooky Swabs' are much better animated. Lower budgets and tighter time constraints really showed here, because the animation did look scrappy and not always complete looking with very little life to it as well. A few mildly amusing moments aside, 'Spooky Swabs' has the major problem of just not being funny. This is hardly laugh-a-minute material, the opposite actually, and there is little to no freshness to it, very predictable and tired.

Very like the story itself, which despite having no Bluto or the rivalry between him and Popeye felt more fatigued and predictable than most of the cartoons that featured Bluto (a vast majority of the series actually). There is very little momentum here and Olive is neither interesting or endearing.

In summation, lukewarm. 5/10

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Release Date:

9 August 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aavelaiva See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Famous Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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