Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How I Spended Me Memorial Day Va-ca-shkun!

Well, BLOG... er, BLOW me down!

This Memorial Day Weekend, we’ll have a DVD Review of the new POPEYE THE SAILOR: THE 1960s CLASSICS VOLUME ONE that is SO LOOONG, you’ll be turning the weekend into a STAY-ca-shkun! 


Look for it this coming Friday! 

An’ remembers… Comminks is always welcome! 



Dan said...

"Wal, blow me down!" Haven't seen these in ages, though I recall they were an afternoon staple on NY's channel 5 (WNEW)for quite a while.

I recall at one point in the mid-late 70s (when I was not much bigger than Swee'Pea) NY's channel 11 (WPIX) ran a separate package of older, B/W & color Fleischer Popeye shorts, which was the preferred brand of one-eyed sailor programming at our house.

It'll be interesting to see what you have to say about the set, Joe. The consistency/stability of the voice cast helps those TV shorts along, but I recall that even with the limited animation, the poses were a stodgy affair—altogether much less dynamically constructed than H-B or Jay Ward productions.

Also interesting is to see how (or if) Jack Kinney's sense of humor and timing carried over to the TV Popeyes after his exit from Disney... after all, Kinney was probably the most "Warner Brothers" of the Disney shorts Directors.

Lotska stuff fer Popeye fans to enjoy lately, lookin' forward to what kinda bloggy-type spinach yer gonna feed us! Arf! Arf! Arf!

Wishing a fun & safe Memorial Day weekend, to everyone! - Dan

Joe Torcivia said...


I haven’t seen these, since I was a “li’l boy-kid” in the ‘60s – so this is a highly anticipated treat for me, regardless of how they might play in 2013.

Back then, they were on WPIX 11, as were the Fleischer and Famous Popeyes, The Three Stooges, the Hanna-Barbera shows, Woody Woodpecker, The Adventures of Superman, the other King Features cartoons (Beetle Bailey, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, and Krazy Kat) and the UPA Dick Tracy Show. And lots of kiddie show hosts, including Chuck Mc Cann, Captain Jack McCarthy, and Officer Joe Bolton.

WNEW 5 had the Warner Bros. cartoons, The Mickey Mouse Club, Zorro, the Famous / Harvey cartoons, UPA’s Mister Magoo, short cartoons like Roger Ramjet and The New Three Stooges. And lots of kiddie show hosts, including Sandy Becker, Paul Winchell (the presumably syndicated “Winchell-Mahoney Time”) and Soupy Sales (also, presumably syndicated.)

I’m sure I’m leaving out quite a bit on both sides.

But, at the time of their debut, the ‘60s Popeyes were on WPIX – just as the older ones were. It wouldn’t surprise me to find this changed over the years, when I was not watching, but I was not aware of them being on WNEW.

Make no mistake, the Fleischer Popeye were, are, and will always be, the best. But that doesn’t mean anything that followed is valueless, as some folks seem to say. …But, I’m getting ahead of myself. The review will tell what I thought after a separation of about 45 years!

The voice cast certainly lends needed consistency – but so does something else that I will discuss in the review. And, never fear… I do address the animation. How can I NOT?

There were no “Jack Kinneys” on the set. 63 Paramounts (the full run, I believe) and nine more from another studio that look and feel very different. Again, more “different” than actually “bad”.

Do let me know what you think.

It should be up about “evening drive time” on Memorial Day Friday… just in time to kick of your holiday weekend!

scarecrow33 said...

Looking forward to it, Joe! My copy just arrived, as well as my Hanna-Barbera 25 collection! And on top of that, I have four days off! Cheers! Life is good!

(I notice on the H-B set that the rabbit character nobody could identify is gone from the cover design, and all of the characters on the cover are recognizable as familiar H-B characters. It looks better this way!)

I'm about to have some dinner and enjoy some animation. Look forward to your review(s)!

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, you’ve got your H-B set before me, Scarecrow!

That’ll teach me to opt for Amazon’s Free Super-Saver Shipping. For some reason this package (which also includes TAZ-MANIA Season 1 Volume 1) originated in Washington State, instead of the usual East Coast distribution center, and is slowly wending its way across the continent, with an estimated Arrival date of May 31! That’s eight days from now! (Groan!)

You may have even have enough time to watch your copy, start a Blog, and review it first! But, barring that, and because I can’t wait that long to find out, here’s your chance to be a “TIAH-Blog Special Correspondent”… and answer some questions:

I *KNEW* the Rabbit would be replaced! Who was slotted-in, instead?

And, more to my concerns, how many changes were made from the originally posted content? (A link to which is in my previous post.) I’m sure there will be SOME!

Life DOES sound good about now! Enjoy all of it, and I’ll look forward to your “comminks” on Popeye!

scarecrow33 said...

Well, the rabbit's replacement is green, and brandishes a fencing foil. Need any more hints than that?

There is, alas, no Ruff and Reddy that I can discover so far. The only way to learn the content is to peruse the on-disc menus. There doesn't seem to be any 70's content--no Scooby Doo, which is fine, because he's somewhat overexposed these days. Unfortunately, there are LOTS of double-dips, such as material previously seen on the Saturday Morning collections, and curiously several of the short cartoons are preceded by the opening TV show theme song credits sequence and followed by the closing, not always character-specific, as with the Yogi Bear opening preceding a Snagglepuss cartoon, and the Yogi closing afterward. (Someone who didn't know that Snagglepuss was originally part of the lineup on Yogi's show might find that a tad confusing.)

There's good stuff here, and it's great to have another H-B collection, especially as they are so rare these days. But there's a lot of stuff that I already have. I also wish that they would present the original shows in their original formats--complete with opening and closing credits and interstitials. That isn't happening on this collection. Shorts are presented in isolation--apart from the confusing sandwiching of opening and closing sequences for a handful of them.

The rabbit actually appears in one of the cartoons--with the character who replaced him on the cover! His name? Ricochet Rabbit! (Not the same as the sheriff character who appeared on Magilla's show a year or so later--this is evidently a prototype.)

Well, I don't want to give away too much...probably have already! It's still a treat!

top_cat_james said...

Joey, I bought my HB 25 DVD at my local WallyWorld Wednesday night and am almost through the first disc, so I got the drop on you, too. [insert trombone "wah-wah" here]. I'll wait and see if your observations jibe with mine.

Looking forward to your Popeye review( I ordered the set as well),and hitting the Comicpalooza convention in Houston this weekend. Maybe I'll purchase an illicit Tex Avery collection, too. (is that police sirens I hear?)

Joe Torcivia said...

Ah, methinks the RABBIT was replaced by a TURTLE! And so, history doth repeat-eth itself, as a “tortoise”, once again, beats (out) a “hare”. Ya know… Tex Avery oughtta make a cartoon about that!

I am disappointed at some of the things you found – but not at all surprised. The lack of Content Listings is also a major gripe of mine with the Popeye set, as you will read on Friday. 72 cartoons – and nowhere are they identified without engaging the discs!

Double-dips are unavoidable, especially if you’re trying to create an overall survey of H-B’s peak period. I expect that. You can’t do something of this nature without The Flintstones, Top Cat, or Magilla Gorilla – and they’ve already been released in their entirety.

Where double-dips should NOT occur are series where there is still a wealth of unreleased material, such as Huck Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Peter Potamus, Atom Ant, and Secret Squirrel. (That’s still a LOT of unreleased stuff, isn’t it?)

And, as much as I both like and recognize the historical importance of Scooby-Doo to the studio, it’s commendable that they did not reflexively shoehorn Scooby into this set -- when he’s available in SOOO many other video venues and products.

So, you say we have the YOGI BEAR SHOW opening, a Snagglepuss cartoon, and then the YOGI BEAR SHOW closing?! Who put THAT together? That’s stretching “historical context” a bit far, wouldn’t you say?

Why not opt for a complete YOGI BEAR SHOW, with opening, interstitials, Yakky Doodle, Snagglepuss, and Yogi, and closing. They already DID do this for a small number of shows on the YOGI BEAR SHOW set of 2005 -- so, if it’s double-dipped material anyway, why not use material that reflects the way the show aired… and that you ALREADY HAVE in-house!

Unlike so many of the “old movies” I review, there are lots of folks who’ve seen these in their original presentations that, I’m sure, would be happy to advise WB (for free – and a copy of the DVD, of course – I know *I* would) on how to properly assemble a package like this.

Still, it sounds as if there’s enough there to make it worthwhile. And, assuming this does well, it’ll lead to more classic-era H-B releases.

Fear not, you’ve “spoiled” nothing that I haven’t asked for! You’ve simply started writing my eventual review for me! :-) Thanks for the preview!

Joe Torcivia said...


Gosh, I feel so… so... behind the curve on the H-B set! As I write this, I just checked… and, after two days, it HAS finally left Washington State, and seems to have crossed into the state of “inertia”. That’s a big, slow, state, so I’m not getting my hopes up for a while!

Between Scarecrow and you, now I KNOW I’ll have to post a review of the H-B set… if it ever arrives, that is! Though I suspect that review may post before I eventually write-up the Animaniacs “Back in Style” vs. Mighty Mouse “Don’t Touch That Dial” post that I have lots of notes on. Glad you pointed that out.

Well, if you manage to get the same Tex Avery Bootleg that we exchanged Blog comments over last October; I think you’ll be pleased. Haven’t found any fault with it yet, by now… past “Symphony in Slang”. Enjoy the Con.

Final tack-on digression, to get back to Popeye… Just watched some more tonight – and, for all the complaining I do about the “Popeye, Olive, Bluto/Brutus triangle” formula cartoons… a GREAT example of what to do with this situation is on Disc One of the ‘60s Popeye set, called “It Only Hurts When They Laugh”!

This worked so well, even with the ‘60s limited animation, that I can’t help but wonder what a true masterpiece this would have been under Max Fleischer. Jack Mercer and Jackson Beck’s incessant, forced laughing REALLY made this one special! Check it out!

...And, please do stop back with your thoughts on the Popeye review.