For such a skinny girl, Olive has quite a caboose!!!!
The cartoon series based on the misadventures of the oddly-accented sailor man who powers up when ingesting spinach is
headed setting sail for the big screen – in CGI (and 3D!!!)
Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Hotel Transylvania) is spearheading this dream project of his, attempting to bring the hyperkinetic adventures of Popeye and company – his ladylove Olive Oyl, sidekicks Eugene the Jeep and J. Wellington Wimpy as well as perennial foils
Brutus Bluto and the Sea Hag. Said film is slated for a 2016 release, but the hard-working Tartakovsky is pursing this alongside the follow-up to his Adam Sandler-does-Dracula feature.
This follows on the announcement of similar CGI-animated adaptations of much-loved Japanese cartoon icon Doraemon as well as Charles Schultz’s Peanuts (from the producers of the Ice Age and Rio movies).
As a kid, I thoroughly enjoyed the 1950’s Popeye TV series (I sit on the fence for Hanna-Barbera’s adapt, though I love its PSAs)
Not only did it “teaches” me the charm of “brokin Englischk” and being “strong to the finnich” from eating “me spinnich” but it was generally much harmless fun, without any continuity or story arc to bog it down. Popeye was essentially the quick-fisted, highly independent “swab” who just happens to get his sailor ass stuck in various situations, whether it is Bluto seizing Olive’s attentions with his brutish he-man charm or the Sea Hag (along with her loyal minion, the perennially mute Alice the Goon) going after some precious McGuffin. He was an archetype underdog figure who rises to the occasion whenever a ready can of “spinnich” is around.
Popeye was created by cartoonist Elzie Segar in 1929 as a character in the newspaper comic strip “Thimble Theatre”; as this was during the midst of the Roaring Twenties, that explains Olive’s perennially stick-thin “figger”. Originally, Popeye owed his nigh-invulnerability to rubbing the head of Bernice, a “whiffle hen”; since he credited spinach for his super mode back in the 1930s, sales of the leafy vegetable have skyrocketed considerably (especially among kids who normally won’t touch veggies).
Popeye would emerge as the break-out character from the strip, and his global profile would be further enhanced as he took part in the Allied war effort during WWII as a symbol of American military might (apologies for the overtly racist tone of these shorts)
In the late 1970s, Hanna-Barbera Productions released The All-New Popeye Hour, a series that placed the trio in contemporary situations (keeping fit, heading to the disco, etc.) but the dynamic remained the same. At the same time, a big-budget live-action musical film was made by – of all people – Robert Altman; this starred the late Robin Williams in (what could have been) his big-screen breakout role. Keeping faithful to the anarchic tone of the original comic strip, it may have alienated long-time Popeye fans by over-rationalizing its premise; nevertheless, Williams – muscles, jaw and “aksent” – perfectly captured Popeye’s anarchic spirit.
Which got me thinking…what could possibly happen if Olive Oyl got with the times and starts developing breasts?
At least Olive has some semblance of an arse in the upcoming Tartakovsky film. As a Russian immigrant student at the California Institute of the Arts, one of Genndy’s mentors was a veteran of the Max Fleischer studios, which turned out the Popeye theatrical shorts for Paramount Pictures.
It could only get worse from here…