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Image by Rachel Kopp
He's short, balding, ornery and downright ugly by anyone's standards. But countless numbers of fans have grown up admiring and identifying with this unpretentious hero since his introduction to the public in 1929. Celebrating his 75th Anniversary in 2004, "Popeye" remains one of the most widely recognized and best-loved personalities ever. Popeye is an underdog with a long fuse and a keen sense of fair play. Everyone identifies with him when he finally says, "Tha's all I can stands, and I can't stands no more!" And it seems only fitting that our most unlikely hero would fall for the least likely of sex symbols: Olive Oyl. Flat as a board, with a pickle-shaped nose and fickle heart to match, Popeye's "goil" puts him through his paces. Her only real competition is spinach.
In 1980, Paramount Pictures released a live-action musical motion picture in which Popeye was portrayed by Robin Williams and Olive Oyl played by Shelley Duvall. In 1993, Ted Turner's Cartoon Network celebrated the 60th anniversary of the sailorman's film debut with "Popumentary," a series of six prime-time specials. In 2004, Popeye made his debut in Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy, the first-ever Popeye the Sailor Man 3-D, CGI animated production. The half-hour special aired in primetime on FOX during the holiday 2004 season and was rebroadcast in 2005. Lions Gate Family Home Entertainment released the deluxe DVD, which includes additional footage not seen on television as well as an array of exciting bonus features.
Known as Iron Arm in Italy, Karl Alfred in Sweden and Skipper Skraek or "Terror of the Sea" in Denmark, Popeye continues to appear in comic books published around the world. Interestingly, Popeye's spinach obsession began in the Thimble Theatre strip but became an indispensable plot device in his later animated adventures. Spinach capital Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue in 1937 to honor E.C. Segar and Popeye for their influence on America's eating habits, making Popeye the first cartoon character ever immortalized in public sculpture. The spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33 percent increase in U.S. spinach consumption — and saving the spinach industry in the 1930s!
Today the sailorman has made Popeye-brand canned spinach the No. 2 brand behind Del Monte and he has his own brand of fresh spinach, salads and fresh vegetable snacks. He has also punched up supermarket sales of everything from Pepsi to popcorn, not to mention millions of T-shirts, caps, jackets, collectors' watches. In fact, Popeye was the first character to invade, in an important way, the toy and novelty field. From tin wind-up toys to puzzles and kazoo pipes, early Popeye novelty merchandise now carries staggering price tags in antique shops and flea markets.
And, speaking of collectibles, the U.S. Postal Service featured Popeye in its "American Comic Classics" collection of postage stamps issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the comic strip.
Popeye continues to be one of the most widely recognized and beloved characters in the world. It's amazing what a little spinach can do!
In 1995, the strip was one of 20 included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative US postage stamps.
Popeye (film)Popeye was a 1980 live-action film directed by Robert Altman, based on the comic strip and cartoon character Popeye the Sailor. The film was a musical, which was uncommon for the time. Its songs were by Harry Nilsson, and they are very unusual in that there were almost no rhymes in any of the songs instead, the songs were structured by using a great deal of repetition, and cross-cutting inside songs to non-musical sequences. It starred Robin Williams (in his first film role) as Popeye and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl.
Popeye was a joint production between Paramount Pictures (distributors/producers of the 1933 – 1957 Popeye theatrical cartoons) and Walt Disney Productions, and was released by Paramount. It was filmed almost entirely on Malta, in the village of Mellieħa, where the set is still a tourist attraction. The film won a Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film. The film's tagline is The sailor man with the spinach can!
Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for PappyPopeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy is a computer-animated special made by Lions Gate Films created to coincide with the 75'th anniversary of the comic strip Popeye the Sailor.
All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.
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