POPEYE: 1960S ANIMATED CLASSICS COLLECTION
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With TV reruns of the Fleischer/Famous Studios theatrical shorts proving that Popeye still packed a spinach-powered punch that delivered smash ratings, King Features commissioned a new series of Sailor Man shorts under the aegis of executive producer Al Brodax. The TV incarnation of Popeye made up for its scaled-back animation with a broadened narrative scope and scale while still staying true to the source, thanks to the continued use of voice actors Jack Mercer (Popeye), Mae Questel (Olive) and Jackson Beck (now called Brutus) as well as the use of veteran Popeye animation talents then working at Paramount Cartoon Studios. Adding to the “I yam what I yam” authenticity is the addition of a number of Thimble Theater comic strip characters making their cartoon debuts – including King Blozo, Toar and Sea Hag! Among the cartoons contained in this stupendous 2-Disc, 72-Episode volume are all of the Paramount TV Popeye cartoons.
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The executive producer Al Brodax commissioned 5 studios, who made 220 episodes from 1960 to 1962.
The studios were Jack Kinney Productions, Rembrandt Films (William L. Snyder and Gene Deitch), Larry Harmon Productions, Halas and Batchelor, Paramount Cartoon Studios (formerly Famous Studios), and Southern Star Entertainment (formerly Southern Star Productions).
This 2 Disc Set contains mostly the cartoons produced by Paramount Cartoon Studios, who made the best ones. They were formerly Famous Studios, who produced the theatrical color cartoons in the 50s that are still in TV Syndication today.
Even though these were made for kids and used "limited animation" they have their own charm and are my personal favorites as I grew up with them. Unlike other Popeye cartoons Bluto's physical appearance was slightly modified and his name changed to "Brutus". Also the inclusion of many other King Features characters such as the Sea Hag, King Blozo, Rough House etc. are found in these. This is also the series that the 1982 Nintendo Arcade Game was based off of, specifically the Paramount studios version to promote the movie.
== DVD Production ==
This appears to contain all of the Paramount cartoons, however, according to any online sources they do not seem to be in chronological order.
The Film Prints appear to be the same "high quality" transfers used by KOCH VISION in 2004 for the Popeye (75th Anniversary Collector's Edition), except these have been kept untouched and are NOT poorly remastered.
Koch Vision vs. WB: Koch Vision did NR and removed the minor film grain and did average color correction (when video fades you can see the colors not match). These look just like you remember them, the color isn't bad and the sound is perfect. Unfortunately Koch Vision did NOT know how to do proper audio remastering and those DVDs suffer in muffled audio that sounds like the old Dolby NR on a cassette deck. These have the old true audio back, much clearer sounding! No remastering is far better then Bad remastering!
This is a DVD-R VOD (Video On Demand) so no extras or anything but a plain menu, but that's fine as it's the cartoons that matter. I will take a DVD-R over lousy "DRM crippled" digital downloads any day!
OVERALL: I love this set and am so pleased that WB opted to leave the raw transfers alone, instead of doing bad remastering like Koch did with them; and that WB has done with others (i.e. Dragon's Lair came out terrible).
I do hope WB releases the rest of the cartoons.
So i was disappointed in that,also they didn't play on my main Sony dvr,but that's not a big deal.
The quality looks to be good along with the sound.
Both discs have silent menus,both have 36 toons on each disc.
Disc 1 comes in with a running time of 123m and Disc 2 with a running time of 125m.
No episode titles shown on back cover at all,you have to play the discs to find out.
Disc 1/Page 1:
1.Hits And Missiles-1960
2.The Ghost Host-1960
3.Strikes,Spares An' Spinach-1960
4.Jeep Is Jeep-1960
5.The Spinach Scholar-1960
7.Rags To Riches To Rags-1960
10.Quick Change Olie-1960
11.Valley of The Goons-1960
12.Me Quest For Poopdeck Pappy-1960
15.It Only Hurts When They Laughs-1960
16.Wimpy The Moocher-1960
17.Voo-Doo To You Too-1960
18.Popeye Goes Sale-ing-1960
20.Incident At Missile City-1960
21.Dog Catcher Popeye-1960
24.The Baby Contest-1960
25.Oil's Well That Ends Well-1961
28.Duel To The Finish-1961
30.The Bathing Beasts-1961
31.The Rain Breaker-1961
32.Messin' Up The Mississippi-1961
35.Boardering On Trouble-1961
Disc 2/Page 1:
41.Popeye's Double Trouble-1961
43.The Mark of Zero-1961
48.William Won't Tell-1961
49.Pop Goes The Whistle-1961
51.A Poil For Olive Oyl-1961
52.My Fair Olive-1961
54.Strange Things Are Happening-1961
55.The Medicine Man-1961
56.A Mite of Trouble-1961
57.Who's Kiddin' Zoo-1961
60.Seer-Ring Is Believer-Ring-1961
61.The Wiffle Bird's Revenge-1961
64.Where There's A Will-1960
65.Take It Easel-1960
66.I Bin Sculped-1960
67.Fleas A Crowd-1960
68.Popeye's Junior Headache-1960
69.The Big Sneeze-1960
70.The Last Resort-1960
So if you like toons from the 60s,especially Popeye then i would recommend this 2 disc set dvd.
I myself like it,but i'm not crazy about it,it sure would have been nice to have these in order of production.
Well, for longtime fans of the original Popeye comic strip, the KFS cartoons DO accomplish something that no other version did: incorporate original comic-strip characters like the Sea Hag and King Blozo. And although a handful of Fleischer cartoons did feature the magical Eugene the Jeep and the Goons, these characters are more prominent in these later films. And in a way, the exaggerated personalities are a better fit for the stories, which are clearly aimed at children. The animation, as stated above, was made for television. . .and it simply isn't very good. A repeated example that I noticed is how characters's eyes would have pupils in close-up shots, but from a further distance, the eyes were simply black dots. Maybe that's a budget thing, maybe it's just lazy animators. Or more likely, animators who didn't have time to crank out more detailed work on a t.v. schedule.
As a Popeye fan, I do have to say I'm grateful to Warner Bros. for making these cartoons available. As this is a made-on-demand DVR product, the shorts don't appear to be remastered. However, almost all of them look perfectly fine. And considering how limited the artwork and animation were to begin with, I doubt they could look too much better. Unfortunately typical of these type of releases is the absence of any bonus features. All you get is the choice to "Play All" or select individual cartoons. Popeye enthusiasts may want to note that a good number of these shorts were previously available on Koch Visions'Popeye (75th Anniversary Collector's Edition). I admit I have not done a side-by-side comparison for quality, but the duplicated cartoons don't seem to be any better or worse in the new release.
I do hope that after WB finishes off the 60's Popeye (this is just Vol. 1, after all), they will be able to get good copies of the 1940's and 50's Famous Studios cartoons, mainly of which have languished in washed-out public domain hell for many years. But the bottom line for this collection is: If you're a Popeye fan, you'll want to have it and MAY be able to overlook the shortcomings of the material. If you're a parent and want to introduce your kids to Popeye, this is certainly the safest bet (very little violence, no smoking, etc.).
The amazon description is correct about the discs being DVD-R as you can see the purple color underneath the discs but the labeling is still professionally done. They are made on a per-order basis by Warner Archives, so there really is no difference from mass produced versus these well packaged ones. The only difference is that they are on those DVD-R discs, but still have the professionally produced screens/labels on the discs. I didn't see any bonus extras on the two discs.
I hope the remainder of the 220 episodes gets released soon on Volumes 2 and possibly 3. If you like those Popeye toons, these are a must for your collection.