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    Renegades of Animation: Pat Sullivan

    Pat Sullivan became famous worldwide for his creation of Felix the Cat. What most animation histories gloss over is Sullivan’s checkered past and longtime standing as a wildcat renegade. He didn’t follow the rules. And he made damn sure to fully protect his intellectual properties.

They Let Him Keep The Spinach.

Discussion in 'Hanna-Barbera' started by emeraldisle, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Like most kids born after 1950, I spent a good part of my childhood watching the old Fleischer and Famous Popeye shorts on TV, along with the made-for-TV cartoons of the '60's, and "Popeye Meets The Man Who Hated Laughter."

    But I had problems with these. I was sickened and even traumatized by what I saw in the theatrical shorts, and the TV ones, except for the hour long movie, were dull and boring. Was there a possible way to fix the iconic sailor man? Yes, and Hanna-Barbera, with a little help from Jack Mercer, did just that with "The All-New Popeye Hour."

    I was delighted with the way H-B and Mercer changed Popeye. While he still could eat spinach to boost his strength, he was no longer allowed to inflict bodily harm. The new cartoons had him seeking treasures, taking part in sports events, and at one point, becoming a caveman! Even Olive had her moment in the spotlight when she and Alice The Goon joined the WACS. But the part I really liked was when Popeye dispensed health and safety tips to his nephews, and viewers at home. As for the supporting cartoon:

    "Dinky Dog." This was the only part of the series that I didn't see. It wasn't that I thought two girls owning a giant dog was peculiar--I'd read several of the "Clifford" books in my younger days. It was more that I felt this segment should never have been included in the package. It would have done very well by itself, don't you agree?

    Now back to Popeye. Shortly after the show was cancelled, Mercer himself was gone, marking the end of an era, at least in terms of voice acting. None the less, H-B decided to try again a few years later with....

    "Popeye And Son." Now here's where I draw the line. I did like the fact that Popeye and Olive were married at long last. But, a son who hated spinach? Oh, please! And while Bluto had his own wife and son, this didn't end the rivalry.

    Of course, by now, Popeye had a new voice actor. But I've often said that no voice actor could ever be as good as Mercer. In fact, I'll bet poor Jack was rolling over in his grave when "Popeye And Son" premiered.

    In between these two iterations, H-B aired the special "Sweethearts At Sea"on Valentine's Day, 1979. How appropriate. But somehow, I couldn't bring myself to see it, probably because I knew just how it would play out.

    And so, I conclude my thoughts on the H-B versions of Popeye.

    Trivia Question 37: Name the two recurring characters who didn't appear in the H-B versions. One was from the Famous Studio shorts, and the other from the TV cartoons of the '60's.

    Answer: Shorty and Professor Whatsasnottle.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  2. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    Jack Mercer passed away in 1984 and Maurice LaMarche (Egon Spengler's voice in "The Real Ghostbusters") took over as Popeye's voice in "Popeye and Son".

    For the "All New Popeye Hour" series:
    Mercer played Popeye and Poopdeck Pappy...as he did since the 1930s Max Fleischer shorts to the 1940-1950s Famous/Paramount Studios shorts to the 1960s Kings Features tv shorts to the 1972 "Man Who Hated Laughter" pilot movie.

    Marilyn Schreffler (Brenda the Teen Angel in "Captain Caveman", Daisy Mayhem in "Laff-A-Lympics") played Olive Oyl, The Sea Hag, Swee' Pea, and Popeye's nephews
    Allen Melvin played Bluto,
    Ginny McSwain played Alice The Goon (McSwain also was the voice director for the series)
    and Daws Butler played Wimpy with a WC Fields-type voice imitation.

    Familiar H-B regular voice actors John Stephenson, Don Messick, Hal Smith, Jean Vanderpyl, and Lennie Weinrib also played various characters (adding the prestige of finally performing in a Popeye cartoon in their list of cartoon voice credits). Stephenson played a wolf character named "Mr. No-No" during the short "Popeye Health Tips" segments in the hour show...Mr. No-No or Bluto usually did things that were bad for his health and unsuccessfully tried to get Popeye's nephews to do the same.

    Jo Anne Worley of "Laugh-In" fame played Sgt. Blast in the "Private Olive Oyl" shorts.

    Mercer also wrote several Hanna-Barbera Popeye story episodes.

    For "Popeye and Son" LaMarche played Popeye, Melvin as Bluto and Schreffler as Olice Oyl plus
    Marilyn Schreffler as Lizzie/Pugg
    Josh Rodine as Popeye Jr. (Swee' Pea grown up, maybe?)
    Allan Melvin as J. Wellington Wimpy
    David Markus as Tank Bluto
    Nancy Cartwright as Woody, Wimpy's son (Bart Simpson)
    Penina (Pamela) Segall as Polly (Milhouse)
    Kaleena Kiff - Dee Dee
    B.J. Ward - Rad
    Don Messick - Eugene the Jeep


    Sadly, Marilyn Schreffler passed away in January 1988 at age 43 from liver cancer during "Popeye and Son's" one season run from Fall 1987 to Summer 1988...All 13 episodes in that series has her voice playing Olive Oyl.

    The spinach-packed violence had to be eliminated per CBS network guidelines so the stories played up the competition between Popeye and Bluto and Popeye using his Spinach power to get himself and Olive Oyl out of tough situations rather than beating up Bluto...and using his pipe to toot the ending tune instead of smoking as clarified in one "Health Tip" segment. The familiar voice cast and the Hanna-Barbera sound effects and animation style made it a comfortable watch.

    "Dinky Dog" had Frank Welker barking as Dinky, Frank (Yeeeeessssss?) Nelson as the harried Uncle Dudley who suffered the brunt of the slapstick mishaps that big Dinky caused., Jackie Joseph (Melody on "Josie and the Pussycats") as ditzy Sandy, and Julie Bennett (Cindy Bear) as sensible Monica. Funny slapstick. Popeye had a cameo appearance on a tv set in one Dinky Dog episode

    The complete 32 10-minute episode (16 half hours) "Dinky Dog" series (no references to Popeye in the opening and end credits) was released on DVD by Canadian firm VEI instead of Time-Warner since Hanna-Barbera's "Popeye" and "Dinky Dog" were animated by Hanna-Barbera's Australia Pty Ltd studios (Southern Star).

    Some H-B Popeye cartoons were released on home video and DVD under license by King Features Syndicate
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  3. Glowworm

    Glowworm Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    I remember watching this show on the ABC family channel as a kid--I was probably only 5 at the time. Truth be told, I never really was a Popeye fan--Olive Oyl was not a female character I enjoyed or looked up to. I remember episodes like Olive Oyl wrecking Popeye's new car and trying to get rid of a mule for some reason. I also remember the army segments--that sargent sure was nasty. I also remember the health and safety segments. Also, Popeye apparently only used his pipe to do the "toot toot" noise. I really don't want to revisit this series truthfully.
    Also, I don't recall anything about Dinky Dog.
  4. oneuglybunny

    oneuglybunny Moderator Staff Member Forum Member

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    Help out an old man here: are these the Popeye cartoons that had a weird professor wearing the classic mortarboard working the controls on a giant alarm clock? The clock would pluck Popeye out of his bed using extendable arms, and carry him into history, where he'd wake up and have an adventure? Y'know, Popeye meets Julius Caesar or Popeye meets Ghengis Khan or Popeye meets Ben Franklin? Or are these a whole 'nother set of Popeye cartoons?
  5. emeraldisle

    emeraldisle Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

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    Most likely, those are the ones from the early '60's.
  6. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    As emeraldisle noted, they were from the 1960s "King Features Syndicate" cartoons usually directed by Jack Kinney, Gene Deitch, Larry Harmon, William L. Snyder, or Seymour Kneitel/Paramount Studios...the opening and closing had the King Features logo with a horse rider carrying a big feather plume writing instrument...the plume moved on its own and usually wrote a cursive "The End" at the end of the cartoon. "Krazy Kat", "Beetle Bailey", and "Snuffy Smith & Barney Google" cartoons from that era were also produced by King Features Syndicate.

    The Professor's name was Professor O.G. Whottasnozzle, originally created by Elsie Segar for his "Thimble Theatre"/"Popeye" comic strip.

    The Hanna-Barbera and 1960s King Features cartoons featured appearances by Sea Hag, Eugene the Jeep, and Geezil from the Segar comic strip but Professor Whottasnozzle and Rough House the diner cook only appeared in the King Features cartoons.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. MattPriceTime

    MattPriceTime Intern Forum Member New Member

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    I had never yet experienced Hanna Barbera's continuations of the Popeye franchise. My memories of Popeye the sailor man came from Cartoon Network. So i watched Popeye on "The Popeye Show" and "Late Night Black and White" and those were usually on in the very late hours of the morning. But i only recall CN ever airing the 30s to 60s ones on there.

    I enjoy Popeye but i admittedly haven't bought any of his dvd sets. But it's on my mind. I would also check out the HB ones too if that day comes. Which i assume could as long as WB retains that Popeye on DVD license.

    Dinky Dog was one that i also clearly never saw due to it not being retained. So when it came out to DVD, i blind bought it and i admit i was pleasantly surprised. Dinky is hilarious. I really enjoy his bungling and his "bow-wow-wowwie". In a way i'm sad this was it for this character. I would have digged him coming back in group shows but i suspect it was not meant to be.

    Also of note, for what is more a sitcom classified show, Dinky ends up getting to discover a lot more monsters and similar stories more akin to scooby's 80s supernatural adventures. It seems like Dinky was just an oddity. It even received a concept change in the second season.

    Also friendly note: VEI has seemingly got a new trick when it comes to older releases. If you are waiting to buy this one or Drak Pack. Watch Amazon's third party lists. Since when VEI makes new ones they upload them there on their official account. And when they do they are the cheapest you'd find. A lot of stockpilers and scalpers will typically buy them up to relist for higher prices and may have you waiting several months before VEI does it again. Notice how Dinky Dog's third party page looks now with an official VEI link and how Drak Pack looks since the last VEI link they had on that one sold out.
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  8. Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead

    Pokey J.Anti-Blockhead Intern Forum Member New Member

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    The clock episodes were from the 1960-era Popeyes commissioned and farmed out by King Features Syndicate to many producers, in this case the majority, not one of the regulars, the holdover Famous
    but Jack Kinney (using the Jay Ward sound effects!) "Dinky Dog" was rather fun...
    [As the above several like "artytoons" said.]

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