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Popeye DVD: Bonus Materials


This is the original main title, unseen for 70 years, to Popeye The Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves, shot with my cel phone camera off a TV screen with glare.

I promise you the visual and sound quality of this cartoon (and 59 others) on Warner Home Video’s Popeye the Sailor: 1933-1938, Vol. 1 is outstanding. If it were only the 60 cartoons alone it would be worth the $64.98 suggested retail price ($45.49 on amazon). But the collection (on sale July 31st) is loaded with additional content. Here are the bonus materials currently scheduled for inclusion:

Disc 1

&#149 Popeye the Sailor by Michael Barrier with Animator Dave Tendlar
&#149 I Yam What I Yam by Animator Mark Kausler
&#149 Blow Me Down! by Animators Jorge Gutierrez and Sandra Equihua
&#149 I Eats My Spinach by Michael Barrier with Dave Tendlar
&#149 Wild Elephinks by Historian Jerry Beck
&#149 Sock-a-Bye, Baby by Historian Glenn Mitchell
&#149 Can You Take It by Filmmaker Greg Ford
&#149 A Dream Walking by Director Eric Goldberg

Full Length Documentary
I Yam What I Yam: The Story of Popeye the Sailor

&#149 Mining the Strip: Elzie Segar and Thimble Theater
&#149 Me Fickle Goyl, Olive Oyl: The World’s Least Likely Sex Symbol

From the Vault
&#149 Colonel Heeza Liar at the Bat
&#149 Domestic Difficulties [1916 Bud Fisher Short]

Disc 2

• Beware of Barnacle Bill by Jerry Beck
• Choose Yer “Weppins� by Greg Ford
• For Better or Worser by Greg Ford
• You Gotta Be a Football Hero by Jerry Beck
• King of the Mardi Gras by Michael Barrier with Jack Mercer
• Adventures of Popeye by Historian Glenn Mitchell
• The Spinach Overture by Historian Daniel Goldmark

Full Length Documentary
Forging the Frame: The Roots of Animation, 1900-1920

• Wimpy the Moocher: Ode to the Burgermeister
• Sailor’s Hornpipes: The Voices of Popeye
• Bobby Bumps Puts a Beanery on the Bum [1918 Bray Short]
• Feline Follies [1919 Pat Sullivan Short]
• The Tantalizing Fly [1919 Bray short]

Disc 3

• A Clean Shaven Man by Writer Paul Dini
• I-Ski Love-Ski You-Ski by John Kricfalusi, with Eddie Fitzgerald and Kali Fontecchio
• Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor by John K., Eddie and Kali
• The Paneless Window Washer by Mark Kausler

• Blow Me Down! The Music of Popeye
• Popeye in Living Color: A Look at the Color Two-Reelers

From the Vault
• Modeling [1921 Out of the Inkwell short]
• Invisible Ink [1921 Out of the Inkwell short]
• Bubbles [1922 Out of the Inkwell short]
• Jumping Beans [1922 Out of the Inkwell short]
• Bed Time [1923 Out of the Inkwell short]
• Trapped [1923 Out of the Inkwell short]

Disc 4

• Lost and Foundry by John K., Eddie and Kali
• Protek the Weakerist by Jerry Beck
• Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves by John K., Eddie and Kali

• Me Lil’ Swee’Pea: Whose Kid is He Anyway?
• Et Tu, Bluto? Cartoondom’s Heaviest Heavy

From The Vault:
• A Trip to Mars [1924 Out of the Inkwell short]
• Koko Trains ‘Em [1925 Out of the Inkwell short]
• Koko Back Tracks [1927 Out of the Inkwell short]
• Let’s Sing with Popeye [1933 Fleischer short]

  • Don

    So why exactly is John K’s girlfriend doing commentary on these dvds?

  • Mould Err

    This DVD sounds awesome! (But why is Kali Fontecchio on the commentaries? Is She John K’s girlfriend?)

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Again, this is what we’ve been waiting our whole lives to finally see what hasn’t been the norm for so long (the pic alone explains everything I’ve ever hoped this release should be).

  • Robert Porrazzo

    WELL BLOW ME DOWN! This set looks to be as loaded as spinach stuffed in ravioli or lasagna! July 31st CAN”T GET HERE SOON ENOUGH!!!!!!!!

  • Gordan Calma


    thank you so much. This is simply unbelievable. So many commentaries, so many interesting documentaries/featurettes, so many wonderful vintage bonus shorts…This is the set of the sets – the animation DVD of the decade, groundbreaking in more than one way. First, it is the first official home-video release of Popeye, one of the most popular comic strip/cartoon heroes of all time (after decades of legal quagmire). Second, this is the first major push for classic black and white animation on DVD by a major studio (not only Popeye, but also silent shorts such as Out of the Inkwells, Bobby Bumps, Felix, Colonel Heeza Liar,…). It seems that WHV is testing the black and white cartoons’ potential in the home-video domain. If this sells well, we can hope, we might see many more vintage cartoons released on DVD.

    A huge thanks to Warner Home Video and King Features Syndicate for finally letting this happen!!! Thank you, Jerry Beck, for your enthusiasm re: this marvelous DVD release. :o)

  • Josh

    That’s great Jerry! 15 silent shorts as bonus? I would have never guessed. That’s great. And all those documentaries and commentaries should make this a lot of fun.

  • “Currently scheduled for inclusion”? The set hasn’t gone to the duplication factory yet?

    But WOW…look at all those old great silent Fleischer, Bray, and Sullivan cartoons. Wow, wow, wow!

  • The No Man


    I now have no doubt that this will be the best DVD ever released!

  • Pablo




  • Bugsmer

    Wow, Jerry! I haven’t seen any of those silents. I’m glad you’ve included “Let’s Sing With Popeye”, since all of its animation comes from “Popeye The Sailor”, which is included on this set (which IS on its ups and squares). You’ve included Terry, Bray, Mutt and Jeff, a possible Felix, and some old Fleischers…and these are just the bonus features. You’re right when you say that it’d be worth it for just the cartoons!

  • That was exciting materials including in this set. It’s nice that include shorts made in the 1920’s. And i love the Popeye Meets Ali Baba’s title card. It looks amazing.

  • Who is the distributor of the set, Warners? Who owns the rights?

  • Wow, it’s worth it just for the extras alone. I can’t wait to check out the commentaries with Dave Tendlar and Jack Mercer.

  • uncle wayne

    well, that certainly is a still from a film that none of “us” had NEVER seen b-4!! I’m getting a pillow for when my jaw drops!

  • Gummo

    I was a big Popeye fan as a kid, but haven’t seen any of them in 35-40 years. Still, the vault extras alone seem to make this set worth it. A whole slew of Fleischer silent shorts? Wow!

  • Ken Layton

    Wow! That bonus material is fantastic. I hope the next DVD set includes the Fleischer how animated cartoons are made that’s on the dollar DVDs except with a better print.

  • Chris

    I am unbelievably excited about this set. Thank you Jerry! I’m also excited about the John K and Eddie Fitzgerald commentaries but what the hell does Kali Fontecchio know about Popeye that someone thinks it’s a good idea for her to be on the commentary track too?! I actually find it a little offensive. Someone like Thad K I could see, but Kali?

  • It’s great to see all those silents and that “Roots of Animation” documentary on the set. I really didn’t expect to see stuff like that here.

    But seeing that grab from the Ali Baba title (even if it is from a cell phone) is stil icing on the cake. The people working on the Popeye show often had difficulty finding original materials to use, and tracking down something like this must’ve been a Herculean task.

  • Keith Paynter

    Un – be – effin’ – lievable!!

    Now this is truly bang for the buck! This set should prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is definitely a market for b&w cartoons. This has been a great summer for golden age animation fans – Droopy, Popeye, Woody & Friends…wow!

  • I’m glad I already ordered this set, otherwise I’d drop what I’m doing right now and place my order!

  • Masked Stinker

    Thanks Jerry and all that made this happen.

    Ray Pointer should have done some commentaries.
    Try and get him next time.

  • …What’s with all the anti-Kali remarks!?

    Looks like a pretty amazing DVD set!

  • Brad Constantine

    Geez, Jerry…I’m gonna need a week off just to get through all of this great extra goodness…..As if the cartoons weren’t enough already. I am extremely thankful that this was put together with love and respect for these great classics. Hats off to you and the crew who finally made this happen. This may be the longest month of the year for me…..hehe….

  • Steven

    Sounds like the extras on the Popeye set will make up for the threadbare nature of them on the recent Warner Home Video Droopy DVD.

  • TJR


    Hopefully someday (soon) we will see the same care and attention go into “The Complete Fleischer Betty Boop Cartoons”

  • Joe Busam

    That title card is amazing especially when you consider it was taken from a cell phone camera. July 31 can’t get here too soon. With the Woody set streeting just a few days before, next month will be pure heaven. Thanks for all your efforts on both sets, Jerry.

  • Gee, I’m flattered, Chris, but I really don’t know much about Popeye, other than I really like all of the cartoons up to the late 40s. Bob Jaques should’ve been brought in to do some commentary.

    Looks to be a GREAT summer for cartoons!

  • When Constantine calls me to do commentaries on these dvds I’m usually reluctant but he is very sincere and sometimes talks me into it.

    I happen to love Fleischer’s Popeye cartoons and think it’s the most successfully creative series of all time.

    Unfortunately, I only know as much history of the Fleischers as exists in books and that’s not a lot. Cabarga wrote a good book. Most cartoon history books don’t say a lot about the studio, so I don’t know inside information anymore than anybody else, so I went in to talk about what I liked about the cartoons.

    I like to bring people with me so I can have someody to talk to. Eddie is always entertaining and full of ideas, but I thought it would also be interesting to bring in one of the very few animation students today that loves old cartoons as much as us geezers to get her spontaneous reactions. She is extremely talented, is actually learning directly from these cartoons, has a great eye and is as entertaining as anyone can be in a commentary.

    I also suggested that they get Greg Duffel, Bob Jaques and Steve Worth who know more about the history and maybe who the individual animators are-information that I would love to know myself.

    I can’t force the DVD company to do it but I always try.

    I would be more worried about what the prints are going to look like than who does the commentaries.

    The cartoons are fantastic and are their own best selling point, but there is nothing to lead you to expect that the films aren’t DVNRed and line thinned. The Woody Woodpeckers are and so are the last 10 years worth of cartoons released on DVD.

    I have great copies of all these cartoons and I watch them over and over again and always find wonderful ideas, personality animation and gags in them, so I hope they sell like crazy and a whole new generation of people can enjoy one of the greatest classic series in film history.

    Let the cartoons speak for themselves. They really don’t need any commentary to help them.

  • Jim Gray

    Someone posted a comment at Amazon.com alleging that 8 of the 68 Fleischer Popeyes will be missing from the set, as the prints in Max Fleischer’s possession were lost in a house fire. No explanation as to why other copies weren’t used. I’d even settled for “AAP” prints if nothing else.
    Is this true, and if so, which titles are omitted?

  • Thanks for the heads up. I’m going to place my order ASAP.
    Fleischer rules, Famous drools!

  • Jim Gray – That post on Amazon is some crazy fan rumor that is not true. 60 Popeyes were all that were ever scheduled for Vol. 1, and none have been lost in a fire. No titles will be omitted from this or the forthcoming sets.

    Thad – Bob Jacques was asked to participate in Vol. 1 but scheduling conflicts prevented his participation. He will be on Vol. 2 and 3, and hopefully 4.

    Everyone else – John K. referes to Contantine Nasr of New Wave Entertainment. He is the bonus materials producer who derseves a lot of credit in making this set (and the Looney Tunes Golden Collection) so good. There are many others involved, but Constantine is major behind-the-scenes hero.

  • Zeppo

    “…one of the very few animation students today that loves old cartoons as much as us geezers to get her spontaneous reactions.”

    VERY few? You are mistaken.
    Every time a good Popeye is shown all the audience reacts positively-even current animation students. Don’t sell them all so short.
    As far as cartoon commentary goes, the more the merrier!

  • Billy Batz

    Yay ! commentaries by people who didn’t draw anything in these shorts! That’s my Popeye! Where’s Robin Williams and Whoopee Goldberg’s commentary? 2007 is the place to be.

  • Robert Schaad

    I’m psyched for this set and the subsequent ones. Can’t wait to see a crispy print of Lost and Foundry…haven’t seen it in years. Amazing backgrounds! Don’t have the chronological list handy…Assuming that The Hungry Goat will be on Vol. 2. One of the best cartoons EVER!! This summer is turning out to be fantastic for home dvd animation releases.

  • Charles

    Can’t wait for this set. I’ve preordered it. I’ve never seen a set with box art that looked this good, hopefully the cartoons look great too. DVNR really sucks.

  • Chris

    Looks amazing! I think all of my personal favorites are on there! I’m especially looking forward to the Sailor’s Hornpipes “Popumentary” as I think the ad-lib voice work on those old Fleischer pieces is what gives them that timeless humor. Looking forward to it!

  • Larry T

    All I can say is thank you!

    Seeing the bonus materials just made me cry a little tear of joy. This set will be worth every single penny I pay for it (and then some) even without those extras.

    The best part of it is that this will prove to many audiences that cartoons which are 70 years old and B&W still have as much entertainment value today as they did when they were first seen by audiences.


  • Smelof Livingston

    And if you’ve been shopping at the 99 cent store for the past 4 years, like most un-employed animators, you’d have a copy of all these on DVD. Along with a bunch a racist cartoons from the 1930’s and 40’s!

  • >

    Pff exactly!
    I wish it was 1990 again and we could watch these cartoons on 50 worn out VHS video’s for 10 dollars each!
    Give me VHS every day over this modern age garbage that is DVD!
    I bet there’s no dust and scratches on these films either. People today have no respect!

  • Jules

    Oh, Billy Batz: Dave Tendlar DID draw on many of the Popeyes in this DVD collection, and he apparently does offer audio comments (thanks to Mike Barrier having interviewed him way back while Tendlar still also drew breath). The ugly fact is that during the decades-long legal wrangle over Popeye, all of the key creative Fleischer Studio staff were busy passing away. It’s the lawyers who should be dead.

  • That reminds me; Were ANY of the openings to any of the 60 cartoons here destroyed or not found in WB’s vaults? Like I said, rresontructing the openings for the Popeye show often presented challenges and obstacles, and I’d imagine that putting a restored DVD together might present similar ones.

  • Don

    Ohhhh! Kali’s on there with the professionals because she’s an art student that watches a lot of old cartoons. Rare! Thanks for setting me straight, John. That could have been embarassing.

  • Nelson Hughes aka MOE HARE

    Along with the upcoming Woody Woodpecker dvd set, the Popeye collection looks to be a real winner, among cartoon fans and who would have thought that we would see Popeye, Felix The Cat, Koko The Clown and Col.Hezza Liar, all on the same dvd collection?

    Thank god we don’t have to wait till the end of the year for this collection to come out, like the other classic toon releases in the fall and winter.

  • Craig Buehler

    It would’ve been a real kick to see or hear from Tom Hatten on this set. I’m not sure if his show was on nationally, but his Popeye show on KTLA was the greatest.

  • have you guys seen this?

  • Yay Constantine! Yay Kali! She’s like the surrogate for us drooling fanboys (and girls). The Kali-haters are just jealous they weren’t in on the discussion.

  • Jorge_Garrido

    Holy crap, these sound amazing. I’m most looking forward to those Inkwell shorts, I want to see if they ever figured out a way to rotoscope Dave without sluggish timing.

    I’ve loved Popeye cartoons since I was a kid, especially Ali Baba on my PD tapes, and I cannot wait for this collection.

    >Ray Pointer should have done some commentaries.
    Try and get him next time.

    They did, there were problems, and he’s still bitter.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love what Ray does but he can get really mad at nothing sometimes.

  • Craig & Jules – Tom Hatten IS on the set, as is Myron Waldman (video taped before his passing), Leonard Maltin, Jules Feffier and many many others, in interviews on the “Popumentaries”. Hang on folks, I haven’t told you everything about the dvd set. Surprises await.

  • Robert Reynolds

    If I hadn’t already ordered this, I’d do so just for the extras!

    Before I saw this list of extras, the Woody Woodpecker set was the set to beat this year, but not anymore!

  • Kevin Wollenweber

    (Gulp!) Hang on, folks, while I reassemble my face after a rather violent positive reaction to reading what has to be the greatest DVD news yet this year!!

    Man, I so wish that this set takes off, to such a degree that those at Warner Brothers who are still unconvinced can see that the folks commandeering this vault restoration should be the *ONLY* ones allowed to work on such sets – as they are so respectful of their subject and often do Warner Brothers proud!! Between packages like this and the cartoon extras found on various classic WB movie box sets, this is truly a major year for the just treatment of film history!

    Those of you who know me will also remember how fond I am of any kind of toon history from the 1930’s. It still continues to be absolutely my favorite period of animation, especially because it is less than perfect. There is so much major visual experimentation going on in this set alone. I hope perhaps, someday, other studios might allow for an even broader restoration of other Max Fleischer series, including the BETTY BOOP and so many one shot cartoons…

    …not to mention all its 1930’s cartoons stil in Warner Bros. own vaults, including the earliest LOONEY TUNES and the MGM HAPPY HARMONIES series (by the way, I kinda hoped that the cartoon extra on the movie, “TREASURE ISLAND” would have been “BOSKO’S PARLOR PRANKS”, but I digress). We, in 2007, are actually getting a taste of what it must have been like to go see a good ol’ movie back in the days when you’d get so much extra entertainment beyond the movie!

    Keep up the good work.

  • chuckfiala

    Oh, man! “King of the Mardi Gras” with a Jack Mercer commentary! Life does not get too much better than this. (I love this cartoon for Popeye singing that song. It is really infectious.)

  • Doug Drown

    Yet another beautiful piece of Fleischer title art. That unique art deco lettering began appearing around the time “Ali Baba” was released. Fleischer and Famous retained it into the mid-’40s. I keep wondering who was responsible for it. Was it one of the animators? Does anyone know??

    Terry-Toons had some beautiful title card lettering, too. I don’t know who did that, either.

  • RobEB

    We’ve been waiting a long time for this! I hope there’s no DVNR. You’d think by now they’d be smart enough to realize how bad it can be for animation…

  • Luke

    Why no commentary on LITTLE SWEE’PEA?

    One person has seen that, like, one million times!

    an animation expert would have commented on that cartoon very easily….

    It’s Most common and easily found of all the B&W PD Fleischer Popeyes, also being available on the Internet Archive for Youtube users to download and post as much as they want.

    Too bad the rumor that POOR CINDERELLA wouldn’t be on the DVD.

  • I’m not worried about quality and I can’t wait to get my hands on this set. Among my earliest experiences of Popeye shorts were the ones I played on my Dad’s crank projector which lived in the attic where he grew up and which I would thread and operate during visits to the old homestead. I climbed the steep dark-panelled staircase to the 4th floor of this old duplex house (divided into two skinny sides)in Palmerton Pennsylvania, passing the marionette of Pinocchio (perfect likeness) that my aunt had made as a girl, and then I projected these cartoons on a sheet. I think I still have them. My brother took them all out of their 16mm boxes and put them on one large reel a few years back. I remember one in which the whole gang is rowing a sinking rowboat. Alaso I remember a lot of hamburgers being consumed by Whimpy. They were all plenty scratched, so much so that I may be disappointed if the DVD material is too clean. But then again I still haven’t thrown out my original Beatles 45’s.

  • I may be one of the guilty ones, Jerry, as I did a whole slew of ersatz Popeye films in 1962 – directly for King Features Television (Al Brodax). I had mixed feelings about it, as Segar’s newpaper strip was always my number one favorite as I grew up in the 1930’s and 40s., reading Thimble Theater every single day as they were originally printed.

    I hated the Fleischer cartoons as they reduced a masterpiece I loved to a cliche formula… and of course completely lost the marvelous Segar drawing style and character models.

    I did insist to Brodax that we at least bring into our serial as many as possible of the great supporting characters of the strip, such as Wimpy, Eugene the Jeep, The Sea Hag, Alice The Goon, etc. We had a chokingly small budget. I desperately needed the work at that time, so I took it on and did my best with the story lines I was given by Brodax to get as close as I could to the Segar feel. It was not easy with the money we had, and the inexperienced international crew (Czechs, Italians and Croations). It was fun working with Jack Mercer and Mae Questel, who actually recorded their lines half a world away from each other! I certainly don’t regret doing the Popeye serial.

  • John Newman

    Wonderful news but classic cartoons are not the same without the smell of burning oil and the clunk of a Maltese Cross. Maybe somebody should make them available as an extra.

    What happened to: Bonus Fleischer Cartoons – Including “Poor Cinderellaâ€? and “Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andyâ€? as reported to be included in an earlier DVD Times write up? Hidden in one of the documentaries, saved for a later volume or part of the “everythingâ€? that Jerry Beck hasn’t told us about yet.

  • Jim Gray

    Thanks for debunking that rumor about omitted or lost Popeyes, there are times when one would rather be wrong!
    Like Gene Deitch, Bill Blackbeard is sour about the classic Fleischer Popeyes in his intro to that great book of Popeye dailies that came out last year.
    I guess everything is relative, but it puzzles me that anyone could fail to appreciate their greatness; if Segar’s original strip is the yardstick, then of course nothing could be considered any good!

  • FredScuttle

    Regarding the 60 vs 68 episodes, TV.com’s episode guide shows 68 episodes from 1933-1938

  • FredScuttle

    Update: I just purchased the set. I think I see the discrepancy for the 60 vs 68 episodes. According to the original airdates on TV.com, the last 8 episodes in 1938 aren’t included, “I Yam Love Sick”, “Plumbing Is A “Pipe”, “The Jeep”, “Bulldozing the Bull”, “Mutiny Ain’t Nice”, “Goonland”, “A Date to Skate”, and “Cops is Always Right”…hopefully the 2nd set will include these.

  • Carbunkle

    Well, I purchased this dvd set, and its terrific. The majority of the shorts look fantastic, but… a few of them (Shiver Me Timbers, Big Chief Ugh-Amug-Ugh to name a few) looked ALOT better on the previously available AAP Popeye laserdisc set. The prints used on this new dvd set have alot of lines (scratches) running down the screen for almost the entire cartoon in Shiver Me Timbers, and the first few minutes of Big Chief is very dirty or splotchy or something. Were the AAP prints used for the laserdisc not available for this dvd set? The ones chosen seemed to be in worse shape.

    Oh well, most of them look great, the restores titles are good, and the extras are cool. Still worth the price I guess.

  • Don says:So why exactly is John K’s girlfriend doing commentary on these dvds?

    You know, I’m aware this response is late in the game, but I wasn’t aware there was an anti-Kali commentary manifesto brewing here at the ‘brew.

    In fact, I was so impressed and inspired by John and Eddie’s commentaries and how they were both so fun AND informative ( as opposed to the bore-fests that Barrier subjects us to… they are informative, but man…. ) on the LOONEY TUNES discs, that I started doing my own for my own amusement.

    I asked Kali to join in after I saw ( or heard ) she, Eddie and JK doing ‘Buckaroo Bugs’, having been impressed with her open enjoyment and acumen, not to mention her and Eddie’s infectious laughs. She said thanks but no, and blamed it on this kind of negative feedback.

    So thank you for sharing your venomous, flippant and irresponsible insights, Don.

  • Jason of Star Command

    Trevor: Why, in defending Kali, do you have to tear down Michael Barrier’s commentary? I happen to find his commentaries not only informative, but extremely interesting. I suppose they’re not conventionally “fun,” but if I want fun all I have to do is watch the cartoons.