Popeye Vol. 2 Bonus Materials

popeyeboxv2.jpgLast week Warner Home Video announced the release date (June 17th) of Popeye Vol. 2.

One of the bonus materials mentioned on the official sales sheet was the 1939 Max Fleischer feature film, Gulliver’s Travels — and this has confused many people (at least according to email I recieved). I’ve just received the actual, final list of bonus materials to be included on this set and Gulliver has been dropped. (I have no idea where they would’ve gotten the print from, or how it would’ve fit on the crammed two disc set). No need to fret, however, over the loss of an oft-seen widely available animated feature. The bonus goodies included in this package are even more exciting — particularly several rare items unavailable anywhere else.

Here then, is the full and accurate list of extra content on Popeye the Sailor Vol. 2:

Disc 1

Commentaries
The Jeep by Historian Glenn Mitchell
Bulldozing the Bull by Writer Paul Dini
Mutiny Ain’t Nice by Filmmaker Greg Ford
Goonland by Historian Glenn Mitchell
A Date to Skate by Historian Michael Barrier with Animator Gordon Sheehan
Cops is Always Right by Historian Michael Barrier with Animator Dave Tendlar
Customers Wanted by Director Eric Goldberg
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp by Filmmaker Greg Ford
Wotta Nightmare by Historian Jerry Beck
Hello, How am I? by Animator Mark Kausler
It’s the Natural Thing to Do by Historian Michael Barrier with Animator Arnold Gillespie

Popeye Popumentaries
Eugene the Jeep: A Breed of His Own – Running Time: 3:14
Poopdeck Pappy: The Nasty Old Man and the Sea – RT: 5:07
O-Re-Mi: Mae Questel and the Voices of Olive Oyl – RT: 8:30
Out of the Inkwell: The Fleischer Story – RT: 48:00

Disc 2

Commentaries
Stealin Ain’t Honest by Director Bob Jaques
Puttin on the Act by Historian Daniel Goldmark
Popeye Meets William Tell by Filmmaker Greg Ford with Animator Shamus Culhane

Popeye Popumentaries
Men of Spinach and Steel RT: 6:21

From the Vault
Paramount Presents Popular Science (1938 Paramount short; behind the scenes at Fleischer’s Miami studio) – RT: 6:16
The Mechnical Monsters (1941 Superman short) – RT: 11:01
Early Max Fleischer Art Gallery – RT: 3:04
Females is Fickle Pencil Test – RT: 0:29
Stealin Ain’t Honest – Storyboard Reel – RT: 6:00 est.
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man Vintage Audio Recording – RT: 2:27 (audio only)
Michael Sporn Interviews Jack Mercer – RT: 6:12 (audio only)


  • http://www.tommyday.com Tommy Day

    I just got done watching the Popeye for the first time in ten or so years. Very weird movie. Can’t wait for this DVD though!

  • http://animaencyclopedia.blogspot.com Martin Juneau

    This is sound a other exciting set. Too bad for Gulliver’s Travels, i still want to re-watch this movie but the bonus is full of goodies. Nice job Jerry!

  • http://btouch.typepad.com/ Brandon Cordy

    Unless something happened to it between 1996 and now, Turner should have a decent broadcast copy of “Gulliver” somewhere in their vaults. I recall seeing it on Cartoon Network in the mid-90s when they did “Cartoon Theater” (it’s how I ever saw the film in the first place).

    I imagined it’d be left off the set, because the movie wouldn’t fit properly on the second DVD without resorting to using flippers or seriously compromising quality.

  • Jess Price

    This sounds like a great list of bonus material. I’m especially excited to see the tidbits on the Jeep – one of my favorite cartoon characters!

  • http://klangley.blogspot.com Kevin Langley

    Glad to see “Gulliver’s” was dropped. I’d hate to think that the Popeye shorts would be compressed and compromise the quality of the shorts in order to make room for a feature film. I’m looking forward to Bob Jaques commentary, and the Culhane commentary is a great surprise.

  • galacticadude

    The extras sound like they’re worth the price alone.
    Jerry what do you think is the best looking print of Gulliver on DVD?
    It’s on vintagetooncast podcast on itunes.

  • Pop-eyed

    Some of this stuff was available on Steve Stanchfield’s Popeye disc of a few years ago. It is very appropriate to be on this set however! In that version the Popular Science short was ‘letterboxed’ cropping out some of the image (the actual aspect is 1.33:1). Will this be the case on this new set? Was also wondering if the soundtrack for ‘Alladin’ is complete from the opening titles through the closing titles?

  • J Lee

    Jerry, when you said on the show there were “problems” with the Popeye set (I assume Vol. 3 and beyond), are we talking restoration problems or content problems?

  • http://outoftheinkwell.blogspot.com Mike Dobbs

    It certainly looks tasty, but here I was going to pitch a Gulliver commentary to you! As always my timing is off!

  • http://? Robert Barker

    Any idea who produced the ‘Out of the Inkwell’ documentary?

  • http://www.myspace.com/brandontoons Brandon Pierce

    I may be an idiot, but could someone fill me in on what this “Gulliver’s Travels” film is/was?

  • http://www.awprunes.blogspot.com/ Larry Levine

    June 17th seems such a long way off, sigh..

  • Nathan Strum

    Thanks for the info, Jerry. Can’t wait to pick this one up. Quick question (since there’s a Superman short in the bonus material): is there a really good quality DVD set of the Superman shorts out there?

  • David

    I’d much rather have a really nice looking transfer of Mr. Bug Goes To Town than Gulliver anyway . Anyone know who owns Mr. Bug ? Has it gone to public domain ? Hopefully there’s a good 35mm negative somewhere that could be cleaned up and transferred to DVD at some point . I saw a fairly good print of it screened at UCLA many years ago , and it was very impressive on the big screen.

  • Rod Bennett

    I’m actually quite disappointed about GULLIVER. I’d love to see that film looking the way POPEYE MEETS SINBAD does on last year’s Popeye set. America’s 2nd-ever animated feature deserves better than the horrible PD prints that have been destroying its reputation for decades. Hey Jerry — how ’bout pitching a Fleischer specials set somewhere: GULLIVER, HOPPITY, RAGGEDY ANN, THE RAVEN, etc. all in one big DVD set. I’d pre-order the first day.

  • http://www.awprunes.blogspot.com/ Larry Levine

    Gulliver was originally supposed to star Popeye which would have assured it being on this DVD!!! Guess Max & Dave weren’t thinking about 70 years down the road.

  • narkspud

    At the risk of opening a can of worms . . .

    Any word on the DVNR situation with this set?

    Oh, and I second the call for a Gulliver/Hoppity release.

  • Emilio

    It’s great that we’ll hear the voices of Flesicher alumni Gordon Sheehan, Dave Tendlar, Jack Mercer and Arnold Gillespie on this set. Does anyone know of any audio interviews done with any of the Fleischer brothers? Max spent some time at Jam Handy in Detroit. Who has the rights to the archives of the Jam Handy Organization?

  • http://btouch.typepad.com Brandon Cordy

    Nathan,

    WB released restored copies of all of the Fleischer and Famous “Superman” shorts when they put out the box sets of the “Superman” movies. The Fleischer shorts are on the “Superman: The movie” four-disc set, with the Famous shorts on the “Superman II” two-disc set. If you buy the “Ultimate Superman Collection” or the “Christopher Reeve Collection”, you’ll get both movies plus several others…and the Paramount cartoons. The transfers of the cartoons themselves are very good on these discs, although the opening and closing titles on some of the shorts suffer from splices and/or improper mastering.

    If you’d rather just have the cartoons themselves, Image Entertainment has a DVD version of Bosko Video’s 1991 compilation. “The Complete Superman Collection – Diamond Anniversary Edition” includes good-looking prints of all 17 shorts. Although the transfers are interlaced and lack the sharpness and contrast of WB’s transfers, the Image set is miles ahead of typical public domain “Superman” sets. Compared to the significant amounts of money you’d spend on the WB sets ($20 for the individual sets, $40 for the Chris Reeve set, $70 for the Ultimate), the Image set is only $10.

    Myself, I bought the Image set some time ago, and got the Ultimate set from WB when it was first released primarily to own the movies.

  • top cat james

    David, “Hoppity Goes to Town” has just been released on DVD as “Bugville” (yes, I hate the title change, too). Included on the disc are some vintage Fleischer cartoons. It’s available on amazon. com for $12.99, although I saw a copy at my local Sam’s Club for four bucks less. Have no idea about the picture quality or if the Paramount logo is intact.

  • http://btouch.typepad.com Brandon Cordy

    Brandon Pierce (heh, another Brandon), “Gulliver’s Travels” was the first of two feature films the Fleischers made for Paramount, who wanted to see if they could duplicate the success Disney and RKP had with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. It was released in December 1939, and was apparently modestly successful according to what I’ve read about it.

    The Fleischers produced a second feature, “Mr. Bug Goes to Town”, which Paramount released in December 1941. After “Mister Bug’s” unsuccessful release, Dave Fleischer left the Fleischer studio to head the Screen Gems studio for Columbia. As a result, Paramount (who by then owned all of Fleischer Studios) fired both Max and Dave Fleischer and renamed the company Famous Studios. There’s a longer story behind the change from Fleischer to Famous; I wrote most of the Wikipedia article on Famous, so it can be read there.

  • Diana Green

    There was a 60th Anniversary (I think- not sure of the year) reissue of Gulliver on DVD some time back. Decent prints, included the Gabby cartoons.
    Are the prints on the Superman cartoons on the movie box sets complete? i have some really good DVDs of these that fade out at the end on EVERY cartoon.
    Odd that this should come up now- we just used the extra on Popeye voices in my Storyboarding class last night as an example how cartoon & film sound. My students really liked it. Then again, most of them have never seen a Fleischer cartoon ( or a B & W cartoon of any kind) before making my class!

  • http://btouch.typepad.com Brandon Cordy

    Just to add on, “Mister Bug” was released only a few days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was probably a factor in its failure at the box office.

  • http://portapuppets.does.it uncle wayne

    I’m with Rod. A damn shame that “Gulliver” has always been given stepchild attention thru the decades!

  • Jess Price

    @ Brandon Pierce

    After the success of Disney’s Snow White in 1938, other studios considered producing animated feature films. Paramount Pictures encouraged Fleischer Studios (who created the Betty Boop and Popeye shorts) to make such a film.

    The result was 1939′s Gulliver’s Travels – the first non-Disney, American animated feature. It never held up well next to the likes of Snow White or Disney’s follow-up feature Pinocchio (1940). There were several problems that doomed Gulliver from the start, including a hurried timetable, “sloppy” animation, and poor script writing.

  • Paul J. Mular

    Years ago Slingshot released an excellent DVD of GULLIVERS TRAVELS “50th Anniversary Edition” mastered form 35mm with the Paramount logos. They re-mastered the soundtrack, but you could select the original soundtrack from the menu. This is still available on Amazon.com.

    VCI Home Video currently offers a Max Fleischer Superman DVD collection mastered from 35mm! Image Entertainment first released a Max Fleischer Superman Cartoon collection mastered from 35mm, similar to their laserdisc. Like the laserdisc, it had a close-up of the “S” on Superman’s chest as the cover art. I would suggest looking for a good used copy of this out of print DVD release.

    Republic Pictures had released HOPPITY GOES TO TOWN on Laserdisc & VHS in the 1990′s, it is mastered from 35mm and looks beautiful. However it did have the re-titled NTA titles, but the original Paramount Logo was at the end.

  • http://btouch.typepad.com Brandon Cordy

    The prints on the Superman movie box sets are complete…ish. It’s apparent from watching them that the original opening and closing credits (and in some cases the “faster than a speeding bullet” prologue) were chopped off the original negatives, so some effort was made to edit the original credits back onto the cartoons. One of them, however (I believe it was “The Mechanical Monsters”) is done incorrectly and jumps abruptly. The others are more or less well done, but a discerning viewer can tell the opening and closing credits have been edited on.

    So, compete-ish.

  • http://www.awprunes.blogspot.com/ Larry Levine

    Gulliver is a clear case of way too many cooks in the kitchen. I never saw Mr Bug, is it a better cartoon?

  • http://www.animated-views.com Ben Simon

    I was very surprised to read that the full Gulliver’s Travels feature would be included here, especially with the set dropping two of its platters to just two discs. In fact, considering this, I was actually alarmed at the thought of squashing in an entire feature on top of what was expected to be a great bonus package. So I’m actually very, very glad it’s been dropped.

    I’d love to see a double bill disc with Gulliver teamed with Mr Bug Goes To Town. A natural inclusion would be the Out Of The Inkwell: Fleischer Story documentary scheduled for this disc too…who wouldn’t buy that as a set, or even as a single disc? The six Gabby cartoons wouldn’t go amiss, either, making up roughly four hours of total content – just enough for a dual-layered DVD.

    The best Gulliver’s Travels out there right now is the 60th Anniversary (I can’t believe I’m about to say this) Winstar release (Amazon: B00000JS6T), which was actually color graded at Disney, among other companies involved. This includes a good video based restoration (with Paramount logos) and a couple of Gabby shorts, and it DOES feature the original, untouched mono soundtrack as an option.

    Mr Bug was issued, as someone said above, by Republic in a great looking LaserDisc edition (they also put out the Gabby cartoons separately, but with the same cover theming). NTA front title, but a gorgeous transfer that looks like the WB shorts they’re putting out now. A previous DVD was a bootleg, ripped from this LD, but the new edition, under the terrible title Bugville, appears to be from Legend Films (Amazon: B000ZIZX4K), who usually do good, respectful work on their archive titles (check out legendfilms.net, though it seems to be down right now). Apart from the title, obviously, here, it could be a pretty faithful release and I’d be interested to hear what folks think.

    Both these films certainly deserve much more than bonus status. An “official” release of Gulliver’s Travels with Mr Bug/Hoppity Goes To Town, with the Fleischer doc and the Gabby shorts would be a heck of a selling point and cover the feature film and associated output of this fantastic studio in one fantastic release.

  • Rod Bennett

    To say that GULLIVER compares poorly to PINOCCHIO is no criticism. Everything compares poorly to PINOCCHIO.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I have the “Bugville” DVD release of “Hoppity goes to Town”. It’s somewhat disappointing. The original title screen has been replaced with modern artwork that says “Bugville” but some faux film scratches have been added on top of that. I’m guessing some sort of trademark issue is responsible for that.

    The color doesn’t look bad, but the image has a pixelization to it that is evident in all thin diagonal lines and especially the opening credits. More of a pixelization than I am used to seeing in cartoons on DVD.

    But it’s a surprisingly good movie for a movie that is almost never spoken of. A very impressive 3D pan of manhattan under the credits. I’d like to know how they built those to look so toon-like.

    I’m sure I’m not the only person who thinks the story structure is very similar to “A Bug’s Life”.

  • parkyakarkus

    “Hoppity Goes To Town” actually looks like a cartoon version of a Frank Capra/Robert Riskin film. “A Bug’s Life”, on the other hand, bears a strong resemblance to “The Three Amigos” (starring Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short).

  • Jeff Gordon

    You say that there will be a Superman cartoon in this box set – Mechanical Monsters – and that it is 11 minutes long (!!!???) I thought all those Superman cartoons were about 7 minutes long – Is this an extended version ?

  • http://www.animated-views.com Ben Simon

    That’s a shame to hear about the new Bugville DVD…yes I was wondering what they’d do about the on-screen title since the film was never released, as far as I knew, with any vintage titling of that name. So it seems another washout for Hoppity on disc.

    Yep, it’s a terrific feature, and I’m still shaking my head as to why whoever owns the original neg (still Republic?) didn’t put it out – even as a cheapie – to cash in on the Bug’s Life/Antz buzz: “The ORIGINAL Bug’s Life” you can even picture along the top of the cover!

    For a picture that was released close to Dumbo (rather than Pinocchio), Mr Bug fares very well…in fact it’s been perhaps my favorite non-Disney Disney-styled feature from “Walt’s time” since I first saw it on TV in the 1980s. The story is tight, with some great sequences, and it’s sweet as can be. It’s true that Gulliver is somewhat lethargic and pales tremendously to Snow White and Pinocchio, but I’m frankly shocked as to why Hoppity/Mr Bug Goes To Town doesn’t get the recognition that it should.

  • http://btouch.typepad.com Brandon Cordy

    “Superman” and “The Mechanical Monsters” were both indeed about 10 or 11 minutes long. I believe the other entries in the series were closer to a seven or eight minute runtime.

  • mawnck

    I got Bugville from Netflix today, and can second everything robcat2075 says about it.

    If I were a betting man, I’d put my donut hole collection on the line that it’s a transfer from a PAL DVD that was a transfer from an NTSC laserdisc. All the signs are there. It has jittery, hashed-up lines, excessive artifacts, and serious color smearing. It also has that peculiar jerky, hiccuppy motion that’s typical of a film-source video that’s been through a double transfer. It spoils the animation timing. I found it unwatchable.

    I have the Republic/Spotlite Video version on VHS, it’s not bad considering what I paid for it, and it’ll just have to do for now.

    My “Mr. Bug on DVD/BluRay” money is in my hand, Warner Bros. You want it or what?

  • RAB SMITH

    APPARANTLY, one less-than-convinced FLEISCHER employee on ‘GULLIVER’ suggested putting POPEYE himself into the titular role: this actually sounds intruiging, and would have GUARANTEED inclusion on this set!…..I am seriously toying with the idea of investing in a multi-region DVD player [we don't have SET ONE over here in the UK-------the excellent '33 'KING KONG' deluxe set is not available in our format, either].

  • Sugar

    Ignore all of the negative comments about the “Bugville” DVD. It looks and sounds FANTASTIC. The missing credits are a minor issue. This is a must have for animation fans. It’s the best that this rare film is going to get.

  • Paul S. Payne

    I remember a made for tv movie celebrating
    Popeye’s 50th anniversary. I seem to remember it starting out with a little boy and his mother buying the boy some new shoes.
    He also gets a Popeye comic book. His mother continues shopping while the boy walks along the sidewalk reading his comic book. A bully pulls the little boy into an alley and begins picking on him. The little boy’s piteous wail of “my new shoes!” as the bully scuffs them up has stayed with me for 35 years. At this point I believe Popeye leaps from the comic book and interferes with the bully’s plans. Anyone with information about this movie, especially if there is a recording or internet accessible version, please contact me. I would very much like to see it again and own a copy.

  • Martin D.

    Hello. Does anyone know who is the animator that appears flipping his drawings at 1:10 on the ‘Paramount presents Popular Science’ documentary? I want to know if it is Dave Tendlar. Thank you.