Popeye Restored

Less than a month ago I saw the two-reel Fleischer cartoon POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS SINDBAD THE SAILOR (1936) for the first time. I didn’t think much of it upon this initial viewing, but now realize that may have had more to do with the faded, muddy public domain video copy I saw rather than the quality of the cartoon itself. That’s because a few nights ago I saw a restored 35mm print on the big screen of said cartoon and it was a radically different experience. The animation, the humor, the artwork, everything was pitch-perfect on this second viewing. The “3-D” sets, hardly distinguishable from the painted BGs on the videotape, were jaw-droppingly cool when seen on a grand scale, especially Sindbad’s cave, which radiated wicked fluorescent colors. This was the first public screening of the restored edition and hopefully it’ll receive many more screenings so audiences can enjoy this classic cartoon as it was meant to be seen. While on the subject of everybody’s preferred cartoon sailor, the prodigiously talented animation director Oscar Grillo has been emailing over some wild Popeye drawings during the past week and he’s agreed to let me share a few of them with Cartoon Brew readers. Click on each of the thumbnails for the larger version and enjoy!