Cash Cow Franchise: Originally. With decade-upon-decade of comic strips, countless comic books, and hundreds of animated shorts shown in movie theaters and TV, not to mention the live-action movie, Popeye was one of the heavy hitters in his heyday, but has since become much less popular, aside from baby boomer nostalgia. The "Popeye's Fried Chicken" restaurant chain? Used to be Popeye's very own eatery, but not anymore.
Actually, the claim is that the chain is named for The French Connection's Popeye Doyle — but the sailor was used in the advertising for a while.
Cross-Dressing Voices: Popeye's voice actor Jack Mercer had to briefly leave the studio to serve a tour of duty during WWII. In his absence, Mae Questel voiced Olive Oyl and Popeye, and you can't tell the difference.note Back in her Vaudville days, one of Mae Questel's talents was as a vocal impressionist who could mimic the likes of Maurice Chevalier and Eddie Cantor, among others.
Digital Destruction: The Warner Bros. releases of the Black-and-White Fleischer and Famous Studios cartoons ALMOST Avert this. For the most part the cartoons have been restored beautifully and are very clean with no real DVNR damage to speak of, however damage DOES still show up in some cartoons, minor line thinning and erasing, though you'd have to purposely look for it to really notice. Volume 2 plays this a bit straighter as they goofed in recreating a couple of title cards and some shorts suffered digital interlacing, though this has been rectified by a DVD replacement program. The Color Specials are somewhat straighter examples, but not by much:
Popeye Meets Sindbad is a beautiful restoration, save for some unusual color alterations that turn up the pink, blue and turquoise, for example Sindbad's outfit was originally purple, here it's bright blue.
Ali Baba for the most part averts this with the colors much truer to the original 1937 colors, save for an odd glitch in the cave scenes were the purple is turned up considerably. John K. makes note of this in the DVD Commentary.
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp nearly averts this, the print is an excellent restoration with no noticeable damage or DVNR, though it seems a lot of the colors have been turned up in this release.
Executive Meddling: At the height of his popularity, Popeye developed a strong following among children. King Features Syndicate, as a result, forced the character to be a better role model for kids. Poopdeck Pappy was soon created as an outlet for some of Popeye's old vices.
Popeye's most well known actor, Jack Mercer, is also known for his role as Felix the Cat (and many other voices) in the 1960's TV cartoon.
Olive Oyl has the same voice as Betty Boop, Mae Questel.
For a brief period of the Miami Florida produced Popeyes, Bluto was voiced by Pinto Colvig, more known as the original voice for Goofy.
Old Shame: The film is Robin Williams' best-known one, though at least he makes light of it.
The Other Darrin: Popeye has gone through several voice actors through his time. His first, William Costello (AKA Red Pepper Sam) was fired due to his ego getting to his head, and he became impossible to work with. And for "Be Kind to Aminals", the studio inexplicably hired Popeye's radio voice actor, Floyd Buckley, to voice him. Jack Mercer would assume the role of Popeye for decades starting with "King of the Mardi Gras", but on one occasions where he was not available, another voice actor briefly substituted for him, and even Mae Questel would substitute for Mercer now and then!
Olive Oyl and Bluto also had rotating voice actors; Bluto is especially notable for having two major actors throughout the theatrical run; Gus Wickie for the bulk of the B&W cartoons (and before that he was voiced by William Henning), and Jackson Beck for the Famous Studios shorts, both bringing very distinct interpretations of the character. Pinto Colvig also briefly lent his voice to Bluto in the later B&W shorts.
Nintendo's Super Mario franchise, probably the most significant in videogame history, was essentially made with original characters because the company lost the rights to make Popeye arcade games and had to retool what they already had into Donkey Kong... Ironically, they did produce a Popeye video game a year later, which was a moderate success.
Some sources claim that the Popeye franchise only exists because a scientist Misplaced a Decimal Point when reporting the amount of iron in spinach. This claim is false. There was no erroneous decimal point. Segar created Popeye and later added spinach.
Artistic License - Biology: In Females is Fickle, Olive's goldfish jumps over the edge of Popeye's ship, and she screams "Oh Popeye save my goldfish! He'll DROWN!!"