Reviews: Popeye

Popeye the Sailor Vol. 1: 1933-1938 (DVD) Review

What i can say about Popeye-he is what he is. And what is he more than one of the most unique, iconic and likable cartoon characters ever to set foot on american soil, be it in a comic book, cartoon serial, TV show, or even a feature length movie or three. And with this DVD set, we can finally see how he became the cartoon icon he is.

Let me put it this way-the day this set was released should have been a national holiday-not only is this the first official home video release of the Popeye cartoons, but it's also the first to give them the treatment they deserve-for years, fans were stuck with aged, fading prints, badly traced and recolored Korean prints, or various quality prints taped off of TV reairings over the years. But once you see the restorations on this set, it'll make you want to set all of those other copies on fire! These shorts have recieved the best restoration jobs i have ever seen for a classic cartoon-all of the dirt, grime, and as much of the original scratches and shakiness of the original negatives as possible are all gone-and in their place is crisp, beautiful black & white cartoons, looking just like they did in the 30's, if not better! And to ease the rest of restoration nitpickers, Digital Destruction has been brutally averted-the lines haven't been thinned out, theres no sign of DVNR anywhere, and the two color specials have had their original colors lovingly restored to their original rich, lushness! The sound is also crisp as a bell-it's all clear, with all the hisses and pops shaved out.

Now besides the jaw dropping restorations, these are some of the funniest, bestest cartoons ever made. The Fleischers used any surreal gag or line that would work, and pulled out all stops to give their audience entertainment in its rawest form-the animation is also great, and the music is amazing-their musical cartoons in particular are good enough to even give Disney musicals a run for their money! The dialogue and add-libbing is hilarious, as are the characters and their perfect chemistry together.

On top of all that, all the cartoons are 100% uncut, so you get all the old politically incorrect stuff fully intact here. 60 cartoons total, with 16 bonus silent cartoons and a few fantastic documentaries to seal the deal. An absolute must have for any cartoon fan, old or young.