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Western Animation / Popeye (2014)

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Sony Pictures greenlit an All-CGI Cartoon film based on the Popeye comic strips and animated shorts in 2010, and Genndy Tartakovsky was announced to direct it in 2012 fresh off the success of Hotel Transylvania. A test footage just over a minute long was released in September 2014, but the project was eventually cancelled mid-production in 2015. It was an especially tragic case, as Tartakovsky's animation instructor was a former Fleischer Studios animator. Popeye was voiced by Tom Kenny and Olive Oyl was voiced by Grey DeLisle.

In May 2020, it was announced that a new Popeye movie is in development at King Features Syndicate, with Tartakovsky coming back to helm the project without Sony's involvement (as their rights to the character expired a couple years earlier).

The test footage of the original project can be watched here.

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The test footage of this project provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Time Period: The boat Popeye and Olive are on wouldn't look out of place in The '30s, the era in which the comic strips and animated shorts were made and took place. Popeye wears noticeably modern sneakers here and what appears to be a T-shirt, meanwhile.
  • Batter Up!: The mook who's after Eugene the Jeep tries to hit him with a baseball bat.
  • Boarding Party: Popeye and Olive are on a boat at sea, and it's boarded by mooks who are after them.
  • Damsel in Distress: Several of the mooks go after Olive, and she ends up in a tug-o-war between one of them and Popeye.
  • Deadly Dodging: In addition to the Teleport Spam maneuver of Eugene the Jeep that's detailed below, Olive inadvertently causes two mooks to knock into each other's head when trying to escape them.
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  • Does Not Like Shoes: Olive is barefoot in this footage.
  • Ejection Seat: Popeye's boat is equipped with a catapult-like ejection seat, which he quickly weaponizes against the mooks.
  • Irony: Amidst the fight, Popeye tries to reassure Olive and promises to save her... only to get punched and dragged in the fight repeatedly. Olive lampshades this by asking who's gonna save him.
  • It's Raining Men: The mooks who attack the boat are projected in the air from somewhere (Catapult to Glory, perhaps) and land in the water near the boat. Olive uses the expression word-for-word when she sees them coming.
  • No Smoking: Popeye doesn't have his trademark corn cob pipe here.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Eugene the Jeep is small, but cleverly uses Teleport Spam to get rid of several large mooks via Deadly Dodging.
  • Talk to the Fist: Popeye gets punched in the face by a mook while he's telling Olive that she shouldn't worry and that he will save her.
  • Teleport Spam: Eugene the Jeep performs an impressive series of Deadly Dodgings using his teleportation power against a mook who's armed with a baseball bat, making said mook hit several of his comrades — and eventually himself — in rapid succession with the bat instead.

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