Popeye the Sailor Man is strong to the finish cause he eats his spinach. He’s Popeye the Sailor Man! One of the oldest cartoon characters ever created. His first appearance was in a series of comic strips starting in 1929. Then he made the leap to film, first starring in a Betty Boop cartoon. Popeye is a gruff, but good natured sailor distinguished by his strong chin, one eye, pipe, and large forearms. Always by his side is his extra skinny girlfriend Olive Oyl. He’s always there to rescue her from the big palooka Bluto. There’s also the burger obsessed Wimpy and Popeye’s adopted boy-kid Swee’Pea.
Just as old is the live-action adaptation released in 1980. Making it one of the earliest adaptations of a popular cartoon. Brought to life by the very unlikely director Robert Altman. He took a chance on casting an up and coming comedian by the name of Robin Williams. In his first starring role, Williams gives a spot on Popeye impression. Shelly Duvall was born to play Olive Oyl for obvious reasons. They’re just placed in a slow movie that feels more like a series of animated shorts. The pacing problem is mostly the result of the time it was released.
Popeye is the new guy in town, he becomes a boxer, his baby predicts races, he finds his father, and there’s also buried treasure. Spinach doesn’t even play a role until the very end, but when it does it’s the best part. Ending with his famous theme song. It’s not the most exciting live-action version of a cartoon, but to quote Popeye, “I yam what I yam.” Which can just as easily be applied to the movie Popeye.