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Be Kind to 'Aminals'

Original release date: Feb. 22, 1935

Popeye and Olive Oyl are contentedly feeding pigeons in the park. Eventually they come across Bluto, who shows an animal-abusing side that's pretty dark even for him. He's riding a huge produce wagon and is whipping an old nag of a horse with the same enthusiasm that Popeye and Olive had for feeding the pigeons. (We get to see even more of this lovely side of Bluto in the later Organ Grinder's Swing [1937]. Even in the pre-PC 1930's, this must have been quite a shocker to audiences. It goes a mite beyond the usual cartoon slapstick and makes the short a bit uneasy to watch.)

Olive tries to admonish Bluto, who responds by calling her a "long-legged scarecrow" (not as original a sarcasm as "ya pop-eyed freak," but Bluto has a lot on his mind what with beating his horse). Spinach was never so welcome. The cartoon ends with Bluto leading the wagon and getting whipped by the horse while Popeye and Olive ride the wagon.

(Bluto must have been dragging Popeye's tonsils around in their last fight, because Popeye sounds really awful in this cartoon. His voice is here provided by Floyd Buckley, who did the voice on a radio version of Popeye -- to very bad effect, based on his work here.)

My rating:

© 2007, Steve Bailey.

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