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Blow Me Down!

Original release date: Oct. 27, 1933

You gotta love any Popeye cartoon that starts with our hero commandeering a small whale as though it was a ship. (When Popeye reaches port, the whale even helpfully extends its back from himself to shore, staircase style.)

We soon find that Popeye has come to a small Mexican town, full of bandits who'd love to intimidate Popeye, except he's more ornery than they are. (One of them flashes a toothy, smug smile at Popeye, who promptly turns it into Chiclets.)

Popeye has bought a "bouquet" (apparently a Mexican word meaning "a single flower") for his "petunia" Olive Oyl, who's a saloon dancer here. What she lacks in talent, she makes up in improvisation; when two spittoons accidentally get stuck to her feet, she dances with them still stuck on.

Into the saloon walks Bluto the Bandit, whose chaotic gunfire scare everyone out of the saloon except Popeye. Just to let Popeye know who he's dealing with, Bluto helpfully stares at a nearby "Wanted" poster of himself (which helpfully stares right back at him).

Bluto tries to intimidate Popeye with his fancy shooting, but then Popeye chews up Bluto's gun and spits out makeshift bullets. Bluto calls in some reinforcements, but when Popeye pulls out the spinach even before the seventh-inning stretch, we figure Bluto ought to get out while he's behind.

Bluto tries to steal Olive, and naturally he doesn't get very far with that either. Her cries for help cause Popeye to come bashing through her door (which quickly reassembles itself, out of courtesy I guess), only to find Olive using a club to play a variation of "The Anvil Chorus" on Bluto's skull. So what's to save?

For a big finish, Popeye gives Bluto a punch that literally knocks him around the world. For some reason, this isnít too surprising.

My rating:

© 2007, Steve Bailey.

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