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Popeye Presents Eugene, the Jeep

Original release date: Dec. 13, 1940

Chronology-wise, this is a strange one. It starts with Popeye getting that offbeat animal The Jeep delivered to him as a present from Olive Oyl, with an explanatory note attached. Yet Popeye introduced Olive to the Jeep in an earlier cartoon. Oh well, if Bluto can pop up in every cartoon as though he's never met Popeye before, I guess the Jeep can, too.

(By the way, if the Jeep's delivery man sounds like Walt Disney's Goofy, it's because it's performed by the voice of Goofy, Pinto Colvig.)

Anyway, the note says that the Jeep must sleep outside. Unfortunately, the Jeep wonít cooperate.

To which I say, So?? The cartoon never makes clear that the Jeep would succumb to a terrible fate if he sleeps inside. So either we don't have much sympathy for him when Popeye's doing his best to follow orders and the Jeep keeps heckling him, or we wonder why Popeye doesn't just let him stay in. This is a cartoon version of what critic Roger Ebert once dubbed "The Idiot Plot," where the movie would be over in two minutes if the main characters didn't act like idiots.

No wonder Olive sent the Jeep back to Popeye after his first cartoon.

My rating:

© 2007, Steve Bailey.

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