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Popeye Meets William Tell

Original release date: Sept. 20, 1940

Easily the weirdest cartoon in the Fleischers' Popeye canon. Without even that old saw of the dream sequence, Popeye is transported 400 years back in time to meet William Tell of apple-shooting fame. Tell tells Popeye that he accidentally shot an arrow at his son and killed him, then shows Popeye a supposed picture of the son, who turns out to be Groucho Marx (ho-kay). Then Tell defies the king and is ordered to shoot an arrow off his son's head. Tell is about to state that he has no son, when up pops Popeye to impersonate the son.

I realize it's a cartoon, but is it okay if we have just a smidgeon of internal logic to hang onto?? And the non-Popeye characters look like rejects from the casting call for the Fleischers' feature film Gulliver's Travels. Even the gags aren't enough to save this strange anachronism.

My rating:

© 2008, Steve Bailey.

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