SUMMARY: In the first of the celebrated Popeye two reelers, Popeye takes on the villainous Sindbad the Sailor (‘played’ by Bluto) when he kidnaps Olive and sets up a series of tasks for him to overcome.
WHY IT’S HERE: The first of three full colour Popeye specials, which ran at three times the length of an average cartoon and received top billing in several cinemas, ‘Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor’ is one of the greatest animated shorts of all time. The Popeye shorts were often packed with adventure but the extra running time coupled with the wonderful Technicolor (not to mention the prominent use of the Fleischer 3D Tabletop technique)allowed the Fleischers to create something truly epic, exciting, engaging, beautiful and, of course, funny. Always adept at creating weird and wonderful worlds, the island on which this short takes place is one of the Fleischers’ greatest and most atmospheric creations. As well as exciting action and great comedy (Wimpy has a superb running gag in which he pursues a duck with a meat grinder throughout the whole picture), ‘Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor’ also features a memorable song in which the self-aggrandising Sindbad declares himself to be ‘the most remarkable, extraordinary fellow’ and which I can still remember singing with my brothers as a child. One of my favourite cartoons of all time, ‘Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor’ is a monumental classic and only makes one wonder why the Fleischers never embarked on a full-length Popeye feature.