83. Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves – Dave Fleischer

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SUMMARY: Popeye, Olive and Wimpy fly to Arabia to take on Ali Baba’s forty thieves, lead by the brute Abu Hassan (again, ‘played’ by Bluto).

WHY IT’S HERE: After the success of the first Popeye special it was inevitable that another one would follow. While bettering ‘Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor’ seemed like an impossible task, the Fleischers equalled it at the very least with the brilliant ‘Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves’. Once again the extra breathing space of a seventeen minute runtime, plus the possibilities that came with colour and a foreign setting, allowed the Fleischers to create an adventure of epic proportions. Full of tremendous gags and action set-pieces, ‘Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba’s Forty Thieves’ is an essential companion piece to the first Popeye special. It was only the release of Disney’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ weeks later that overshadowed this classic short.

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