Popeye and Bluto are running for president; it's election day, the vote is tied, and Olive is the only remaining voter. But she won't vote until her chores are done, so Popeye and Bluto compete to cut her wood, plow her fields, and store her hay. And then it's just an old-fashioned fight.Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Really like to love a good deal of Popeye cartoons and like the character of Popeye. Love Bluto more and his chemistry with Popeye has always driven their cartoons. Will admit though to preferring the Popeye cartoons from the Dave Fleischer era, the cartoons tend to be funnier and there is more originality and more risk taking in some of them.
'Popeye for President' is another late Popeye cartoon and made in Famous Studios' roughest and most variable period where budgets were much smaller in particularly the animation and deadlines and time constraints were shorter and tighter. All things considered, while there are infinitely better Popeye cartoons (especially during the Fleischer era) and there are signs of what made this period an inferior one for Famous Studios, 'Popeye for President' is not a bad late Popeye cartoon at all, actually really very enjoyable and one of the better cartoons in Famous Studios' late output.
As to be expected, the story is standard and formulaic, all it is basically is Popeye and Bluto battling for Olive Oyl's affections although it isn't repetitive and there is a little more variety with the presidential theme.
Much of the animation is fine for late 50s Famous Studios, but there are parts where the backgrounds are sparse and the drawing lacks finesse.
What is fantastic about 'Popeye for President' is the music score, the best thing for me. It's beautifully orchestrated, rhythmically it's full of energy and there is so much character and atmosphere, it's also brilliant at adding to the action and enhancing it. The animation is also on the most par surprisingly good for late Famous Studios, colourful, nicely detailed and fluid. The gags are very amusing to hilarious for late Famous Studios/Popeye, the interplay between the characters is lively and witty if in need of more variety at times and the pace is never dull.
The three main characters do a great job carrying the cartoon, Bluto being the funniest and most interesting. Olive Oyl is a good charming character where you can totally see what Popeye sees in her, but it's the entertaining interplay between Popeye and Bluto that really sparkles. Jack Mercer, Mae Questel and Jackson Beck give great vocal characterisations, Beck in particular and Mercer and Questel are the voice actors that spring to mind generally for me for Popeye and Olive's voices.
Concluding, very enjoyable. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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