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Too Weak to Work (1943)

Bluto decides he's exhausted and needs a complete rest; fortunately, there's a hospital nearby where he can fake exhaustion. Popeye discovers the deception and poses as his nurse.


Izzy Sparber (as I. Sparber)


Joe Stultz (story)


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Uncredited cast:
Jack Mercer ... Popeye (voice) (uncredited)
William Pennell William Pennell ... Bluto (voice) (uncredited)


Bluto decides he's exhausted and needs a complete rest; fortunately, there's a hospital nearby where he can fake exhaustion. Popeye discovers the deception and poses as his nurse.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

19 March 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Too Weak to Work See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Famous Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of a number of Popeye shorts which were sent off to Asia in the 80's to undergo the infamous redraw and colorization process. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

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User Reviews

What's Up, Bluto?
31 December 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Like to love a vast majority of the Popeye cartoons. Also like Popeye himself. A likeable character whose chemistry and animosity with Bluto one that drives the cartoons with such fun and energy, always a highlight. Do have a preference for the Fleischer era cartoons, that are generally funnier, more imaginative and of higher quality, though many of the later Famous Studio offerings entertain, just inferior in quality.

An early Famous Studios effort, as far as the Popeye cartoons go that is, 'Too Weak to Work' is not quite one of my favourite Popeye cartoons overall. Although it has pretty much everything that was so great about the best of the Fleischer output while not being quite as imaginative in the formula and humour. That is not saying that 'Too Weak to Work' is unimaginative, for Famous Studios Popeye it is quite the contrary and another change of pace for the series. Being a cartoon that focuses on Popeye and Bluto and their far from amicable chemistry rather than their rivalry for love with Olive Oyl. The result is a great cartoon and do have to agree that it is one of the best Popeye cartoons from this period of the series and also one of Famous Studios' better Popeye cartoons overall.

One doesn't care so much that the story is on the thin and somewhat formulaic side, the outcome is never in question. Namely because there is enough creativity and variety to stop 'Too Weak to Work' from being repetitive or predictable and the energy is constant and so infectious. The lack of Olive Oyl proved to be a good move and it let it be all about Popeye and Bluto, who were always far more interesting characters anyway, in a competitive situation.

Many fine things in 'Too Weak to Work'. The animation cannot be faulted, the backgrounds have lost none of the meticulous attention to detail, it's fluid, Popeye still looks good and is recognisable in design and the shading has atmosphere. Every bit as good is the lively and lushly orchestrated music score, that has character and adds a lot to the action and enhances it.

Popeye is amusing and likeable still and Jack Mercer doesn't disappoint with the voice acting. Bluto is just as funny and interesting and the chemistry between the two sparkles and carries 'Too Weak to Work' brilliantly.

'Too Weak to Work' boasts lots of dialogue and gags that are timed beautifully and are never less than very funny, Popeye's asides and mumblings are something of a hilarious art-form of its own, and the energy never wavers. Thanks to the action being imaginative visually, crisply timed and non-stop without being exhausting.

In conclusion, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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