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Cartoon Hell #25 – “The Crystal Brawl”

June 22, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

It's not nice to punch gypsies.

It's not nice to punch gypsies.

So far I’ve managed to avoid any Popeye cartoon that fit the classical mold, wherein Popeye and Olive decide to do an activity, Bluto woos Olive Oil away, then attempts to rape her, and Popeye commits a grave act of assault and battery usually accompanied by massive damage to public property.

As it stands, I’ve watched one exploring his theme song and one dealing with his wacky nephews, but I think my luck is about to change with “The Crystal Brawl”.

A few moments in we’re already dealing with a fairly typical Popeye setup, wherein he delivers flowers to Olive Oyl. He does a soft shoe and punches the doorbell with his foot to show just how jazzed up with anticipation he is. No more than a few seconds later Bluto is already cock-blocking him, using a tree branch to hook his shirt and fling him away from the building.

“He had a date and he asked me to take you to the fair,” is Bluto’s excuse for showing up in place of Popeye. Olive Oyl being Olive Oyl; she completely believes this. It’s sad that as the only major female figure from the golden  age of cartoons is dumb as a box of rocks that keeps failing it’s G.E.D. exam.

Seeing as this is going to be a clip show compilation of two existing Popeye cartoons, now is as good a time as any to make a few basic Popeye observations so I know not to make them ever again unless the occurrence is unusual in severity:

1.As previously touched on, Olive Oyl is quite possibly the dumbest woman ever written.
2.Olive Oyl is also one of the most sexist caricatures of female behavior.
3.Popeye is clearly codependent for his skinny-armed love interest. Epic poems are fueled by less passion than he has for this stupid, mentally unstable stick figure.
4.Bluto is a rapist.
5.The problem will be solved with extreme violence.

As this is a clip show, I will not be giving it the usual TLC, since I fear at least one of these cartoons coming up later. The basic scenario is that Popeye pretends to be a fortune teller at the carnival Bluto takes Olive Oyl to and shows scenarios in which Bluto will attempt to force himself upon her. Something that stands out as an adult about Olive Oyl is that she’s never traumatized, awkward, or uncomfortable after seeing horrible things involving Bluto. She has three states, euphoria, panic, and indignation.

The first section involves mountain climbing. This is ultra condensed, but they still take the time to set up Bluto as a guide with the slogan, “He Never Lets You Down.” It’s good to start with a pun, it let’s you know where you stand with a cartoon.

Popeye essentially drags Olive Oyl up the mountain side on what looks like a swing set. Along with Popeye’s assorted rage issues he also appears to be quite the enabler.

Olive Oyl = One Boulder. Take note.

Olive Oyl = One Boulder. Take note.

Bluto cuts the line and replaces Olive Oyl’s weight with a boulder. Unless Olive has titanium bones there’s no way in hell Popeye wouldn’t know the difference. What’s curious is when Popeye reaches the summit and the boulder has doubled in size, allowing it to crush him flat. You might call that increase in mass the product of lazy animation, I call it mountain magic!

I have no good reason for including this moment, but it made me giggle.

I have no good reason for including this moment, but it made me giggle.

The standard antics ensue when Popeye refuses Bluto’s help. He burns their bridge, puts roller skates on Popeye’s feet, and generally tries to rape Olive Oyl, as we have already established. When Olive Oyl bolts we’re treated to a bevy of surprisingly sexual images, including suggestive mountain peaks, Olive’s legs spreading wide in mountain gaps, and Bluto and Olive engaging in some odd bondage kissing ritual with mountain climbing ropes.

We cut back to the fortune telling room, and Bluto tries to pull Olive away. I don’t know what Popeye expects, the girl’s thick with denial. Another crystal ball scene comes up, and we’re whisked away from the fortune telling room at a carnival to…. a different carnival.

This is laziness on top of laziness. If you were going to make a compilation cartoon, you could have at least made the individual segments different that your framing device.

Popeye is busily winning prizes for Olive, but she’s wooed away by Bluto as a strong man. Her exact words are, “Ooh, I just love big, strong men.” Lady, your dating a man who could tear a tank in half, what’s going to compete with that? Apparently a 7 foot tall shaved gorilla with an unruly beard.

Bluto stops the ferris wheel, and, well, does what Blutos do. What really galls me is that Olive Oyl is always surprised. Popeye tears apart the girders, yes, he actually rips the ferris wheel apart to stop Bluto.

Wow... just... wow.

Wow... just... wow.

Unfortunately this sends Olive careening off to destroy most of the rides in the amusement park. What’s impressive is Bluto catches up to her on the roller coaster to once again request his kiss. He’s clearly studied up on the habits of highly successful people.

Popeye’s laugh gives him away when we cut back to the fortune telling booth, and Bluto punches him straight out of the tent. Olive runs into the tunnel of love chased by Bluto, who intends to do precisely what Bluto’s long to do.

At this point I realize we’ve only seen two examples. Rule of three, assholes! Honestly, there’s no excuse for such sloppiness.

And it was left unattended, conveniently enough.

And it was left unattended, conveniently enough.

Popeye writers must have grown exhausted finding ways for spinach to conveniently arrive in Popeye’s time of need. In this instance, there’s a festive display of fresh spinach next to Popeye. Yes, a spinach display at the carnival. It used to be next to the funnel cake stand, but the competition was killing the cake sales.

Hyped up on spinach, Popeye is able to beat Bluto with a single punch. That’s right folks, the climax is a punch, one damn punch. One sorry ass hit.

As a starting point for the wave of Popeye cartoons on this collection, this is a good one to get out of the way now, as it’s filler much like the first sing along. The cartoons will get more consistent, but I doubt they’ll get any better.

What I really wonder throughout these cartoons, what if a kiss is all Bluto really wanted?

UNPC Moment:

Olive Oyl is truly sexism equivalent of Uncle Tom. She’s bitchy, demanding, and willing to ditch Popeye essentially out of boredom. She’s truly awful.

Rating: Nearly Unwatchable

It’s a lazy rehash meant to fill a quota. I hope it’s a while before I have to re-review either of the cartoons featured here.

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