Friday, August 8, 2014

LOONIVERSE PRESENTS: POPEYE THE SAILOR

Once again, we venture into the Looniverse.  Now Popeye does exist in the TVCU.  He has crossed with both the Shadow and Superman.  However, this version is the comic strip version, whose origins and general history makes him as different from the Looniverse version as Jay Garrick is different from Barry Allen.  Thus, the Looniverse version is a separate being, and since he is the one with screen time, he is the one I focus my blog on.




As I go along in the blog, I will make notes here and there, but for more info on the nature of the reality of the Looniverse, please see my blog covering Bugs Bunny.

776 B.C.--POPEYE MEETS HERCULES--An ancestor of Popeye is in the first Olympic Games.  Hercules is there.  This seems to be an imposter, who is an ancestor of Bluto.  This is clearly not the Disney version, who is the real Looniverse Hercules.  Hercules had many imposters in the Looniverse and in the TVCU.

775 B.C.--GREEK MIRTHOLOGY--The Popeye ancestor who beat "Hercules" now himself claims to be Hercules, and indeed is the first in the family line perhaps to find the secret that their gene gives them super-powers after eating spinach.

8th century--POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS SINBAD THE SAILOR--Popeye tells his nephews about this adventure, as if it happened to him.  Sinbad's adventures were in the 8th century.  Popeye didn't meet Olive and Wimpy (who are in the story) until the early 20th century.  So Popeye was likely fibbing, but telling the story of his ancestor.  The Sinbad here is a much more sinister person than the TVCU version.  He also seems to be an ancestor of Bluto.

1190--ROBIN-HOOD-WINKED--Despite the title and who they call themselves, this is simply another place in England where tax collection was corrupt and an archer protects the citizens.  In this case, the archer is an ancestor of Popeye, and Bluto's ancestor is a tax collector.  Olive's ancestor is a barmaid.  It's likely this archer is inspired by the real Robin Hood (a fox), as is a duck in a nearby village and a rabbit in another nearby village.

1337--ANCIENT FISTORY--One of Popeye's ancestors experiences a "CINDERELLA story."

1360--WOTTA KNIGHT--Ancestors of Popeye and Bluto are knights that had at some point tried to rescue Sleeping Beauty, who is an ancestor of Olive.  This is an untold and greatly distorted part of the tale, as I take the Disney version as being official for the Looniverse.

1620--WIGWAM WHOOPEE--A great grandparent of Popeye (not the same as the next entries...there can be more than one) comes to America on a rowboat right behind the Mayflower, and falls for an Indian princess (who seems to be another great grandmother of Olive).

1633--I YAM WHAT I YAM--The great grandparents of Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Wimpy come to America and have to deal with Indian problems.

1661--THE ISLAND FLING--The great grandparents of Popeye and Olive are stranded on an island where they encounter Robinson Crusoe, who may be the great grandfather of Bluto.

1931-THE FOOTBALL TOUCHER DOWNER--In college, Popeye and Bluto are on different football teams.  Olive and Wimpy go to school with Popeye.  This clearly supports my notion that the comics and cartoons don't work together.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popeye to see how the origins don't match up.

1933--POPEYE THE SAILOR--The first Popeye cartoon was actually a Betty Boop feature, that ended up spinning off the character into his own series.  Okay, so when I did the Three Stooges and Bugs Bunny, I covered every single short because I treated them like separate films.  That took a long time and drove me mad with boredom.  And I doubt anybody read the whole thing, as most of them weren't that significant to the overall blog concept.  But I'm a completeist.  But I've realized it would be like listing every single episode of a TV series, which I don't do.  So I'm going to just cover the episodes which matter (which still means I'll be reviewing each one to see which ones matter, and then also doing an entry summing up the entire series.)

1933 - 1957--POPEYE SHORTS--All the shorts take place here unless I list them elsewhere.  If they aren't listed, assume they take place around the time of their film debut.  Popeye of the cartoons has a different mythology from the comics, so the two aren't compatible and the comics are in the TVCU.    Like many 'toons", Popeye and gang are long lived, but not immortal.

1933--BLOW ME DOWN!--Often in the shorts, it seems that Popeye, Olive, and Bluto continue to meet each other for the first time, in different parts of the world, where they may even be different nationalities.  But this is no different than the problems I've faced in shorts with the Stooges or in films with Abbott and Costello.  It's simply this. After each tale, the three go their separate ways, only to again run into each other shortly after.

1934--SOCK-A-BYE, BABY--Popeye encounters the immortal mute with a harp, who is one of four that travel together usually.  These TVCU immortals all seem to have found their way to the Looniverse from time to time, likely first discovering the portal that connects Los Angeles to Toon Town (a portal later moved to the Warner Bros. studio lot.  There are other portals in Anaheim and Orlando, as well, apparently.  Likely others exist.)

1935--BEWARE OF BARNACLE BILL--Bluto is calling himself Barnacle Bill, claiming to be the legendary character from the song.  However, as many have used that identity and they are all clearly not hte same person, I'd have to say they are all posing as a legendary character that may or may not have really existed.

1935--ADVENTURES OF POPEYE--Popeye is pulled to Earth-Prime to help a kid fight a bully.

1936--LITTLE SWEE'PEA--This is the first appearance of Swee'Pea.  No origin is given, though in the cartoons he seems to be in the care of Olive, yet he seems to be Popeye's nephew.  Swee'Pea is not child's real name, but a term of affection.  It seems likely that he is the "son" in POPEYE AND SON, but is not one of the four nephews that we'll see coming up.  If Popeye has those four nephews, and then another not clearly a sibling of those four, then it seems that Popeye must have at least two siblings.  The four brats must be kids of a sibling Popeye is close to, since they visit him often, but if we assume that Swee'Pea's origin is similar to the comics, in which he was abandoned and found by Popeye and Olive, then his other sibling must follow more closely in character to Popeye's father, who abandoned Popeye as a kid.







1937--POPEYE THE SAILOR MEETS ALI BABA'S FORTY THIEVES--Despite the title, Ali Baba doesn't appear.  Instead, Popeye hears of a villain named Abu Hassan in Arabia and goes there to stop him. Olive and Wimpy come along.  Abu Hassan has inherited the title of leader of the Forty Thieves, and in fact, may be a relative of Bluto (of course.)

1938--GOONLAND--Popeye meets his long lost pappy, Poopdeck.

1938--BIG CHIEF UGH-AMUGH-UGH--Popeye and Olive deal with Indians in the west.  As I've noted in the Bugs Bunny blog, in the Looniverse, he west remains unsettled and very much like our "old west" up until around the 1980s (with the exception of Hollywood.)  This even includes an ongoing gold rush in California and the Klondike of Alaska.

1938--POPEYE PRESENTS EUGENE, THE JEEP--This short actually came out in 1940, but it would contradict the next entry if placed there.  In this tale, Popeye is given a puppy, Eugene, by Olive.  The puppy turns out to be a jeep.  Thus this story seems to lead into the next entry, which is the jeep's first animated appearance.

Popeyeeugene.jpg

1938--THE JEEP--This is the first appearance of the Jeep, a magical dog that can disappear.  No animated origin is given for how he got this creature.  In the comics, this origin is given:  "A Jeep is an animal living in a three dimensional world—in this case our world—but really belonging to a fourth dimensional world. Here's what happened. A number of Jeep life cells were somehow forced through the dimensional barrier into our world. They combined at a favorable time with free life cells of the African Hooey Hound. The electrical vibrations of the Hooey Hound cell and the foreign cell were the same. They were kindred cells. In fact, all things are, to some extent, relative, whether they be of this or some other world, now you see. The extremely favorable conditions of germination in Africa caused a fusion of these life cells. So the uniting of kindred cells caused a transmutation. The result, a mysterious strange animal."  In the cartoon, Popeye explains to Olive "The Jeep's a magical dog and can disappear and things."

1939--POPEYE'S VOYAGE:  THE QUEST FOR PAPPY--Despite it's release in 2004, this must take place early on after the first appearances of Poopdeck and Swee'Pea.

1939--ALADDIN AND HIS WONDERFUL LAMP--Olive writes a story in which Popeye is Aladdin and she is the princess.  The story of course is fictional.  But the Aladdin tale is based on true events, which Disney told more faithfully (in the Looniverse).

1939--IT'S THE NATURAL THING TO DO--It's established that Popeye has a fan club, and that he and others are (like many Looniverse characters), part of reality documentaries that appear as shorts in the big screen.

1941 to 1945--WORLD WAR II--During this era, Popeye and Bluto seem to sometimes be in the Navy, then not.  It's likely that all the Navy stories happen perhaps in the latter half of the war years, say 1943 - 1945.  The other shorts of this era likely happened in 1941 to 1943, since many of them still show the world at war, even though Popeye and Bluto are civilians.

1944--SHE-SICK SAILORS--Bluto poses as Superman to impress Olive.  Now there is evidence that Superman exists in the Looniverse, as seen in a Bugs Bunny short for example, but we also know that the TVCU Superman (the original one) sometimes visited the Looniverse as well in the 1930s and 1940s (as seen in Roger Rabbit and some Superman promotional material from the comics.)

1946--ROCKET TO MARS--Popeye accidentally launches himself to Mars where the leader of the Martians strangely and unexplainably resembles Bluto.

1947--WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?--This more than anything else is probably the glue that ties together the Looniverse.  This story shows that almost every cartoon from the golden age of film all coexist in the same reality.  Who's in it?
  • The Fox and the Crow-originally storyboarded to have a cameo while Eddie's looking for Jessica in Toontown.
  • Mighty Mouse - originally storyboarded to appear in a scene cut from the film, being comforted by the Fleischer Superman at Marvin Acme’s funeral.[11]
  • Heckle and Jeckle
  • The lion from The Temperamental Lion
  • Garfield* - originally he went to Toontown
  • Yakky Doodle* - was originally supposed to be in the final scene with the Toons.
  • Scooby-Doo* - was originally in Toontown.
Note: *denotes anachronisms; these characters (or, in the cases of characters such as Tinker Bell and Marvin the Martian, the animated versions of them that appear in the film) were created and/or first appeared after 1947. But as screenplay writer Peter S. Seaman said, "The aim was entertainment, not animation history." There were a few notable Golden Age characters such as Popeye and Tom and Jerry missing from the movie due to legal copyright issues.


1949--POPEYE'S PREMIERE--The story Olive wrote about Popeye as Aladdin is made into a feature length film.

1951--LET'S TALK SPINACH--In this tale, Popeye tells his nephews about how he learned to like spinach, but the tale he tells is a rip-off of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK.  I tend to believe it didn't really happen, at least not the way Popeye tells it.

1953--SHAVING MUGGS--Only mentioned as it appears that the boys rejoined the Navy during the Korean conflict.  This seems to be their one and only Korean War era military appearance.

1954--POPEYE'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY--Popeye is honored for the 20th anniversary of his reality documentary shorts.  The ceremony is hosted by Bob Hope.  Other celebrities present are Jimmy Durante, Bing Crosby, Jerry Lewis, and Dean Martin.  Note these are the Looniverse counterparts of these characters.

March 1, 1961--TV GUIDE--TV Guide hosts a party in the Looniverse.  Attendees are (from the Looniverse):  Yogi Bear, Sylvester the Cat, Donald Duck, Vincent Van Gopher, Huckleberry Hound, Mickey Mouse, Olive Oyl, Popeye, Quick Draw McGraw, Bugs Bunny, Pepe LePew, Auggie Doggie and his daddy, Mr. Magoo, Pixie and Dixie, Tweety Bird, Deputy Dawg, and Felix the Cat.  Also attending, having been pulled from the TVCU are:  Dick Tracy, Flat-Top, Ollu (using the alias Fred Flintstone), and Buzsla (using the alias Barney Rubble).  Appearances of Fred and Barney in the present are not due to time travel.  This is their current incarnations.  Ollu and Buzsla are part of a select few that often get to visit the alternate reality called the Looniverse.



1960 to 1963--POPEYE THE SAILOR--Animated TV series continuing the adventures.

1972--POPEYE MEETS THE MAN WHO HATED LAUGHTER--The evil plot of Dr. Morbid Grimsby brings together BLONDIE, BEETLE BAILY, BRINGING UP FATHER, FLASH GORDON, HENRY, HI AND LOIS, THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS, LITTLE IODINE, THE LITTLE KING, MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN, THE PHANTOM, POPEYE, PRINCE VALIANT, QUINCY, SNUFFY SMITH, STEVE CANYON, TIGER, TIM TYLER'S LUCK, and THE YELLOW SUBMARINE.  This adventure actually affects both the Looniverse and the TVCU.  Many comic strip characters have crossovers linking them to the TVCU, others to the Looniverse, and some to both.  As for Popeye, it seems as though the two counterparts may have temporarily merged into one being for this adventure.






1978 to 1983--THE ALL-NEW POPEYE HOUR--Popeye has some cool adventures against the Sea Hag and Olive joins the Army!!!

1981 to 2007--VIDEO GAMES--Numerous video games have been made that feature the Looniverse Popeye.

1987 to 1988--POPEYE AND SON---Popeye and Olive have gotten married, and adopted Swee'Pea, who is now Popeye Junior.  Bluto is also married and has a kid, who is strangely the same age as Junior.  But this is the Looniverse.  We can't put too much logic into these things.

2004--SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE--Hanging on the wall of an ice cream parlor are pictures of Popeye and KRAZY KAT.  I was on the fence on which reality to place Spongebob in, but this may have won me over for being in the Looniverse.

2006--DRAWN TOGETHER--"The Lemon AIDS Walk"--Popeye reveals to Captain Hero that he has contracted AIDS from sharing steroids needles.  Captain Hero makes a reference that may mean that Captain Hero is Swee'Pea/Popeye Junior!!!  At the end of the story, Popeye has died and his spirit floats off into Heaven.  DRAWN TOGETHER is always filled with cartoon cameos, but they aren't always characters from the Looniverse.  As we know, characters often get pulled temporarily to the Looniverse from other realities, often returning to their own reality either with no memory of the event, or believing it was a dream.  Others who appeared in this episode are from:  POPEYE, THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, REN AND STIMPY, HAMBURGER HELPER, TRANSFORMERS (which are actually from the TVCU, THING (from FRED AND BARNEY MEET THE THING, not the FANTASTIC FOUR member), HE-MAN (who is from Eternia, an alternate reality according to DC COMICS), THUNDERCATS, SHE-RA (who is from Etheria, an alternate version of Eternia), SPIDER-MAN (who must be the 60s animated version), THE JOLLY GREEN GIANT, FAMILY GUY (from the BONGO UNIVERSE).



2008--DRAWN TOGETHER--"Lost in Parking Space"--Popeye is among several that are kidnapped by Hot Topic to be tortured by paying customers.  It seems his death was misleading two years earlier.  Perhaps he had just gone into a coma and had an out of body experience, astrally projecting his image to Captain Hero.  Others appearing are from SPEED RACER, HE-MAN (from Eternia), WONDER WOMAN (the version who has met the POWERPUFF GIRLS), KIRK CAMERON (LOONIVERSE counterpart), LION KING, DAVEY AND GOLIATH, STAR WARS (from TVCU), FINDING NEMO, FLINTSTONES (in this case, Fred Flintstone/Ollu from TVCU), CARE BEARS, DARIA (which pulls Beavis and Butt-Head and the Head into the Looniverse), SCOOBY-DOO (from TVCU), POWERPUFF GIRLS, SIMPSONS (from Bongo Universe), POPEYE, THE NEVERENDING STORY.

ALTERNATE REALITIES:

CINEVERSE--I spent months (really) trying to get the comics, cartoons, and film to work together, but I just couldn't do it.  One of my favorite films (really) takes place here.

IMIGINATIONLAND--This is a reality where everything imaginary in the Bongo Universe actually exists, including Popeye.

LOONIVERSE X--bombers flown by Mickey MouseDonald DuckPopeye,Goofy and Felix the Cat kill Frenchmen.

OLD TIME RADIO UNIVERSE--The 1930s radio show takes place here.

ROBOT CHICKEN UNIVERSE--This reality has several parodies of Popeye that don't really fit anywhere else.

TELEVISION CROSSOVER UNIVERSE--As always, very strange to put the TVCU in the AU section.  The Popeye of the comic strips exists here, and encountered the Shadow in THE SHADOW STRIKES # 27, in a series that also involved TERRY AND THE PIRATES, CAPTAIN EASY, WASH TUBBS, LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE.  See http://www.pjfarmer.com/woldnewton/Articles.htm#Comic for more details.  THE MALTESE FALCON also figures in this story.  Popeye would later meet Superman in 1973. And there's one additional TVCU appearance, in DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU.  An anonymous writer on IMDB says "It's one of the "Bruceploitation" films that were made to cash in on Bruce Lee after his death. The story follows Bruce Lee after he dies and ends up in Hell. Once there, he does the logical thing and opens a gym. After fending off the advances of the King Of Hell's naked wives, he discovers that the most evil people in Hell are attempting a takeover, so Bruce sets out to stop it. As if it wasn't weird enough, the evil people are: Zatoichi (the blind swordsman hero of Japanese film), James Bond, The Godfather, The Exorcist, Emmanuelle (the "heroine" of many European softcore porn films), Dracula, and, of course, Clint Eastwood (played by a Chinese guy). Aiding Bruce is The One-Armed Swordsman (hero of kung-fu films), Kain from the U.S. tv series, Kung-Fu (actually played by a Chinese guy this time), and Popeye the Sailor Man! Yes, Popeye the Sailor Man. He eats spinach and helps Bruce fight some mummies"

Dennis E. Power Secret History UNIVERSE--Also strange for me to list this.  Dennis' super-hero work and my own diverge too much, that they must be on alternate yet similar realities.  For more on the Shadow Strikes # 27, see http://www.pjfarmer.com/secret/Luthors/lethalluthors-davidluthor.html.  Also see http://www.pjfarmer.com/secret/marvelous/supermanchronology.htm for a different origin of Popeye that involves the Superman mythos.  Also, I recommend just going to http://www.pjfarmer.com/woldnewton/Pulp2.htm#Map and doing a search for "Popeye" to find several more articles involving the character.