'POPEYE the SAILOR' VOL.2 continues the ongoing release of the entire SAILOR SAGA from beginning to end, and these early, black-and-white [bar one] works from FLEISCHER STUDIOS represent more cartoon comedy gold from ANIMATION'S dazzling era of the 1930s and early '40s.
This 2-disc set presents bright, vividly detailed prints that are a credit to these works: there is occassional shaking, wobbling opening titles etc, but these occur only twice I really noticed, and overall these cartoons are in pretty good shape, certainly good enough for me, [someone who can't stand substandard picture clarity.]
Kicking off with 'I YAM LOVE SICK',-----a brilliantly offbeat short featuring bizarre boffins giving POPS the medical going-over----this set contains a wide range of non-formulaic, inventive, atmospheric delights.
A highlight here is undoubtedly 'GOONLAND', in which PAPPY is saved from imprisonment on a remote island: this beauty contains the scene where the onscreen battling between POPEYE and the GOONS causes the filmstrip to break----and a LIVE-ACTION pair of hands hastily repairs the damaged film! Fantastic stuff....
Some of these gems I hadn't seen before, and some, like 'MUTINY AIN'T NICE' are atmospheric gems that truly deserve a wider audience: 'WOTTA NIGHTMARE' is an eerie, spellbinding effort containing much surrealism as POPEYE encounters typical 'dreamlike' situations: running in slow-motion, etc. It has to be said that the COLOUR entry here, 'ALADDIN and his WONDERFUL LAMP' [approx. 15 mins long] isn't quite up to the level of the previous 2-reeler 'specials', but still features radiant colour, excellent background design and memorable character poses.
The 'JEEP' makes a welcome appearance [twice] and this set also contains a decent-length documentary on the FLEISCHER STUDIO story, which features much archive clips. A bonus here is definately the TECHNICOLOR 'SUPERMAN' short: 'the MECHANICAL MONSTERS'  : here, lovingly restored to pin-sharp glory......hopefully the entire 'SUPERMAN' cartoon catalogue will be released eventually.
I collect much vintage ANIMATION collections, but these FLEISCHER masterpieces undoubtedly give me the most pleasure. I can appreciate the artistry of DISNEY'S work, but much of their output was over-refined and 'soft' in gag-structure; I personally prefer the no-holds-barred, rollocking anarchy that sums up these hypercharged works.
All that could really equal this stuff would be a fully restored set of TEX AVERY'S M-G-M work, which has still to surface.
'POPEYE' VOL 3 [out SEP. 30] covers the WAR years......the tantalizing clips illustrated here make my mouth water already............can't wait!
I've reviewed all these oddly due to postage from the states lol ^_^
Well, this picks up from where we left off in Volume 1.
And the drama behind the scenes of Popeye never stopped, with The Fleischer Studio move from New York to Miami and trying to keep its strangle hold over Disney.
With this set, you see Popeye develop a softer sense of personality, he has his gruffness ironed out of so to speak.
The shorts are all restored and uncut. And as before they look mightly amazing.
I know there is some title issues with these sets, and my disc has this problem with the sea doors not being there and a new title card coming up, but if you can ignore such a minor fault, its such a wonderful watch.
One masterpiece is the final colour 2 reeler Aladdin and his wonderful lamp, with no Bluto! (Possibly do to his abscence? It is coined as the weakest out of the infamous 2 reelers)
This set also introduces you The Jeep. A mystic and magic dogs famous in the comics.
The set really takes Popeye in directions which are new to the viewers, less fighting and more homely tasks (Like building a house, fixing pipes, looking after Olive) you get some random Bluto voice changes as Bluto's original voice was Gus Wickie who sadly died, and none of the successors really matched to Gus as Bluto.
Overall: The set is worth buying, the animation is outstanding, the shorts hold water and the entertainment factor is there! Its also brilliant to have a dedicated set for Popeye. Now its just a shame that these sets are back in limbo with the Famous Studios shorts in the vaults some where unreleased. But thankfully for now these are going to have to do.
Also, as another reviewer has pointed out, these are Region free.
I don't write reviews as a rule, but this DVD is a revelation! I can't believe how good the quality of sound and vision is on something made so long ago. Whoever cleaned-up and remastered this collection did a brilliant job. That's just the technical plus. The cartoons themselves have stood the test of time better that I had ever hoped, looking as fresh and funny as they did when I first watched them as a kid more than fifty years ago. An added plus was that this US-made DVD worked on my new blue-ray player, so I didn't have to buy a multi-region player. Be warned: after watching it you'll want to add the other two Popeye collections in this series to your shopping list. RECOMMENDED! BUY IT! GUARANTEED YOU'LL WATCH IT OVER AND OVER!
This is a comprehensive second volume of the complete Fleischer Popeye Cartoon films. It comes complete with some fascinating documentary material and is essential for vintage Popeye enthusiasts and film historians. As the cartoons were made in black and white, and have not been colored (i.e, ruined) they are probably not going to be of interest to children today (except the more discerning ones), but these are taken from the original 35mm films, and are sometimes actually beautiful to look at. This may be a step down from the original Segar newspaper strip, but it's hundreds of times better than an recent corruption of Popeye the Sailor. Only available as Region One DVD - I converted my Region Two player to accept this US format, and it was worth it!
I pretty much second what the other reviewers have already said, especially Dave C when he said,' be warned, you'll want to buy the rest once you've seen this.' He's so right, they are all very well restored, its just not worth buying the cheaper ones. Unfortunately they're just a bit too expensive @ the moment.