Popeye the Sailor Man has endured in many different mediums over the generations. There are endless adventures about the seafarer with a heart of gold…and a soft spot for spinach and the love of his life, Olive Oyl. What once began as comic strip in the 1930’s, eventually went on to spawn cartoons, radio shows, video games, endless merchandise, and even a live-action movie starring Robin Williams, as Popeye. However, his story isn’t exactly timeless. The character’s popularity has certainly had it’s ups and downs over the decades. Despite having one of the longest running comic strips in American history, the character has being missing in the pop culture landscape in recent years. That’s why director Genndy Tartakovsky, intends to firmly reintroduce Popeye for the 21st Century.
Tartakovsky isn’t a name that you may know immediately, or even be able to pronounce correctly, but you certainly know his work. He has served as director on such beloved modern animated classics as Star Wars: Clone Wars, Samurai Jack, The Powerpuff Girls, and the recent theatrical release Hotel Transylvania, among other achievements. He is prolific and aligns himself with quality productions. After working on all those iconic properties, he had been building towards getting his hands on his dream project, Popeye. In the clip below, you will see how his passion for the film literally oozes out of the frame. It is yet to be seen if modern audiences will be accepting of ninety minutes of the sailor. However, if Tartakovsky’s track record is any indication, it could be more than we are expecting. Here is your first look at Popeye:
The animation looks fluid and the comedy is as zany as ever. As was mentioned in the feature, they are really playing to the property’s strength of physical comedy, which should be incredible for audiences in to see in 3D. In any case, it was definitely a better call to go with CG animation… then to cast this guy in a live-action film.
Popeye will be in theaters in 2016.
(Fun Fact: The video game Donkey Kong was originally conceived as a Popeye game. With his nemesis Bluto, in place of the legendary gorilla. However, things fell apart due to the licensing agreement. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it.)