Posted: February 07, 2003
Another Premise Not Wholly Realized, But Oh That
Olive has an appealing hairstyle and wears a slinky black evening gown (which even shows off her curves in some shots!!!!) and lots of jewelry in this cartoon. Combined with her pretty face and flirty manner, her portrayal here has been known to elicit crys of "WOW!!" from viewers. Would that the cartoon itself were "WOW!!" as well. But, unfortuantely, though Brutus was Olive's college boyfriend, this is a made-for-TV kids cartoon, so the romance is toned way down and never allowed to get too serious. Thus, Brutus vacillates between having the manners and voice of a Famous Studios charmer and being a loud-mouthed, obnoxious bullying blowhard. And Olive keeps alternately acting like she wants to be alone with him and like she wants to escape him. Ther's an interesting concept at the beginning of the film that's unfortunately dropped later. Popeye, posing as Olive's butler, reads in his instruction book that the customer is always supposed to be right. This could have led to him having to take orders from Brutus and trying to find ways to stop Brutus from wooing Olive, while seemingly giving Brutus what the brute wants. Could have been challenging to for the writers and fun for the viewers. But alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Still, the cartoon is among KFS' best and the final Popeye trap is a good one. Brutus starts reminiscing about his days as a football hero. Olive is remembering, too, and swooning and coming on to him big time. Brutus grabs Popeye, squeezes him into a football shape and uses him as a prop. Brutus kicks the sailor through the window and seemingly miles and miles up and away. So the hapless Popeye himself was used as a seduction tool by his rival!! But, of course, Olive is shocked by what Brutus did. The images of the football Popeye flying through the air and Olive tryiong to hold Brutus off with a chair have stayed with since childhood.
These scenes, the premise of the toon, Olive's looks, and some of the flirting and antics (Brutus telling Popeye to take his coat for a walk around the block, Olive and Brutus at that long table, etc.) lead me to heartily recommend this film.
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