Saturday, November 15, 2008

Blog DVD Review: Popeye The Sailor: 1941-43, Volume 3

Welcome to another edition of the weekly Blog DVD Review. This week we take a look at Warner Home Video's Popeye The Sailor: 1941-43, Volume 3. Popeye is of course the classic TV sailor who eats his spinach and gets energy to save Olive Oyl from Bluto! See my Blog DVD Review of Popeye The Sailor: 1941-43, Volume 3:

Popeye The Sailor: 1941-43, Volume 3 (Warner, $34.98) brings 32 more classic unedited Popeye cartoons along with more bonus features to DVD on a classic 2-disc set! So far, we got the first 60 theatrical shorts (1933-38) on the volume one set on four-discs and then we got the next 31 Fleischer Popeye cartoons (1938-1940) on a two-disc set. We are now finished with the Fleischer Popeye cartoons after the episode "Baby Wants a Bottleship." We get that as the second episode on disc two. Then Popeye continued on with more cartoons from Famous Studios (1942-1957), so we have started those on this as well beginning with the infamous episode "You're a Sap, Mr. Jap." The War was going on in then and Popeye was going after the Japanese.
Each short on this set is in black & white and runs anywhere between 6-8 minutes. There are no chapter stops again, which is acceptable here because the episodes are very short. The video is remastered once again and it looks great! No editing of the episodes because of ethic reasons either...it is from the original masters. So you get to see Popeye battle those "Japs!" Well, blow me down! The audio is decent, nothing too bad about it.
Packaging has a nice light blue outer box this time with Popeye showing a big fist t Bruno and Bruno not backing down on the front cover...the back cover has information on the set and has some screen shots of the shorts along with a big photo of Popeye stepping on Bruno as he took him down. There is also a section detailing the special features, but it is more detailed inside the case. Inside the box is a digipak case, as we had on the last set. The front of the digipak has a full-body shot of Olive Oyl. Opening the case, we get a very nice disc-by-disc breakdown for disc one on the left side, which has lots of screen shots and artwork of Popeye's nephews below that. We also get the episode number, title, if it has commentary and by who, and the list of special features per disc. The two discs are on the right side, overlapping each other unfortunately, once again. The discs are all in that light blue color, matching the color scheme of the set. Disc one's artwork has Popeye with showing his muscles while holding a Spinach can and disc two has Bluto holding his hands together tightly. When we take out both discs, you can see more photos in the packaging itself. The back of the digipak case has the disc two breakdown (similar to disc one's), more screenshots, and artwork of Bruto holding Olive Oyl as Popeye creeps up from behind.
The menu screen has Play, Episodes, Special Features, and Languages. But before the main menu screen comes, we get auto trailers on both discs, disc one has the pirating is not good promo and disc two has trailers for other Warner Home Video products (Charlie Brown, Smurfs, Tiny Toons, Freakaoid!). The ethic message saying that these shorts were never intended to stereo-type, blah blah, are on this set like we saw on the volume one DVD. We didn't get that on the volume two DVD for some reason, though. The main menu has the theme playing in the background (and it loops), with the same color and artwork as the box cover. Languages section has us in English only and subtitles can be added for English or French as well. Special Features are on both discs, and are listed in a list form on the menu. Episodes is where we can choose the classic shorts. If it has commentary or a Popeye Popumentary, we can also select that from here, but we can also do that in the special features section. All very similar to the previous sets.
Moving on to those special features. As I mentioned, they are evenly placed on both discs. So, here we go, we have a lot once again: Disc one has three Popeye Popumentaries. The first is called "Directing the Sailor: The Art of Myron Waldman" (7:20), as we learn more about the art of the great Myron Waldman. Inteviewed are Mark Hayerson, Myron Waldman himself, wife Rosie Waldman, Steve Sanchfield, and Jery Beck. Then we have "Popeye: The Mighty Ensign" (7:47), as this feature they talk about the great Popeye. Interviewed are Glenn Mitchell, Frank Gladstone, Steve Sanchfield, Will Friedwald, Mark Kausler, Eric Goldberg, Myron Waldman, and Rosalie Waldman. The final Popumentary is about Popeye's nephews, "Pip-eye, Pup-eye, Poop-eye, and Peep-eye: Chips Off the Old Salt" (3:40), as we learn how they were developed. Originally they were Popeye's kids in a dream, but later were developed as his nephews. They look very much like Popeye, don't they? Interviewed here are Glen Mitchell, Bob Jaques, Frank Gladstone, Dan O'Shannon, Jorge Gutierrez, and Sandra Equihua. Then we have three classics from the Inkwell vaults. The first one is "The Clown's Little Brother" from 1920 running 4:50. Then we have "The Cartoon Factory" from 1924 running 7:20. And finally "Koko Needles the Boss" from 1927 running 6:21. None of these had sound, so some might find them boring. Finally we have three audio commentaries on this disc, they include commentaries from Historians: Jerry Beck and Steven Waldman and Director: Bob Jaques.
Moving on to disc two, it has a retrospective documentary titled "Forging the Frame: The Roots of Animation 1921-1930" (27:41). This is the best extra on this set and it details the animation in the '20s. So cool, but so old at the same time. There are a lot of interviews on this to list, but SOME include Donald Crafton, Michael Barrier, Leonard Maltin, Will Friedwald, Jim Healy, and many more. Then we have another classic from the vault from Western Electric titled "Finding His Voice" from 1929 that runs 10:46. Then finally, we have four more commentaries on this disc, they include commentaries from Historian: Jerry Beck; Cartoonist: Kali Fontecchio; Animator: Mark Kausler; and Directors: Bob Jaques, John Kricfalusi, and Eddie Fitzgerald.
I once again highly do recommend any fan of classic cartoons and Popeye to pick-up this set. If you have the first two volumes, then a no-brainer, you have to get this to continue the classic collection. If you haven't gotten those, get those first and then get this volume. It is well worth it! Let's hope we get a volume four very soon and it is packed with special features just like this set and the preceding sets. We are all done with the Fleischer cartoons and have started on the Famous Studios cartoons, those lasted 15 years, so we have a long way to go. I just hope we get four-disc sets again like volume one, as two-disc sets would take forever to get through. Anyway, watch Popeye go to war for America as he battles the "Japs." So all fans should be on deck to buy this set! So toot-toot your way in buying it!
-- Reviewed by Pavan
(5/5 stars)

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Related links:
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New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)

I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete First Season

01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One / Review
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
02/07 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - Sabrina Down Under
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 1 - School's Cool - Boy Crazy
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 2 - About a Family - Hangin' Out
02/07 - 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)
02/07 - Vice Principals - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
02/14 - Beavis and Butt-Head - The Complete Collection
02/14 - Grace and Frankie - Season Two
02/28 - Fuller House - The Complete First Season
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Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, February 27

The Big Bang Theory - "The Dependence Transcedence" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Tensions rise when the boys struggle to complete their government project on time and Sheldon tries an energy drink to stay awake. Also, Penny and Amy go to a “party” at Bert (Brian Posehn) the geologist’s house, and Kooothrappali learns Bernadette’s true feelings about her pregnancy when they clean out the future baby room. Dean Norris returns as Air Force Representative Colonel Williams.

Man with a Plan - "Assisted Living" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Adam's parents visit unannounced, they reveal surprising plans for their future living arrangements. Emmy Award winner Swoosie Kurtz and Stacy Keach guest star as Bev and Joe, Adam and Don’s parents.

Superior Donuts - "Takin' It to the Streets" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Franco and Sweatpants discover their new landlord, Fawz, wants to convert their apartment building into luxury condos, they decide to organize a protest. Also, Randy realizes she needs to be nicer to James in order to get a good recommendation for her sergeant’s exam.

2 Broke Girls - "And the Dad Day Afternoon" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Han’s new therapist suggests that Max needs to confront her “daddy issues” and fear of intimacy, she reluctantly heads to Rhode Island to track down her birth father with the diner gang in tow. Also, Oleg is up in arms when Sophie wants him to help out around the house.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 27)

Monday, February 27

  • Keri Russell (Running Wilde) - Watch Keri on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Connie Britton (Spin City/The Fighting Fitzgeralds/Lost at Home) - Connie appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Slink Johnson (Black Jesus) - Slick is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
  • Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) - Adam drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh appears on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo. He also talks about The Arrangement on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) - David chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Leighton Meester (Making History) - Leighton stops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly visits Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • John Lithgow (Trial & Error/Twenty Good Years/3rd Rock from the Sun) - John talks about Trial & Error on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 1:30pm.
  • Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly) - Billy dishes on how This is Us is following in Mike & Molly’s footsteps – and why both shows are so beloved on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) and Craig Robinson (The Office) - Lisa and Craig talk about their new film Table 19 on the AOL Build Show at 2:30pm.
  • Sinbad (A Different World/The Sinbad Show) - Sinbad is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • Bradley Whitford (Trophy Wife) - Bradley visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Craig Robinson (The Office/Mr. Robinson) - Craig appears on The Real, so check your local listings.