It’s Popeye’s Birthday!

By Fred Grandinetti | July 14th, 2023

Images honoring the Sailor Man’s debut as an animated cartoon


An animation cel of Swee’pea, Wimpy, Olive Oyl, and Popeye used in the production for the 1972 cartoon, “The Man Who Hated Laughter.” This hour-long adventure originally aired as part of “The ABC Superstar Movie.” Popeye the Sailor Man made his debut as an animated cartoon character on July 14, 1933. These 12 images honor the character’s long career.

Popeye the Sailor Man made his debut as an animated cartoon character on July 14, 1933. Ninety years later, his approximately 500 animated cartoons can be viewed on television, in theaters, and on YouTube. To honor the milestone of Popeye’s birthday, entertainment historian Fred Grandinetti shares 12 images representing the character’s long career in animation.


In honor of Popeye’s birthday:

 

This advertisement mentions the success Popeye cartoons were having on theater screens during the 1930s. Published here in honor of Popeye's birthday.
This advertisement mentions the success Popeye cartoons were having on theater screens during the 1930s.

Promotion for Popeye’s third, color, two-reel special, “Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp” (Fleischer Studios, 1939).
Promotion for Popeye’s third, color, two-reel special, “Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp” (Fleischer Studios, 1939).

A model sheet of Olive Oyl used in the production of the cartoon, “A Job for A Gob.” Courtesy of Bill Janocha.
A model sheet of Olive Oyl used in the production of the cartoon, “A Job for A Gob.” Courtesy of Bill Janocha.

A 1958 children’s recording noting the spinach-eater was TV’s most popular cartoon star!
A 1958 children’s recording noting the spinach-eater was TV’s most popular cartoon star!

This poster was used to announce when a live Popeye show was coming to your town. Pictured is Famous Studios’ version of the sailor.
This poster was used to announce when a live Popeye show was coming to your town. Pictured is Famous Studios’ version of the sailor.

A mirror manufactured in Japan depicting how Popeye appeared in the majority of his television cartoons produced from 1960-62.
A mirror manufactured in Japan depicting how Popeye appeared in the majority of his television cartoons produced from 1960-62.

From a German poster promoting the Popeye & Snuffy Smith TV-cartoons from the early 1960s. Both series were produced by King Features Syndicate.
From a German poster promoting the Popeye & Snuffy Smith TV-cartoons from the early 1960s. Both series were produced by King Features Syndicate.

While the comic strip design of Popeye is pictured in this 1966 advertisement, the sailor is holding the television cartoon version of Brutus.
While the comic strip design of Popeye is pictured in this 1966 advertisement, the sailor is holding the television cartoon version of Brutus.

From a 1969 edition of Broadcasting magazine.
From a 1969 edition of Broadcasting magazine.

An animation cel of Swee’pea, Wimpy, Olive Oyl, and Popeye used in the production for the 1972 cartoon, “The Man Who Hated Laughter.” This hour-long adventure originally aired as part of “The ABC Superstar Movie.”
An animation cel of Swee’pea, Wimpy, Olive Oyl, and Popeye used in the production for the 1972 cartoon, “The Man Who Hated Laughter.” This hour-long adventure originally aired as part of “The ABC Superstar Movie.”

Hanna-Barbera brought Popeye and his crew to Saturday mornings beginning in 1978 with “The All New Popeye Hour.” This led to a Valentine Day special aired in prime time on CBS.
Hanna-Barbera brought Popeye and his crew to Saturday mornings beginning in 1978 with “The All New Popeye Hour.” This led to a Valentine Day special aired in prime time on CBS.

Promotion from Broadcasting magazine illustrating Popeye’s enduring popularity. The sailor man was drawn by his long time cartoonist, Bud Sagendorf.
Promotion from Broadcasting magazine illustrating Popeye’s enduring popularity. The sailor man was drawn by his long time cartoonist, Bud Sagendorf.

Entertainment historian Fred Grandinetti has been writing about Popeye since 1983 in numerous magazines, newspapers, and websites. Grandinetti also produces the award-winning cable access series, Drawing with Fred, for Massachusetts cable-access television, and published Popeye The Sailor, The 1960s TV Cartoons

For more on Popeye the Sailor Man, check out:

Those ‘Quickie’ Popeye Television Cartoons

Popeye, The Wandering One-Eyed Sailor, From 1954 to 1959

Happy 90th Birthday, Popeye, the Cartoon Strip Character!

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