Monday, January 30, 2012

Negative Spin-ach

I'm not familiar with the band Wilco. But I am familiar with Popeye. What do they have to do with each other? Heck if I know. But they're working together for some reason. Their collaboration was teased in last week's Popeye comic strip, which makes absolutely no sense, but is pretty nice looking.

Click to enlarge

And now their collaboration has been released, and it also makes absolutely no sense, but it sure as heck isn't nice-looking. I give you the music video for "Dawned On Me", directed by Darren "DrX" Romanelli and designed by Frank Caruso of King Features (who also drew the comic strip above).

This was animated by a studio in Singapore. No offense to the actually talented animators that live in Singapore, but it definitely shows- it's going for a '30s Fleischer look, but ends up looking more like one of those Korean redrawn colorized Popeyes instead. Olive Oyl's head looks too small for her body, and the wrinkles on Swee'Pea's head make him look like an old man. (Granted, Swee'Pea does look somewhat like an old man, but this doesn't help him any.) And, for that matter, the question has to be asked again: what does Popeye have to do with any of this? Is King Features so desperate to get Popeye out into the public eye again that they'll stick him in anything?

Interestingly, King claims that this is Popeye's first hand-drawn appearance since 1987's Popeye and Son, a Hanna-Barbera series which interestingly was also the first Popeye animation after the death of his long-time voice and Guinness world record holder for such Jack Mercer (Maurice LaMarche provided the pipe-smoker's pipes). But that's not actually true. In 2001, Popeye and Bluto appeared in an ad for Minute Maid orange juice which was very true to the spirit of old Popeye cartoons and much more well-animated than this music video, but was made infamous for when it became a discussion topic as some believed it harbored a subtext that the foes had become gay lovers. Long before The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert proved his mock newsman chops in this vintage Daily Show sketch in which, much like his future mock-conservative alter ego, he comes to the over-reactive conclusion that orange juice makes you a pirate smoker.

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Fruit Juice Pt. 2
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Popeye proved he was able to survive the rumors about him and Bluto, and chances are he'll survive this music video as well. Given his moxie and muskels, it's probably not the worst thing he's had to deal with.

POPEYE ©2012 King Features Syndicate, Inc. ™Hearst Holdings, Inc. THE DAILY SHOW ©Comedy Partners. No ownership intended or implied.