Monday, March 14, 2011

029 Too Weak To Work

Title: Too Weak To Work
Studio: Fleischer
Date: 03/19/43
I. Sparber
Jim Tyer
Abner Kneitel
Joe Stultz
Series: Popeye
Running time (of viewed version): 7:00
Commercial DVD Availability: Popeye v3d2

Synopsis: Bluto hungers for medical leave and gets a section 8, until Popeye puts on a dress and nurses him out of the hospital, in the bad way.

Comments: Pie eyed Popeye at the beginning; switches to not pie eyed but no white of the eye, to a white of the eye with no pie pupil. Minimal hazy skyline background early on. Bluto kinda sounds like Sniffles all growed up. There's a pleasant smoothness to the battleship as a background. Self referential having an ambulance go to the screen in a movie theater. But they show the theater, which pulls you (aka me) out of it a bit. Still ugly, but not as ugly as Spinach Fer Britain (and not so un-inbetweened). Popeye in drag, and cut like Veronica Lake. Slow shrink take on Bluto here; all hail Carbunkle Animation. A very different feel to this cartoon, but more Fleischer like in its own way than the last entry. Bluto looks especially weird at the end (in what Bob Jaques identifies in the commentary as Jim Tyer's section).


  1. Tyer's rough edges on Bluto, especially the facial hair, actually recall the designs of the Segar/Sagendorf newspaper strip more than the more refined Bluto that Famous already had begun moving towards in the Johston, Eugster and Tendlar units. Ugly, yes, but ugliness was a part of the Thimble Theater designs.

  2. You could also say ugliness was a part of Berke Breathed's book Mars Needs Moms, but that doesn't make me like the designs in that movie.
    Also, did the Thimble Theatre Bluto ever have those kind of eyes?

  3. No, not the eyes, just the rougher facial look (I believe it was the Willard Bowsky unit back around early 1935 that started smoothing out/cutening up the Popeye series characters, which also made them easier to animate -- aside from being cruder, Tyer's designs also require more lines than what your average character had by the early 1940s).

  4. This is a beautiful job, in this blog and in 35 and 39 cartoons. I am from Porto Alegre Brazil, and i am producing a film exhbition only with movies about music. And i would like to screen on session of old short cartoons about music, like Owl Johnson I love to singa , Dixiland Droopy, Tom Turkey & His Philarmonica, something like that and etc. I would love to have you like a curator of this session, if you have interest of course. My email is and this is the website of the exhbition

    Please drop me a line.



  5. You are most kind to think of me, but my focus is not on musical cartoons (or the music of cartoons), and the material I could be said to have a special expertise in is a very limited subset of cartoons as a whole.

    THat being said, here's a rundown of likely candidates from my blogs:

  6. So is this cartoon from Fleischer or Famous Studios?