The second appearance of Popeye’s quartet of like-minded (and -sounding) nephews finally yields pay dirt. It also amply demonstrates that, even in one of their final Popeye cartoons, the Fleischers could still concoct wicked variations on their familiar themes.
Popeye does every trick in the book to cajole his nephews into eating his favorite vegetable, but they refuse, causing Popeye to spank them in punishment. (And an elaborate spanking it is: All four boys are lodged over Popeye’s lap, and when Popeye wallops the first one’s behind, the smack vibrates through the other three fannies, rather like a Three Stooges slap.) But once the boys finally down the spinach and gain their requisite strength, Popeye lives to regret his disciplinary actions.
The Fleischers’ love of frantically paced jazz reaches its peak at this cartoon’s climax, as the boys go to outrageous lengths to make it clear to their uncle, once and for all, that “We…don’t…like…spinach!” Point taken, boys.