Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Swee’pea in BABY WANTS A BOTTLESHIP (1942) – Farewell, Fleischers

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Swee’pea is by far my least favorite Popeye character; even more so than Olive when she’s in Bluto’s clutches, Swee’pea exists for the sole purpose of being rescued (and annoyingly oblivious to the trouble he’s caused). So I’m doubly sorry that the Fleischers’ final Popeye cartoon is another routine Swee’pea entry. One has to believe that the Fleischers were indeed yanked off the Popeye series with no forewarning and that if they’d had a chance, their finale would have been far more ambitious.

Olive drops off Swee’pea so that Popeye can spend the day babysitting him aboard ship (because we all know that Marines had nothing better to do in 1942). Swee’pea, to no great surprise, gets loose aboard the ship and nearly causes more havoc than the Japanese could have done on their own. This cartoon brings you right to the brink of wishing that Swee’pea could have gotten what he deserved — maybe a Wile E. Coyote-like ride on one of the rockets he set off, or getting scooped up by Child Services once and for all.

Well, Messrs. Fleischer, it was nice while it lasted.

On a rating scale of 1 to 4 spinach cans, I give this cartoon: CanCanCanHalf

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