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Fred Grandinetti's Popeye the Sailor: The 1960s TV Cartoons - A Book Review

by Mike Haberfelner

August 2023

Fred Graninetti on (re)Search my Trash

Popeye the Sailor on (re)Search my Trash


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Back in the mid-1950s, when the Popeye theatrical cartoons, first produced by Max Fleischer, later by Paramount's Famous Studios, first aired on TV, they became a runaway success, so much so that King Features Syndicate, rights owner to Popeye the Sailor, decided to produce a series of Popeye cartoons itself to reap in all the profit. "Itself" is of course best half right here, as King Features is not an animation studio itself, so that producer Al Brodax had to find cartoon studios all over the country as well as abroad as contractors to create sufficient content - in all 220 shorts, all being premiered on TV in 1960 and 1961. The contractors in question were Jack Kinney, Gerald Ray, Larry Harmon, Gene Deitch, Halas and Batchelor, and, almost ironically, Paramount's cartoon studio. As a result, the cartoons varied vastly in style, quality and content, but it should be noted that they deviated from the formula of the theatrical cartoons quite a bit, where almost invariably Popeye and Bluto got into a fight about something or other that's usually resolved by Popeye eating some spinach to give Bluto a good beating after having been on the receiving end of Bluto's fists for quite a bit beforehands. In contrast, the TV cartoons incorporated quite a few other characters from the Popeye comicstrip universe, like the Sea Hag, Wimpy and Alice the Goon, while re-christening Bluto Brutus due to a misunderstanding in regards to the rights owner of that character, and of course keeping fan favourites Olive Oyl and Swea'Pea. Suffice to say, King Features' Popeye TV cartoons became a massive hit with audiences and would remain in syndication for decades.


When it comes to all things Popeye the Sailor, there's hardly a man more knowledgable on the subject than Fred Grandinetti, as he has proven in various interviews for this website, and he certainly doesn't disappoint in Popeye the Sailor: The 1960s TV Cartoons, a diligently researched volume that doesn't only state facts but also gives a wealth of context and is rounded out by a complete and detailed episode guide - quite besides some wonderful pictures of course that include stills from the cartoons, sketches, and also photos of vintage merchandise and the like. In short, it's pretty much a must-read for Popeye fans but also an important contribution to cartoon history.



Popeye the Sailor: The 1960s TV Cartoons is available at Amazon as paperback - -, hardcover - -, as well as for Kindle -



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© by Mike Haberfelner

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD