I confess. POPEYE starring Robin Williams is one of my favorite films. I loved it when I saw it as a kid in 1980 and I love it now. It was one of Robin Williams very first starring roles. Actually, it may have been Robin Williams very first starring roles. He did a great job as my favorite one-eyed sailor. And I felt as far as the actors they chose to fill the roles of the characters created by E.C. Segar THIMBLE THEATRE, it was very well cast.
Heck!! It's even directed by Robert Altman!!
Although I think my favorite bit of casting in the movie was Ray Walston as Poopdeck Pappy. Popeye's long lost father. Perhaps because he might actually remind me of my own Dad.
Cartoonist Jules Feiffer writes his own introduction story for the character that does not really borrow much for Popeye's own first appearance.
However, to be fair Popeye's actual first appearance seems like an afterthought. However, the character was not the original star of the strip and was only intended on being a used for a few weeks before he was dropped. But Popeye proved to be so popular with readers that they had no choice but to keep him.
Which I really didn't mind as a kid that they didn't use the original first appearance as part of the story line because I really didn't know about it.
And it still doesn't bother me. I think Feiffer wrote an enjoyable script filled with all the quirks and nuance's of E.C. Segar's strip and even the Max Fleischer cartoons. And I found this introduction of Popeye just as acceptable.
The movie also includes a fantastic soundtrack by the late Harry Nilsson who seemed born to write music for Popeye.
Even his song Gotta Get Up fro 1971 seems like it could have fit into the soundtrack of POPEYE.
And he did some songs I really liked in the movie like this ditty:
For someone like me who doesn't care for movies with musical numbers, this one I don't mind. I think I like the fact that the songs and the singing is somewhat rough around the edges. Which go very well with the characters Segar created.
I think it's a movie that people really need to give a second chance. If you watch it as nothing more than harmless fun, you'll enjoy it.