40th Anniversary Edition
review by Bobby Blakey
When I was a kid there was one movie I watched numerous times and no lie made my mother cancel cable because they played it all the time. That film was the 1980 Robert Altman film Popeye. The famed cartoon was brought to life from a screenwriter Jule Feiffer and features the first big screen appearance of the late great Robin Williams along with Shelley Duvall, Ray Walston, Paul Dooley, and Paul L. Smith. Could this film still deliver the silly fun I remembered or will it fail to eat enough spinach to give it what it needs to succeed?
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this strange live action adaptation is getting the Blu-ray treatment that includes a Digital copy of the film, along with nearly 30 minutes of all-new bonus content featuring excerpts from one of Robin Williams’ final interviews, an interview with director Robert Altman from 2014, as well as a newly conducted interview with Stephen Altman, trailer and featurettes taking you behind bringing this cartoon to the real world.
I am fully aware that this film is over the top, ridiculous and everything in between and I still love it. It is a full on cartoon brought to life and fully embraces what it is. The set design of the town itself along with the acrobat like physical comedy that is alive throughout around the story makes it its own character in itself. The overall tone is literally a cartoon brought to life that I get doesn’t work for most, but for me it makes me chuckle every time.
Williams fully embraces the character that he was born to play. Everyone in the cast were perfect fits for their characters and there is a wide variety of actors I didn’t even know where here in smaller roles that have gone on to bigger things. Believe it or not I am not a big fan of the Popeye cartoon, but have loved this film since the first time I saw it in 1980 and had just as much fun with it diving back in.
This release not only includes a great transfer of the film, but also nearly 30 minutes of all-new bonus content featuring excerpts from one of Robin Williams’ final interviews, an interview with director Robert Altman from 2014, as well as a newly conducted interview with Stephen Altman and so much more. Grab your copy of the Popeye 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray available now from Paramount Home Entertainment.