I don’t know what’s best about the Popeye cartoon Brotherly Love, Sammy Timberg’s great title song or the urban blight backgrounds that scream Depression-era Lower East Side.
Bent lampposts, broken windows, warped brick walk-ups, boarded up spaces between buildings, uneven cobbled streets, sheets on clotheslines, you can find it all in these mid-‘30s Popeyes. They’re so great, I wish the characters would stay out of the scene. Here are some random shots.
In the distance you can see the harbour with a ship in it.
It’s so unfortunate the background artists in this period never got screen credit at Fleischer’s.
For the record, the lyrics for Olive’s song at the start of the short go:
What we all need is brotherly love.
You can’t go wrong with brotherly love.
Let everybody be
One great big family.
No scrappin’, no yappin’.
How happy we will be!
Now I don’t care whose brother you love
As long as they’re in brotherly love.
Make every Tom and Dick and Otto
Obey our golden motto
‘Cause what we need is brotherly love.