Friday, 8 June 2018

Popeye and Catwoman

Before there was a Batman comic, there was a Catwoman. Kind of.

In Never Kick a Woman (1936), Olive Oyl gets annoyed at the attention some Mae West-like gym teacher is giving Popeye, so she eats some spinach and beats her up—but not before the spinach turns her briefly into a hissing cat, ready to pounce.

I’m sure some think-piece could be written about sexuality and how Popeye assumes the female role (coy and even blushing), the gym teacher the neuter (during—dare we say—the climax, when she loses her masculine ability to fight and her feminine breasts) and Olive the male (even wearing Popeye’s hat and smoking his pipe at the end), but you can read that at a pontificating blog. This blog just posts funny screen grabs.

Seymour Kneitel and Doc Crandall get the animation credits and there’s yet another good opening song (by Sammy Timberg?).


  1. The late 1935-early '36 period for the Popeye series seemed to have a new song in just about every other cartoon. Combined with Jack Mercer's lighter take on the character coming to the forefront and the improving drawing styles at the studio (though in the Bowsky and Tendlar units before making it to the Kneitel unit) it was probably the most consistently good period of the entire series.

  2. This one got reworked at Famous, didn't it? I seem to recall a similar cartoon there that substituted Bluto (in drag) for the Mae West-like female.

    1. That similar cartoon is 1950's Gym Jam (a rework of Vim, Vigor and Vitaliky; 1936).

  3. Hans Christian Brando9 June 2018 at 17:05

    The most disturbing image is the still where the spinach has worked its way down to Olive's shoes.