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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Holiday Fun: Vintage Popeye Horseshoeing Cartoons for You!

Click to play.

So you think woman farriers are something new? How about Olive Oyl for a role model?

The first cartoon posted here for your enjoyment is Anvil Chorus Girl, made in 1944. This is one of the first Popeye animated short films to be created in color, and it is the first with Mae Questal as the voice of Olive Oyl and Jackson Beck as the voice of Bluto. Popeye's cartoons made during World War II were quite controversial, and some were even banned and have only recently become available for study by cultural historians.

The second cartoon, Shoein' Horses, has a great introduction song and was made in 1934. As you will see, Anvil Chorus Girl is basically a remake of Shoein' Horses, with some war-related themes added.

What does a sailor man know about running a shoeing shop? Popeye's willing to do whatever it takes to impress the lady blacksmith in these theater-length cartoons from the early days of animation.

Click to play.

In these cartoons, you will see that the animators spent some time in a forge to get the details down. The opening shot shows a sign reading "no coupons needed", referring to coupons used to pay for services during the war. Notice the fabulous horse-shoe shaped doorway to Olive Oyl's shop! And the sharp ice calks that Bluto heaves into a shoe.

You may also notice that Popeye's clothes change between 1934 and 1944. That is because Popeye went to war in 1941 and, after that, was always shown in military sailor "whites" rather the multi-colored civilian clothes you see in the 1934 version. That's one way to tell how old the Popeye cartoons you are watching are.

Enjoy these vintage cartoons, share them with the kids in your life, or just scroll on to some other news. I know that some people are like me and will enjoy the details and have a laugh, especially at the way that, in spite of all her trials, Olive Oyl always comes out on top at the end. These are rare vintage Popeye, an American icon from all our childhoods. And they still make me laugh. How about you?

Happy Holidays from Hoofcare and Lameness and Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog!

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