31 August 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Popeye meets the Indians
Dave Fleischer was responsible for many gems. Ones that were amusing and charming, though over-cuteness did come through in some efforts and the stories were always pretty thin, with appealing characters, outstanding music and visuals that were inventive and with innovative animation techniques.
'I Yam What I Yam' is not quite one of the best Popeye cartoons to me. It is extremely well done though and has a lot going for it. Have always enjoyed many of the Popeye cartoons a good deal and like Popeye very much, Fleischer's efforts were always well animated and scored with lots of entertainment value and great chemistry between the characters. 'I Yam What I Yam' has much of what makes the Popeye series so appealing in its prime era and does nothing to waste the main characters or make them less interesting. It is another nice change of pace, with a different setting and the absence of Bluto.
The story is an interesting and beautifully paced one, never being dull, if formulaic (not uncommon with the Popeye cartoons). The material make it even more entertaining, 'I Yam What I Yam' is non-stop fast-paced fun, avoiding the trap of repetition.
All the characters are great, though Olive Oyl is a bit underused and her material not as great as the rest. There is a lot of energy here and while 'I Yam What I Yam' is somewhat politically incorrect it's not offensive, not to me that is. The Gandhi caricature is a strange one but works within the setting. Popeye is always amusing and likeable and Wimpy likewise.
Furthermore, the animation is beautifully drawn and with enough visual detail to not make it cluttered or static and lively and smooth movement. The music is also outstanding, lots of merry energy and lush orchestration, adding a lot to the action and making the impact even better without being too cartoonish. Fleischer's direction is always accomplished and his style is all over it.
Voice acting is dynamic and of very good quality, Bonnie Poe doesn't quite fit Olivr but William Costello is fine as Popeye and Charles Lawrence is even better.
Overall, strong effort. 8/10 Bethany Cox