20 September 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
Fun in the diner
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.
While maybe not quite classic Popeye, though it is close, 'We Aim to Please' is still very good and very funny, using the diner setting cleverly. 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 Popeye, Olive Oyl and Bluto. 'We Aim to Please' has everything that makes the Popeye series so appealing in its prime era and does nothing to waste the three main characters or make them less interesting.
The story is an interesting and beautifully paced one, never being dull, if formulaic (not uncommon with the Popeye cartoons), though with a lot of variety and creative moments. The humour and gags make it even more entertaining with very amusing to hilarious gags that cleverly utilises the diner, and the cartoon is hardly devoid of them.
All three characters are great, though Olive Oyl's material is not as great as Popeye and Bluto's, though she is used very nicely. Those two are spot on and their chemistry drives 'We Aim to Please' and has so much energy. Popeye is always amusing and likeable but for me Bluto is here the funnier and more interesting character. Stealing the cartoon though is Wimpy, always a very entertaining character who should have been in more cartoons and this is one of his funniest appearances with the best line (mentioned already).
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. Mae Questel fits and voice Olive Oyl well, much better than Bonnie Poe. The same can be said for William Costello, though there is a preference for Jack Mercer.
All in all, nearly a classic but not quite. 8/10 Bethany Cox