Nix on Hypnotricks (1941)

Article 4831 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-24-2015
Directed by Dave Fleischer
Featuring the voices of Margie Hines and Jack Mercer
Country: USA
What it is: Popeye cartoon

Olive Oyl is placed under a hypnotic trance over the phone, and begins wandering the streets of the city. Popeye desperately tries to save her from harm.

The hypnotist here isn’t Bluto, but he does look like a short, skinny version of Popeye’s regular nemesis. Still, outside of setting the plot into motion and being present at the end, he doesn’t play a big part in the action; most of the cartoon involves Popeye’s attempts to keep Olive Oyl from coming to harm while wandering across streets, roofs, and construction sites. The trouble for Popeye is that in this cartoon, his real nemesis isn’t the hypnotist; it’s the fact that he seems to be laboring under the same curse that plagues Wile E. Coyote in that everyone, everything, bad luck, and the laws of physics all try to thwart him. In the end, it’s his run of bad luck that makes the cartoon one of the funniest ones for this character. The cartoon even references one of the Fleischer’s newer franchises; after eating the spinach, the ‘s’ comes off the can and plasters itself on Popeye’s chest, and he gains the ability to fly. Still, I do think it interesting that his greatest feat of power here (he shifts a skyscraper several feet) happens before he takes the spinach.


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