Nurse-Mates (1940)

NURSE-MATES (1940)
Article 5304 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-23-2016
Directed by Dave Fleischer and Orestes Calpini
Featuring the voices of Pinto Colvig, Margie Hines, Jack Mercer
Country: USA
What it is: Popeye cartoon

Popeye and Bluto compete to see who can care for Swee’Pea while Olive goes to the beauty parlor.

When I covered I LIKE BABIES AND INFINKS, I found myself in the position of dealing with a Popeye cartoon in which no character was given superpowers by the consumption of spinach, a plot element that remains this series’ biggest ace in the hole as far as fantastic content is concerned. Basically, this cartoon is more of the same, only less; not only is no spinach consumed, but the foodstuff makes no appearance whatsoever here. Furthermore, the gags are less wild and are less likely to verge into the fantastic; the biggest exception (and for my money, the best gag in the cartoon) is when Popeye uses spot remover on Swee’Pea to remove ink stains and believes he’s removed the baby’s face as well. All in all, I found this a little less entertaining than that previous short. Jack Mercer still does some of his trademark muttering for Popeye, but the humor doesn’t seem quite as pointed. It’s still much better than the Popeye cartoons of the fifties, however.

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