Greek Mirthology (1954)
Article 5487 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Seymour Kneitel and Tom Golden
Featuring the voices of Jackson Beck and Jack Mercer
What it is: Popeye cartoon
In order to get his four nephews to eat spinach, Popeye regales them with the tale of Hercules and how he discovered spinach would give him super strength.
Another ground rule I’ve recently set to help me decide whether I was going to review certain cartoons is pertinent to the Popeye cartoons specifically, and that is that use of spinach to give Popeye strength was not in and of itself enough to make the cartoon qualify. This one enhances the fantastic content by featuring the character of Hercules (as played by Popeye) who gets his strength initially by sniffing garlic. It also helps that the cartoon uses the spinach gimmick as its central theme also makes it a bit more relevant. Though I wouldn’t call this one a great cartoon, it is one of the better of the fifties Popeye cartoons, and the ancient Greek setting gives it a bit of a change from the domestic settings of most of the others. IMDB list the participation of Mae Questal as the voice of Olive Oyl in this one, but I’ve chosen to omit her in the credits above for one simple reason; Olive does not appear in this one at all. Instead, we get Popeye’s four nephews who would rather have ice cream than spinach, and, of course, Bluto.