Assault and Flattery (1956)
Article 5491 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Izzy Sparber
Featuring the voices of Jack Mercer, Jackson Beck, Mae Questal
What it is: Conservation-minded Popeye cartoon … as in recycling
Bluto brings a charge of assault and battery against Popeye in court.
One of the easiest ways to make a cartoon in a hurry is to come up with an idea that allows you to use footage from other cartoons to fill out the running time, and that’s just what happened here. With the format of this episode, it was easy to do; when one of the characters gives testimony, fill it out with footage from another cartoon. This movie borrows from three cartoons, but the lion’s share of the footage is from A BALMY SWAMI from 1949, in which Bluto plays a hypnotist/magician who makes a fool of Popeye and then hypnotizes Olive Oyl. This provides the fantastic content of the cartoon, as Bluto’s magic powers seem to be real; he even hypnotizes a pile of bricks to form into a wall. Maybe someday I’ll review the original cartoon, but unlike this one, that one isn’t in public domain and is a little difficult to find. For the record, I also suspect that GREEK MIRTHOLOGY borrowed its Hercules footage from another Popeye cartoon as well. At any rate, the best laughs here are from the older footage.