Cookin’ with Gags (1955)
Article 5490 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Izzy Sparber
Featuring the voices of Jackson Beck, Jack Mercer and Mae Questal
What it is: Popeye cartoon
Popeye is the target of a series of April Fools’ Day pranks from Bluto. Can he beat Bluto at his own game and win back Olive Oyl?
This Popeye cartoon has a lot in common with the previous one, in that once again, spinach isn’t used (its one appearance in the cartoon is part of an April Fools’ joke), and the fantastic content in this one is that the final gag hinges on the appearance of a sea monster. Yes, the monster is faked (as were the ghosts in FRIGHT TO THE FINISH), and there’s no denying that this cartoon is more marginal than the previous one. The cartoon is so-so, but one thing I’ve definitely noticed about the fifties Popeye cartoons is how often they recycled the same plot – Popeye and Bluto fighting for Olive’s attentions, Bluto coming out on top initially but Popeye finally prevailing, usually (but not always) with the help of spinach. One really gets the sense that they were just churning these out by this time.