Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Toon Legends: Popeye in Wimpy The Moocher (1960)

As we've documented before, Popeye's shorts went through four different studios under the King Features Television umbrella in the early 60's. This included the remainder of his run with Famous/Paramount, before being passed to, in no particular order, Rembrandt Studios (Bill Snyder/Gene Deitch), Larry Harmon (w/Hal Sutherland and Lou Scheimer on staff), and Jack Kinney's crew.

"Wimpy the Moocher" is a Paramount/Famous entry under the KFS logo, and includes a pair of characters from Thimble Theatre. Geezil was making his first appearance in a Popeye cartoon since the 40's, and Rough House (Jackson Beck) would become a semi-regular member of the cast going forward.

The title of the short is derived from Cab Calloway's seminal "Minnie the Moocher", and plays off J. Wellington Wimpy's penchant for scamming a free meal from Rough House. Wimpy (Jack Mercer), realizing that Rough House hates him, tries again to take advantage of his usual mark, hoping that Popeye (Mercer) and Olive Oyl (Mae Questel) can help him out. Beck's voice for Rough House is similar to what he would use to narrate Superman on radio, and later, television.

Rating: B.

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