Watertown Man Pens Book on History of Popeye Cartoons

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Watertown’s Fred Grandinetti recently published a book on Popeye the Sailor.

Watertown resident and popular culture historian Fred M. Grandinetti announced that he has written a new book on Popeye the Sailor.

Grandinetti has shared his love of Popeye and other classic cartoons on Drawing With Fred, which can be seen on Watertown Cable. The book, however, required additional research.

“It took me 3 years to write and I had to re-watch 220 cartoons on YouTube,” Grandinetti told Watertown News.

It addresses the history surrounding the sailor’s made for television cartoons produced by King Features Syndicate from 1960 through early 1962. Due to the increasing demand for new Popeye cartoons these color episodes were farmed out to different animation studios all over the world. The end result was a series of two hundred and twenty cartoons which were uneven at best.

“When I watched these as a child I did not notice the numerous animation errors. To me, and many other children, it was just more Popeye to watch. As I grew into my teens I questioned why Popeye’s pipe kept vanishing without him taking it out of his mouth. I also wondered why the same scenes were often reused,” Grandinetti explained “Because these films lacked time and money the animation in several is sloppy. However, many are quite enjoyable to watch with no problems whatsoever. The quality depended upon the personnel who worked on a particular cartoon. I was getting tired of critics painting the entire series with a bad brush and wanted to set the record straight.”

He continued: “These cartoons introduced generations of children to characters first introduced in the sailor’s comic strip including; The Sea Hag, Rough House, King Blozo, Alice the Goon,Toar and Geezil. We also saw a lot more of Eugene the Magical Jeep, who came from the 4th dimension. Several plot-lines, used in these television cartoons, were pulled straight out of the comic strips from the 1930’s.” 

These films were a huge financial success and increased production of Popeye merchandise during the 1960’s. The book titled, Popeye, The 1960’s TV Cartoons, is available from Amazon and published by BearManor Media.

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