First Test Footage Of Sony Animation’s CGI Popeye Is An Impressive Tease


Sony Pictures Animation have had Popeye on their slate for some time – and it’s still not officially greenlit. But come on, who doesn’t love a muscly guy who guzzles down spinach via his pipe? Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania) for one. The director has cut together a preview, that’s most definitely not a trailer, or a clip, or even a sneak peek. Its intentions are to showcase the initial ideas and directions he would take the character should the studio pick it up.

Well, clearly the studio are happy with what he’s produced thus far. Despite all of the voices heard in the footage being temporary, Tartakovsky insists the purpose of the snippet is to gauge audience reaction to the proposed feature film. If there’s a director lined up to pump new life into the stalwart character, it’s him. During the clip, he refers to his lifelong passion for Popeye:

From a young child, I was really destined to make one movie, and that movie was Popeye. Even so much, that when I first started animation, my very first teacher was a 90-year-old Popeye animator from the Fleischer studios, Gordon Sheehan. So I feel like it’s destiny that’s brought me here to Sony Pictures Animation to make Popeye an animated feature.

And exactly how he intends to freshen up the slapstick chappie:

Popeye more than anything else really embodies the physical humour, and the whole reason I do animation is to laugh at movement. […] We’ve been working on Popeye for a little while now and we wanted to really explore how Popeye would translate from the old ’30s cartoons and ’40s cartoons to today. To contemporise him without losing the heart and sincerity of what Popeye really is, and what he meant to me as a kid and as an adult.

Should the response be positive – and we absolutely loved it – Tartakovsky aims to draw from Popeye’s background. Sort of an origin tale, if you will, bringing back a host of characters.

What did you think of the first footage of Popeye? Should Sony turn it into a full feature?