Gonna keep up the Fleischer stuff. Here’s another great cartoon of theirs, and one of my favorites, “Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor”. This is a specially made Popeye short. For one, its a two-reeler, so its about 17 minutes as opposed to the standard 6-7 minute Popeye shorts. It’s also in color, another huge deal. I talked about the Fleischer’s invention of Rotoscope animation in my Gulliver’s Travels post. This cartoon features another innovative Fleischer technique. You’ll notice the 3 dimensional panning backgrounds throughout this short. They used to build miniature models on a turntable, and then placed the animation cels vertically (as opposed to being placed flat on an animation light table). The miniature background would be moved one frame at a time in tune with the animated character as it walked. This technique wasn’t used as much by other studios. Walt Disney’s team developed the multi-plane camera as a way of creating the illusion of depth, by placing several layers of a background, enabling the camera to truck into a scene as well as pan side to side, and this technique is what became a standard for creating depth in animated films. But the Fleischer’s innovation is still very cool, and I remembered be wowed by it the first time I ever saw it. It’s 3D! Before there was 3D!
Here’s “Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor”:
I so wish the Fleischer’s had made a Popeye animated feature. That would have killed.