In some of the Popeye cartoons, his nemesis is called Brutus; in others he’s called Bluto, but he’s clearly the same character. Does anyone know the story behind this inconsistency?
Heh…I Googled for the answer, and what site do you think was near the top?
I read the title and thought, “OH!! Cecil did an article on that before!!!” I was so ready to be Johnny-on-the-spot with the link, then the page came up…
So anyway, that’s your answer. I’ll go back to lurking.
As long as we’re on the topic–my memories are somewhat vague regarding Popeye, but wasn’t Brutus/Bluto more a rival than a villain?
He was whatever the script called for. Anything from “Buddy in a friendly competition with Popeye” down to “Psychopathic villian out for Popeye’s very soul” (if only he knew he could just buy it at Shop Rite for under a buck a can).
Yeah, Popeye’s acquaintance with Bluto varied depending on the needs of the episode. Sometimes they were friends, until Olive Oyl came between them. Sometimes, they didn’t know each other before that episode, and sometimes they were bitter enemies.
“Brutus” made one other animated appearance after the 1960/61 shorts: an ABC Saturday Superstar Movie from 1972 featuring several comic strip characters from the King Features syndicate.
In retrospect, those cartoons are an interesting lesson for small children who are just beginning to learn about the way people relate to one another. Bluto wasn’t usually really evil, but just at odds with Popeye over Olive Oyl or whatever.
…And he’s large.
Poor Olive Oyl. Constantly torn between a huge, hairy, potential kidnapping rapist who would occasionally hug hard enough to make your arms and legs start flapping like streamers, and a disassociative schizophrenic vegetarian who constantly muttered incomprehensible gibberish to himself and started fights everywhere he went.
Bluto is evil. And party to one of the best fight sequences I’ve ever seen Segar put to paper. It’s a pity he only showed up for a week, two weeks at the most, during the entire time Segar drew the strip.
The cartoons? shrug I like the Fleischer shorts better than anything KFS et seq. could come up with, but for me they’re not canon.