We admit we had no idea Sony Pictures was even working on this, but here is some amazing footage from the upcoming Sony Pictures Animation 3D animated movie Popeye. The director is Genndy Tartakovsky, and he appears first in this video, talking about Popeye as a project and Popeye as a cultural icon. Then we get some classic action from Popeye, Bluto, Olive Oyl, a passel of pirates, and even Eugene the Geep.

The animation stays true to the style of the old Fleisher/King Features Syndicate cartoons, with the same character dynamics, strongly familiar character designs and sight gags. There was a particular style of animation in the 1930’s, before characters had skeletons with fixed geometry in them. Characters would squash and stretch to ridiculous extremes to get the scene dynamic to work. They’d deform to impossible shapes, or use visual shorthand to evoke emotional states, and this test animation shows all these principles in action. Olive Oyl, in particular, demonstrates all the crazy rubber band moves she was famous for in the original cartoons, including the rippling circular mouth shapes for her ululating wail.

There’s very little information out there on this film. No cast list is available yet, nor is there a release date beyond it coming out some time in 2016. This obviously isn’t finished work, either; some of the timing and blocking is a little off, or a little stiff. But it is oh, so promising.

 

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