|Olive Oyl for President|
All's Fair at the Fair
Olive Oyl for President is a 1948 entry in the Popeye the Sailor animated short subject series, produced by Famous Studios and released on January 30, 1948 by Paramount Pictures. The short is a reworking of a 1932 Betty Boop cartoon, Betty Boop for President, and depicts what Popeye imagines the world would be like if Olive Oyl were president.
The downtown streets of Popeye and Olive Oyl's town are flooded with crowds who have turned out to hear various presidential candidates trying to convince voters to elect them to the White House. Olive wonders aloud why no women are running for president, to which Popeye replies, "because they're too busy runnin' fer huskbands!"
Undaunted, Olive is certain what the United States needs is a female president, and begins to speak about what she would do if she were president. When Popeye ridicules the idea, Olive beans Popeye over the head with a frying pan, and snarls "Yes, if I were President..."
Unconscious, Popeye suddenly finds himself in a fantasy world where Olive herself is on stage appealing to voters in song. Olive promises luxuries such as clean streets decorated with bows, giant ice cream cones for children, and creative solutions to public transportation and housing shortages. The once-skeptical Popeye now applauds his girlfriend's dream, and, to his delight, Olive wins the election. She becomes the country's first female President, and quickly tames a Congress populated with literal representations of the two major political parties: donkey Democrats and elephant Republicans).
Popeye awakens from his dream with a changed heart, and Olive Oyl soon finds herself riding a parade float, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, as an enthusiastic Popeye shouts into the crowd, "for Presidink... Olive Oyl!"
- Many of the gags and situations in Olive Oyl for President are reworked from Betty Boop for President, produced by Famous Studios' predecessor Fleischer Studios in 1932. Newly created Famous cartoon character Little Audrey, first introduced in the Noveltoon series entry Santa's Surprise, is seen briefly licking a giant ice cream cone; Audrey's first starring short, Butterscotch and Soda, would be released six months afterwards. Olive Oyl for President was also double-featured with the Little Lulu short Dog-Showoff, which was the final Little Lulu short after Famous Studios decided not to renew the license to Marjorie Henderson Buell's character and created the aforementioned Little Audrey. All of the non-Lulu cartoons mentioned also star the same voice actress, Mae Questel.
- Olive's version of the "If I Were President" song (the earliest having appeared in Betty Boop for President) was parodied in a track of the same name from Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, the 1992 debut album by hip hop group The Pharcyde.
- This cartoon was one of the last in the series to use the same opening music since the transition to color. In 1948, the opening of "The Sailor's Hornpipe" would be shortened, but the opening theme would otherwise remain the same until 1951, when the theme was entirely re-recorded. The 1943-48 Popeye theme and the closing music from this particular cartoon's Paramount end title were lifted verbatim for use in the opening and closing logos of Associated Artists Productions (a.a.p.) on Popeye cartoons originally released in color.
- This cartoon marks the only theatrical appearance of Little Audrey not to end up under the ownership of either Republic Pictures (now part of ViacomCBS via Paramount itself) or Classic Media (successor to Harvey Films, now owned by NBCUniversal via DreamWorks Classics), as the a.a.p. library would be owned in later years by United Artists (1958-1986), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1981-1986), Turner Entertainment (1986-present), Time Warner (through their Warner Bros. division, 1996–2018) and now WarnerMedia (since 2018, as a division of AT&T).
- Olive Oyl for President at the Internet Movie Database