|Seein' Red, White 'N' Blue|
Spinach Fer Britain
Too Weak to Work
Seein' Red, White 'N' Blue is the 115th Popeye theatrical short, directed by Dan Gordon for Famous Studios and released on February 19, 1943. It is a World War II propaganda cartoon featuring Bluto trying to escape the draft and fighting along with Popeye against some Japanese spies, Hirohito, and Adolf Hitler.
While Bluto is busy at work in his stable he receives a letter calling him for his draft service in the Navy. Bluto is very reluctant to join in and pretends to be ill. Popeye, who works at the draft bureau, is suspicious and sends a female robot in to create an enthusiastic reaction from him. Even though his trick works Bluto still refuses to join the Navy. In a desperate effort to become disabled Bluto jumps out of the window, followed by Popeye, who tries to catch him. They both crash deep into the ground, in fact so deep that Satan himself asks them to leave Hell. After Bluto and Popeye have climbed out of the massive crater Satan is kicked by an angel, after which they both disappear.
Bluto tries to flee, but is hit in a car accident. Even though he is knocked out the ambulance is only interested in the tires of the vehicle and carries these away on a stretcher instead of Bluto. Bluto tries to get hit by a falling safe instead, but again Popeye rescues him. This angers Bluto so much that he locks Popeye inside the object and then throws it away. It crashes inside an orphanage, where several Japanese spies are undercover, dressed as babies. While Popeye is being beaten, Bluto drops by to inform him that his arms are bandaged and that he finally will be able to escape the draft. When Bluto sees that Popeye is in trouble, he tries to help, but both men are knocked out by the Japanese. While they are being ridiculed, Popeye grabs his spinach, eats it and gives some to Bluto (can and all). Both men defeat the Japanese and Popeye's fist reaches so far that he knocks out Hirohito. The Emperor is hit so hard that he falls on the backside of his horse, and says: "It should happen to Hitler." The next scene does indeed cut to Hitler, who gives a speech by saying: "B.O!" ("body odor", a reference to a then-popular Lifebuoy soap commercial). Hitler too is beaten so hard that he loses his moustache. A title card appears, asking: "Is there a doctor in the house?", with the word "doctor" crossed out and "undertaker" written in crayon. While he lies unconscious, Hermann Göring runs in and asks his Führer melodramatically "to speak to him". Hitler just says "B.O." again, whereupon Goebbels pulls his face away in disgust.
The cartoon concludes with Bluto finally signing up for his draft, while the imprisoned Japanese all spell his name: "B-L-U-T-O", in reference to the commercial for Jell-O from that time.
The cartoon is notable for being one of the few where Bluto and Popeye actually fight together against a common foe. Because of its dated references to World War II and stereotyping of Japanese people, it is no longer shown on American television.
The style of the cartoon is more reminiscent of a Looney Tunes or Tex Avery cartoon, with wild, frenetic takes and fourth wall-breaking gags geared at adults. Some of the jokes, like the appearance of an attractive woman to the tune of "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" and the use of the term "B.O.", were used in Looney Tunes cartoons as well.
- Seein' Red, White 'n' Blue at the Internet Movie Database