Many cartoon and comics characters in times like these lead an existence separate from such worldly events, or remain outside participants. This was the case with Popeye in the comics, however, it was decided by Fleischer Studios that their animated version should actively participate in the then-mounting conflict and, as a sailor, he was made to join the ranks of the U. S. Navy, don the white Navy uniform and be posted on a battleship. Bluto would follow suit and, as Famous Studios retained this setup, a new character named Shorty was introduced as a Navy fellow. Many animated shorts still adhered to the classic comedy formula with the characters off-duty, but others like You're a Sap, Mr. Jap had Popeye in combat against the caricatured Japanese.
When Famous Studios took over the series in 1942 they chose to keep Popeye's career status indefinetly. Even after the war ended, he could be seen in his white uniform in the majority of their cartoons. Such appearance would later be included in the 1960s animated series nearly two decades after the war's end, and as late as in Nintendo's arcade game in 1982.