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King of the Mardi Gras

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King of the Mardi Gras is Popeye's 26th theatrical cartoon, released by Fleischer Studios in 1935. It is notable as the first cartoon where Popeye is voiced by Jack Mercer. It features Popeye, Olive Oyl, Wimpy (in a non-speaking bit part) and Bluto as the titular antagonist.

Plot

Mardi Gras

The cartoon begins with a panorama of revelers at Coney Island. Gradually, we see banners proclaiming 'Bluto the Great,' apparently one of the amusement park's stellar attractions, being a combination strongman, acrobat, and magician.

At last we see Bluto in the flesh on a stage filled with props, barbells, and brawny depictions of himself, singing a braggadocious ditty:

I'm King of the Mardi Gras,
In fact I'm the whole bloomin' show,
I'm King of the Mardi Gras,
I dare anyone to say 'No!'

Olive Oyl is seen in the audience looking at Bluto.

Popeye Strongman in King of the Mardi Gras

Popeye shows off for the crowd.

The camera pans to a corresponding and adjoining stage, only makeshift in character: It is comprised of an old door propped up on barrels. On it is Popeye the mighty sailor, singing his own theme song. The crowd ignores him in favor of Bluto, until Popeye catapults a frankfurter at the competition and upsets the goldfish bowl he is balancing while he juggles. Suddenly Bluto is a laughing stock, and the crowd gravitates over to Popeye.

There ensues a contest between the strongmen for the crowd's attention, with a main focus on Olive. Using stage-magician tricks, Popeye levitates her in midair, then Bluto attempts to saw her in half. Olive escapes from this fate, fleeing on a nearby roller coaster. In rapid succession, Bluto takes off in pursuit of Olive, and Popeye follows suit.

The focus shifts away from Olive to the two male opponents battling at dizzying heights and blinding speed. Bluto gradually gets the best of Popeye and leaves him dangling helplessly by his chin between the ties on the track. But, as usual at these most daunting moments, Popeye finds his way to his spinach, and goes to face Bluto once again to the strains of "The Stars and Stripes Forever".

This time it is Popeye who has the upper hand, holding Bluto's roller-coaster car overhead as he roller-skates along the track and threatens to dump the terrified Bluto out at every turn. Finally, after divesting him of the protection of the car he had been riding in, Popeye sends Bluto for a car-less ride from the height of the ride to the bottom, where he finishes the 'King' with one mighty punch.

The impact of Bluto's bulk on a Test of Strength pole sends the bell to the top a multitude of times, and the unconscious 'King of the Mardi Gras' is awarded a mouthful of cigars as a prize. Popeye then rescues Olive from her own speeding roller-coaster car, and the two celebrate victory, with Popeye as the undisputed 'King'.

Gallery

External links

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