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Safari So Good

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SafariSoGood

Safari So Good is Popeye's 150th theatrical cartoon, released by Famous Studios on November 7, 1947.  It features Popeye as the main protagonist, Olive Oyl as the love interest, a Tarzan-like Bluto as the main antagonist, and a host of jungle animals.

Plot

Bluto Tarzan I

As in A Wolf in Sheik's Clothing, Popeye and Olive are on an expedition on the African continent. Out of nowhere, 'Tarzan' Bluto swings by on a vine and sweeps her off her feet. Back at his jungle compound, Bluto beats his chest and does a bicep pose (Olive taps it and produces a metallic clank, a gag repeated from The Anvil Chorus Girl) as Olive marvels, "So big and strong, and I adore that sarong!"

Popeye bursts in on this scene and angrily orders the "musclebound baboon" to "stop muscling in on [his] goil." The bemused behemoth casually tosses the sailor into a tree and returns to exhibiting his prowess: he bounces a coconut back and forth between his bulging biceps as an enthralled Olive films the action with her movie camera. Concluding this game, Bluto squeezes the coconut between his bicep and forearm and sends a stream of coconut milk inexplicably to awaken the slumbering sailor. Popeye retaliates by gathering an armload of coconuts and batting them at the jungle man's chest, turning it into a tympanum.

Olive runs afoul of a crocodile and is rescued by Bluto, who turns the animal into an accordion that plays "Rock-a-Bye, Baby" (a possible reference to a scene in Pitchin' Woo at the Zoo). He then hurls it at Popeye, by whose hand it is transformed into the usual department store display of shoes, handbags, and luggage. The strength contest escalates-- Bluto struggles to lift a pair of elephants, but is shocked to be in turn lifted overhead--with one hand--by a disdainful Popeye (another borrowed gag from The Anvil Chorus Girl).

An all-out war ensues. Without resorting to his spinach, Popeye gets the best of the much-larger man and, utilizing a flexible tree as catapult, flings him out into space and to a distant part of the jungle. But Bluto summons his animal allies for an all-out assault on the intruder and, again making use of his swinging vine, gathers up Olive by her hair and absconds with her to his treetop aerie.

Popeye is fed his spinach by a friendly monkey and begins the process of transforming the various animals into an array of consumer products.  A zebra becomes a striped window awning; a pair of leopards is made into a pair of fuzzy dice; a tiger becomes a dart board and a rhinoceros the giant dart that hits its target, and so on. The cooperative monkey shows up on the scene with an empty coat rack and hangers; after traversing the dust cloud that has enveloped the battle site he emerges with a selection of full-length fur coats.

After finishing off the last of the animals and taking time to congratulate himself, Popeye turns his attention back to Bluto.  He grabs the tree the treehouse is perched on by the roots and pulls the lofty structure down to Earth (similar to what he did to Count Marvo's apartment building in The Royal Four-Flusher), knocks on the door, and playfully hides in some nearby bushes.  A befuddled Bluto - speaking for the first time in this cartoon - comes to the door and says, "Did somebody, ah say, did somebody knock?" (a reference to the Senator Claghorn character on the then-popular Fred Allen radio show). Popeye nails him with a huge uppercut and sends his quarry flying through the air once again. 

Bluto mows down a grove of trees upon landing (as in She-Sick Sailors), which themselves fly into the air and return to Earth to form a cage enclosure (as in Tar with a Star) that imprisons the brawny wild man. Bluto kicks at one of the bars that confines him and, injuring his toe, pitches a childlike tantrum which Olive captures with her camera. As the Popeye theme strikes up, the monkey emerges from under Popeye's pith helmet and toots the sailor's pipe twice in time with the music.

External links

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