Vacation With Play is the 178th Popeye cartoon, released in January 1951 by Famous Studios. It features Popeye and Olive as the vacationers, Bluto as the resort athletic director and main antagonist, a bevy of beautiful women by the pool, and a pair of helpful squirrels.
Popeye and Olive drive to a holiday resort at Lake Narrowhead. Upon arrival, Popeye wants only to take a snooze, while Olive is determined to partake in all the activities. Failing to rouse her sailor beau, Olive hears a loudspeaker announcement summoning all the 'lovely girls' to the pool area for swimming instruction. There we see brawny athletic director Bluto displaying his large muscles while the swimsuit beauties (including a Lucille Ball lookalike) strike alluring poses hoping to gain his attention. In a gag that was repeated from Popeye Meets Hercules, Bluto zeroes in on the slender Olive w hile ignoring her much more full-bodied competitors.
Bluto gives the eager Olive a private archery lesson as she gushes over him being 'so strong and muscular.' The dozing Popeye, meanwhile, is awakened by a pair of busybody squirrels, and he proceeds to interrupt the archery, golf, and tennis lessons with disruptive stunts, much to Olive's annoyance. Bluto finally succeeds in knocking Popeye out cold and back into his hammock with the help of a solid steel tennis ball.
With The Sailorman out of the way Bluto serenades an enthralled Olive on a canoe ride to a remote island cabin in the lake. Locking her inside and mostly unseen by the audience, he asks for a kiss and apparently attempts to force himself on her as she begins to scream for Popeye's aid. Escaping his clutches momentarily, Olive is pursued by Bluto with a fishing rod and net as she flops around like a landed trout.
The squirrels, pantomiming the danger Olive is in, at last get the spinach into Popeye and the sailor is off after Bluto. One mega-punch sends the lustful lothario flying into the air and a second rockets him to the water wheel of an antique gristmill. We watch as his beaten form slowly rotates on the wheel and his head is repeatedly submerged in the millstream until he is unquestionably 'washed up' and no longer any kind of threat.
At the conclusion Olive and
Popeye are back together and playing ping-pong--with Popeye once again comfortably ensconced in his hammock.