bridge ahoy

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Popeye the Sailor in Bridge Ahoy (1936)

Popeye lives in the bleakest universe of any popular cartoon character of his era. A sad, grey urban hellscape where it’s every man for himself and nothing is beyond the pale. A land where people go to elaborate, violent, and possibly deadly lengths just to spite others.

In Bridge Ahoy, Bluto inexplicably owns the only ferry connecting a bustling metropolis to the mainland, which he uses as an excuse to be sadistic. Popeye and Olive think this is unacceptable, and so retaliate by building a bridge (we are thankfully spared the many city council meetings that Popeye and Olive presumably had to attend to make this happen). An orgy of violence erupts. Ironically, Popeye is acting against his own interest as a sailor.

This cartoon does have a jaunty theme song, though.