Popeye was one of my mainstay cartoons growing up. It was funny and unique and I enjoyed it immensely. Looking back on it, it’s pretty cheesy and probably not really worth watching. But it still holds a special place in my heart.
I was unaware of this CGI movie until just now, and I have to admit the idea of it is not very endearing. Much like my initial thoughts on the Peanuts film, I just don’t think this could be all that good. I’ve been giving this some thought to try to figure out my own thoughts and put them into word for you. I think the problem for me is that reviving these old cartoons for new audiences fundamentally changes them. The time period in which we live now is far less capable of producing wholesome cartoons. The general values of modern society are pretty far off balance. I’m not trying to say that the era in which these cartoons were initially produced was some golden age. I don’t believe in a golden age. Just like now, there were problems then too. It’s just that now our problems are different, and I think our moral decay as a society is far more advanced.
There’s an additional element here for me as well. I like CGI. I think Pixar has done amazing work with CGI. But in terms of these older cartoons, CGI lacks something of the charm a cartoon like, say, Popeye had. CGI cartoons tend to lack heart and soul. My kids watch the new CGI animated Garfield, and I’ve sat and watched a few episodes with them. It lacks so much of the heart and soul of the Garfield and Friends cartoon I grew up on. Granted, the budget on this new cartoon is probably not good, but I just don’t like it compared to the old one. And I can’t imagine that old one had a better budget.
All this adds up for a less than ideal situation for me to look forward to this. But if it means anything, I thought the test footage showed a little bit of heart so maybe it will be worth seeing.