On Bluto


I was raised on Popeye cartoons, so it is only fitting I also to a tribute to other characters in the series. (Popeye here) … Time for Bluto!


Large, bearded, muscle-bound antagonist to Popeye

Classic bully as he prefers brute force over strategy

Like Popeye, a sailor and attracted to Olive Oyl

Occasionally, Bluto and Popeye start at as friends

Occasionally knocked out by Olive Oyl and by Sweet Pea


Created by Elzie Crisler in 1932

First appeared September 12, 1932 in Thimble Theater comic strip

Early Popeye cartoons had other villians

Also called Professor Bluteau and Pierre Bluto

Bluto-Brutus is a story in itself involving copyright

Here’s the first Popeye feature, which so happens to include Olive, Bluto, and Betty Boop

54 thoughts on “On Bluto

    • Fasab,
      No kidding regarding Olive. Then again, I wonder what is in the artist’s mind.

      Not my eye – but I did have it in yesterday’s OITS. Nonetheless, one big OUCH!

      Thanks for commenting.


    • Good Morning John in Seattle … You are up early today. Glad this post was able to take you back in time! Popeye after school (4 pm) was where I saw most of my Popeye cartoons! Thanks for commenting


  1. How I loved the Popeye cartoons from so many years back… that can of spinach just made me sick though, hated the stuff…. sure the cartoon was backed by a vegetable farmer… just to get kids to eat spinach …


    • Bulldog,
      I’m with you – loved Popeye and hated spinach. Interestingly, through the years I’ve discovered that I love raw spinach … but dislike spinach cooked … but it’s fine cooked as an ingredient. I know … strange. πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting.


  2. Oh, the hours I spent, a metre away eyes fixated to an already antiquated black and white television, cross legged and in pyjamas. And it was the older shows I remember more as a result of CBC not having the funds to telecast newer cartoon episodes. They were true drama, full of intrigue, a place for a young minds to escape.Now that you mention Brutus, sure he was antagonistic, a shoddy character but his character never went completely devious or diabolical. He could always be out witted, outmanoeuvred. If I recall correctly I was a little sympathetic to him as I grew older. Popeye was at times a little annoying, more hyperactive than calming, Brutus kept him grounded.

    I enjoyed this.


    • Howl,
      Oh my … the eloquence of your words! Well done. Great descriptions of the two characters. In some ways, Popeye was also a bully. (Oh the parent groups that fought showing them.) Thanks for visiting and commenting.


  3. As far as I was concerned, Popeye was the whole reason Saturday morning existed. That was back when cartoons were only on for a few hours Saturday morning. Dang! I’m always dating myself on your blog…


  4. It’s interesting to see how Bluto evolved. He was much fatter and spoke only in grunts in the Fleischer Bros cartoon, but in the Famous Studios short, he has both an actual speaking role and a waistline. I noticed that both shorts have a connection aside from the same characters — Seymour Kneitel. He was an animator on the first Popeye cartoon and he directed “The Nearlyweds”. As usual, an excellent Saturday post, Frank.


    • Lame,
      Interesting point about Bluto’s evolution. I also wonder what drove the changes. Meanwhile, changing views of popular figures as Santa and Mickey Mouse are interesting. Meanwhile, you seem to have an interest in early animations! Thanks for sharing your insight!


  5. I never liked Bluto, but I guess you’re not really supposed to. He’s mean. I come by my fondness for Popeye through my dad—Popeye was his favorite cartoon as a kid when he watched cartoons at the movies.


  6. The cartoon that got me to like spinach as a kid. I was soooo impressionable.
    Nowdays I’ll pay you Tuesday for a burger today. πŸ™‚


  7. It was actually Popeye that turned me onto spinach. Still like the stuff (occasionally) to this day.
    I never understood the Bluto/Brutus shift. Guess I’ll have to wait until your sequel explaining the whole story, eh? πŸ˜‰


  8. love the old b/w popeye cartoons when both he and bluto would kind of mumble little snide remarks semi under their breath. did you see the popeye movie with robin williams? he did about as good a job as could be expected, but i’ve heard hollywood plans to try again. we’ll see.


  9. Popeye was probably my favorite cartoon. I think I could sit down and watch those cartoons right now and enjoy them almost as much as I did as a kid! And Bluto was the perfect foil! I don’t know if I ever saw any of the really early Popeye cartoons. The memory is fading…. πŸ™‚


    • Debra,
      Glad this rekindled your Popeye memories. Meanwhile, I do remember seeing the last one because I recall the Betty Boob scene. Meanwhile, not sure how many of the old ones I’ve seen/not seen. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  10. I was never a Popeye fan — my mother used that cartoon to try and make us eat our spinach. She failed. I can still barely swallow when it comes into contact with my tongue!


  11. Great to see Popeye and Bluto, Frank! I also loved the movie with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall (not everyone did). Actor heavyweight Paul L. Smith was great as Bluto in the movie, he was also memorable in Midnight Express and Dune.


  12. Pingback: On Popeye Day | A Frank Angle

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