January 30th, 2006

krazy koati

So keeps good behavior

While I did go out today, it was to see what was open. I made it to a few malls; the only places open were 7-Elevens, fast food places, and a few Internet gaming cafes. McDonald's happy meal toys have gotten past the Narnia tie-in centaurs and satyrs and such, and plunged into the Year of the Dog with ... cute, brightly colored plastic dogs in teacups, glasses, and so on. Its apparent theme: ``Puppies in cups''. The Burger King kids meal toys are an odder bunch, kid's choice (subject to availability) of The Incredible Hulk, a safe (for Hulk to break?), a white thing that looks like a photo stand, except you have to paste the photo in, and a little I Dream of Genie-type bottle. Its apparent theme: ``We had stuff left over''.

Now I'd like to ask bunny_hugger for her help in coming up with an expression of frustration, since she does that in text so much better than I do. When I was home for Christmas I picked up the Popeye Original Classics DVD, a Thunderbean/Mackinac Media production. The label sounds great: a fine selection of the shorts, including all the two-reelers; interviews with Jack Mercer, Mae Questel, Jackson Beck, and animators; a 1963 TV commercial for Soaky soap toys; a 1933 sing-along bouncing-ball cartoon with Popeye; a late 30s Popular Science short showing the Flesicher studios in the process of making Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp; pencil tests; art galleries; a tour of Chester, Illinois. That's Elzie Segar's hometown, and based on the video its economy is based wholly on Popeye memorabilia and parades.

But -- the shorts don't play. I tried on two DVD players and every time I ``Play All'', or select a particular short, or any of the interviews, or about half the other features, it stops playing altogether. Some of the features play, and maybe I'll find I can play it on the office iMac or something, but -- boy. Based on the extras this has to be the most love Popeye has gotten since the movie, possibly since the two-reelers, and I can't watch it! Thus, my need for bunny_hugger to find the right way to express my frustration.

Trivia: To build the town of Sweethaven, Robert Altman had 7,776,000 linear feet of wood imported to Malta, from Austria, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan. Source: The Popeye Story, Bridget Terry.

Currently Reading: London: The Biography, Peter Ackroyd.