Happy Birthdaze (Popeye the Sailor)
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Happy Birthdaze is Popeye's 120th theatrical cartoon, animated by Famous Studios, which was released on July 16, 1943.
Why It Sucks
- Throughout most of the cartoon, Popeye gets constantly tortured on his own birthday due to Shorty screwing up and Olive Oyl blaming every mistake on Popeye. What makes this worse is that Olive never realizes the truth and just abandons the whole thing, as well as possibly dumping Popeye altogether in this short.
- Shorty is pretty unlikeable as a character, as he comes off as this manchild who also acts somewhat like a troublemaker, but whenever he's all upset, he keeps on blaming himself to the point of wanting to kill himself until someone tries cheering him up, which almost makes him feel like some kind of spoiled brat and/or attention seeker. Plus his voice sounds really annoying.
- On top of that, each scene where Shorty attempts to commit suicide by shooting himself with a pistol (only to get spared from suicide twice by Popeye (twice) and Olive (once)) are very dark and depressing. In fact, Shorty attempted to commit suicide three times in this short.
- Fortunately, Seymour Knietel fixed his character in "The Marry-Go-Round". He has an interest in Dorothy Lamour and is surprisingly an expert on giving Popeye tips on how to propose to Olive. Shorty's normal voice on the other hand isn't saying much, but his personality changed from the previous short.
- Olive Oyl is also very unlikeable here, as she blames Popeye for every bad thing or mistake that happens despite it all being Shorty's fault. In fact, she goes as far as to stomp the birthday cake down the hole Popeye set up to stop Shorty from ruining anything else which lands on Popeye's face. This altogether makes it worse since this was Popeye's own birthday.
- At the end of the short, Popeye literally murders Shorty after all the crap he has put him through the cartoon. While he deserved it, it feels pretty out of character, especially considering how Bluto has done a lot worse things to Popeye, especially later on during the Famous Studios era.
- After Popeye kills Shorty at the end, a text shows up that says "The Bitter End." It possibly meant that Shorty didn't deserve to die and Popeye was just a cruel man, if that was how it was meant to go or not, even though Popeye had a perfect reason to why he killed Shorty.
- Shorty's birthday song to his friend Popeye "Happy Birthday To My Pal" is incredibly annoying and lazy, as its song lyrics is basically the song's title repeated over and over to the tune "London Bridge Is Falling Down".
- Because of the cartoon's plot which had ensued, it is implied to be perfectly obvious at the beginning on why Shorty himself is so unpopular to the point that he doesn't even receive any letters from his loved ones unlike Popeye and the other navy sailors.
- Shorty at least gets his comeuppance at the end, even if Popeye was tortured throughout with Olive never realizing the truth, including Popeye being slightly out of character as well as the whole "Bitter End" text showing up.
- Decent voice acting from all of it's characters, except Shorty.
- Amazing animation during its time.
- Shorty is more tolerable in his last two appearances and there aren't any suicidal jokes compared to this. His voice became less annoying when Arnold Stang voiced the character in "Moving Aweigh".
- Funny moments here and there, such as the neighbor "losing his footing" when Popeye and Shorty play hockey at Olive's house in one scene.
- The entire ending where Popeye murders his navy buddy Shorty is often cut from television broadcasts such as Cartoon Network and Boomerang due to the dark nature of the scene (pun intended) suggesting murder despite that the whole scene is covered in the dark. Although, this scene remained uncut only on Cartoon Network's 2001 anthology series The Popeye Show.