Sony Pictures Releases First Glimpse of Genndy Tartakovsky's 'Popeye'

The footage is "not a clip, it’s not a trailer, it’s nothing from the actual movie," says the creator
Sony Pictures Animation

Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory creator Genndy Tartakovsky has been teasing his take on the classic King Features Syndicate newspaper strip and cartoon character Popeye for some time, but Thursday afternoon, Sony Pictures Animation revealed a first look at just what that take might look like.

The footage, described as an “animation test” by the studio is “not a clip, it’s not a trailer, it’s nothing from the actual movie,” Tartakovsky says in the introductory footage. “It’s just something that kind of represents what we want to do. I couldn’t be more excited by how it turned out.”

The CGI footage maintains the classic look of the characters as first envisioned by creator E.C. Segar in 1929, and features Popeye, Olive Oyl and Bluto, as well as Eugene the Jeep, the quasi-dog with magical powers introduced seven years into the newspaper strip’s run. As might be expected from a Tartakovsky project, it also takes full advantage of the elasticity and surreality of the cartoon format, with Olive’s limbs frequently defying the laws of physics as she runs around to escape Bluto’s invading pirates.

Sony first announced a Popeye feature back in 2010, with Tartakovsky attached as of June 2012. Initially, the movie was scheduled for a September 2014 release before the director’s involvement with the studio’s Hotel Transylvania franchise pushed it back to an as-yet-undisclosed 2016 date.

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