Popeye 40th Anniversary Blu-ray review

Nov 29, 2020- Permalink

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Robert Altman’s Popeye, Paramount has released a 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray of the movie that starred Robin Williams as the spinach-eating cartoon hero and Shelley Duvall as his love interest, Olive Oyl.

The 1080p AVC-encoded digital transfer is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, just off from the theatrical release’s 2.39:1 ratio. Detail on this video presentation is very good especially in the environment of Sweethaven, where you can see every bit of wear. Facial features and textiles also look very good. Grain is light. The colour palette looks natural but pops when necessary. The black levels are deep and there is still detail in darker areas. A few speckles here and there but no real evidence of digital noise or compression artifacts. It’s just a fun image to look at.

On the audio side, you’re presented with two English soundtracks: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitles are available for English, English SDH, and French. The production has made good use of the 5.1 soundscape with lots of ambient effects spread throughout the surrounds. The musical numbers are bright and dynamic, as is the score. Everything brings you into Sweethaven so well that you might get hit up for a money for a hamburger. But don’t worry, Wimpy assures me he’ll pay you next Tuesday.

On the extras side, the disc also comes with a digital code. The special features include a look at the production elements and cast, a gallery from the premiere set to music, a method to jump to all the songs, and the theatrical trailer.

Popeye is intriguing for its design and the collaboration between Robert Altman and Robin Williams. Toss in excellent video and audio presentations with a smattering of extras and this disc is a recommended addition to your collection.