The Technicolor Two-Reelers
In 1936 Popeye starred in the first American theatrical
cartoon that was twice as long as a regular animated film from
the period. The cartoon was entitled Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the
Sailor and was the first in the series of the three two-reel "Popeye"
specials. Beside its magnificent use of the Stereoptical camera, the cartoon
made use of the full spectrum of the Three-Color-Technicolor process with
breathtaking results. This was, actually, the first time colour was used
in a "Popeye" picture. The three Fleischer two-reelers were major
attractions when they originally played alongside their live-action "accompaniments."
Like Sindbad, the other two two-reel specials, Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's
40 Thieves (1937) and Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1939), featured Popeye in
the exotic settings of The Arabian Nights, internationally popular children's literature. The head animator on the first two colour specials was Willard Bowsky, while the arguably weakest entry in the series, Aladdin (which also lacked the Stereoptical effects), was animated by Dave Tendlar. Here are some amazing frame grabs
of these three films, which have been in the public domain for years now:
Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba's 40 Thieves
Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor