Little Swee'Pea (or Popeye the Sailor with Little Swee'Pea) is an American animated short film, released September 25, 1936 and featuring Popeye the Sailor, at the time a star of the cartoons of Fleischer Studios. As is the case with all Fleischer shorts of the period, Dave Fleischer is credited as the director. The cartoon makes use of the Fleischers' stereoptical process, by which modeled sets provide three-dimensional backgrounds for the action of the film. The short is in the public domain in the United States.
Popeye the sailor, bearing a posy, struts jauntily through a site of construction, beams, bricks, and buckets all around; ignoring the danger of passing over a large pothole only partly spanned by a plank, he crosses the street out of the site to reach the corner home of Olive Oyl, whose doorbell he rings, twice turning the switch before the damsel appears, her hair up in a towel and a feather duster in her hand. Still expecting her appearance, the sailor absent-mindedly reaches for the switch again and twists the dainty nose of his lady love. A startled Popeye relieves his angered Olive with the little tussie-mussie and states his intention of taking her to the zoo "to see the aminals." Olive is too busy ("Your loss," mutters the Sailor-Man) but offers Swee'Pea as a companion instead. As an agreeable Popeye exits with Swee'Pea and carriage, Olive dreamily sniffs her duster and, noticing her mistake, takes a breath of Popeye's floral gift.
Again in his intrepid strut, Popeye pushes the carriage along a lovely stereoptical walk; his chin held high, Popeye does not notice Swee'Pea's crawling out of his transport and following his protector on all fours: stunned when he does notice the baby's absence, he calls out, turning just as the little fellow escapes his view to return to his provenance. Relieved to see his charge returned, Popeye continues pushing the carriage past the handsome gates of the zoo, along whose promenade Swee'Pea repeats his naughty trick, imitating Popeye's manner in his crawl, but all too pleased now to leave his watcher behind; giggling, he makes his way to the elephant's domain, teasing a mighty beast close to the bars of his cage with a discarded peanut. Swee'Pea has the giant's trunk and, raised high aloft, the alluring legume in his evasive fingers, he lets the peanut down the trunk at last, sliding backwards along the elephant's back as he does so, chuckling the while and plumping at last on the dirt.
Cut to Popeye, who looks down again and, in precisely the same way as before, notices that the baby has gone, more astonished this time to find that turning about and calling has not returned him magically to the cart! For Swee'Pea is now traipsing about the mighty elephant, deftly avoiding his great, lumbering feet. Popeye scours the carriage, umbrella and all, finally catching sight of the boy as he tucks his head between his legs; as his entire form revolves in the direction of the cage, he calls out. Over by the elephant and scolding the wayward infant, Popeye slips through the bars of the cage: Swee'Pea merrily and swiftly crawls off, and the behemoth's trunk seizes the seething seaman. Twice the elephant wraps Popeye in trunk, quickly spinning the sailor out and into the iron bars of his confines. Ever in the fighting vein, the mighty man begins a tug of war with the pachyderm's proboscis; Swee'Pea, meanwhile, is playing with a crocodile, crossing its open jaws just before they snap shut. Victory for Popeye as he flings the elephant's untold tons off to the side, taunting the astounded beast as he catches sight of the new scene. Again running after the babe, Popeye's backside is caught in the jaws of Swee'Pea's playmate just as the tyke finishes another crossing. The awful reptile flings his would-be prey through the air and advances as the sailor makes land. "All right, zipper-mouth, you asked for it!" Man and beast tussle, Popeye prevailing, it seems, when he has his rival stretched out flat on its back: gently, he rubs its belly, intoning a lullaby. But this gentleness gives way, and a too-satisfied Popeye steps on the crocodile's slumbering form as he heads for Swee'Pea. Awakened, the beast is ripe for revenge: again they tussle, but though the sailor's brawny arms resist the foe, his exposed midsection falls to the beast's massaging hand, his ears to a grunted lullaby! The creature picks up Popeye with his tail and with a mighty flip sends him again through the air and into the lair of the hippopotamus.
Groggy, the sailor calls out to his charge, whom we find reclining on his elbow in the great maw of the happy hippo, tickling the beast's hard palate with a feather. Again, Popeye makes a snatch for the child, but he slips past him, and the angered beast shunts the sailor away with a thrust of his huge snout. His pipe whirling about in surprise, Popeye screws up his courage again and marches toward the hippo, who once again sends his opponent flying into the bars--and again! The time has come for spinach! Dazed and maddened, Popeye gulps down the remainder of an open can withdrawn from his breast-pocket. Quivering with new-found might, hard as a wall of brick, the solid sailor effortlessly resists the onslaught of the charging river horse. Popeye lifts the defeated beast high in the air and with a great, earth-shattering throw leaves him in a crater.
Swee'Pea dashes by on leopardback, and the chase begins, the hippo's bars bending at Popeye's mad sprint. As if at oar, the Sailor-Man strokes his way to the wildcat's hind, and, grasping his furious tail, pulls the mount out from under his rider, who falls safe and smiling to the sidewalk in front of Olive Oyl's house as his protector flings the leopard off and into a fence with such force that he drops to the ground senseless and spotless! The champion carries Swee'Pea to Olive's door, and, setting him on the steps, presents a little toy monkey to the boy as an alternative to playing with wild beasts. The baby begins to wail and whine at the sight to Popeye's confusion; just then, Olive emerges, and, seeing her little cousin in such straits, beats Popeye off with her broom before withdrawing. Our battered hero sings: "There's no 'if's or 'maybe's: / I'll never have babies! / I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!"
Voiceover, Dialog, Spoken Text, Script, or Lyrics
I'll surprise her with these flowers.
I brung ya orchids. Hello Olive. I come to take you to the zoo to see the aminals.
I'm too busy, Popeye.
But you can take Swee'Pea.
Okay. Come on Sweet Pea. We're going to the zoo.
Don't let him get scared.
Oh, I'll take good care of him. Don't worry about that. So zoo-do-le-oo.
Remember, don't frighten him.
Whoa Swee'Pea. Oh, Swee'Pea. Oh, there you is. Here's the zoo.
Whoa Swee'Pea. Oh, Swee'Pea. Oh, where the baby went too? I see you hiding under there, or maybe you crawled up into... I know where he is. There he is... oh! Swee'Pea! Hey, get away from that dangerous elephant. You want to get hurted? Come on now. Be a good boy. Whoa, hey. You can't do this to me. You pack a mean trunk. Are you trying to tell me something?
Swee'Pea! Swee'Pea, come back here. Hey! Alright zipper mouth. You asked for it. Sleep tight, young fella. You've chucked your last chuck.
Swee'Pea. Oh, Swee'Pea! Why you overstuffed... You've been a very naughty boy. That'll teach yas.
If ya wants to play with animals, play with this.
Huh? Now what's the matter with that?
I told you not to frighten him! I told you not to scare him!
There's no ifs or maybes
I'll never have babies
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
A Paramount Picture
Patent pending for special processes used in this production
Adolph Zukor presents a Max Fleischer cartoon
Popeye the Sailor
With Little Swee'Pea
Copyright MCMXXXVI by Paramount Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved
Directed by Dave Fleischer
Animated by Seymour Kneitel and William Henning
By arrangement with King Features Syndicate, Inc. and Segar
Approved Certificate No. 01030
Passed by the National Board of Review
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
A. E. Construction Company
Danger Street Closed
A Paramount Picture