Last Updated on: January 20th, 2024

popeye movie

“Popeye” is a live-action musical comedy film released in 1980. It is based on the popular comic strip character created by E.C. Segar. The film was directed by Robert Altman and stars Robin Williams as the iconic spinach-loving sailor Popeye.

The story follows Popeye as he arrives in the coastal town of Sweethaven in search of his long-lost father. In Sweethaven, he meets various eccentric characters, including Olive Oyl, played by Shelley Duvall, who becomes the love interest of Popeye. He also encounters the brutish Bluto, portrayed by Paul L. Smith, who constantly challenges Popeye.

As the story unfolds, Popeye discovers that his father is actually the town’s barber, Poopdeck Pappy, played by Ray Walston. Along the way, he showcases his incredible strength whenever he consumes a can of spinach, which helps him in various challenging situations.

The film features a whimsical and colorful depiction of Sweethaven, complete with musical numbers and charming character interactions. The memorable songs were written by Harry Nilsson and include tunes like “I Yam What I Yam” and “He Needs Me.”

“Popeye” was praised for Robin Williams’ portrayal of the titular character, capturing his unique mannerisms and voice. Shelley Duvall’s performance as Olive Oyl also received acclaim for its authenticity to the comic strip character.

While “Popeye” garnered mixed reviews upon release, it has since gained a cult following and is regarded as a nostalgic and entertaining adaptation of the beloved comic strip. The film’s mix of humor, music, and imaginative set designs makes it a charming and nostalgic journey for fans of the original Popeye cartoons and comic strips.

Though not a box office blockbuster, “Popeye” remains a fondly remembered movie for those who appreciate the classic comic strip character and the comedic talents of Robin Williams. It stands as a unique and quirky addition to the world of live-action adaptations of beloved cartoon characters.

Fun Facts

  • The Disney adaptation of “Popeye” is a 1980 live-action musical film starring Robin Williams as the iconic sailor Popeye and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl. The film brought the beloved comic strip characters to life on the big screen.
  • One of the highlights of the film is Robin Williams’ portrayal of Popeye, which earned him critical acclaim. Williams captured the character’s unique voice and physicality, and his performance was a key factor in the film’s success.
  • “Popeye” features a catchy soundtrack with original songs by Harry Nilsson, including the memorable “He Needs Me” and “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.” The music added to the film’s charm and contributed to its musical appeal.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released: 1980
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $60 million
  • IMDB Link


  • Robin Williams: Popeye
  • Shelley Duvall: Olive Oyl
  • Paul L. Smith: Bluto
  • John Wallace: Bluto’s singing voice
  • Paul Dooley: J. Wellington Wimpy
  • Richard Libertini: George W. Geezil
  • Ray Walston: Poopdeck Pappy
  • Donald Moffat: The Taxman
  • MacIntyre Dixon: Cole Oyl
  • Roberta Maxwell: Nana Oyl
  • Donovan Scott: Castor Oyl
  • Allan F. Nicholls: Rough House
  • Wesley Ivan Hurt: Swee’Pea
  • Bill Irwin: Ham Gravy
  • Sharon Kinney: Cherry
  • Peter Bray: Oxblood Oxheart
  • Linda Hunt: Mrs. Oxheart
  • Geoff Hoyle: Scoop
  • Wayne Robson: Chizzelflint
  • Klaus Voormann: Von Schnitzel
  • Van Dyke Parks: Hoagy the Piano Player
  • Dennis Franz: Spike
  • Carlos Brown: Slug
  • Robert Fortier: Bill Barnacle


  • Director: Robert Altman
  • Producers: Robert Evans
  • Music: Harry Nilsson

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.