POPEYE
1980, Paramount, 114 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Few actors could bring a cartoon character to life the way Robin Williams does in his first major film role as the titular sailor man in director Robert Altman’s musical comedy (though Shelley Duvall is pretty well cast herself as rail-thin love interest Olive Oyl). Bluto, Wimpy, Swee'Pea and all your favorites are here, as Popeye searches for his father and discovers the power of spinach. While not the blockbuster it was expected to be, the film was a financial success, and its cult reputation has risen through the years, thanks in part to its Jules Feiffer-penned screenplay and Harry Nilsson’s music.


THE FLIGHT OF DRAGONS
1982, 96 min, USA, Dir: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.

Can magic and science coexist? Only if Peter Dickinson (John Ritter), a game designer recruited by three wizards, can defeat the evil Ommadon (James Earl Jones). This unusually philosophical animated treat also features the voices of Harry Morgan and Victor Buono.


THE LAST UNICORN
1982, Conlan Press, 92 min, USA, Dir: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass

While directors Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass are best known for their stop-motion TV specials, they also did traditional cel work, and the Japanese animation house they used here would go on to become Studio Ghibli. Adapted by Peter S. Beagle from his novel, this touching fantasy features the voices of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lee and Mia Farrow as the titular creature on a magic-filled quest to find others of her kind. With music by Jimmy Webb and soft-rock hitmakers America.


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