What Altman's cast managed physically, never mind histrionically, choreographically and musically, is amazing for its day. It's not just a matter of eccentric make-up that turns Robin Williams into the sailor man, Shelley Duvall into his sweetheart Olive Oyl and Paul Smith into Bluto the man-mountain.
Altman's movie, which was Williams's feature-film debut, was widely considered a flop, though it recouped twice its budget at the box office. It also starred Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl and Paul L Smith as Bluto, Popeye's nemesis. Both those characters will be back for the animated version, as well as the adopted child Swee'Pea, a foundling left on Popeye and Olive's doorstep.