It was very sad news yesterday hearing of the passing of Robin Williams, in a weird way he felt like he was a friend though i never met him. He seemed like a kind soul and it’s always so sad when someone takes their own life. When I was a child just six years old my mother took me to see the Popeye movie, Robin’s first starring role. I had already been a HUGE fan of Popeye as a child and seeing Williams brings him to life was truly a memory for me that I still cherish. I remember the day perfectly still. So last night I decided I would put on my Popeye dvd and it’s still just as charming in 2014.
One thing that I noticed again that simply amazed me was the setting and the sets that were used on this film. It’s such an incredibly beautiful landscape and the actual village that Popeye lands in is simply one of the most unique film settings I have ever seen. It dawned on me, what should have been very obvious, that the village of Sweethaven as it’s called in the movie must have been a real place! This was not a CGI creation and today you would most likely never see something like this in any movie. What’s more impressive is that this place was created by a film crew!
Here’s some info from Amusing Planet:
“When Walt Disney and Paramount Pictures decided to make a movie based on the popular cartoon strip Popeye, the production team picked the opened faced Anchor Bay in the north-west corner of the Mediterranean island of Malta, two miles from the village of Mellieħa, as location for Popeye’s fictional village of Sweethaven.
Construction of the film set started in June 1979. A construction crew of 165 worked over seven months building the village as described by the comic strip’s creator E.C. Segar. Nineteen authentic wooden buildings were built from hundreds of logs and several thousand wooden planks imported from the Netherlands, while wood shingles used in the construction of the roof tops were imported from Canada. Eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint were consumed in construction. In addition, a 200–250 foot breakwater was built around Anchor Bay’s mouth to protect the set from high seas during the shooting.
Today the movie set is open to the public as an open-air museum and family entertainment complex. Aside from the village itself, there are boat trips around Anchor Bay, audio-visual shows which includes clips from the actual film and the set’s construction, water trampolines, mini golf, and other games and fun activities.”
I don’t know about you but suddenly I feel the urge to explore Malta and visit the Popeye village myself….amazing…check out the official Popeye village website!