Eugene the Jeep

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Eugene the Jeep
Popeye character
Popeyeeugene.jpg
First appearance March 16, 1936, appearance of Thimble Theatre
Created by E. C. Segar
Information
Species Jeep
Gender Male

Eugene the Jeep is a character in the Popeye comic strip. A mysterious animal with magical abilities, the Jeep first appeared in the March 16, 1936, appearance of Thimble Theatre strip (now simply Popeye). He was also present in animated versions of Popeye's adventures, including three appearances in the Fleischer Studios shorts of the late 1930s/early 1940s, with more extensive appearances in later Popeye cartoons produced for TV.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Origin[edit]

In the August 9, 1936, strip, headlined "Wha's a Jeep?" Popeye asks Professor Brainstine what exactly a Jeep is. He gets the following response:

When asked if he had any further questions, Popeye, totally unenlightened by this explanation, repeated, "Wha's a Jeep?"

The animated cartoons took the straightforward approach of defining the character as some type of dog. In The Jeep (1938), Popeye presents the animal to Olive Oyl and Swee'Pea with the simple explanation, "The Jeep's a magical dog and can disappear and things." In Popeye Presents Eugene the Jeep (1940), it is Popeye who receives the creature from Olive, in a box via a special delivery man (voiced by Pinto Colvig), and with the premise that he had never seen the creature before: "Well, blow me down! A baby puppy!"

Eugene the Jeep appeared in The All-New Popeye Hour and Popeye and Son, voiced by Don Messick.

Eugene the Jeep did not appear in the Popeye movie.

Attributes and abilities[edit]

In the context of the comic strip, Eugene the Jeep was a gift to Popeye's girlfriend Olive Oyl from her Uncle Ben who found Eugene in Africa. The Jeep is a yellow creature about the size of a dog who walks on his hind legs. He has a bear-like head and ears but a large nose, long tail, and protruding belly. The Jeep's diet consists only of orchids.

As his language is limited to the word "jeep," Eugene primarily communicates through body language. Eugene always tells the truth, even to crooks. He possesses high intelligence, so is able to help humans such as Popeye and Olive Oyl solve complex problems. He makes use of a limited form of teleportation: he can disappear from one place and reappear in another, and can walk through and on walls and ceilings. These teleportation powers are said to stem from the Jeep's ability to cross into the fourth dimension.

Other uses[edit]

Eugene the Jeep is the school mascot for Northeast Dubois High School in Dubois, Indiana and at South Webster High School in South Webster, Ohio, although the Jeep for Northeast Dubois is blue and gray, while South Webster's is red instead of yellow. An old elementary school in Wheatland, Indiana also used the Jeep as its mascot, but this school was consolidated and is no longer in use.

Many, including R. Lee Ermey, suggest that soldiers of World War II were so impressed with the then-new Willys MB that they informally named it after Eugene the Jeep as it was "small, able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems."[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Wordorigins.org". Wordorigins.org. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 

External links[edit]