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Max Fleischer's Superman (DVD)
Cartoon impresario Max Fleischer was the among the first to bring the printed Superman comics to a wide audience in these fanciful 1940s shorts featuring the Man of Steel saving his true love, Lois Lane, battling mad scientists and overthrowing Nazis. Many of the slogans and attributes we ascribe to Superman today originated in this series, including the famous "Faster Than A Speeding Bullet" introduction. Bud Collyer performs the voice of Clark Kent/Superman, with Joan Alexander as Lois Lane.]]>
More than just a landmark in superhero animation, Max Fleischer's Superman shorts were no less than the foundation for so many shows that succeeded it. Playing in theaters in 1941-42, only a few years after the Man of Steel made his debut in Action Comics, these 17 exciting films were produced by Fleischer (and often directed by his brother, Dave) and made famous the phrase "This looks like a job for Superman!" At 10 minutes, each film had just enough time to run the opening credits, establish the threat, let Lois Lane make a headstrong rush into peril, and allow Clark Kent to change to his alter ego and save the day. The films show a remarkably dynamic and atmospheric storytelling style that enables them to hold up for modern viewers. At first the films followed a science fiction-fantasy theme (mad scientists, giant robots), but not unexpectedly for that time soon focused on wartime concerns (e.g., "The Japoteurs" from September 18, 1942).
These cartoons have been in the public domain and thus available in inexpensive, poor-quality collections. This 2009 set from Warner Home Video is reproduced from the original film elements, and while some source damage is still visible, the improved color and clarity make previous versions nearly unwatchable. (These are the same remasterings that were released in the 2007 Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition.) Also, rather than cramming them onto a single disc, the shorts are given two discs, adding a featurette on Superman the hero and a 12-minute history of the Fleischer project, including interviews with Max's son and modern animators such as Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, who discuss the Fleischers' influence on the highly regarded Superman and Batman animated series from the 1990s. --David Horiuchi
The best version of these beautiful classics available, although not perfect and it's a real shame that Warner can't restore them fully.Published 6 days ago by Jerry
the definitive Superman production (as if you really had to ask) is the film series starring Christopher Reeve. Read morePublished 20 days ago by jude pepper
It is really good, REALLY GOOD with great art, animation, atmosphere, an old sense of adventure and suspense that still holds tension, and a worth progenitor to generations of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by ML
these super man cartoons are fantastic great color , great sound , excellent production values . the stories are inventive and fun
although a tiny bit offensive by todays... Read more
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Warner is scaling back their releases in 2009 so we're lucky to even see this release. Maybe somewhere down the line we'll see a Blu-ray release with a full restoration, not the partial restoration of this set. The color correction looks nice but there is still too much noise and dirt.
Apr 8, 2009 by Rushead 2112-Hemispheres | See all 2 posts