I'm going to be honest, I seemed to missed the big "DVDs-as-Frisbees" craze. Call me old fashioned, but my DVDs go from their case to the DVD Player and back to case, and that's the way I likes it. And I'm sure the "Real America" agrees with me. Double-sided DVDs are not any easier to scratch than a normal DVD, that's my experience.
But I guess if you are buying these for kids, the double-sided DVDs might be an issue. I've seen my niece scratch up The Little Mermaid with her carelessness. A competent adult can make double-sided DVDs last as long as normal DVDs. What are we supposed to do? Not buy our favorite programs because they were unfortunately released on double-sided DVDs? I gots to watch The Riches Season 2.
Allow me to explain the contents of this DVD re-release. This is a partial re-packaging of the original release of Superman the Animated Series. Originally, they were released in three 3-Disks sets. What they did here is transplant the first disk from those DVD sets, then the second and third disks are made into a double sided disk. And you can tell because they still have "Volume 1, Disk 1," "Volume 2, Disk 1," etc. on them. So it's a single-sided disk, a double-sided disk, single, double, single, double, and the seventh "Bonus" Disk.
The 7th "Bonus" Disk is disappointing. It features a few trailers for DCs other animated movies, which is quickly becoming their "go-to" material for padding out bonus content, (And for Star Wars: The Clone Wars. WTH?) and a new Featurette "The Despot Darkseid: A Villain Worthy of Superman." It's mildly entertaining, but at around 15 minutes, it's hardly a deal breaker. I wish they had spotlighted Superman's current events in the comics, like they did for Green Lantern with The Blackest Night. Or a documentary on the Man of Steel's representation in other media.
I should warn about the packaging, though. It may not be the case for every version, but my case was gripping on to the DVDs like they were it's children. I guess it's to make sure they don't get knocked loose during shipping, but it can be very troublesome once you get them home. I was lucky enough to have a different 7 Disk set that I don't plan on watching too often, so I was able to switch them. Don't be afraid to get creative with your DVDs either.
Despite this, if you've never owned Superman: The Animated Series this is an okay collection. If you see this at your local retailer, don't be afraid to pick it up. If you're buying it from Amazon, you might want to consider different options. For instance, you can still get Superman - The Animated Series, Volumes 1-3 (DC Comics Classic Collection) for a reasonable price. (EDIT: Or you could get them for cheap, back when this review was first written.) So, shop smart, and don't listen to the clearly biased 1 Star reviews.
When the critically-acclaimed "Batman - the Animated Series" premiered on Fox in the early 90's, it was obvious that the same production team would take a stab at DC fellow stablemate, Superman. "Superman - the Animated Series" ran on the WB from 1996-2000 and had the same top quality writing, animation, and use of top name acting talent as had its predecessor.
The series is especially notable for assembling some of the best "voices" for any animated series. Dana Delaney is great as Lois Lane while David Kaufman perfectly assays the role of Jimmy Olsen. Just like Kevin Conroy is the definite Batman/Bruce Wayne, appearing in five episodes of the show, Clancy Brown is perfection as Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor.
The last, but certainly not least of the main characters, is Superman/Clark Kent, voiced by Tim Daly. The former "Wings" star does a good job of bringing "Ole Blue" to life. However, it is the actor's turn as Bizarro in three installments that is a treat for the ears. It's hard to imagine that Daly voices both Superman and his not-too-bright Doppelganger. That is a testament to Daly's skills as an actor.
In addition to the main characters, recurring and guest villains are also brilliantly portrayed by the likes of Mike Farrell and real-life wife Shelley Fabares (Pa and Ma Kent), Malcolm McDowell (Metallo in 4 instalments), Brad Garrett (Bibbo and Lobo),Corey Burton (Braniac), Gilbert Gottfried (Mr. Mxyzptlk), Michael Dorn (Kalibak and John Steel), Ed Asner as the deliciously wicked Granny Goodness, and Michael Ironside as the despot Darkseid, just to cite a few.
Speaking of the latter two, Asner and Ironside appear as their respective characters in the best episodes of the series, which include "Little Girl Lost,Parts I and II," "Apokolips, Parts I and II," and "Legacy, Parts I and II." These installments not only are inspired by legendary Jack Kirby's Fourth World series but demonstrate a more intense look at the Man of Steel as he faces what is arguably his greatest foe in the form of Darkseid.
"Apokolips, Part II" also features one of the most surprising deaths of ANY television series, bar none.
In addition to the series 54 episodes, this compilation has some really good audio commentary on several episodes, interesting looks at the myth of Superman, and a short piece on Darkseid.
While some may decry the fact that there are some double-sided discs in the set, the bargain price makes up for the packaging issue.
on September 13, 2013
We all know that Superman has been around longer than most of us can actually remember. Over the years, various individuals have created the character for comics, radio shows, television, and movies. In the 1990s, another such attempt was made, bringing us Tim Daly as the voice of an animated Man of Steel who kept the world safe from the likes of Lex Luthor and other nefarious foes. Their effort was well worth it as this series and Tim Daly's voice talent as the leading man brought us a Superman that fans old and new can enjoy. This series' terrific voice cast includes Dana Delany as Lois Lane, Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen, Michael Ironside as Darkseid, Corey Burton as Brainiac and many more wonderful actors who brought a breath of fresh air to these classic characters. And what is a new incarnation without new characters? Lisa Edelstein and Lori Petty bring new creations Mercy Graves and Livewire respectively to the screen and both characters later earned a well-deserved transfer to the comics' cannon. And let's not forget the special appearances made by the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime. Yes, the three-part episode "World's Finest" can now be considered one of the greatest works within the DC Animated Universe. That's not to say that Batgirl's later appearance to help Supergirl foil Poison Ivy, Livewire, and Harley Quinn wasn't great as well...that was an episode that showed women who could hold their own. Personally, my favorite episode of this series will always be "The Late Mr. Kent" but I won't say more on that...you'll just have to watch and see why. I will say that this episode can be considered "the best of the best" as this series was amazing from pilot to finale. Enjoy.
My family completely enjoyed watching this series even if it's not quite as good as the Batman - The Animated Series. Unfortunately, we had problems with skipping within episodes and episodes not playing on all of the double-sided discs which was a real disappointment. It's frustrating when you're trying to watch an episode and it stutters and skips. It's even more frustrating when you can't watch certain episodes. We even tried playing the episode directly from the menu, but it wouldn't even go to the episode. My daughter was disappointed that she was unable to watch all of the episodes - especially when it skipped some of the Batman crossover episodes. Quality control seems to have been a real issue with this particular series.
The series gets 4 stars from my family. The quality of the discs gets only 1 star.
on October 17, 2015
I found this series to be a great addition to the realm of Superman entertainment. This series treats audiences to Kal-El/Superman and a great list of memorable villains like Brainic, Lex Luthor, Parasite, Metallo, and Darkseid. What I truly enjoyed about these 3 seasons is that while Superman is a powerful hero, he still struggles against his enemies in this series. Of course, epic and great villains such as Brainiac and Darkseid, challenge Superman to his ultimate limits. However, even the lower tier villain’s challenge him such as Parasite, Livewire, and Metallo. I was also thrilled at the fact that Superman had to use his intellect (brains) to overcome a number of his adversaries. It's fun to see Superman his brains over his enemies brawn.
Superman: The Animate Series also does a fantastic job with showcasing the humanity and compassion of Superman, which are qualities that are quintessential to the character. Lastly, I want to mention that the voice actors are superb. Tim Daly is wonderful as Superman/Clark Kent, Clancy Brown is an excellent Lex Luthor and Dana Delaney makes for a great Lois Lane. Michael Ironside is also awesome as Darkseid. If there is any complaint that I have for this series is that the writers did not give Superman his power of freeze breath. It’s one of my favorite powers of Superman, yet he never uses it once in this animated series. However, overall this is a great series that is a classic. It definitely set a standard for future Superman series to come.
on January 20, 2013
I'm not a huge Superman fan, and am in fact probably just the opposite so don't expect me to list off the Superman universe. I purchased this item solely because I had heard many good things about it, and I do enjoy seeing a well done animation. That, and I also enjoyed Batman Beyond a lot. Needless to say, I was not let down in terms of it being a well crafted animation piece. I jumped into this series with this collection, and the series itself was very well done. Out of the 54 episodes included in this collection, I think there were maybe two or three episodes that didn't have me impressed.
The voice cast was very good, and every character sounded just right. Clark sounded just right, along with Lex, Bruce, and the whole crew. There weren't any character voices that sounded out of place. Beyond that, I felt that the series did a good job portraying Superman. We see his good days, we see his not so good days as well, and everything in between. There is character development, and a sense of continuity to go along with it. It's always a treat to see characters refer to previous experiences from previous episodes. That, and there are some cameos here and there that are a treat to shake off any chance of stale feelings. However, I think the greatest thing done in this series is that Superman isn't fighting one-sided fights. It's always interesting to read how powerful of a character he is supposed to be, but that would get boring quickly. Instead, we get a Superman who has to use his wits, and at times, he does fail the first, second, and third time around. Not enough to get ridiculous though.
Going beyond the actual series this collection presents there is the physical product. You get a set of seven discs which contain all of the episodes and some extras. This is where I have a slight problem, double-sided discs. There is nothing inherently wrong with them, but it doesn't "feel" like a collector's set with them. I really would have preferred single sided discs such as those found in the Batman Beyond collector's edition. Again though, there is nothing inherently wrong with them though I did end up having to insert a few of the discs twice because I put the wrong side in first. The disc information is in small font, and only the "B" side is labelled. However, don't let this be the reason to not buy this collection.
Overall, if you enjoy good old fashion American cartoons, then Superman: The Complete Animated Series shouldn't be too far off your list. Great animation, great characters, and great value.
on August 16, 2014
I'm a Superman fan, so this felt like a must-have--but in the end, it all felt kind of half-Sed. [see what I did there? ;) ]
The animation is definitely high quality, the music does the Man of Steel justice, and they even did a decent job rendering some of the unseen Superman Rogues' Gallery in these episodes. I particularly like the eps that include Bizarro, Mxysptlk, and Metallo. They even include some Easter Eggs from other canonical entries in the Superman mythos.
But there are two big problems here: one is that the guys that made the series don't seem to know what they were doing. The "Special Features" are slim-to-none, and I feel that is cheating considering all the rich history of this character. What is left is audio commentary which is banal at best and downright boring at worst. They don't comment on things in the series that are talked about on the most superficial Superman Wiki page; most of their commentary seems to be reserved for shout-outs to specific animators that must have owed them favors and Jack Kirby. Seriously--they mentioned his name so many times, I felt like I needed to break out my shot glasses and start a drinking game! There are even two distinct commentaries where they comment on how little they actually have to say about the episode. Imagine if you bought a coffee-maker from someone who told you what a s***ty job they did putting it together as you bought. How would you feel? Pretty much the same as I felt listening to their "commentary."
The other big problem is that they depowered Superman too much. I can understand that they have make is suspenseful so that Superman does not just fix everything in the blink of an eye, but c'mon! He's STILL Superman! Why are their episodes where bullets from a handgun knock him off his feet? Why do some episodes show him having trouble holding up a car while others show him holding up an asteroid, no problem? This Superman has trouble doing things even the post-"Crisis" Superman would scoff at. There's just no consistency that would allow you to suspend disbelief. You're constantly left scratching your head after each episode.
Having watched everything on all the discs, I am on the fence on whether this was a worth-while purchase, even as a big Superman fan.
on November 24, 2009
A lot of the reviewers on here are complaining about the double-sided DVDs that are used partially in this set. It may be an inconvenience, but it's not enough to warrant a one-star review, in my opinion.
Superman TAS was my favorite show growing up, and I hadn't purchased any of the other DVD sets yet, so having all the episodes in one set sounded pretty good to me. If you're a fan of the show, don't worry too much about the other reviews, chances are you're buying this for the content, not the presentation. You can read my full review on my website [...]
on July 10, 2016
What a disappointing purchase. The episodes My Girl, In Brightest Day, and--worst of all--Legacy, pt1 (all on different discs) would not play at all. While the series is enjoyable, and serves to flesh out Superman's back story (since we only knew him from Justice League), the product itself is poorly manufactured and produced. Fresh from the box and brand new, I'd expect all the episodes to at least play.
on January 26, 2015
My three year old son loves Superman, so when he opened this up on Christmas Day he was overjoyed. Since then we've had many marathon watchings which we both enjoy immensely due to the high quality of this series.