The Mad Scientist threatens to use his Electrothanasia-Ray to cause "total destruction" to the fools who had laughed at him. Lois Lane pilots an airplane to his mountaintop laboratory, but The Scientist has her bound and gagged before she knows it. He forces her to watch on a television screen as his ray destroys a famous bridge. Next, he uses the ray to topple over the Daily Planet, but Clark Kent changes to Superman in time to save the building and put his indestructible body in front of the ray. The Mad Scientist is thrilled at the opportunity to pit his deadly machine against the Man of Steel. Written by
Max Fleischer and Dave Fleischer were reluctant to take this assignment because it would require much more realistic designs and animation than they usually used. They tried to discourage the studio by stating they would need a budget of around $100,000 per short, four times the budget of an average Walt Disney cartoon, which then had the highest budgets in animation. To their shock, Paramount executives agreed to at least half the amount, which made the Superman series - in adjusted dollars - the biggest-budgeted animation series in film history. See more »
Up in the sky, look: It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!
In the endless reaches of the universe, there once existed a planet known as Krypton, a planet that burned like a green star in the distant heavens. There, civilization was far advanced and it brought forth a race of "supermen," whose mental and physical powers were developed to the absolute peak of human perfection. But there came a day when giant quakes threatened to destroy Krypton forever. One of ...
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The first Superman animated cartoon was brought excitingly by Max and Dave Fleischer
Several months after Captain Marvel was the first comic book superhero depicted on the silver screen, Superman became the second but the first to be animated as opposed to the live action of the previous one. The voices of the leading character and female co-star Lois Lane were the same from the radio series that had already started beforehand: Bud Collyer and Joan Alexander. Collyer, especially, established how different the personalities of Clark and Supes could be by simply changing his voice when he changed to his costume. The story, about a mad scientist bent on destroying the world, is a bit cliché for today but the Max and Dave Fleischer animation is still impressive even now with the way the thing can build excitement especially when The Man of Steel tries to punch that disintegrating ray back to its source. So on that note, this first epi of the Superman cartoon series was off to a good start. P.S. You know this was an early version of Jerome Siegel & Joe Shuster's creation when Supes' origin tale says he was raised in an orphanage instead of the farm of Jonathan and Martha Kent!
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