Thoughts on Max Fleischer’s Superman 1941-1942
I’m watching “Max Fleischer’s Superman 1941-1942,” the official release of the war-era “Superman” cartoons that were a giant leap forward in animation. You can get a sense of what the official releases look like in the YouTube embeds above from Warner Bros.
I’ll have a full review in The Oklahoman at some point, but my early thoughts while watching these episodes are, these are really nice editions of the cartoons. I believe they are the same remastered editions from the Superman I and II special editions from 2006, so if you have those, this might be a repeat purchase, save for the extras. But these are really nice, and all together in one place.
It’s also worth noting that the DVD is marked “not for children – for adult collectors,” which I assume has to do with the racial stereotypes that were commonplace in 1941 and 1942 but are glaring now.
Bruce Timm talks about these cartoons’ influence on “Batman: The Animated Series” in a special feature, but even if he didn’t, it would likely be obvious to anyone who watched both cartoons. The Fleischer “Superman” cartoons are even more fluid, however.
While these cartoons have been available in public-domain collections in the past, this is the best edition of them — far superior to the random markdown bin versions, and even somewhat better than the two classier versions — the “Ultimate Collection” and the “Diamond Anniversary Edition.”
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