Sunday, April 8, 2018

Superman 1941-1942!

The Fleischer Studos Superman cartoons of the early 1940's are still after all these decades arguably the finest adventure cartoons ever created. I think they are. The style, atmosphere, craftsmanship, storytelling and just everything add up to cartoons which are everything you want a superhero story to be and a Superman story in particular to be. They reflect Superman as what he was in the early Forties, a new hero who had burst onto the scene and was yet unencumbered by decades of backstories. He was a figure of mystery who appeared and disappeared and in the interim save people, property and most of Lois Lane.

We have weird world-beating menaces, ancient threats from prehistoric times, supernatural menaces, mad scientists galore, and plenty of Axis powers buffoons who want to threaten the tranquility of the common man. That these cartoons are so widely available makes folks think that perhaps they are valuable. But like peanut butter, just because it's relatively cheap, don't imagine it's not exquisite. And that's true for these animated adventures.

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I won't bother to rumble through a summary of the cartoons. The Superman Homepage does a much better and more detailed job of it. If you've never seen any of these masterpieces of animation or just want to get another look, then take a gander at this.

These are the best of the best. Highest recommendation!

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