Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

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Zack Burner
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Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby Zack Burner » January 31st, 2021, 8:32 am

I recently caught some of the 17 episodes of the old 1940's Superman cartoons thanks to Youtube. Some episodes are still cool to watch such as "Volcano", "Mad Scientist", "Arctic Giant", "The Bulleteers" and "Mechanical Monsters". The one called "Electric Earthquake" though good, made me feel a little uncomfortable as the villain is a mad scientist who turns out to be a Native American, and what's worse is he gets little sympathy. But that's nothing compared to two of the bunch I wouldn't touch with a 10 meter pole, "Japoteurs" and "Eleventh Hour" as these two villify the Japanese, which I can't stand as I respect those folks big time. Cool and still well animated, but a product of their time.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 31st, 2021, 9:09 am

This is fascinating because I didn't realize there were Superman cartoons that old. I thought they were just comic books. I guess that's one of the good things to come out of the Internet - access to a lot of more obscure old videos.

And yeah, you need to resist the urge to judge these on our current social values, because otherwise you'll never be able to appreciate anything more than 10 years old.

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ActRaiser
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby ActRaiser » January 31st, 2021, 9:16 am

Yeah, the Fleischer Superman cartoons are fantastic. I think they are all on Amazon Prime video.

We watched them about a year ago. Great stuff.

Zack Burner
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby Zack Burner » January 31st, 2021, 9:26 am

ActRaiser wrote:Yeah, the Fleischer Superman cartoons are fantastic. I think they are all on Amazon Prime video.

We watched them about a year ago. Great stuff.


I think the animation style of the Fleischer Superman cartoons helped inspire the Dark Noir/Art Deco style of the Batman Animated Series in the 90's, looking at it now.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » January 31st, 2021, 4:52 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:This is fascinating because I didn't realize there were Superman cartoons that old. I thought they were just comic books. I guess that's one of the good things to come out of the Internet - access to a lot of more obscure old videos.

And yeah, you need to resist the urge to judge these on our current social values, because otherwise you'll never be able to appreciate anything more than 10 years old.


It's like reviewing anything, really.

Just because you know something has serious issues, doesn't mean you can't appreciate everything its doing right. Besides, even back then artists were fighting against prejudice too.

The same Superman who was helping spread anti-Japanese propaganda also fought against the KKK.

The real KKK.

His radio show exposed all their secrets, destroying their reputation and making it more difficult for them to recruit.

Anyways, if you haven't seen the '40's shorts, they're worth checking out. The rotoscoped animation compares to top tier Disney movies. The studio didn't want the job, and asked for an obscene amount of money to do the job.

They weren't expecting anyone to call their bluff.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby Retro STrife » February 1st, 2021, 1:39 am

Thanks for reminding me of these. I had a bunch of these on VHS as a kid. Despite the cartoons being super old, I still liked watching them. And since I haven't read the comics or watched any movies, this is pretty much my only basis for knowing the Superman backstory.

I agree that the earlier Max Fleischer shorts are the best to watch. Those are the ones I saw. Wikipedia says the latter set had a new studio and took a more political/war tone. I haven't seen any of those episodes, so I can't comment on the content and of course wouldn't condone it if offensive. But for context, keep in mind that World War II was happening and the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor in Dec. 1941, so that is likely why they were used as a villain in a US cartoon from 1942.

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pacman000
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby pacman000 » February 4th, 2021, 12:53 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:This is fascinating because I didn't realize there were Superman cartoons that old. I thought they were just comic books. I guess that's one of the good things to come out of the Internet - access to a lot of more obscure old videos.

And yeah, you need to resist the urge to judge these on our current social values, because otherwise you'll never be able to appreciate anything more than 10 years old.

Bit surprised you never heard of them, since they were staples of public domain videos in the '80's & '90's.

Here's a link with all (?) 17 cartoons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 32UXVSn37Q

Great animation. Most disappointing thing: Superman was raised by an orphanage, not a nice farmer & his wife.

Trivia: These cartoons are the reason Superman flies; flying looked better than jumping from building-to-building.

newmodelarmy
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby newmodelarmy » February 4th, 2021, 5:51 pm

Zack Burner wrote:I recently caught some of the 17 episodes of the old 1940's Superman cartoons thanks to Youtube. Some episodes are still cool to watch such as "Volcano", "Mad Scientist", "Arctic Giant", "The Bulleteers" and "Mechanical Monsters". The one called "Electric Earthquake" though good, made me feel a little uncomfortable as the villain is a mad scientist who turns out to be a Native American, and what's worse is he gets little sympathy. But that's nothing compared to two of the bunch I wouldn't touch with a 10 meter pole, "Japoteurs" and "Eleventh Hour" as these two villify the Japanese, which I can't stand as I respect those folks big time. Cool and still well animated, but a product of their time.


Why in the world would you vilify the Japanese in the 1940's? Oh wait, their imperial ambitions led to the death of 20 million people as they slaughtered, raped and pillage many parts of Asia (China, Korea, Philippines, etc.).

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » February 4th, 2021, 8:38 pm

pacman000 wrote:
VideoGameCritic wrote:This is fascinating because I didn't realize there were Superman cartoons that old. I thought they were just comic books. I guess that's one of the good things to come out of the Internet - access to a lot of more obscure old videos.

And yeah, you need to resist the urge to judge these on our current social values, because otherwise you'll never be able to appreciate anything more than 10 years old.

Bit surprised you never heard of them, since they were staples of public domain videos in the '80's & '90's.

Here's a link with all (?) 17 cartoons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 32UXVSn37Q

Great animation. Most disappointing thing: Superman was raised by an orphanage, not a nice farmer & his wife.

Trivia: These cartoons are the reason Superman flies; flying looked better than jumping from building-to-building.


https://www.cbr.com/comic-legends-when- ... first-fly/

They did ask for DC's permission, but Superman was already flying by that time.

They'd also give him telepathy, hypnosis, changeling powers, and a super kiss that overwhelms the victim.

Really though, none of his powers would compare to his brief ability to shoot tiny clones of himself out of his hands.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Old Superman Cartoons (1940s)

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » February 4th, 2021, 8:41 pm

newmodelarmy wrote:
Zack Burner wrote:I recently caught some of the 17 episodes of the old 1940's Superman cartoons thanks to Youtube. Some episodes are still cool to watch such as "Volcano", "Mad Scientist", "Arctic Giant", "The Bulleteers" and "Mechanical Monsters". The one called "Electric Earthquake" though good, made me feel a little uncomfortable as the villain is a mad scientist who turns out to be a Native American, and what's worse is he gets little sympathy. But that's nothing compared to two of the bunch I wouldn't touch with a 10 meter pole, "Japoteurs" and "Eleventh Hour" as these two villify the Japanese, which I can't stand as I respect those folks big time. Cool and still well animated, but a product of their time.


Why in the world would you vilify the Japanese in the 1940's? Oh wait, their imperial ambitions led to the death of 20 million people as they slaughtered, raped and pillage many parts of Asia (China, Korea, Philippines, etc.).


Then, in the spirit of fairness, they should have demonized white men for all the genocides they'd been up to.

And, perhaps, locked German Americans up in the internment camps too. Also, the Italian Americans.


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