Superman (Max Fleischer cartoon)

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Superman (Max Fleischer cartoon)
When the man of steel... first came to the screen.
Genre: Action
Running Time: 8-10 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: September 26, 1941 - July 30, 1943
Created by: Dave Fleischer
Max Fleischer
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures (former)
Warner Bros. Pictures (current)
Starring: Bud Collyer
Joan Alexander
Julian Noa
Episodes: 17
Next show: Adventures of Superman (1952-1958)

Superman is a series of seventeen animated short films released in Technicolor by Paramount Pictures and based upon the comic book character Superman, making them his first screen appearance.

They were originally produced by Fleischer Studios, who completed the initial short and eight further cartoons in 1941 and 1942. Production was assumed in May 1942 by Famous Studios, who produced eight more cartoons in 1942 and 1943. Superman was the final animated series initiated by Fleischer Studios, before Famous Studios officially took over production.

Although all entries are in the public domain, ancillary rights, such as merchandising contract rights, as well as the original 35mm master elements, are owned today by Warner Bros. Entertainment, which has also owned Superman's publisher, DC Comics, since 1967.

Why It's Superb

  1. The action-oriented animation in its purest form, which is the very first major animated series to have the action genre.
  2. The golden-age cartoon series was made for the very higher-budgets.
  3. Like Gulliver's Travels, it has beautiful, well-done, great rotoscoped animation that is a big improvement over Fleischer/Famous Studios' usual fare (even though Fleischer already had one of the most consistent animation styles for the age).
  4. It first showed the Transformation of Superman which later became used in comics, films, and cartoons.
  5. Wonderful voice acting.
  6. It was the first screen series to be based on a DC Character, spawning more series such as Adventures of Superman, Superboy, Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman, Superman: The Animated Series, and Supergirl.
  7. Great, well written plots and stories.
  8. The first episode, "Superman" was nominated for an Academy Award.
  9. Amazing soundtrack, Including the iconic theme song.
  10. Unlike most of Fleischer Studios' previous theatrical cartoon short film series, the series does not follow any zany antics.
  11. The final episode, "Secret Agent" was amazing. Showing the United States of America flag, as Superman saluting in the end.

Bad Qualities

  1. The villains are one-time characters, meaning that never appeared again at all.
  2. The episodes "Eleventh Hour" and "Jungle Dreams" can be considered offensive today due to Japanese stereotypes and the Nazis because World War II was around at that time.
  3. The series unfortunately didn't last long, mainly due to how expensive producing these cartoons were at the time.


  • After the series ended, Famous Studios would replace it with an adaptation of Marge's Little Lulu, which ran from 1943 to 1948.


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