Three Random Thoughts On The Fleischer Superman Cartoons

Superman Fleischer

As part of my tribute to Superman’s 75th Birthday this year, I am taking a look at Kal-El in various media.  Not everything will be covered, because not everything I liked, but lets start at the beginning.  The Superman Fleischer Cartoons, which are quite simply amazing.

Superman S SymbolThey Are Incredible!

For so very early on in Superman’s life. These cartoon shorts so vividly capture so much of what makes the character great and grand.  Kal-El premiered in 1938 and these wonderful toons came out in 1941 and 1942, with all the action and adventure intact from their four colour origins.  Superman fights different menaces and saves the day!

Superman S SymbolHow Few?

The Fleischer Studio, who also did Gulliver’s Travels and Popeye as toons, only made seventeen of these gems.  Unlike, say Lord Of The Rings, which I dearly love, all these shorts can be viewed easily in an afternoon.

Superman S SymbolFights!

What does the Man of Steel go up against?  Well earthquakes and giant robots and a dinosaur and deadly laser beams are all on the menu of excitement here.  Superman gets quite a workout!

For a starter for the little ones, the Superman Fleischer cartoons are fun and get to the point rather quickly.  Dvd’s can be gotten really cheaply, since the toons are public domain now.  I love my copy more than kryptonite!


…is currently reading The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay by Michael Chabon.

P.S.  This post is one of several I hope to do this year to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Superman.  Happy Birthday Kal-El!  Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

P.P.S.  Superman Man Of Steel opens Friday, June 14th 2013.  For an indepth look at the creation of this landmark movie, check out Jeffrey Taylor’s columns.


About scoopsmentalpropaganda

Married to beautiful wife. Always learning a ton of stuff. Geek with too much useless knowledge. fb page:!/pages/Scoops-Mental-Propaganda/192314550819647 twitter & twitpic: Scoopriches AboutMe Page: This site is an @Scoopriches production
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3 Responses to Three Random Thoughts On The Fleischer Superman Cartoons

  1. David T.G. Riches says:

    Do you recall watching them on Magic Shadows with Elwy Yost on TVO in 1975, your eyes were glued to the screen.

  2. They are all great. I contend they still hold up against cartoons today.

    Technically, the Fleischers only made the first nine, though. After “Terror on the Midway,” Paramount seized their studio (the Max and Dave Fleischer were fighting by this point, and I believe Dave actually had left some time prior — or at least wasn’t working as closely with the studio at that point). Anyway, Paramount seized their studio, officially ousted both Fleischers and continued making the cartoons under the Famous Studios banner, beginning with “Japoteurs” (though, as I recall, “Showdown” is the first with the Famous Studios name on it, because the studio wasn’t yet completely organized at the time of the release of “Japoteurs.” The biggest difference between the Fleischer shorts and the Famous shorts is that the Famous ones focus much more on World War II propaganda stuff, while in the Fleischer ones, there’s a lot of Superman fighting big monsters, punching giant robots (which is always awesome) and stopping natural disasters.

    And this has been your completely unnecessary history footnote for the day!

    • Thanks for the info!

      I knew Paramount had taken over the studio somewhere along the way, but had no idea how complete and utter it was. I always thought the Fleischers were still involved, but under the thumb of their new corporate masters. Interesting what the demarcation was between the two regimes. But even with the backstage chaos, they are most excellent cartoons starring our favourite Kryptonian. And loved the history lesson!

      Thanks for writing in!

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