Max Fleischer’s Superman
1941-1943 Theatrical Shorts Collection review by Bobby Blakey
There are few characters that are as iconic and recognizable as Superman. Throughout the years we have gotten so many variations of the character in animation and live action, but it all started in the 40s with Max Fleischer’s Superman theatrical shorts. The shorts ran from 1941-1943 under Fleischer Studios and then switching to Famous Studios. Now Warner Bros is bringing them all together for Max Fleischer’s Superman 1941-1943 Theatrical Short Collection.
Max Fleischer’s Superman follows the Man of Steel as he takes on the criminal underworld and all those threatening the world while maintaining his secret identity as Clark Kent, reporter of the Daily Planet and protecting fellow reporter Lois Lane.
I have seen these off and on over the years, but never sat down and watched them all like I got to finally do with this collection. It’s interesting that they changed the origin of Superman’s upbringing removing the Kent’s from the mythos in the first episode. It doesn’t really affect anything, but a different approach that I never realize they did here.
I am continually impressed by these old animated features because the stylized animation is so crisp and clean with a more realistic look than most that came after it. Each of these episodes still hold up to perfection and showcase why they were some of the most expensive animation of its time. These episodes not only are the first thing to bring Superman to life, but also the official beginning of Superman actually flying as opposed to just leaping tall buildings in a single bound.
I have always enjoyed these, but revisiting them here with such a great looking transfer in all their glory was such a treat. Big props to Warner Bros for keeping these iconic pieces of animation still relevant and out there for fans old and new to discover.
This collection features all 17 shorts from the original 35mm source material as well as bonus content including both old and new featurettes taking fans behind bringing the Man of Steel to life for the first time ever. Grab your copy of Max Fleischer’s Superman 1941-1943 Theatrical Shorts Collection when they hit digital and Blu-ray on May 16th from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.