The Superman animated cartoons listed above, commonly known as the "Fleischer Superman cartoons" are part of a series of seventeen (17) animated Technicolor short films, released by Paramount Pictures between 1941 and 1943. They are based upon the comic book character Superman and are seen as some of the finest animated cartoons produced during The Golden Age of American animation (1930s-40s).
"NEW MUSIC" SOUNDTRACKS
These 8 animated films feature new music composed and recorded by John Pritchard with keyboardist Adam Holzman adding inventive tracks to 5 of the films. Each soundtrack has been selected to provide an alternative cinematic experience and avoid rehashing the characteristic adventure theme music of the original cartoons. The new soundtracks provide minimal dialogue and musical motifs to advance the storyline. Instead the music aims to provide more presence to the engaging film noir style of the Fleischer Brothers' imagination and celebrate the sheer visual beauty of their unique work. These are some of the greatest animated films ever made. While the Superman cartoons were originally made for Saturday matinees during World War II, they can be appreciated today as high forms of art, like any Picasso or Van Gogh.
THE ORIGINAL SUPERMAN SERIES BY THE FLEISCHER BROTHERS ON DVD
Catch the original animated adventures on DVD with the complete 1941-1943 Paramount Superman cartoon classics! Legendary animation innovators Max & Dave Fleischer were the first to bring Superman to theater screens, only four years after the comic book hero's debut. Capturing the comic book spirit better than any live action film with the stunning early art-deco look of the original Superman/Action Comics era and a film noir feel, these stylish adventures proved so powerful that they influenced every Superman production afterward. Now restored to their best possible quality, these 17 animation masterpieces are presented in superbly clear quality! FEATURING: Superman (Pilot), Mechanical Monsters, Billion Dollar Limited, The Arctic Giant, The Bulleteers, The Magnetic Telescope, Electric Earthquake, Volcano, Terror on the Midway, Japoteurs, Showdown, Eleventh Hour, Destruction Inc., Mummy Strikes, Jungle Drums, The Underground World, & Secret Agent.
The original 1942 soundtrack was composed by Sammy Timberg and can be heard at the bottom of this page via YouTube.com.
November 20, 1942
Director: Dan Gordon
Animation: Willard Bowsky, William Henning
Story: Carl Meyer, William Turner
Musical Arrangement: Sammy Timberg
Lois and Clark have been interned at Yokohama, Japan. Every night at eleven Clark changes into Superman and removes the bars from his window, then goes out and sabotages various vessels, machines, bases etc. He then returns to where he is supposed to be a prisoner and replaces the bars. Lois wonders if it could be Superman who is behind the sabotage acts. After many nights and failed attempts at catching Superman, Japanese soldiers place up signs in English warning Superman that if he commits any more acts of sabotage then Lois will be executed. Superman, however, does not spot the signs and destroys a large ship. It is only afterwards that he notices one of the signs. As Lois is about to be killed by a firing squad, Superman appears and shields her from the bullets. He defends them both from the soldiers, then takes her away. Later, Lois is getting interviewed and photographed on a ship as she is returning home. She tells the reporters that Clark Kent is still in Yokohama, but Superman promised her that he would look after him. In Yokohama, when the clock strikes eleven explosions erupt. Superman is still sabotaging.
Early on in the cartoon two short shots were taken from 'The Bulleteers,' only here they are tinted darker. One is of a spotlight being carted into position, and the other is of two rifles behind sandbags.
The second appearance of Japanese characters better demonstrates the demonization used during World War II. Each one of them is drawn unflatteringly and with bucked teeth. Also, the commanders seem excessively angry (well, Superman is causing them lots of trouble, but the point is that they are not shown to have any redeeming qualities).
One would think that the Japanese searched Lois and Clark thoroughly. It then seems rather funny that they missed Clark's Superman costume under his day clothes.
Superman is directly responsible for people's deaths in this cartoon, the first and only time this happens in the series. In one of the montages showing his acts of sabotage, moving tanks and vehicles are blown up. In his more detailed acts, he destroys warships with no crews aboard.
The firing squad shoots at Superman and the bullets all bounce off at weird angles rather than rebounding back.