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(io9)   You can now watch the 1940s Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons online   (io9.com ) divider line
    More: Cool, Fleischer Studios, Superman, Superman cartoons, Internet Archive, autonomous robot  
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2054 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Dec 2012 at 12:50 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



32 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-12-01 08:33:18 PM  
PUBLIC DOMAIN FTW! :D
 
2012-12-01 09:58:16 PM  
Classic stuff. I have a long-distant memory of seeing some of those *ahem* decades ago.
 
2012-12-01 11:11:39 PM  
Never seen all of them myself. Way before my time ... really.
 
2012-12-02 01:06:54 AM  
My life has been made whole again.
 
2012-12-02 01:16:52 AM  
Hard to believe that the people who were entertained by this were also capable of giving us the first nuclear war.
 
2012-12-02 01:18:18 AM  
If the movies and classic radio are any indication, then America was littered with private laboratories in which mad scientists were busy creating destructive things. Much like today, I guess
 
2012-12-02 01:22:55 AM  
Incredible, the amount of work that went into these animations.
 
2012-12-02 01:24:10 AM  
aww i just love it. my buddy Dr. Johnny Thunder in NYC is just gonna flip when he hears about this.
 
2012-12-02 01:33:11 AM  

DeathLemur: Incredible, the amount of work that went into these animations.


The rotoscoping is awesome.
 
2012-12-02 01:33:42 AM  
Wow. Just wow on many levels. I was heavy into DC about 1963-1967 before outgrowing Batman Superman etc and anything 1950s and earlier seemed so ancient. But this would have only been 25 years back, like a kid nowadays dealing with the Simpsons. I watched the mint one and the arctic one. Not too different from the 60s Superman, just that he was dealing with ordinary criminals and dinosaurs instead of Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro and Mxyzptlk.
 
2012-12-02 02:05:28 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: DeathLemur: Incredible, the amount of work that went into these animations.

The rotoscoping is awesome.


Rotoscoping is only a means to an end. You can rotoscope, while not caring about shadows or shading...
 
2012-12-02 02:16:38 AM  
Art deco forever.
 
2012-12-02 02:41:40 AM  

zerkalo: If the movies and classic radio are any indication, then America was littered with private laboratories in which mad scientists were busy creating destructive things. Much like today, I guess


static.neatorama.com
 
2012-12-02 03:22:19 AM  
Thank you. You just made my night ;)
 
2012-12-02 03:54:47 AM  
Things you wish the MST3K crew could ridicule ...

SpinStopper: Thank you. You just made my night ;)


Corny, but yeah, this.

Quantum Apostrophe: Hard to believe that the people who were entertained by this were also capable of giving us the first nuclear war.


They'll say the same when looking upon our present day scientific/military achievements, and catching clips of "Transformers," "Jersey Shore" and "Two and a Half Men."
 
2012-12-02 04:30:18 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Hard to believe that the people who were entertained by this were also capable of giving us the first nuclear war.


Well, I don't think Nazi nuclear scientists were gathered around the black and white tube watching Krazy Kat.
 
2012-12-02 07:29:18 AM  
I always thought Roger Corman 'traced' part of that original Superman cartoon for his cheesy Fantastic Movie.

Watch the first Superman cartoon at about the 7:45 point...

Then watch this at the 10:15 point.
Link
 
2012-12-02 08:05:09 AM  
Not to be Debbie Downer or anything, but I've been able to watch all of these online for years. Why is this news?
 
2012-12-02 08:31:10 AM  

Richard_The_Clown: Not to be Debbie Downer or anything, but I've been able to watch all of these online for years. Why is this news?


Remastered by WB
 
2012-12-02 08:53:37 AM  
These early Fleischer Superman's should get bonus points for something else they did not need to do well - a portrayal of our (Japanese and Nazi) enemies relatively free of racism.

They do not seem to be linked in the IO9 article, but Superman fights the Japs and Nazis a few times. Unlike other cartoons of the time, the Japanese are not drawn more subhuman than the Nazis. They're the villians, to be sure, and are lecherous, and short, and have dodgy teeth, but not too much, and not moreso than the (White, European) Germans.

Also, an American Indian enemy was shown to be evil, but also highly competent and resourceful - a surprising and almost respectful departure fronm the usual stereytype.

I'm thinking the creators of Superman had grown up Jewish in the US in the old days and already had it up to their back teeth with racism.
 
2012-12-02 08:59:13 AM  

keloyd: These early Fleischer Superman's should get bonus points for something else they did not need to do well - a portrayal of our (Japanese and Nazi) enemies relatively free of racism.

They do not seem to be linked in the IO9 article, but Superman fights the Japs and Nazis a few times. Unlike other cartoons of the time, the Japanese are not drawn more subhuman than the Nazis. They're the villians, to be sure, and are lecherous, and short, and have dodgy teeth, but not too much, and not moreso than the (White, European) Germans.

Also, an American Indian enemy was shown to be evil, but also highly competent and resourceful - a surprising and almost respectful departure fronm the usual stereytype.

I'm thinking the creators of Superman had grown up Jewish in the US in the old days and already had it up to their back teeth with racism.


That last bit probably does explain it.

Although I've never articulated it, this it's a good reason why I've watched these before with my 4 year old, but have strong reservations about doing the same with, for example, The Lone Ranger show from the 50's.
 
2012-12-02 09:41:38 AM  
Had a few of these on VHS when I was little, amazed that the tapes didn't wear out from watching them so much. That action music should still be used alongside John Williams' Superman music, and that's no small thing. Love the art deco(?) animation too.
 
2012-12-02 10:32:44 AM  
Ok, but why would I want to?
 
2012-12-02 10:41:12 AM  
These were originally released in 3D.
 
2012-12-02 02:32:39 PM  
A kid being introduced to Superman today would find a fully formed canon of his origin, accounts of his major exploits, and an existing social environment of friends, enemies, colleagues, and so forth. It would seem that he never could have been anything but the modern Superman.

The early Superman bore little resemblance to the modern sun god Kal El. He was something like a working class Doc Savage with enhanced strength, speed, and durability, and spent his time taking on crooked businessmen, corrupt local politicians, and other small-time evildoers. Later, the writers introduced more powerful enemies, and Superman's infamous power inflation began.

The evolution of the Superman mythos has occurred within the span of a human lifetime. Imagine what a few more decades, or even a few centuries would do.

Now imagine the same process applied to a Jewish carpenter named Yeshua, an Arabian merchant named Muhammad, an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama, etc.

Honestly not trying to troll here, just making an observation.
 
2012-12-02 03:31:05 PM  

Parthenogenetic: A kid being introduced to Superman today would find a fully formed canon of his origin, accounts of his major exploits, and an existing social environment of friends, enemies, colleagues, and so forth. It would seem that he never could have been anything but the modern Superman.

The early Superman bore little resemblance to the modern sun god Kal El. He was something like a working class Doc Savage with enhanced strength, speed, and durability, and spent his time taking on crooked businessmen, corrupt local politicians, and other small-time evildoers. Later, the writers introduced more powerful enemies, and Superman's infamous power inflation began.

The evolution of the Superman mythos has occurred within the span of a human lifetime. Imagine what a few more decades, or even a few centuries would do.

Now imagine the same process applied to a Jewish carpenter named Yeshua, an Arabian merchant named Muhammad, an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama, etc.

Honestly not trying to troll here, just making an observation.


So Satan is Lex Luthor?
 
2012-12-02 05:32:53 PM  

Parthenogenetic: A kid being introduced to Superman today would find a fully formed canon of his origin, accounts of his major exploits, and an existing social environment of friends, enemies, colleagues, and so forth. It would seem that he never could have been anything but the modern Superman.

The early Superman bore little resemblance to the modern sun god Kal El. He was something like a working class Doc Savage with enhanced strength, speed, and durability, and spent his time taking on crooked businessmen, corrupt local politicians, and other small-time evildoers. Later, the writers introduced more powerful enemies, and Superman's infamous power inflation began.

The evolution of the Superman mythos has occurred within the span of a human lifetime. Imagine what a few more decades, or even a few centuries would do.

Now imagine the same process applied to a Jewish carpenter named Yeshua, an Arabian merchant named Muhammad, an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama, etc.

Honestly not trying to troll here, just making an observation.



Hercules would be a better parallel. He was a super-strong hero who was worshipped in religious ceremonies, had temples and a cult built around him.
 
2012-12-03 08:55:42 AM  
Jesus I09 - I haven't even gotten through the Omni magazine collection yet.
 
2012-12-03 01:22:55 PM  

Parthenogenetic: A kid being introduced to Superman today would find a fully formed canon of his origin, accounts of his major exploits, and an existing social environment of friends, enemies, colleagues, and so forth. It would seem that he never could have been anything but the modern Superman.

The early Superman bore little resemblance to the modern sun god Kal El. He was something like a working class Doc Savage with enhanced strength, speed, and durability, and spent his time taking on crooked businessmen, corrupt local politicians, and other small-time evildoers. Later, the writers introduced more powerful enemies, and Superman's infamous power inflation began.

The evolution of the Superman mythos has occurred within the span of a human lifetime. Imagine what a few more decades, or even a few centuries would do.

Now imagine the same process applied to a Jewish carpenter named Yeshua, an Arabian merchant named Muhammad, an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama, etc.

Honestly not trying to troll here, just making an observation.


the difference is that no one ever really tried to get people to believe that Superman was real, was coming back, was just currently gone to Krypton.

/religious myths are no different than current comic books characters. all this fiction around us all the time, movies do amazing business, novels hit bestseller lists, and yet millions of people still, in 2012, believe in magic fairy tales and will not listen you you try to get them to think about the fact that they are all just as fictional as the Greek and Roman myths.
 
2012-12-03 06:37:42 PM  

frepnog: will not listen you you try to get them to think about the fact that they are all just as fictional as the Greek and Roman myths.


Do you listen to them when they are trying to evangelize you?
 
2012-12-04 02:29:28 PM  

GilRuiz1: frepnog: will not listen you you try to get them to think about the fact that they are all just as fictional as the Greek and Roman myths.

Do you listen to them when they are trying to evangelize you?


trying to get someone to believe in magic and the impossible is one thing. trying to get people to at least admit that there is a possibility that religion is myth is quite another.
 
2012-12-04 07:26:37 PM  

frepnog: GilRuiz1: frepnog: will not listen you you try to get them to think about the fact that they are all just as fictional as the Greek and Roman myths.

Do you listen to them when they are trying to evangelize you?

trying to get someone to believe in magic and the impossible is one thing. trying to get people to at least admit that there is a possibility that religion is myth is quite another.



So... no? Well, if you don't listen to them, why do you expect them to listen to you?
 
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