Superman (The Mad Scientist)

by Alan Rapp on June 9, 2020

in Short Films

  • Title: Supeman – Superman (AKA The Mad Scientist)
  • wiki: link

Superman (The Mad Scientist) review

Throwback Tuesday takes a look back to the earliest appearance of the Man of Tomorrow on film. Created by Fleischer Studios and released to theaters to be shown before feature films, the Superman cartoons were highly-stylized shorts. The first, entitled simply “Superman” (although it has been come to be known by the villain’s name) features Lois Lane chasing down a lead about a Mad Scientist threatening to use his Electrothanasia-Ray on the city. When Lois is captured, Clark Kent slips into the stock room and emerges as the Man of Steel to fight off the destruction caused by the ray and then trace it back to its source in order to save Lois.

The first short is notable for a quick recap of Superman’s history from Krypton to Earth and Superman punching his way through the death ray (instead of simply flying around it and destroying it at its source, although Suprman’s heroism is certainly impressive). The Mad Scientist also has an almost Disney-like parrot who helps with his schemes. Like the 16 other shorts to follow, it has a distinct film noir style (which would be one of the biggest influences for Batman: The Animated Series five decades later) and was filmed by rotoscoping actual film footage by drawing the animation on top of the scenes.

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