34 Comments

  • I watched this as a kid over and over again(in the 90’s not the 40’s). It was definitely one of my favorites.

  • It should be noted that the half-million-per episode is the inflation adjusted cost. In 1941, the cost was approximately $30,000.

  • We had a vhs of this when I was a kid. I distinctly remember the robot one.

  • A redditor “restored” them a few weeks back.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/6xn4q4

  • Who is the guy inserted at 3.03?

  • That’s a great video. Wow.

  • I love the Fleischer brothers cartoons. Their Betty Boop cartoons were totally bizarre.

    https://youtu.be/wlLHZruDCAA

  • I watched this as a kid, as well as the black and white TV show. I’d sit up real close to the TV looking for wires as Superman flew. Not seeing any, I concluded I too could fly. So I tied a towel around my neck and jumped down the 20 stairs at Grandma’s house. Somehow didn’t break anything. So I can’t fly, but maybe I’ve got unbreakable bones.

  • I have a whole new appreciation for animation.

  • They invented the rotoscope for that cartoon?! Incredible.

  • Max got a damn raw deal.

    He pioneered basically everything that the golden age of animation had to offer but Disney payed out most papers and radio shows to say that he was the first to do these things (like syncing music, video, and voice for steamboat Willie, when max did it like 5 years before him)

  • This is one of my favorite YouTube videos ever. I love Superman and people in my family know this. After they went public domain, I got a copy for birthdays and Christmas. I should probably use them as coasters.

  • Disagree with “origins stories are boring as hell.” Origin stories literally build the character. Batman Begins is a great origin story movie to the trilogy, arguably on par with the Dark Knight.

  • “Notice that in the 1941 cartoon Superman fights for “truth and justice”. “The American Way” was a catchphrase of the anti-Communist right in the ‘50s, made infamous during the McCarthy witch hunts.

    “the American way” was added to the Superman radio show’s narration during World War II, and was removed from it after the war in favor of narration speaking of Superman as a champion of tolerance and a fighter against prejudice. The TV show then restored the “American way” line as you say.

    It was the radio show that really introduced a lot of familiar Superman elements — the famous narration, the catchphrases like “This is a job for Superman” and “Up, up, and away” (so the radio audience would know what he was doing), the characters of Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, and kryptonite. The Fleischer cartoons borrowed the narration from the radio series 

    It was added to the tv show to comply with the tenor of the times.”

    One more thing Kaptainkritian has a great channel and every video is flawless and in-depth – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuPgdqQKpq4T4zeqmTelnFg

  • The animation from Batman the animated series was heavily inspired by these cartoons. You can totally see it.

  • Max Fleischer? If not, check em out.

  • I just realized we’re not that far away from having the ‘40s again.

  • Interesting. But i totally disagree with the notion that origin stories are boring.

  • That’s from the 40s…?! Wow

  • I watched that 40’s superman at my grandparents house when I was a kid and loved every minute of it. It’s very 1940s, but it’s actually really good.

  • TIL Animation was considered an art form in America until Hanna-Barbera ruined it.

  • TIL I learned I’m old enough to know about cartoons many people don’t know about now..

  • TIL there are people that have never heard of the Fleischer Superman cartoons…

  • Yep. Had the VHS when I was a kid. All 80’s kids had that.

  • For anyone who watched the video….did you guys catch the random subliminal black dude that flashed real quick across the screen. What the hell was that about?
    Edit: It’s around 3 mins into the video. Right at like 3:03

  • Who’s the guy at 3:04?

  • Lois Lane in those has NEVER seen a machine she doesn’t want to climb into to hide.

  • I think I found them at Archive.org. For the curious…
    https://archive.org/details/Superman1941-1943HighQuality

  • TIL Godzilla was inspired by a Superman cartoon.

  • Max Fleishcer made these, he also made alot of the best Popeye cartoons and was one of the few Disney competitors early on, so amazing and worth a watch If you’ve not seen any of his stuff.

  • Used to watch these as a kid (I’m 29). To me, this WAS Superman, down to the theme music. As a kid it didn’t occur to me that it was old. I thought it looked great and it was exciting.

  • Whats with the face that pops up at 3:04?

  • I love the line “He’s not an an alien. He’s not a god. He’s just a dude from Kansas, doing the right thing.’

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