Perhaps the greatest innovation of the Fleischer Studio: a cartoon that tells a dramatic story. A science fiction story.
Whereas cartoons were previously the domain of funny animals, fairy tales and parodies, the SUPERMAN cartoons pioneered a new genre for animated films.
The series was unequaled for decades, and has inspired today’s generation of superhero animators, live action directors and auteur Japanese animators.
Back in those days, dramatic comic strip characters were primarily adapted to movie serials (think Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers). Republic Pictures (the King of the “B’s”) tried to get the rights to make a chapterplay of SUPERMAN. But Paramount Pictures outbid Republic for the movie rights - and handed the character to the Fleischer Studio in Miami. The Fleischers had made a success out of a previous comic strip strongman, POPEYE. Could they do it again? Even the Fleischer’s had doubts.
The first cartoon, simply titled SUPERMAN, was nominated for an Academy Award (it should have won). It’s a visual feast! The score and Superman theme by Sammy Timburg is amazing. Seventeen super-masterpieces were produced by Paramount between 1941 and 1943.
Enjoy THE BULLETEERS. It’s a perfect piece of 1940s pulp fiction - and the forerunner of today’s brand of motion picture super spectaculars.