Superman (1941) is the first series in the series of seventeen Technicolor cartoons based on the stories of the character DC Comics. This series is also known as the Crazy Scientist, Superman was created by Fleischer Studio and released by Paramount Pictures on October 26, 1941. Superman ranked 33rd in the list of fifty top-notch cartoons of all time in the 1994 poll and was nominated for the Academy Award 1942 for the best animated short film.
Cast: -Bud Collyer as Superman/Clark Kent;
-Joan Alexander as Lois Lane;
-Julian Noa as Perry White;
-Jack Mercer as the Mad Scientist;
-Jackson Beck as the Narrator, Radio Newscaster. Subtitles in English, Russian and Ukrainian.
The short’s prologue sums up the origins of Superman, and are as follows:
In the endless reaches of the universe, there once existed a planet known as Krypton; a planet that burned like a green star in the distant heavens. There, civilization was far advanced, and it brought forth a race of supermen, whose mental and physical powers were developed to the absolute peak of human perfection. But there came a day when giant quakes threatened to destroy Krypton forever. One of the planet’s leading scientists, sensing the approach of doom, placed his infant son in a small rocket ship and sent it hurtling in the direction of the Earth, just as Krypton exploded. The rocket sped through star-studded space, landing safely on Earth with its precious burden: Krypton’s sole survivor. A passing motorist found the uninjured child and took it to an orphanage. As the years went by and the child grew to maturity, he found himself possessed of amazing physical powers. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, the infant of Krypton is now the Man of Steel: SUPERMAN! To best be in a position to use his amazing powers in a never-ending battle for truth and justice, Superman has assumed the disguise of Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper.
The story cuts to the Daily Planet building, where editor Perry White reveals to his two best field reporters, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, that an anonymous figure has mailed another threatening note, threatening to use his "Electrothanasia-Ray", to the Planet. White assigns Kent to help Lois follow up her lead, but Lois instead insists that she’d "like the chance to crack the story on [her] own."
Lois takes off in a private plane to an undisclosed location on the top of a mountain, where the villain’s secluded lair/laboratory is located. He is preparing to fire his futuristic weapon (perhaps a particle beam or death ray), until his pet bird spots Lois’s aircraft and alerts him. Upon her arrival, Lois is kidnapped, bound, and gagged, as the scientist boasts to her about the success of his plan, and then demonstrates the weapon’s power by aiming it at a bridge and destroying it. While listening to the radio, Clark and the other journalists learn of the coming disaster, as the police alert everyone to stay in their homes. Instinctively, Clark steps into a storage room and changes into Superman before flying away...
Interesting fact about Superman
One of the fans of George Reeves, who played Superman in the 1950s, once brought a gun at the actor, wanting to check Superman’s invulnerability. Reeves was able to persuade the guy to give him the weapon, saying that it hurts him when the bullets bounce off him.