18 July 2011

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Fleischer / Famous Superman Recap

Before embarking on this journey I had only seen a couple of these shorts. Now, having seen all 17, I would definitely say that fans of Superman should see some of them (the essential five below). While I don't think it is possible to overstate the importance of these shorts in establishing Superman as a cultural icon or to superhero animation generally, I really don't think they are all essential viewing. The shorts were beautifully animated, visionary in their scope, and continue to influence the genre. All I am saying is historical importance does not guarantee entertainment value. The characters in these shorts have no depth and the plots are paper thin. Although there is fun to be had they are severely lacking in substance. As much as I am glad to have finally bit the proverbial speeding bullet and watched these episodes, I think I am ready to move onto something new - even if the next series also stars Superman.

Essential Five:
1. Superman (a.k.a. The Mad Scientist) - Where it all began
2. Eleventh Hour - Best of the propaganda shorts. Don't get on his bad side
3. The Mechanical Monsters - The robots are classic
4. The Electric Earthquake - For the underwater sequences alone
5. Showdown - A nice change of pace from the series' normal plots

Series Stinker:
Destruction, Inc. - Not only boring, but also mummyless

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