Superman: The Animated Series – Volume One

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Timothy Daly as Clark Kent/Superman (voice)
Dana Delany as Lois Lane (voice)
Joseph Bologna as SCU Lt. Daniel ‘Dan’ Turpin (voice)
George Dzundza as Perry White (voice)
David Kaufman as James ‘Jimmy’ Olsen (voice)
Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor (voice)
Lisa Edelstein as Mercy Graves (voice)
Lauren Tom as Angela Chen (voice)
Mike Farrell as Jonathan Kent (voice)
Shelley Fabares as Martha Kent (voice)
Joely Fisher as Lana Lang (voice)
Victor Brandt as Prof. Emile Hamilton (voice)
Joanna Cassidy as Maggie Sawyer (voice)

Special Features:
Commentary by on four episodes by the creators

18 episodes with trivia track viewing mode on episode five

Superman: Learing to Fly making-of featurette

Superman’s Supporting Cast

Other Info:
Fullscreen
Dolby Digital Surround Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Spanish and French Languages
Running Time: 396 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“Your spirits will soar with this 2-disc/18-episode set from the popular TV series! Portraying the man and hero as human while keeping the comic-book action at full speed, each animated adventure is a fast-paced spellbinder. Beginning with his arrival on Earth, Superman finds his place in his adopted home and accepts his role as its champion – facing mortal enemy Lex Luthor and countless other criminals like the Weather Wizard and the Toyman. High-flying excitement, boundless thrills and revealing Exclusive Extras collide in this superior collection about the dynamic hero that inspires us all to strive for truth and justice.”

The following episodes are included in this set:

Disc 1:
The Last Son Of Krypton Part 1
The Last Son Of Krypton Part 2
The Last Son Of Krypton Part 3
Fun And Games
A Little Piece Of Home
Feeding Time

Disc 2:
The Way Of All Flesh
Stolen Memories
The Main Man Part 1
The Main Man Part 2
My Girl
Tools Of The Trade
Two’s A Crowd
The Prometheon
Blasts From The Past Part 1
Blasts From The Past Part 2
Livewire
Speed Demons

Superman – The Animated Series – Volume One is not rated.

The Series:
Following hot on the heels of the Batman animated series was the Superman animated series. Like its predecessor, it featured dramatic storytelling, action packed stories, perfectly designed characters, and a stellar voice cast. I guess if the formula ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The series borrowed from both the comics and the movies to make its own unique take on the Superman legend. One notable departure is that they made Braniac a Kryptonian super-computer that was partially responsible for the loss of Superman’s race. Despite this revised origin, it fits Superman lore perfectly. It makes Brainiac a kind of anti-Superman. And if you’re interested in the upcoming Superman movie, you may want to note that director Bryan Singer borrowed from the X-Men cartoon when making the X-Men movie. You can bet this series will inspire the upcoming Superman feature film as well.

Unlike Batman’s rogue’s gallery of villains, Superman’s is fairly limited. After Lex Luthor and Brainiac, you’re left with a very limited number of super-villians. However, the creators were able to make this work thanks to Superman being powered down and some good writing. They manage to make B and C Grade villains like Parasite, Metallo, Toyman, Weather Wizard, and others seem like a challenge for our hero. Guest cameos by Lobo and Flash also make the show fun for comic fans that know and love those characters. A race between Superman and Flash in “Speed Demons” is also particularly fun.

The voice cast is fantastic. You have Superman voiced by Tim Daly of Wings fame. Dana Delaney voices the feisty Lois Lane. Other recognizable voices include Christopher MacDonald as Jor-El, Mike Farrell as Jonathan Kent, Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, Malcolm McDowell as Metallo, Brad Garrett as Lobo, Lori Petty as Livewire, Ron Pearlman as Jax-Ur, and more.

Overall, this is just a first rate production. It’s fun for both kids and adults and well worth adding to your collection whether you’re a comic fan, an animation fan, or an action/adventure fan. It’s definitely one of the better entries into the Superman saga.

The Extras:
There are a few bonus features included on this DVD. Unfortunately none of them include interviews with the voice cast. Here’s what you will find, though:

Commentary by on four episodes by the creators – You’ll find commentary on “The Last Son Of Krypton Part 1″, “Stolen Memories”, “The Main Man” and “Tools of the Trade”. The commentators include Bruce Timm (Producer), Paul Dini (Producer), Alan Burnett (Producer), Dan Riba (Director), Curt Geda (Director), and Glen Murakami (Art Director). They are all excellent commentaries and really give you a lot of background on how the shows were made and how the stories were developed. They talk about how they borrowed from the films, pulled items from the comics, and came up with their own unique contributions.

Trivia Track – The episode “A Little Piece of Home” includes a pop-up trivia track. It’s OK, but it doesn’t have a whole lot of information for viewers.

Superman: Learing to Fly making-of featurette – This is probably the highlight of the bonus features. It’s an in-depth look at the making of the series. They talk about how the look was evolved and how it compared to Batman. They talk about powering down Superman, the design of Metropolis, the color palate, and other story and design aspects.

Superman’s Supporting Cast – This featurette highlights the supporting cast of Superman including Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, and Jonathan and Martha Kent. They talk about what role each character plays, how their look was developed, and other such things.

The Bottom Line:
Superman – The Animated Series is very entertaining for both kids and adults. It is well worth adding to your collection, especially if you’re a fan of Superman, comics, or animation.

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