Fleischer Superman

April 22, 2009: The History Behind Fleischer's Superman

In the wake of Warner Home Video's DVD release of "Max Fleischer's Superman: 1941-1942", Newsarama.com has published a 2-part article on the history of Fleischer Studios.

    Fresh of the success of Gulliver's Travels, Paramount gave the Fleischers a green light for a second feature film. It would be called Mr. Bug Goes to Town and was based on the book The Life of a Bee. Paramount fronted the Fleischers $500,000 for the project.

    At the same time, Paramount itself was making a deal with an up-and-coming publisher called National Periodicals, which would one day become DC Comics. National, as most anyone knows, put superheroes like Batman on the map. Their best selling title was of an alien orphaned to live on Earth, the last son of the planet Krypton, who under the guise of a meek, mild-mannered reporter... you know the drill. If that wasn't enough, by this time Superman was also a hit radio show as well as comic book. Paramount thought an animated series on the Man of Steel was a natural.

    Apparently, Dave Fleischer didn't think so.

    "As the story goes, they didn't want to do Superman," says Reich. "Dave Fleischer said that it would be too expensive to do right. Paramount said name a price. They said $100,000 a cartoon, when a good cartoon cost $20,000. To the Fleischer's shock, Paramount said go ahead and do it.

    What everyone has to understand in these post-Batman: The Animated Series days is there was absolutely NOTHING that looked like those original Superman shorts. Visually, they set the animation world completely on its head.

Read the complete 2-part article at Newsarama.com.



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