Retro Review – Fleischer Superman – “Terror on the Midway”

Fleischer Superman

Superman Homepage reviewer Micah Pickering reviews the Fleischer Superman animated shorts for those nostalgic for the 1940s.

Check out his review of the cartoon titled “Terror on the Midway”.

It’s kind of crazy to think about how common the circus was decades ago, whereas now it is a relic of a bygone era. Before anyone comes out and says: “ACTUALLY THE CIRCUS IS STILL AROUND I WENT TO ONE LAST WEEK!”, I only mean that just a few decades ago the traveling circus was a common and accepted thing in America. Now it’s just something that is seen more in old cartoons than in real life.

Speaking of old cartoons (and bad segues), this installment of the Fleischer Superman cartoon sees the man of steel take on a giant gorilla under the bright lights of the circus big top.

Now on to the review!

2Rating – 2 (out of 5): The premise of this cartoon is pretty fun. Lois and Clark are at the circus where the featured attraction is a giant gorilla named Gigantic. Gigantic is unleashed upon the unsuspecting circus goers when a little monkey accidentally opens his cage. As Gigantic causes panic and mayhem, the other animals are whipped into a frenzy creating a truly dangerous situation.

Lois leaps into action to save a little girl from the rampage but finds herself caught in Gigantic’s clutches soon after. Meanwhile Clark changes into Superman to try to bring an end to the chaos.

Clark is attacked by a panther while he is changing into Superman. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Clark get attacked while changing into Superman. It was actually kind of funny. Superman easily wrestles the panther back into its cage and begins to do the same with the other animals. He wrangles lions and elephants back into their cages before hearing Lois terrified scream.

Lois has climbed the ladder to the tightrope to escape Gigantic, but the massive beast followed her. Superman leaps into action tackling Gigantic and bringing him back to the ground. An electrical wire is damaged during the collision of the two titans and causes a fire. All the people have fled the scene leaving only Superman, Lois, and Gigantic in the flaming big top.

Superman fights Gigantic and knocks him out with a big punch to the jaw. Superman uses ropes to tie the beast to a pole. Superman rescues Lois and puts out the fire, and once again the day is saved. Lois and Clark go back to the Daily Planet and bring our cartoon to a close.

One of the big reasons that I gave this cartoon a lower rating is because for the first time in this series I felt that the animation was inconsistent. At some points Gigantic is depicted as taller than he actually is, and the fight scene between him and Superman was just odd looking. The premise is fun, and the story serves the runtime well. However, this one just didn’t look as good aesthetically in some crucial scenes. So the low rating on this one is due to not quite living up to the visual quality of its predecessors.