Superman: The Complete Animated Series Out on Blu-Ray
KC reviewed Superman: The Complete Animated Series when it came out on DVD in 2009. The studio was kind enough to send us a copy of the new release, Superman: The Complete Animated Series on Blu-ray with digital copy. It comes out on Tuesday for the show’s 25th anniversary — the show debuted in September 2009.
It’s been remastered, and I’m just going to quote the press release here for the details:
All 54 episodes have been remastered from the original 35mm Interpositive sources, giving special attention to extensive color correction, dirt and scratch clean up, and adding a grain reduction pass to create a pristine picture, all while making sure not to affect the original lines in the artwork of the animation. The audio was retransferred from the original audio masters, and the series is presented in its original aspect ratio (4×3).
Plus, there’s a new extra, “Superman: Timeless Icon”, a half-hour featurette. It’s about how and why the show came about, the Kirby influences, the voice actors, and how difficult the character can be to work with. Guests include producers Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, director Dan Riba, writer Bob Goodman, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, and voice actors Tim Daly and Clancy Brown.
There’s a video commentary on “Mxyzpixilated” (the Mr. Msyzptlk episode, my favorite), with Timm, Dini, Riba, and moderator Jason Hillhouse, and audio commentaries on the first episode as well as “Stolen Memories” (where Brainiac, from Krypton in this version, visits Earth) and “The Main Man Part 2” (guest-starring Lobo).
The cast consisted of Tim Daly as Clark Kent/Superman, Dana Delany as Lois Lane, Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, and David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen. Real-life couple Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicutt!) and Shelley Fabares played the Kent parents.
We watched the three-part origin, the show’s first episodes, “The Last Son of Krypton”, written by Alan Burnett & Paul Dini, which I found slow going. There is no Superman in the first episode; instead we get lots of Jor-El and Krypton, ending with the rocket being launched. It’s not until the third episode that Lois names the new hero after seeing him in news photos.
There are a few other multi-part episodes: the Lobo pair; the two-part “Blasts From the Past”, involving the Phantom Zone and General Jax-Ur; the three-part Batman team-up “World’s Finest”; “Apokolips… Now!”, two episodes where Darkseid invades Earth; the introduction of Supergirl in the two-part “Little Girl Lost”; and the two-parter that ended the series, “Legacy”, with the return of Darkseid.
We also watched “Mxyzpixilated”, written by Paul Dini, for the fun. The character, beautifully voiced by Gilbert Gottfried, had the Golden Age character design — and had Sandra Bernhard voicing his girlfriend. We had lots of “I should know that voice!” moments watching this, particularly when it came to Malcolm McDowell as Metallo.
The additional extras are carried over from the previous releases.
- Menaces of Metropolis: Behind the Villains of Superman (2005, 13 min.)
- Building the Mythology: Superman’s Supporting Cast (2004, 10 min.)
- Superman: Learning to Fly (2004, 10 min.)
- The Despot Darkseid: A Villain Worthy of Superman (2009, 17 min.)
- A trivia track for the episode “A Little Piece of Home”
Ultimately, while I’m glad this exists, it’s not for me. I want Superman to be fun, and having the folks that did Batman: The Animated Series do this series meant that they took it in another direction. One that involved a Lot of Darkseid, of whom I’m not a fan. If you’re interested in the show, though, this is a great, comprehensive package.
I wanted to like this series more, but I don’t know most of it just lacked the depth to me the Batman :TAS did. Most of the episodes I liked best were with guest stars (Flash race, when Robin gets him to pretend to be a missing Batman, and Green Lantern (with my fav GL Kyle Rayner) or featured other characters as the lead (Supergirl one) more than the solo episodes which weren’t very memorable.
That’s right, I recall seeing mention that this was the first media appearance of GL Kyle Rayner. Cool!