Superman (1942)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The first of the Superman cartoons filmed under the aegis of Famous Studios, Japoteurs begins with a Daily Planet headline letting the audience know that the U.S. has developed the world's largest bomber plane and that it will soon be making a test flight. The paper's top reporters, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, are allowed to take a tour of the plane prior to its flight, and see that, in addition to its other features, it can also serve as an airstrip for launching smaller planes. Lois stows away after the tour is over, but she's not alone -- a number of Japanese spies have also stolen aboard, and they hi-jack the ship soon after it takes off. The spies plan to fly the plane to Tokyo, but Lois manages to radio for help, and Superman flies to the rescue. Upon his arrival, he learns that Lois has captured and the spies threaten to release her from the bomb bay doors if Superman doesn't leave. He obeys, but the spy releases Lois anyway, but Superman saves her. Beaten, the agents have set the controls so that the bomber will crash into Metropolis, but Superman uses his massive strength to catch the plane just in time.
Directed By:
Written By:


Bud Collyer
as Clark Kent/Superman

Critic Reviews for Superman

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Audience Reviews for Superman


The title should say Japoteurs. Though the Fleischers gave this continuing series over to new management director/producer Seymour Kneitel was the son-in-law of Max, so it was kept in the family in a way. The cast is kept intact as is the basic animation style. We can now see the influence of WWII in late '42 with the title combining "saboteurs" with "Japanese." A jumbo aircraft and bomb carrying plane is what the saboteurs are after. Lois stows away and so do three horribly stereotypical Japanese men. Just the sort of unfounded fears that Americans had that led to Japanese American internment.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer


Suddenly Superman cartoons became part of the propaganda machine. The anti-Jap racist nastiness isn't nearly as bad as the racism seen in the first Batman serial, but it is still there. Superman must face off with Japanese spies in America. This is the first short produced not by Fleischer Studios, as Paramount bought and ousted the Fleischer Bros. and turned the animation studio into Famous. While I think the animation quality doesn't change, I preferred the more fantastic sci-fi/fantasy stories in the series than the angle Famous took...which was primarily WWII propaganda.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

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