Superman (Superman: The Introduction) (The Death Ray) (The Mad Scientist) (1941) - Rotten Tomatoes

Superman (Superman: The Introduction) (The Death Ray) (The Mad Scientist) (1941)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Directed by Dave Fleischer, brother of the legendary Max Fleischer (who serves as producer), this animated short film was the first cinematic adaptation of the classic comic book Superman. Long before George Reeves or Christopher Reeve donned the famous red cape, voice-artist Bud Collyer was Superman, providing the superhero's dialogue in dozens of shorts and television programs over the course of three decades. In this first adventure, Clark Kent must turn into his alter-ego Superman and save the people of Metropolis from certain doom at the hands of a maniacal scientist with a deadly energy cannon. Joan Alexander provides the voice of Lois Lane.
Action & Adventure , Animation , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video


Critic Reviews for Superman (Superman: The Introduction) (The Death Ray) (The Mad Scientist)

All Critics (1)

Even put up against today's animation, the Max Fleischer Superman cartoons hold up with incredible integrity

Full Review… | April 20, 2009
7M Pictures

Audience Reviews for Superman (Superman: The Introduction) (The Death Ray) (The Mad Scientist)

The Mad Scientist started off a series of excellent Superman cartoons. I love the look of them! The art deco superhero seems to have inspired greats like James Bond and Batman: The Animated Series, 20 and 50 years later!

Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson

Fleischer Studios was basically brothers Lou (Music Supervisor), Max (Producer), and Dave (Director). This is the animation studio that brought us Betty Boop and Popeye. The brothers specifically worked on the first nine of these brilliant Art Deco styled series of Superman shorts. Bud Collyer embodies the dual voices of Clark Kent and Superman so well. Lois Lane is illustrated as a truly intrepid reporter, who is not afraid of danger. Getting back to the essence of the original comics, this Superman can leap tall buildings, but not fly. He still has super strength and speed in midair, so it isn't long before jumping and falling turns into what looks like full-blown flight later in the series. This short, which launched Superman's cinematic career, is also known as The Mad Scientist or The Death Ray, so you know both of those things are featured in the plot. Most of this series has a good mix of adventure and just a touch of humor. In this one the villain has a comic sidekick vulture.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer


Dave and Max Fleischer directed this Superman cartoon, the very first to feature the character. The Fleischers would create 9 more Superman cartoons in the early 40s, before the theatrical shorts would be taken over by Famous Studios. This cartoon is pretty good, featuring a mad scientist reaping havoc on Metropolis and Superman having to save Lois Lane, who goes off to interview the scientist like a mad woman. I love the animation style of these old cartoons, and while the stories and the characters are all pretty one dimensional...there is something inherently charming about them.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

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