What's new

Todd Erwin

Reviewer
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
10,440
Location
Hawthorne, NV
Real Name
Todd Erwin
This latest release of “newly restored” classic Max Fleischer’s Superman cartoons begs the question – “What is going on over at Warner-Discovery?”



Superman (1941)



Released: 26 Sep 1941
Rated: G
Runtime: 10 min




Director: Dave Fleischer, Steve Muffati
Genre: Animation, Short, Action



Cast: Bud Collyer, Joan Alexander, Jackson Beck
Writer(s): Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Seymour Kneitel



Plot: The Man of Steel fights a mad scientist who is destroying Metropolis with an energy cannon.



IMDB rating: 7.3
MetaScore: N/A





Disc Information



Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC



Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA...

Continue reading...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Indy Guy

Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
364
Real Name
Tony Baxter
I had a different experience watching 11 of the Superman shorts and the 3 bonus features last night. I'm excited to view the final 6 tonight, as one element I did agree with in the above review is that they have never looked better on home media!
I am not a grain, cel debris or negative damage affectionado, so the pristine look was like seeing these films for the first time.
I ported over my reactions to last nights viewing from the WHV Press Release MF's Superman thread where I originally posted. For Those who have this on order, you may be pleasantly surprised if your viewing equipment can make it shine like mine did!
My Sunday 5/14 post is copied below....
_____________________________________
My copy was waiting when I got home late tonight. After dinner I had time to view the first 11 titles and all 3 bonus features. I viewed the disc on a 4K projector & video processor combination.
My impression is based on just watching the films for their artistry and emotional power...not the techical process of getting these ancient and poorly preserved relics onto HD media.
From my perspective...they look gorgeous! A true joy to watch. The color and shadow work is true artistry and for the first time after a lifetime of seeing badly decayed variations, I felt the power and the landmark place of honor these shorts hold...not just the development of Superman, but SciFi in general. Clearly...even the design of Godzilla is inspired by one of these shorts! There are several more standard SciFi tripes that are equally obvious.
As for technical flaws, the most jarring are certain spliced on ending titles which include random music cues in conflict with the music concluding the final scenes.
I watched the new bonus featurette to pay particular attention to the extra clarity various reviews have described. All I can say is for whatever additional clarity (it's minimal) the price is a filthy looking image! During WWll, animation studios were forced to wash and reuse cels to save on the use of plastics. If ever there were examples of well worn cels creating a dirty looking image, this is it. True, all the filth, grain and negative damage is very clear, but if your reason for owning these films is to enjoy storytelling, artistry and a style likely to never be seen again...it's well worth the buy!
Now about the flimsy eco case...you will need to move everything over to something more befitting of such artistic wonders!
 

ScottRE

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
3,308
Location
New York, Planet Earth
Real Name
Scott
As for technical flaws, the most jarring are certain spliced on ending titles which include random music cues in conflict with the music concluding the final scenes.
Thank you for including this bit of info. I was hoping Warner was able to find the complete prints, but as long as the stories are intact, this isn't a make or break for me. Since the majority of those outros are substituted in the Famous Studios shorts, I wonder if they had period specific graphics, such as war propaganda which was edited for TV syndication and discarded? Anyone have any insight?

Thanks for your counterpoint. I am on the fence about this release.

Edit:

Weirdly, "Jungle Drums" on the 2008 Superman Anthology has the edited outro. However, our old friend YouTube has it complete. How does that one sit in the new set?

 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
19,118
Thanks for the effort to do this review Todd. I still ordered this set as I’m curious to see it. :).

By the way, I posted this video in the Fleischer Superman Blu ray review thread, it’s 2 years old. It claims to be a 4K restoration and clean up made from the DVD copies. Looking at the video on my iPad Pro, it looks pretty good. I’ll compare it to the Blu ray when it arrives.

 

ScottRE

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
3,308
Location
New York, Planet Earth
Real Name
Scott
Thank you for including this bit of info. I was hoping Warner was able to find the complete prints, but as long as the stories are intact, this isn't a make or break for me. Since the majority of those outros are substituted in the Famous Studios shorts, I wonder if they had period specific graphics, such as war propaganda which was edited for TV syndication and discarded? Anyone have any insight?

Thanks for your counterpoint. I am on the fence about this release.

Edit:

Weirdly, "Jungle Drums" on the 2008 Superman Anthology has the edited outro. However, our old friend YouTube has it complete. How does that one sit in the new set?


So the more I look at the shorts on the page I grabbed Jungle Drums for, the more original outros I see in his copies. Did WB not restore any? Because if the blu ray has the same edits as the earlier release in the Anthology. I'll just stick with those.
 

BobO'Link

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 3, 2008
Messages
11,504
Location
Mid-South
Real Name
Howie
Thank you very much for this review, Todd.

I, like others, am still very much on the fence with this one. At the moment I'm leaning towards the copies on the Superman movies BRs being "good enough" until it's known what WB plans to do.
 

Indy Guy

Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2012
Messages
364
Real Name
Tony Baxter
Thank you for including this bit of info. I was hoping Warner was able to find the complete prints, but as long as the stories are intact, this isn't a make or break for me. Since the majority of those outros are substituted in the Famous Studios shorts, I wonder if they had period specific graphics, such as war propaganda which was edited for TV syndication and discarded? Anyone have any insight?

Thanks for your counterpoint. I am on the fence about this release.

Edit:

Weirdly, "Jungle Drums" on the 2008 Superman Anthology has the edited outro. However, our old friend YouTube has it complete. How does that one sit in the new set?


Sadly the new out title is not the correct match audio-wise. It has a jarringly abrupt effect.
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
19,118
My copy of the Fleischer Superman shorts is delayed and is in Chicago somewhere and I’m out in California. Hope it arrives soon.
 

JoeDoakes

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
3,462
Real Name
Ray
It’s really hard to believe they can screw up so badly at this point in time.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2023
Messages
26
Real Name
Rolf Skrinde
Got my copy today, and...they look very good. If I hadn't read the avalanche of horrified reviews on multiple sites I'd think they were (mostly) excellent. The clips of the raw 4K scan in the doc don't look that much sharper, and are plagued with a snowstorm of extremely heavy grain and constant speckles. I've owned all the previous versions and this is by far the best. I can't help but think the animation is finally free of all those distractions. Of course I wish it were less processed and understand there was a huge opportunity missed in making the definitive transfer. I'm conflicted and still holding onto some of the older discs for context. Yeah, this new release is far from perfect, but it's more than watchable.
 

Tino

Taken As Ballast
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 1999
Messages
23,635
Location
Metro NYC
Real Name
Valentino
Decided to buy the digital version on iTunes for $9.99. Same transfer and I sampled the first short and it looked fine to me.
 

Wayne Klein

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
481
Got my copy today, and...they look very good. If I hadn't read the avalanche of horrified reviews on multiple sites I'd think they were (mostly) excellent. The clips of the raw 4K scan in the doc don't look that much sharper, and are plagued with a snowstorm of extremely heavy grain and constant speckles. I've owned all the previous versions and this is by far the best. I can't help but think the animation is finally free of all those distractions. Of course I wish it were less processed and understand there was a huge opportunity missed in making the definitive transfer. I'm conflicted and still holding onto some of the older discs for context. Yeah, this new release is far from perfect, but it's more than watchable.
The assumption is that they are the raw 4K scan but I don’t believe we know that for sure. They look like higher resolution versions of the old DVD from Warner to me.
 

Trancas

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
347
Real Name
Eric
What the....? I just watched 2 of the iTunes $9.99 version. They look great! Were there compression flaws on the review discs sent out? Or did iTunes get an improved version? Sharpness looks very good. Equal to the Warner Archive Tex Avery cartoons. Grain is low but lines look sharp, colors - clean and bright (there's a fine grain pattern, but that must be not real). The background gouache paintings look detailed, undamaged. Has anyone who's gotten both the disc and iTunes compared the quality?

Additional thought: could the 4k upscaling on the TV be making the files look better/crisper?
 
Last edited:

Dave MJ

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 26, 2001
Messages
329
Received mine today and definitely disappointed at the extreme amount of DNR. It looks too clean and digital. The organic, textured feel just isn't there compared to the best of other classic animated releases from WB. Some shorts look softer than others. Watching on a 77" LG OLED I actually cranked sharpness up to max which helps a bit on some of them. While certainly not a disaster, it's a disappointment after waiting so long for these to be properly mastered.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,018
Messages
5,128,566
Members
144,251
Latest member
acinstallation625
Recent bookmarks
0
Top