Max Fleischer's Superman cartoons

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neil_Duffy, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. Neil_Duffy

    Neil_Duffy Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can any one tell me which release is worth picking up?

    Max Fleischer's Superman (Animation) (1998)

    or

    Complete Superman Cartoons - Diamond Anniversary Edition (1941-1943)

    What are the differences? Should I pick up both sets???
     
  2. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    1
    The DIAMOND collection is all you need.
     
  3. Neil_Duffy

    Neil_Duffy Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Really? Please elaborate - it's a present and I don't want to make any mistakes!

    Thanks.
     
  4. Jeff Krispow

    Jeff Krispow Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    First off, both the titles you mention contain the "same" Max Fleischer Superman cartoons, which date from 1941-1943. There are no 1998 cartoons (that's just the date one of those DVD collections was released).

    There are actually three different DVD editions available here in the US. All are of the same 1941-1943 series. However, the quality between the collections does vary:

    Max Fleischer's Superman / Superman: The Lost Episodes
    Winstar/Wellspring
    The collection is spread across two separate DVD releases. The first, Max Fleischer's Superman, contains 9 cartoons. The second collection, Superman: The Lost Episodes contains the remaining 8. The video quality is a mixture of good and bad, but quite obviously taken from worn public domain sources. The image is overall soft. Also, all the cartoons are edited in some way. The opening Paramount logos are missed, and the closing shots are mysteriously cut. The worst part of these discs are the audio — rather than present them in their original mono, WinStar badly remixed all the audio into a fake Stereo Surround track and then added in new sound effects over everything. Absolutely atrocious!!! Just avoid these discs completely — I would avoid them even if THEY paid me to take them! *Shudder*


    The Superman Cartoons of Max and Dave Fleischer
    Image Ent.
    For many years, this was the best set available, and Image initially released it on laserdisc. This collection contains all 17 Superman cartoons on one DVD disc, in their original theatrical release order. The overall quality of the prints is excellent — but some prints look better than others, but these transfers are far superior to any on the WinStar discs. The original mono tracks on this disc are also a thousand times better than the fake surround remix on the WinStar ones. The opening Paramount logos are intact, but many of the end tags are still missing. The worst-looking cartoon has always been "Terror on the Midway," and it still looks fairly ragged in this set (the first few seconds are missing from this print, and it's recreated using still frames over the soundtrack). This IS an excellent collection, and normally I'd recommend it... but it's no longer the top contender — that distiction goes to the Diamond Annivery Edition from Bosko/Image.


    The Complete Superman Collection: Diamnd Anniversary Edition
    Bosko Video / Image Ent.
    Considering the cartoons are all over 60 years old, I really didn't think they could look much better than the transfers on the other Image DVD. However, Bosko Video proved that there still was room for improvement — Without hesitation, this is by far THE best Superman disc/collection available. It contains all 17 cartoons, completely uncut, and is presented in the order of their original theatrical release. According to Bosko, “This series was transferred from original 35mm prints and negatives. Never before have prints of this quality been available from ANY source, including laser disc” [referring to Image's earlier LD release]. And the quality definitely shows, with a sharply definted image, rich colors and outstanding audio. All the opening and closing Paramount logos/music are intact! Bosko's version of "Terror on the Midway" is again the worst-looking episode, having some print problems and being somewhat murky, but it's complete for once and still looks far better than any other version available. (Hopefully someday the 35mm negative or a 1st/2nd generation dupe print of "Terror on the Midway" will be rediscovered, but until then, this is the best it will get.) While the previous Image DVD collection was excellent for its time, Bosko's version is just better in every respect. If you want the best Superman cartoon collection available, get this one! Highly, highly recommended!

    Hope this answers all your questions! Go for the Bosko Diamond Collection — your friend will be forever grateful for that decision!

    Best regards,
    Jeff
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,555
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Just for the record, Warner Bros. "owns" these cartoons, except that they're in the public domain.

    UCLA holds the sucessive exposure negatives (as in camera negative for an animated Technicolor production) to many of these cartoons.

    I don't know if these elements were used for any of these sets, but it would be nice for a set of these to happen with restored prints.
     
  6. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Jeff for the excellent write-up. Been meaning to get these, and now I know the set to get!
     
  7. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2001
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    0
    You guys could not have said it better yourselves. On my Superman Web Central site I (with help from animation expert Jerry Beck and my consultant Bill Williams) have an article on this very same topic. I suggest you read it sometime, and maybe you will think twice before getting your next video or DVD of the classic Fleischer cartoons.

    But, I will give you a hint...there has been an official release of the Fleischer cartoons on several volumes of "TV's Best Adventures Of Superman" from Warner Home Video, but it's limited to one 'toon per video.

    Thanks for 'tooning in!
     
  8. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does this make sense to anyone else?

    Sorry, Dude. Not to be mean, but you ain't coming through too well.
     
  9. Neil_Duffy

    Neil_Duffy Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, I defo plumb for this - The Complete Superman Collection: Diamnd Anniversary Edition.

    Still that previuos post has left me vexed somewhat.
     
  10. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    2,538
    Likes Received:
    9
    Real Name:
    Chris S
    Definitely pick up the Diamond Anniversary Edition. It is by far the best and most complete version available on DVD.

    Chris S.
     
  11. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cool beans.

    Thanks again!
     

Share This Page