Cartoons from the 40's - Today
First there was the comic book Action Comics but before even Kirk
Alyn took off into the wild blue yonder there was Max and Dave
Fleischer's Superman cartoon shorts shown before movie features in the
early forties. No one would even come close to the quality of
these cartoons until the 1990's Superman the Animated Series.
Not much in the way of animation for Superman
in the 1950's, but George
Reeves ruled the small screen for that decade.
witnessed the death of the live action Superman actor, George Reeves,
the sixties would once again see an animated Superman. This
cartoon would be on Saturday mornings instead of movie screens.
Not great on animation but not without its fans due to its campy
fun quality. This Superman cartoon premiered on CBS in 1966 as The
New Adventures of Superman. The show was renamed The
Superman-Aquaman Hour of Adventure in the second season and
renamed again in the third season as the The Batman-Superman
Hour. Superman was voiced
by the same actor who did the radio show earlier, Clayton
"Bud" Collyer. These cartoons also consisted of Superboy
and Krypto cartoons. These cartoons are now seen on the
Boomerang Cartoon Network, a spin-off of the Cartoon Network.
Usually the show runs on Sunday afternoons on the Superman Batman
Hour which also includes episodes of Super
In the 1970's it was several incarnations of the Super Friends to make
Saturday mornings something to wake up for. It was groovy
Super Friends (1973)
The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977)
Challenge of the Super Friends (1978)
The World's Greatest Super Friends (1979)
Honorable mention of course, this was the decade that Christopher
Reeve starred on the big screen with the Superman
out the Super Friends link below if you've always wondered what
the actors who did the voices for the Super Friends look like.
The Super Friends continued into the 1980's and
revamped the show 2 more times with:
SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984)
The SuperPowers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985)
the Super Friends was over Superman didn't let go of the decade
without a fight. Superman got his own show again by Ruby Spears
Enterprises. This show lasted a year and was led by comic book
legend Marv Wolfman. This series was more closely related to
John Byrne's 80's revamp of Superman than a continuation of the
Super Friends. Lex Luthor was a millionaire business man here just
like in the comics. The show consisted of both a Superman
adventure and a Smallville story with young Clark Kent in the
Superman Family Album segment. Unlike the John Byrne revamp,
Clark was shown to have super powers at a very young age. The
theme was a Super Friends like rendition of the Superman movie
to the theme at comic book resources It was actually a very
good show. Although it didn't have the quality of acting and
stories of the 1990's cartoon, the animation was a step up from
the Super Friends which had been improving toward the end.
Considering the quality of a lot of other cartoons at the
time, it's very surprising this one only lasted a year.
in the 1980's a syndicated television live action Superboy
show began in 1988.
The Nineties really rocked for Superman the
same guy that worked on the Batman animated series, Paul Dini
brought us an excellent Superman show with stories that rivaled
the movies. Great show it should have lasted longer. Tim Daly who
did the voice of Superman was perfect for the Man of Steel.
the live action side of television Lois
and Clark the New Adventures of Superman on ABC was breathing
new life into the Superman story.
Superman has rejoined his Justice
League friends, not in the Super Friends mode but in the Paul Dini
and Bruce Timm style. These cartoons appear on the Cartoon
Network and are far superior in quality to the Super Friends show
, of which I still look at with fond memories. Justice
Superman has a live action counterpart on tv. This time its the young teen of steel, but instead
of running around as Superboy, Clark Kent is not aware of his
destiny yet. The show is Smallville
of course on the WB.
Superdog airing on Cartoon Network has at least one appearance
of Superman, but focuses mainly on the Dog of Steel and his
cartoon buddies Bat-Hound (Batman's dog) and Streaky the Supercat.
It's all about fun. No serious storylines in this one.
of Superheroes debuted September 23, 2006 and features the
story of 31st heroes who go back in time to the 21st Century
to retrieve a young Clark Kent right before he goes off to
begin work at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. In this rendition
Clark hasn't quite learned to fly yet, but relies on the young
members of the Legion of Superheroes to teach him what his powers
are and how to fully use them in the fight against crime.