DC fans, prepare to pull a Christopher Reeve Superman and turn the world back to 1996.
Fox Kids was running wild with kid shows left to right, from Spider-Man: The Animated Series to Power Rangers and Batman: The Animated Series. A new contender came on the scene: WB.
Warner Bros. was ready to bring its own set of shows for kids to run home to see after school and on Saturday mornings. The network made an impressive stride with the addition of Animaniacs moving over from Fox and of the addition of a new superhero show. With all that, DC and Warner Bros. felt it was time to give the Man of Steel his own animated show. The previous animated series involving the hero was back in 1986 with Ruby-Spears and its one and done season.
Superman Flies All Over The Screen
Of course, Superman was already flying high on the tv screen with Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher as the titular characters. But that was more a romantic adult version of the hero though, this was for the kids. The show featured Bruce Timm as Executive on the series and was bringing the magic he got for Batman, the show took a different artistic and overview for Superman with animation use by TMS compared to the art on the three seasons of Batman: The Animated Series.
The cartoon series featured a more vulnerable Superman that followed the comic work of John Byrne’s run at the time which had Superman able to do incredible feats but it gave him trouble such as lifting a heavy truck. The series ran for 3 seasons and had an awesome voice cast from Clancy Brown giving Lex Luthor a 90’s baddie vibe and Dana Delany voicing the intrepid Lois Lane who would easily toss Clark Kent to the side for a chance with Superman and Tim Daly as the Smallville reporter and defender of earth.
Superman: The Animated Series also brought the Dark Knight back on the screen after the end of the Fox Batman cartoon series and lead to a new 4th season design using the designs based in the Superman series (the discussion on the New Batman/Superman adventures and all its faults is best saved for another article).
The cartoon had its three seasons released on DVD between 2005 and 2006 before a full series set came out in 2009. Now with the arrival of HBO Max and the restoration of Batman: The Animated Series on Blu-ray and in HD, Superman is following the same star. The cartoon made its way on the streaming service earlier this year and had went through a fantastic restoration of high definition and now is set to bring that HD magic on Blu-Ray in its new DVD set. Check out what DC and Warner Bros had to say in their press release on the series.
REMASTERED FOR 25TH ANNIVERSARY; COMING OCTOBER 12, 2021
FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
BURBANK, CA (August 10, 2021) Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Superman: The Animated Series with a fully remastered Blu-rayTM box set. Superman: The Complete Animated Series, which includes several hours of bonus features headlined by an all-new documentary detailing the creation of one of the most beloved animated Super Hero cartoons in history, will be available starting October 12, 2021.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation (WBA), the Emmy Award-winning Superman: The Animated Series was the perfect follow-up to the landmark Batman: the Animated Series. Producers Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett elevated The Man of Steel’s animated presence with an imaginative, heartfelt look at Superman’s adventures in Metropolis alongside Lois Lane and opposite the villainous likes of Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Darkseid and more. Premiering on September 6, 1996, the series continued WBA’s dominance in Super Hero animation, once again setting new standards for storytelling, art direction and acting performances – and garnering 11 Emmy Award nominations and two Emmy Award wins, including top honors as the Outstanding Special Class Animated Program of 1998.
The remarkable Superman: The Complete Animated Series box set features nearly 21 hours of entertainment spread over six Blu-ray™ discs, including all 54 exciting episodes, an all-new series-defining featurette entitled Superman: Timeless Icon, a special video commentary episode and three specially selected episodes with audio commentaries by the showrunners.
All 54 episodes have been remastered from the original 35mm Interpositive sources, giving special attention to extensive color correction, dirt and scratch clean up, and adding a grain reduction pass to create a pristine picture, all while making sure not to affect the original lines in the artwork of the animation. The audio was retransferred from the original audio masters, and the series is presented in its original aspect ratio (4×3).
The producing quartet of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett, and Glen Murakami headed production of Superman: The Animated Series alongside executive producers Jean MacCurdy and Haven Alexander. Shirley Walker and the Dynamic Music Partners (Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter) composed the award-winning score, while eight-time Emmy Award winning dialogue/casting director Andrea Romano guided a star-studded voice cast. Curt Geda and Dan Riba served as animation directors for more than half of the episodes.
The Superman: The Animated Series cast continued the unrivaled presentation of guest stars that Batman: The Animated Series had initially established. The lengthy cast list is filled with luminaries, their laurels including one Academy Award and 10 Oscar nominations; 37 Emmy Awards and 186 Emmy nominations; 16 Golden Globe Awards and 54 nominations; five Annie Awards and 38 nominations; four Grammy Awards and 14 nominations; and nine individuals honored with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, including Ed Asner, Mark Hamill, William H. Macy, Marion Ross, Malcolm McDowell, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Michael York, Roddy McDowall and Paul Williams.
Tim Daly (Madame Secretary, Private Practice, Wings) led the cast as Clark Kent and Superman alongside Dana Delany (Body of Proof, Desperate Housewives, China Beach) as Lois Lane, David Kaufman (Danny Phantom, Stuart Little) as Jimmy Olsen and Clancy Brown (Dexter, The Shawshank Redemption, SpongeBob SquarePants) as Lex Luthor. The star-studded cast included series regulars – and their characters – Lauren Tom (Angela Chen), Victor Brandt (Professor Hamilton), Corey Burton (Brainiac), Joseph Bologna (Dan Turpin), George Dzundza (Perry White), Brad Garrett (Bibbo Bibbowski), Shelley Fabares (Martha Kent), Joanna Cassidy (Maggie Sawyer), Lisa Edelstein (Mercy Graves), Mike Farrell (Jonathan Kent) and Michael Ironside (Darkseid).
Notable series guest stars featured Mark Hamill, Ed Asner, Dean Jones, Melissa Joan Hart, Robert Morse, Al Roker, Brian Cox, Jason Priestley, Peter Gallagher, David Warner, Michael Dorn, Christopher McDonald, Bruce Weitz, Andrea Martin, Miguel Ferrer, Ron Perlman, Bud Cort, Gilbert Gottfried, Robert Hays, Dennis Haysbert, Laraine Newman, Nancy Travis, Xander Berkeley, Jonathan Harris, John Glover, Sandra Bernhard, Jack Carter, Ernie Hudson, Henry Silva, and Robert Patrick.
Superman: The Complete Animated Series – Enhanced Content
Superman: Timeless Icon (New Featurette) – An all-new bonus feature, produced specifically for the remastered Blu-ray release of Superman: The Animated Series, reveals the complicated journey of the show and those who created the new mythology for The Man of Steel, as told by producers Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, director Dan Riba, writer Bob Goodman, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, and Tim Daly & Clancy Brown, the heralded voices of Superman and Lex Luthor, respectively.
A Little Piece of Trivia (Featurette) – So you think you know your Superman trivia? Wait until you hear about the series’ connection to Telly Savalas! A brain teaser to entertain every Superman: The Animated Series fan!
Superman: Learning to Fly (Featurette) – Get into the minds of the creative team behind Superman: The Animated Series as they detail the birth of this animated version of Superman and his incredible worlds. Featured speakers include producers Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett, art director/producer Glen Murakami and directors Dan Riba and James Tucker.
Building the Mythology: Superman’s Supporting Cast (Featurette) – The characters around Superman get the spotlight in this in-depth look at everyone from Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White to Maggie Sawyer, Lana Lang, and Ma & Pa Kent. Producers Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett, art director/producer Glen Murakami and directors Dan Riba and James Tucker give viewers the inside scoop.
Menaces of Metropolis: Behind the Villains of Superman (Featurette) – Your hero is only as good as the villains around him, and Superman: The Animated Series has a rogues’ gallery of top-grade baddies, including traditional opponents Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro, Metallo, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Toyman and Parasite, as well as new villains created for the series – like Live Wire and Luminus. Producers Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett and Paul Dini, directors James Tucker and Dan Riba and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano give us a tour of the villains.
The Despot Darkseid: A Villain Worthy of Superman (Featurette) – Darkseid takes center stage in this examination of one of The Man of Steel’s most vicious adversaries, plus other Fourth World characters that appear in Superman: The Animated Series. The featurette includes producers Paul Dini, Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett, art director/producer Glen Murakami, writers Rich Fogel and Stan Berkowitz, director James Tucker and Charles Hatfield (Department of English, Cal State Northridge).
Stolen Memories – producers Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, director Curt Geda and art director/producer Glen Murakami.
The Last Son of Krypton – Part 1 – producers Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and Alan Burnett, director Dan Riba and art director/producer Glen Murakami.
The Main Man – Part 2 – producers Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, director Dan Riba and art director/producer Glen Murakami.
Mxyzpixilated – producer Bruce Timm, producer/writer Paul Dini, director Dan Riba and moderator Jason Hillhouse.
It looks like some new additions have been made in the features with the Blu-rays compared to the features from the DVD set and with a HD definition cartoon in your collection you can return to this time as many times as you want. Will you buy this new boxset? Will you continue to watch the episodes on HBO Max? what are some of your favorite episodes? Comment below and on our social media channels and make sure you keep your capes flying with The Illuminerdi for more news and content.