"SUPER" Gift for Ben

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"SUPER" Gift for Ben

Post by GeorgeC » February 8th, 2011, 11:55 pm

Found this on the web.

I think Ben's said in the past he's a Superman fan.

I am, too --- mainly of the 1940s Fleischer shorts, the radio series, the 1990s Superman animated series, and the first two films in the series starring Christopher Reeve.


The film I'm linking to off of YouTube is perhaps the best-animated version of Superman since the Fleischer era. Full-animation just isn't done with characters like this anymore because cheaper, limited animation from overseas has proven to be profitable and acceptable to most audiences. The lushness of full-Fleischer, let alone Disney, hand-drawn animation is a thing of the past. It was done in more by corporate greed, mismanagement, and bad stories rather than the talent of animation crews and trendy CG.

"Superman Classic" was directed and animated by Robb Pratt, a Disney animator, along with some friends. Lois and Clark are voice-acted by the married couple of Jennifer and John Newton. John Newton was the original Superboy for the first season of the late 1980s series "Superboy".




Note: A smaller version of this video file exists on Robb Pratt's website. It's an easy download and can probably be used on portable video players without any reconverting.

The YouTube video version is higher-res...


P.S. -- This short is relatively fresh. It was released to the web on February 6th. For obvious legal reasons, it's a free release.
Last edited by GeorgeC on February 8th, 2011, 11:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "SUPER" Gift for Ben

Post by Dacey » February 9th, 2011, 12:02 am

Just posted this on the front page, actually. A truly delightful minute or so of animation!

Now, if only Robb Pratt could make an animated "Superman" movie. ;)
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Post by Ben » February 9th, 2011, 3:33 pm

Thanks George! Yep, I just caught this via Dacey's front page post, and you're both right: this is "super" (if I can say that without sounding too much like Big Gay Al). ;)

Nice to see "classic" Superman on screen again, and he gets a lot right in just a minute of running length, but it would be great to see an animated Superman movie (though something a little more original than Mechanical Monsters, which obviously seems to have inspired quite a few fans in other projects, would be even better)!

Nice! :)

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Post by Randall » February 9th, 2011, 8:44 pm

I was a little surprised that he went with the Mechanical Monsters, but after all it's a pastiche, so he can do what he enjoys I guess.

It's great to see Supes get the royal animated treatment. I never cared for the Timm design (sorry Bruce--- but your Batman stuff was indeed awesome), and find this version of Superman closer to the mark.

While it's nice to see so many DTV projects, I do hope that Marvel or DC can some day do a feature animated film.

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Re: "SUPER" Gift for Ben

Post by GeorgeC » February 10th, 2011, 12:39 am

It's worth it downloading the short from Robb Pratt's website... (Hint: It's his name... I'm not posting a link in order to spare some bandwidth for him!)

He encoded the short in mp4 (H264 codec) on his website. It's compatible with iPods (works fine with mine) and anything else that accepts AVC/H264 format movies. Should definitely work on the PSP models out on the market, too.

I still appreciated what Timm did with Superman. Perfect? No... It took them too long to find a formula for their Superman to work, and I still don't think 99% of today's writers really know how to do Superman. I suspect their cynicism works against them. Never get a Batman writer to write Superman. Totally different viewpoint than what's needed to write the Man of Steel. The Timm design's fine; it's the other Superman designs (including Timm's revamps) since 1999 that have been awful with the exception of retraces of the 1996 version. Even Justice League dodged the "older, lined face look" of Superman for the 1996 rendition after Season One.

The animation in this web short was vibrant but I have to admit to not "feeling" Pratt's designs. There has to be a better compromise for the Superman design. I'm still partial to the colors on the Fleischer Superman outfit as well as the Golden Age shield designs.

I wish that artists would also get away from making him look like Christopher Reeve half the time. (The Superman design is modified on purpose so that DC doesn't get sued when they tell artists to pattern Superman after Reeve but you know what's going on... It's just too obvious. A well-known artist admitted to this practice.... He was told 30+ years ago to use Reeve as a reference for a Superman advertising campaign but to make the Superman design "different enough" so Reeve couldn't sue.) It's a cheat and disrespectful from the point of view that not a single dime from the practice is benefiting his charity organization let alone his surviving family.

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Post by Randall » February 10th, 2011, 1:21 am

I don't know. What you say may have been true at one time, but it doesn't hold anymore. Gary Frank's Superman is a dead ringer for Reeve. I love it in a way, as it's neat to see Chris fly again; but mostly I find it unsettling, since you know he never signed off on his likeness being used this many years later.

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Re: "SUPER" Gift for Ben

Post by GeorgeC » March 14th, 2011, 7:56 pm

Gift # 2...

http://superman.nu/k-metal/about-the-story.php

PLEASE KEEP THIS LINK IN THIS THREAD. Don't move it to the Superman Returns thread.

This is a good follow-up to the recent Superman Classic animation.

The story deserves to be seen by more people.
It would have changed Superman for good IF the original editors in 1940 hadn't shelved it.
A full script was written by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's studio got to inking at least most of the pages for the story.

Most people were not aware of this story until a few years ago. People didn't connect the surviving original artwork to the script for many years... There are perhaps a half-dozen known surviving original art pages.

The guys who run the website at the link above have worked on restoring the story and presenting it in the way the Shuster studio would have drawn it. They used a photocopy of the surviving script (found by Mark Waid in 1988 in the DC Archives) to fill in all the word balloons and guess at what Shuster's studio would have drawn on the missing pages. An artist volunteered to help produce new pages to fill in the missing slots. A modern style of coloring was used for the restored and new artwork supplied for the story. There are still mimicked 4-color printing dots in the color, though!

So far, the production is excellent and very professional-looking. DC missed a great opportunity to do something with story but perhaps it's for the best... 1990s DC editorial didn't really respect DC's past and heritage as much as it should have. There were a lot of bone-headed decisions in the 1990s made by certain editorial staff because they didn't like the Golden Age characters or reminders that Superman was a Golden Age creation!

One of the big things about this story is the introduction of Kryptonite... People have it wrong when they think the K-metal was introduced on the radio show. Jerry Siegel created it years before in this story. It isn't labelled "Kryptonite" in the story but there's no mistaking what is down the green hue!

DC editorial was contacted by both Mark Waid and Alex Ross who requested that the story be redone in a "Shuster-style". Ross actually practiced mimicking the Shuster art style to prep for doing artwork for a special issue. For some strange reasons, DC passed on it like they did quite a few other good ideas in the 1990s.

The story looks like it's at least half done (remember original Superman comics were 64-pages long). It's up to Page 26 and most of the important consequences of the plot have been rendered...

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Post by Randall » March 14th, 2011, 11:07 pm

That... is very cool. I had no idea this had been done. Thanks, George!

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Post by Ben » March 16th, 2011, 3:19 pm

Wow, this is great! Started to read it and realized the whole evening was disappearing. ;)

Shame you can't save this on your drive to look at later, unless I'm missing a trick?

Nice find, George, and extraordinary that these guys would go to these lengths. Major props to them! :)

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Post by GeorgeC » March 16th, 2011, 8:17 pm

Yes, you can click and save every page of that Superman story restoration to your hard drive!

I've done it already...

RE-EDIT follows:

I saved all the pages to a hard drive by doing the whole "Right-Click," "Save As" business on my Mac using the Safari Browser. I don't know if the browser really makes a difference but I prefer using Safari for downloads and uploads. Only other Browser I use occasionally (for more secure uplinks) is Firefox.

As far as I can tell, there's no protection on those pages on the website they're located.

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Post by Ben » March 21st, 2011, 6:01 am

Cool! Thanks G! :)

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Post by GeorgeC » March 21st, 2011, 4:12 pm

That's the whole point of recreating the comic. To share it with other fans and present it as close-as-possible to the way Shuster's studio would have drawn it.

It's a historically important story, published or not, and there were other fans who felt it had to be shared in the proper context.

Sure, the surviving pages and full script could have just been posted online but it's not the same without the restored and newly created artwork! A comic book is meant to be read as a comic book, not a script!


P.S. -- Backtracking and correcting myself here... Yes, Mark Waid found a faded photostat of the original script BUT what the guys on the Superman fansite worked off of was a meticulously retyped version of that script... Waid is such a nerd that he retyped the script on a typewriter that's allegedly the same model as the one Siegel used to type the Superman comic scripts!

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Re: "SUPER" Gift for Ben

Post by Dusterian » April 14th, 2011, 11:37 pm

I am sorry to say I absolutely hated the character designs for the short...Superman strangely looked kind of old, even...but I loved the animation! I just wish...I knew what happened next!
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