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Retro Review – Fleischer Superman – “The Arctic Giant” – Superman Homepage


Superman Homepage reviewer Micah Pickering reviews the Fleischer Superman animated shorts for those nostalgic for the 1940s.

Check out his review of the cartoon titled “The Arctic Giant”.

Superman chases a T-Rex through Metropolis in a cartoon with the most bizarre endings in this entire series. This episode asks the question: Did Fleischer Studios come up with the idea for “Jurassic Park” years before Michael Chrichton? Let’s find out!

Now let’s get to the review!

3Score – 3 (out of 5): The episode opens with narration by Jackson Beck. His narration gives the exposition of this episode more seriousness as we head towards the inevitable calamity. Explorers have discovered a frozen Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Arctic. The prehistoric beast is perfectly preserved, and scientists reveal to Perry White that they believe if the ice melts, the creature could come back to life.

The T-Rex is held in a special museum in Metropolis with a special refrigeration system to keep the creature on ice. Perry sends Lois Lane to get the story. I enjoyed Lois and Clark’s brief back and forth in the office before she left for the museum. Clark questions Lois about the story, and Lois tells Clark that he would probably pass out if he accepted the assignment.

This is the first time in this series that Lois has called Clark a coward. This corresponds to the first versions of the character. Clark plays with the masquerade to keep his secret identity intact.

A museum employee shows Lois the refrigeration system when he foolishly drops a can of oil into the system’s generator. This causes a system-wide outage and the T-Rex is soon freed from the ice. As the beast begins to unleash, the Daily Planet learns that Lois is in danger. Clark quickly springs into action.

The action in this episode can be described with a simple formula:
Step 1: The T-Rex destroys something
Stage 2: Superman saves people from the wreckage
Stage 3: The T-Rex leaves while Superman saves people
Stage 4: Superman continues to hunt the T-Rex

Superman chases the T-Rex while finding time to rescue Lois, plug a dam, and save a bridge from collapsing. Superman uses one of the bridge’s suspension cables to attach the T-Rex’s legs. While the creature is down, Lois tries to take a picture of its head. This would prove to be a rookie mistake as she is soon thrown into the dinosaur’s gaping maw. Superman then opens the T-Rex’s mouth and saves Lois twice in a cartoon.

Now for the really weird ending. After Superman subdues the T-Rex, the cartoon cuts to a title that claims the town planned to keep the T-Rex in its local zoo. I’m obsessed with this ending. Did the Mayor of Metropolis just say, “I know the T-Rex destroyed half the city, but I think that would be a real dandy idea to boost tourism!”

DC Comics recently reimagined its heroes as dinosaurs in the “Jurassic League” limited series, but this cartoon has me craving more Superman vs Dinosaur content. Maybe a “Jurassic Park” crossover in the future could be something to scratch that itch? After all, Superman literally went through franchises like “Terminator”, “Aliens”, “Predator”, “He-Man” and “The Thundercats”.

Someone has to give me the phone number for Warner Bros. so I can tell them I need to see Henry Cavill hit a T-Rex on the big screen. Maybe Lois and Jimmy can run away from the Velociraptors from the Daily Planet office. Well, until I get that number, I’ll have to settle for this cartoon.

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