A new animated short rolls through several Superman milestones in a couple of minutes to celebrate Superman's 75th anniversary.
Legendary DC animation guru Bruce Timm and Man of Steel director Zack Snyder have created a super fast look at the entire history of Superman, including the various mediums the character appeared on aside from the original comics. Beginning with the iconic cover to Action Comics #1 and moving through the ages to the New 52 and Henry Cavill. Set to the classic John Williams score from Superman: The Movie which mixes interestingly with Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel score, this short is an impressive and enjoyable look at the superhero who started it all.
EW spoke with Bruce Timm regarding the new short and its development:
“It was Zack Snyder’s idea,” says Timm, the designer, animator, writer, and producer whose credits include Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited. “We had approached him about maybe doing a short for the DC Nation program on Cartoon Network. He said, ‘I’ll think about it,’ and then he had this idea to do basically the entire history of Superman in, like, a minute. We said, ‘Okay … whoooo.’ We started working and quickly realized there was no way to do it, even in a minute.”
“There was just too much stuff. So we tried to put in little nods, even if only in the background.”
“There have been so many different artists in the comics who had important moments in Superman’s history. One of the things we came up with was, you’d have a Curt Swan segment – Superman vs. Brainiac – and the background is full of comic book panels, a floating montage background of lots of different artists. So there’s John Byrne, Gil Kane, and Jim Steranko in there.”
“People are going to be arguing about it. ‘Why is that in there, but this isn’t?’We had lots of different meetings about it. ‘What has to be in here? What would be nice to be in here but is not absolutely essential?’”
“I would have loved to have Kirk Alyn in there, the first live-action Superman from the serials, but he didn’t quite make the cut. And there have been several different Superboy shows, but we were like, ‘Okay, those are Superboy, not Superman, so they don’t make it.’”
“It got really tricky dealing with the comic book versions, because it’s hard enough for somebody who’s not a hardcore geek to know the difference between a Curt Swan Superman and a Wayne Boring Superman. That took a lot of trial and error and a lot of retakes with the animation.”
Snyder’s original idea was to do the entire short without a single cut, with the point of view just constantly moving. “There are a few cuts in there, but for the most part we stuck to that. It’s pretty seamless,” Timm says. The first cut is actually a great one: Classic comic book Superman becomes the hero from the Fleischer Bros. animated films, the character’s first film appearance — and the place where he went from jumping high to actually flying.”
What did you think of the short? Any important pieces of Superman’s 75 year history you felt should have been included? What was included that you feel shouldn’t have been? Let us know in the comments section below!