08 February 2013

DVD Set Review: "Superman: The Animated Series": Volume One

Rated: Not Rated
Starring: Tim Daly, Clancy Brown, and Dana Delany
Released: January 25, 2005
Synopsis: The sole survivor of a disaster that destroyed the planet Krypton, Kal-El, known by most Earthlings as Superman and/or Clark Kent, has powers thanks to his alien heritage that no one on our planet has.  Kent uses his powers to help people, but matters are made much more complicated when ill-minded individuals, such as mega-millionare Lex Luthor, alien criminal Mala, and radio shock jock Leslie Willis aka LiveWire, are out to destroy him.  Featuring tons of action, various baddies, and many acts of heroism, this first volume of Superman: The Animated Series is a treat for comic book fans.

(Warning: Possible spoilers below.)

Stories: 4/5
Most of the stories here are wonderful, and held my attention quite well.  However, it faltered with the episode "The Prometheon," which ends too quickly and doesn't explain itself very well.  Some people have a problem with the character of Superman, calling him "too perfect," but the episodes in this set prove that even a man from Krypton can't do it all alone; his falliblities are shown quite well, especially in the final episode, "LiveWire."

Production Values: 4.5/5
This is where the set really shines.  Amazing animation, great voice work, well-done action sequences...and that's not all! I did quibble a bit with the "A Little Piece of Trivia" special feature, which is the "A Little Piece of Home" episode with trivia added onscreen, which has some cool facts, like who voices the characters, but ventures into inanity: "Dinosaurs are cool!" Seriously?

Moral Content: 3.8/5
Superman is known for being an upstanding superhero, and, in this series, he definitely is.  He looks out for anyone and everyone, even saving his foes from death.  However, there is some content that discerning viewers might quibble with: misuses of God's name in some episodes, occasional immodest outfits on both men and women, some bloodshed in the opening episodes, and a slight sexual innuendo here and there.  Of course, there's the expected violence, and while there are plenty of explosions, hits, kicks, and such to be found, it is never graphic and only bloody that one aforementioned time.  This series was likely rated "TV-Y7-FV" when it was on TV, and I think that's about right.

Conclusion: Superman fans, rejoice! This is a great, well-made series that fans of the sole Kryptonian survivor will love.  Even the slight problems mentioned above didn't keep me from enjoying this series.

Score: 4.25/5

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