What do Zack Snyder, Warner Brothers and Bruce Timm all have in common this week? They were involved in some way in making this incredible animated short. The short was originally conceived as a DC Nation piece, grew to such proportions that it quickly gained a life of its own. Below is the stunning cartoon which manages to cover many of the most pivotal moments of Superman’s history in a matter of minutes.
Entertainment Weekly had a great interview with Bruce Timm (Batman Animated Series) which is included below and gives us a great insight into what went into making this piece.
[quote]“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.”[/quote]
He then went on to talk about how difficult it was to get so much Superman history into one piece.
[quote]“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.”[/quote]
The result of all of this is something every Superman fan should be happy with. The mixing of all the iconic Superman theme musics are incredibly well done, but better yet is the incorporation of pretty much all the Superman mythology. So many different styles of art all manage to combine perfectly and it is so fluid it actually makes you feel like you are flying alongside Kal-El as he takes us on this historical journey. The use of the old comic covers to expand out to other decades of Superman’s life is inspired, and it seems even the most minute moment in Superman’s lore are included. Some stand out scenes have to be Jimmy Olsen as Turtle Boy, Christopher Reeve flying over the planet Earth, the Super Friends, Kingdom Come Superman and my personal favorite the Atari computer system Superman.
Superman has never looked better. This does leads us to an interesting question. With Batman’s 75th anniversary coming up next year are we going to see a similar animated short for him? With the Batman vs. Superman movie coming 2015 it would seem a waste to not only do a Batman one, but also a team up one with both heroes.