The Mechanical Monsters
Directed by Dave Fleischer
Available on: The Complete Superman Cartoons
So far I've been focusing on animated comedies. The great majority of animated shorts are for laughs, but there are some other genres. Among those, the Fleischer Superman series is certainly worth a look. Many consider "The Mechanical Monsters" to be one of the best of this series. It was clearly a great influence on the makers of the live action film "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow."
This short features great achievements in character design, and amazing attention to detail in camera angles and lighting. These elements actually work to create a level of suspense that is pretty rare in animation. The action sequences are also quite complex and violent for their time. The special effects animation is also worth noting. This short alone features flame throwers, machine gun fire, electricity and molten lava all portrayed in beautiful animation that was ahead of it's time.It's a shame that there weren't more Superman shorts made (only 17 total). For that matter, it's a shame more animated action shorts weren't made. I love the comedies, don't get me wrong, but everybody needs a little excitement in their lives.