The Arctic Giant (1942, Dave Fleischer)

Even if it weren’t for catching all the future films The Arctic Giant influenced, the cartoon would still be a lot of fun.

It opens with the discovery of a frozen dinosaur in the the Arctic. Scientists bring it back to Metropolis–King Kong style, but in a freezer–where it goes on display. Lois does a story, things go wrong, Superman to the rescue.

That aspect–the animated action adventure–is great. Joan Alexander has a lot of fun as Lois here. Bill Turner and Tedd Pierce’s script gets her just the right amount of condescending and grateful.

But this Arctic Giant isn’t some twenty-foot dinosaur… it’s Godzilla (in 1942). Lots of the same visual motifs too. It’s incredible. And then there’s the disaster scenes later duplicated in Superman: The Movie. It’s really cool.

It’s also poorly animated. The level of detail is terrible.

But Giant still rocks.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Dave Fleischer; screenplay by Bill Turner and Tedd Pierce, based on characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster; animated by Willard Bowsky and Reuben Grossman; music by Winston Sharples and Sammy Timberg; produced by Max Fleischer; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Bud Collyer (Clark Kent/Superman), Joan Alexander (Lois Lane) and Jackson Beck (Perry White).

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