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Superman: The Animated Series is an American animated television series based on the DC Comics flagship character, Superman. It was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and originally aired on Kids' WB from September 6, 1996 to February 12, 2000. The series was the first of several spin-offs of the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, and was equally praised for its thematic complexity, quality animation, maturity and modernization of its title character.

Overview

Premiering ten years after the 1986 reboot of the Superman comic-book character, the animated series paid tribute to both the classic Superman of old and the newer "modern" Superman. For instance, the depiction of Krypton reflects the older idealized version in the Silver Age of Comic Books while the scope of Superman's powers reflects the more restrained contemporary concept as developed by John Byrne in that the superhero has to struggle to perform spectacular feats, while Clark Kent is shown to be openly, if quietly, self-confident (similar to the depiction of Batman's alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, in Batman: The Animated Series).

Midway through the series' run, it was combined with The New Batman Adventures to become The New Batman/Superman Adventures. The characters of Superman and Batman were then spun off into a new animated series, Justice League, which also featured other popular DC Comics characters, including Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkgirl which spawned a sequel series Justice League Unlimited.

Development and production

Originally producer Bruce Timm wanted the show to have a more 1940s Fleischer Studios Superman-cartoon feel. Another original character design sheet showed the characters in a stylised 1950s style (not unlike that of the live-action Adventures of Superman TV series), suggesting that the producers also considered setting the series during that period, or possibly ending up like Batman: The Animated Series (set during modern times, but with an Art Deco feel) or as the producers said Gotham was Art Deco with Gothic elements, Metropolis was "Ocean Liner Deco".[citation needed] As with the first season of Batman, the opening theme sequence of Superman lacked an on-screen title. Also like Batman, the opening theme for Superman lacked any lyrics, instead being an instrumental piece played over various scenes from the series.

One noticeable aspect of the series carried over from Byrne's work was Superman's powers were significantly downplayed compared to his comic book counterpart. Where as in the comic he could lift millions or billions of tons effortlessly, this version struggled lifting trucks, construction equipment, roadways, etc. The writers admit that he was made as strong as story permitted. His durability was also considerably less that while bullets bounced off him, heavier ordnance like high caliber bullets, cannons and missiles caused him pain or discomfort.

In the series, the evil computer Brainiac is not only from Krypton, but is portrayed as responsible for preventing the knowledge of Krypton's imminent destruction from reaching its people so as to save himself, rather than be committed in the presumably futile task of saving the population of the planet. In addition, the ship that carries the infant Kal-El to Earth is designed to have a pilot, and the autopilot used instead was programmed to land smoothly upon reaching its destination. This was done so that the ship is in perfect working condition during Superman's adulthood and could be used as his mode of long range transportation in space. Access to Kryptonian technology and artifacts is initially severely restricted, such as the ship containing a phantom zone projector and Braniac's technology, although Superman later finds a devastated colony in Krypton's solar system with partially salvageable technology, in addition to Kara In-Ze in her functioning cryostasis capsule.

Season two was originally scheduled to run 26 episodes, but it was extended to 28 episodes in order to accommodate a two-part story featuring Supergirl.

While the series features adaptations of much of Superman's rogues gallery, the writers supplemented the supply of enemies by paying tribute to Jack Kirby's Fourth World creations that introduced the villain Darkseid to the series as Superman's archenemy. Darkseid had been portrayed as a villain in Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians in the 1980s, but in this series, he was closer to the enormously powerful, evil cosmic emperor originally envisioned by Kirby. Corey Burton's voice performance as Brainiac was done in the same cold, low-affect style as HAL 9000 in the Space Odyssey films, and was also modeled after the 'Control Voice' heard during the opening narration of The Outer Limits.

Comic adaptation

Main article: Superman Adventures

Episode list

Main article: Superman: The Animated Series episode list

Voice cast

Notable regular guests

Reception

Home media

Deleted scene in DVD release

Music

Video games

Awards and nominations

References

External Links




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Superman shield
Media

Superman | Superman II | Superman III | Superman IV | Superman Lives | Superman: Flyby | Superman Returns | Man of Steel | |Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Television Shows

Superman: The Animated Series | Superman: The Series | Smallville | Krypto the Superdog | Legion of Super Heroes

Main Characters

Superman | Lois Lane | Jimmy Olsen | Supergirl (Kara Zor-El, Matrix, Linda Danvers, Cir-El, Krypto, Power Girl and Ariella Kent)

Villains

Lex Luthor | Ty-Zor

Supporting Characters
Minor Characters
Songs
Locations

Smallville, Kansas | Krypton | Metropolis

See Also

Kids' WB | DC Comics | DC Animated Movie Universe | DC Universe Animated Original Movies | DC Extended Universe


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DC Comics logo
Media
Animated series:

Live-action series:
Animated films:
Live-action films:
Serials:
Books:
Comic Books:
Soundtracks:
Video games:
Universes: DC ComicsDC animated universeDC Universe Animated Original Movies/DC Animated Movie UniverseDC Extended UniverseDC UniverseDC Universe OnlineDC Universe: LegaciesDC Universe Online: Legends • DC Universe Classics • DC Universe (toyline)

Characters
Heroes: SupermanBatman (Bruce Wayne/Terry McGinnis) • Supergirl (Kara Zor-El/Matrix/Linda Danvers/Cir-El/Power Girl/Ariella Kent) • Robin (Dick Grayson/Jason Todd/Damian Wayne/Tim Drake) • Nightwing (Dick Grayson/Chris Kent) • Green Lantern Corps (Hal Jordan/Alan Scott/Guy Gardner/John Stewart/Kyle Rayner/Jade/Simon Baz/Jessica Cruz) • BatwomanBatgirlHuntressRed RobinRed HoodFlamebirdBatwingBluebirdStarfireStar HuntersCyborgRavenBeast BoyAqualadArgentBumblebeeBushidoGnarrkHeraldKid FlashThe FlashJerichoKoleMás y MenosPanthaRed StarSpeedyThunder and LightningTerraGreen ArrowWonder WomanAquamanBlack CanaryMartian ManhunterHawkwomanHawkgirlWonder Girl • Blue Beetle (Dan Garret/Ted Kord/Jaime Reyes)

Villains: The JokerCatwomanLex LuthorSinestroHarvey Two-FaceThe RiddlerLaurel HedareGeorge HedareThe PenguinBaneClayfaceHarley QuinnKiller CrocMad HatterMan-BatScarecrowMr. FreezePoison IvyVentriloquistRa's al GhulCalendar ManCatmanCluemasterDeadshotDeathstrokeFireflyHugo StrangeHushKiller MothMaxie ZeusTweedledum and TweedledeeVictor ZsaszJinx
Other characters:

Weapons/Objects
Vehicles
Organizations/Groups
Locations


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Dc animated universe logo
Media
Animated series: Batman: The Animated SeriesSuperman: The Animated SeriesThe New Batman AdventuresBatman BeyondStatic ShockThe Zeta ProjectJustice League/Justice League Unlimited

Animated films: Batman: Mask of the PhantasmBatman & Mr. Freeze: SubZeroBatman Beyond: Return of the JokerBatman: Mystery of the BatwomanBatman and Harley Quinn (Part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies)
Animated shorts: The Dark Knight's First NightChase MeBatman Beyond
Web cartoons: Gotham GirlsLobo
Comic books:
Video games:

Characters
Heroes: Bruce Wayne/BatmanKal-El/Clark Kent/SupermanZetaTerry McGinnis/Batman

Villains:
Other characters:

Songs
Weapons/Objects
Vehicles
Organizations/Groups
Locations
Episodes


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Warner Bros. Animation Logo (Template-only)
Looney Tunes/Spielberg universe
Animated series: The Bugs Bunny ShowTiny Toon AdventuresTaz-ManiaAnimaniacsThe Sylvester & Tweety MysteriesPinky and the BrainFreakazoid!Road RoversHisteria!Pinky, Elmyra and the BrainThe Cat&Birdy Warneroonie PinkyBrainy Big Cartoonie ShowBaby Looney TunesDuck DodgersLoonatics UnleashedThe Looney Tunes ShowNew Looney Tunes

Films: Bugs Bunny: SuperstarThe Bugs Bunny/Road Runner MovieThe Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny MovieBugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit TalesDaffy Duck's Fantastic IslandDaffy Duck's QuackbustersSpace JamWakko's WishTweety's High-Flying AdventureLooney Tunes: Back in ActionBah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes ChristmasLooney Tunes: Rabbits Run

DC Comics
Animated series: Batman: The Animated SeriesSuperman: The Animated SeriesBatman BeyondStatic ShockThe Zeta ProjectJustice LeagueTeen TitansJustice League UnlimitedThe BatmanKrypto the SuperdogLegion of Super HeroesBatman: The Brave and the BoldYoung JusticeGreen Lantern: The Animated SeriesTeen Titans Go!Beware the BatmanDC Super Hero Girls

Animated films: Batman: Mask of the PhantasmBatman & Mr. Freeze: SubZeroThe Lego Batman MovieBatman: Return of the Caped CrusadersBatman vs. Two-Face

Hanna-Barbera
Animated series: What's New, Scooby-Doo?Tom and Jerry TalesShaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!Scooby-Doo! Mystery IncorporatedThe Tom and Jerry ShowBe Cool, Scooby-Doo!Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs!

Direct-to-video film series: Scooby-Doo on Zombie IslandScooby-Doo! and the Witch's GhostTom and Jerry: The Magic RingTom and Jerry: Blast Off to MarsThe Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown!The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!

Other TV series
Detention¡Mucha Lucha!Xiaolin ShowdownCoconut Fred's Fruit Salad IslandBaby BluesRight Now KapowDorothy and the Wizard of OzBunniculaGreen Eggs and HamUnikitty!WayneheadOzzy & DrixMike Tyson Mysteries3 SouthMadJohnny TestFirehouse TalesThunderCatsThunderCats Roar
Other original films
Theatrical: Quest for CamelotThe Iron GiantOsmosis JonesThe Lego MovieStorksThe Lego Ninjago Movie

Direct-to-video: Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.!¡Mucha Lucha!: The Return of El MaléficoHappiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

Films, distribution only
Gay Purr-eeRover DangerfieldThumbelinaA Troll in Central ParkThe Pebble and the PenguinCats Don't DanceThe Fearless FourThe King and IThe Scarecrow