Japoteurs is another World War II era Superman cartoon
Despite some racism, Japoteurs is another pretty good Superman cartoon. Clark and Lois are invited to inspect a new bomber. A Japanese spy has stowed away in one of the bombs. Lois, having stayed on after everyone left, informs the control tower. The enemy spy manages to sabotage opponent by bombing it. Clark turns into Superman and quickly manages to save Lois from being ejected before defeating spy after spy destroys instrument panel. Supes then flies Lois to safety before going to plane's head and slowing its rough landing (just like he did in the recent Superman Returns). All is well in the world again as Clark and Lois ride on an amusement park plane...Like I said, the pidgin English spoken by the Japanese spy borders on the offensive but worth a look for anyone interested in World War II propaganda. Or for anyone interested in all things Superman.
Reviewed by redryan647 / 10
LOOK, Up In the Sky! It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a JAPOTEUR! Hollywood Wartime Efforts even included making up new words!
FOLLOWING the business coup of the year of 1941, Max and Dave, the Brothers Fleischer were removed from their own Studio by Paramount Pictures Corporation. Former employees such as Seymour Kneitel and Izzy Sparber were put in charge of the new operation, now renamed Famous Studios by Paramount. Early on, the finished product of Famous was indiscernible from that of the recent output by Fleischer. The existing series (Popeye, Superman) continued as if nothing at all had transpired.
TODAY'S subject, JAPOTEURS is one of the earlier Famous Studio's SUPERMAN Shorts.
AS had been the custom, the SUPERMAN Cartoons were a great combination of fine, fittingly fashioned music in the score. That goes for the theme (overture) as well as all the multi-mood background (incidental) music. It was if each cartoon short had its own background music, as all was kept fresh by apparently recording it anew with each picture.
WITH regards to JAPOTEURS, we must remember that this was filmed during the first year of the United States' involvement and the characterization of the enemy was very stereotypical, short-handed and outright evil. The dialog and personality of the villainous Japanese saboteurs was strictly from the stock characters of the old pulp magazine stories, with their every word being said in a sarcastic, totally insincere politeness as the characters would flaunt their cold bloodedness as they made the most demonic of threats and outrageous acts toward the occidental world.
JAPOTEURS is visually bright and uplifting, stunningly laid out and makes use of some multi plane or table top animation in order to give its flying sequences a real depth.
MAKING good use of the tie-ins between the animated cartoons, the SUPERMAN Radio Show then heard over the Mutual Broadcasting Network; the cartoon bears a close resemblance to the Comics Page and uses the very same talents of voice actors Bud Collyer and Joan Alexander from the Radio Show.
WE rate it with a *** ½ stars.
Reviewed by utgard146 / 10
Superman Enters the War
I love the Fleischer Superman cartoons. The animation is smooth and fluid with vivid colors. The distinct art-deco style, vintage science fiction imagery, and use of noirish shadows gave them a look unlike any other cartoons. The music and voice work is superb. They're fun, accessible, enduring animation classics. While this is a cartoon from Fleischer Studios' successor, Famous Studios, it still tries to maintain the Fleischer style.
In addition to being the first Superman cartoon from Famous, this tenth cartoon in the series is also the first with a World War II theme. The plot is that a new American bombing plane (world's largest, according to a newspaper headline) is hijacked by Japanese saboteurs. Lois Lane is on board the plane, of course. Superman must save Lois, stop the saboteurs, and safely bring the expensive plane down. This first effort from Famous Studios is a nice WW2 thriller with some good action, particularly the climactic scene of Superman catching the plane. It's a good effort, about equal to the last couple of Fleischer toons, but not a patch on the best of the series.