Terror on the Midway
“Superman” Theatrical Cartoons - July 24, 1942
The literary component of comic books allow the readers a depth of intimacy with characters’ inner selves and nuances of setting which film must generally approach from a different avenue. Naturally, film conveys action and mood in a manner completely inaccessible to the static and sequential nature of comics. It’s because of this that a nine-minute animated short featuring Superman’s heroic adventures will necessarily skimp on the interior dialogue and focus instead on action.
It’s one of the more interesting things about the early years of Superman; the many media in which his adventures were translated. Prose, radio, cartoons and comics, and later in live-action film, he was, early on in his game, a character who transcended media.
So, acknowledging the distinctions between film and four-color pulp, while Terror on the Midway – like all the Fleischer shorts - may be deficient in the dense, confident patter of the Superman comics, it does not skimp on action. In short order, Superman is dealing with rogue circus animals and a panicking crowd, not mention a rowdy, hulking gorilla who goes by the convincing name of “Gigantic”.