When you fall behind on your updates, and you want to catch up, I guess there’s no time like the present. A few weeks ago, Josh and I watched Superman Doomsday, a 2007 animated DC Universe film. It’s a direct-to-video film, and we watched it a la Netflix streaming. This movie is a kind of one-off in the DC animated Superman films. Although Bruce Timm helped write and direct this particular film, there’s no continuity with Timm’s late 90’s animated show. Different voice actors (Adam Baldwin, Anne Heche), a different rendition of Superman, and a modified Fortress of Solitude. It’s PG-13, with cartoon blood, and lots of ancillary characters dying in the background. I fast-forwarded through some of the violence for my 5-year old’s sake.
The film retells the Death of Superman from the 1992-1993 comics storyline. Growing up, I actually never had the opportunity to read those comics when they were published. When those Superman replacements came out (Superboy, Steel, etc), I was very confused. In this film, the writers merged the various replacements into one Superman who appears after the funeral, but has very different morals and ethics. The animation was good, but I didn’t like the lines on Superman’s face. What’s the deal? Is he supposed to be older? I didn’t mind the voice acting, but I missed Tim Daly as Superman.
I thought the film was okay, as it went quickly from Doomsday’s release from incarceration, the big battle, Superman’s death, and then a quick rush to the end. There’s an unusual amount of cartoon violence related to Doomsday’s rampage on his journey to Metropolis. If you intend to watch with your kids, do some fast forwarding. While I understand that the writers could not realistically shoehorn the Reign of the Superman storyline, and condensed it into a questionable Superman replacement, I would have liked to have seen the various Supermen in action.
Side note: I like the Netflix streaming option. I’ve watched a number of films using streaming, and it’s a good alternative if you don’t mind the 720p video quality, and stereo sound. The 720p video doesn’t bother me at all, but the stereo surround needs a serious upgrade to 5.1 surround sound.