The Six-Year-Old Watches Cartoons: “Superman Episode 3: The Arctic Giant” (1942)

Superman from the title sequence of the 1942 cartoon, "The Arctic Giant." (Public Domain)

Superman from the title sequence of the 1942 cartoon, “Superman: The Arctic Giant.” (Public Domain)

Every Sunday afternoon (at least, every Sunday that we can manage it), our family clusters on the couch with a bowl of fresh-popped popcorn and proceeds to haggle over our Sunday Afternoon Movie.

Sometimes we pick a classic movie, like Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, or Charlie Chaplin’s The Tramp. Sometimes we pick more contemporary fare like Kung Fu Panda or Hop.
Often we don’t watch a movie at all, and settle in for a new-to-us documentary (The Six-Year-Old is particularly fond of Kara Cooney’s Out of Egypt series), or an episode of Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters (thanks for the tip, Grandpa).

A few weeks ago, though, we were in the mood for old-timey cartoons, so Daddyo put together a marathon of the original Superman cartoons from the 1940s. Watching old Superman cartoons is inherently fun, not only because of the way Superman’s skills have evolved over the years (Superman doesn’t fly in these old cartoons — he sproings to where he’s going like some sort of caped flea), but also because The Six-Year-Old comments freely on what she’s seeing.

Episode Three: The Arctic Giant was particularly entertaining. In it, a group of scientists have discovered a frozen T. Rex somewhere in Siberia. Naturally, they haul it back to the United States and exhibit it to the public.

Frozen T. Rex on exhibit. (Public Domain)

Frozen T. Rex on exhibit. (Public Domain)

The delightfully steam-punk refrigeration machine keeping the T. Rex in a deep freeze breaks during the exhibition and the T. Rex melts in a matter of minutes.

The melting T. Rex from 1942's Arctic Giant. (Public Domain)

The melting T. Rex from 1942’s “Superman: The Arctic Giant.” (Public Domain)

The Six-Year-Old: “Note to self. This isn’t good.”

The T. Rex slams its spiny tail into a building. Chaos erupts on the streets. A man shouts, “It’s alive!” Cars crash, a woman screams.  Music swells dramatically.

The T. Rex demolishes a building in 1942's Arctic Giant. (Public Domain)

The T. Rex demolishes a building in 1942’s “Superman: The Arctic Giant.” (Public Domain)

The Six-Year-Old, disgustedly: “T. Rex didn’t have spines. Sheesh.”

The T. Rex flares his claws and snarls threateningly as he’s barraged by a stream of useless bullets.

Too many fingers. (Public Domain)

The T. Rex from 1942’s “Superman: The Arctic Giant.” (Public Domain)

The Six-Year-Old, distractedly: “Huh? He didn’t have five fingers.”

The T. Rex wades into a river, destroying a dam, overturning a boat full of passengers, and tearing apart a bridge like a toddler smashing through a building block village. Superman scrambles to keep up.

T. Rex wades to the dam in Arctic Giant (Public Domain)

T. Rex wades to the dam in “Superman: The Arctic Giant” (Public Domain)

The Six-Year-Old: “Hey! That’s the old-timey way to have him stand.”

Mommyo, soothingly: “Well, at least they got the three toes right.”

The Six-Year-Old, disgustedly: “The tongue’s all wrong though.”

The T. Rex tries to eat Lois. I confess, I'm kind of sorry it didn't work. Lois is a bit of a twit in the original series. (Public Domain)

The T. Rex tries to eat Lois. I confess, I’m kind of sorry it didn’t work. Lois is a bit of a twit in the original series. (Public Domain)

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
This entry was posted in Funny Stuff My Daughter Says, Reviews: Other and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Six-Year-Old Watches Cartoons: “Superman Episode 3: The Arctic Giant” (1942)

  1. Pingback: The Six-Year-Old goes bowling | CATERPICKLES

  2. Pingback: Signs we may have been watching too much Star Trek | CATERPICKLES

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