I understand why the viewer response to this animated film seems to be rather polarized: it’s partially for the same reason that Grant Morrison, himself, seems to be somewhat polarizing as a comic book creator. It’s stuffed full of quirky details that even while interesting can sometimes be distracting, as though Morrison knows he’s a clever guy, and he kind of wants to rub it in your face. The overall narrative carries the viewer from one high concept to the next without ever dwelling too long upon anything, such that one never has the opportunity to question whether there’s anything there apart from a few neat story ideas.
Now take a 12-part Grant Morrison mini-series in which the individual installments were meant to more or less stand alone, and merge them into a 70 minute film that almost irrefutably feels disjointed and meandering, and see what happens.
And yet, I really enjoyed this film. Perhaps it’s because I recently saw Man of Steel in the theater, and there just wasn’t a lot to love about the Superman character in that film. But for whatever reason, I found this to be a charming and very fondly crafted portrayal of Superman and the sundry characters and notions that inhabit his universe. Yes, the plot feels more like a series of vignettes than an actual structured, conventional three-act narrative. The pacing is often oddly lackadaisical. But damn it–it just gets Superman right for me. And that counts for something.
Also, I would be remiss to not mention the original score by Christopher Drake. Surprisingly great for a film like this.
This film is, by the way, available to stream instantly through Netflix. Hence the reason I finally watched it, as I’m doing the 30-day trial.