The Arctic Giant is the fourth of seventeen animated Technicolor short films based upon the DC Comics character of Superman, originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. This animated short was created by Fleischer Studios. The story runs nine minutes and covers Superman's adventures defeating a Godzilla-like monster that terrorizes the city. It was originally released 26 February 1942.
The story begins as the narrator tells about an "Arctic Giant" found frozen in perfect condition in Siberia. The monster was shipped to the Museum of Natural Science, where it is kept frozen using special refrigeration equipment. We next see people looking at the giant monster in the museum. Although the nameplate on the monster's case says "Tyrannosaurus", the monster does not look like an actual Tyrannosaurus.
Lois is sent to do a story on the monster, because it is possible that, if the ice were to thaw, the monster might still be alive. As she is leaving the Daily Planet building, Clark asks if she wants him to come with her. She says, "No, thanks. You'd probably faint if you saw the monster. You scare so easily." Then once she leaves the room. Clark says, "Maybe she's right. But Superman hasn't fainted yet."
Lois is shown around the refrigeration plant that is responsible for keeping the monster frozen. The guide shows her the generator, and then proceeds to show her the control room downstairs. She places an oil can on a shelf right next to the generator. As the guide shows Lois' control room, he explains that any rise in temperature could be dangerous. Meanwhile, the shelf that the oil can is on is vibrating from the generator's movement, causing the oil can to move closer and closer to the turbine. The oil can falls into the turbine, jamming it. The workers nearby turn off the equipment, so they can quickly repair the damage. But they are not quick enough. We see the temperature rise from freezing, to melting, to DANGER level. The ice around the monster begins to melt. Police escort everyone out of the museum, except Lois, of course. As Lois attempts to call the Daily Planet from the museum, The monster destroys the entire building, leaving Lois in the rubble.
A riot squad starts to shoot at the monster, but this only angers it as it begins to march towards the riot squad. The riot squad flees as the monster's foot crushes the riot squad's cars. The monster marches through the city, smashing cars, trains, and buildings. Back at the Daily Planet, the chief tells Clark he'd better get on over to the museum to see if Lois is alright. Clark goes into a closet and changes into Superman, then hurries over to the museum and rescues Lois from the rubble. He tells her to go back to the Daily Planet building, where she'll be safe. But Lois, always looking for a good story, doesn't listen to Superman.
The monster destroys a dam, flooding the nearby homes. Superman comes and fixes it by pushing tons of rocks in to fill the gap in the dam. The monster capsizes boats and breaks through a suspension bridge. Superman then ties the bridge back together.
Superman uses one of the bridge cables to trip the monster. As the monster falls, Lois stands by to take a picture. The monster's head falls right next to her, and the monster tries to eat her. Lois screams. Superman flies into the monster's mouth and takes Lois out, telling her to stay put this time. Superman then pins the monster over a lamp post, and the city is saved.Later, at the Daily Planet, Lois and Clark are discussing the article Lois wrote about the monster which states that the monster is being held at the Metropolis Zoo. "You showed plenty of courage getting that monster story, Lois", says Clark. "Thanks", Lois says, "But where were you?" Clark replies, "Oh, I must have fainted."
Cast and crew
- Bud Collyer as Superman/Clark Kent
- Joan Alexander as Lois Lane
- Jackson Beck as Perry White
- Julian Noa as the Narrator
- Director: Dave Fleischer
- Animators: Willard Bowsky and Reuben Grossman
The "Arctic Giant" creature predates the famed Japanese monster Godzilla who was created in 1954, although there's notable similarities between both monsters . This animated short even predates The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms which was released in 1953.