The Underground World (1943)
Article 5603 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Seymour Kneitel
Featuring the voices of Bud Collyer, Joan Alexander, Jackson Beck
What it is: Superman short again
Lois Lane and Clark Kent accompany an explorer on a quest to find a lost underground world. However, the quest is perilous, and Superman soon must come to the rescue.
This is the first of the group I’ve been covering recently that wasn’t directed or co-directed by Dave Fleischer himself. Nonetheless, it’s a good entry, especially insofar as it provides a real change of pace from the other entries; it’s much less interested in non-stop action and more interested in picturesque adventure. One might well feel that a story like this needs more length than the eight-minute format will allow, but if you consider that the “lost civilization” type of story is generally a compendium of cliches, you can admire how this one gets through them in such efficient fashion. Still, it doesn’t say much for the intelligence of some of the protagonists that they put themselves in peril by failing to tie up their boat properly.