If a Superman Anti-Smoking PSA couldn’t convince you to not try smoking as a kid, I am not sure what could. These ads are not familiar to me. I never saw them when I was growing, but I believe they were created in the UK. At least that is what I would guess from the accents. One things for sure, these kids aren’t from New Jersey. I, like many people, discovered them when they started being posted on the internet.
According to online sources, the Superman Anti-Smoking PSAs were created specifically for the Health Education Council and their anti-smoking campaign. They were animated by Eric Goldberg for the Richard Williams Studio. Goldberg is an American animator who has worked for both Warner Bros and Disney. At Disney he worked on Aladdin, Hercules, Pocahontas and much more.
Superman would appear with the villainous Nick O’Teen in multiple print and broadcast PSAs. The print ads included a form you could send in to get more info about not smoking. The print ads are okay, but these animated PSAs really shine.
What makes them great? Well, the animation is solid and Nick O’Teen is a surprisingly creepy villain. The voice acting on Superman leaves something to be desired. At times he almost sounds Russian and all the time he sounds like someone trying to do an American accent. For some reason, hearing this faux accent on Superman makes me very happy.
My favorite PSA is the first one you will see in the video below. It is very much like all the PSAs, but has some nice touches that make it great. For one, Superman appears to kill Nick O’Teen. He picks him up and I assume like so many problems he has to face, simply throws it into the Sun. A solution to problems I wish I had access to.
Then Superman discusses how he knows cigarettes are bad for people. He is using his X-ray vision to look inside of us. While doing so he sees our cancer ravaged lungs and is disturbed.
This makes me wonder about something I am sure many Superman fans have wondered about. How often does he use his X-ray vision? More importantly what is the effect of using this vision on the poor people he has sworn to protect?
I was never much a of a reader of the Superman comic, but I would guess that Superman’s X-ray vision is only X-ray in name alone. Something people understand just by name. The power itself, which really couldn’t work the way X-rays work since it requires film and stuff, is something a lot more complicated.
Still, I do love that he mentions the power and that Superman is always watching us. Not just on the outside, but the inside as well.