TAKE ME TO THE PICTURES









Name of show that this character is from:  Superman: The Animated Series  (1996 Series)
Title of Episode:



Original Air date September 27, 1997  (NETWORK: Kids WB )
Where can I find this episode now?: (DVD) Superman: The Animated Series : Season 2

EPISODE TYPE: Growth Ray (Formula)  & King Kong Situation
(see Common Themes section for more on this category)

WHAT IS TITANO?: An anthro, non-furry, monkey

IS HE MACRO ORIGINALLY?: No        

HOW DID HE BECOME MACRO?: Absorbed radiation from outer space

WHAT DOES HE BECOME AFTER HE GREW?: Larger version of himself.
        
IS GROWTH SHOWN?: Yes

HOW MUCH OF BECOMING MACRO STAGES SHOWN?: All of the growth stages shown.

MACRO NAME: (If different from regular sized name) --SAME AS BEFORE --

QUOTE:      NONE

SEX:    Male

LOCATIONS: Metropolis: Zoo, apartment, amusement Park

MACRO SIZE (Approx or Average ): 50 feet

NATURE: Chaotic Animalistic Behavior

DESTRUCTION LEVEL DONE: High - Amusement park rides, house of mirrors, cars,  side of apartment, exhibits at the zoo

SYNOPSIS OF EPISODE: A young child aged  Lois Lane and her sister are busy playing with a monkey in their backyard. They hand the money a stuffed monkey to play with. The push a button on the stuffed doll and it plays the song "All around the Mulberry Bush" as the two girls circle around the monkey and sing to the melody. Lois' father and two scientist show up telling her that it's time for the monkey, named Titano, to do what he was trained to. That being sent into outer space for exploration. Lois protests this and tries to keep him away from them but the scientist grab him and take him.

The rocket holding Titano in a space suit blasts off into outer space as Lois and her sister and father watch on the view screen inside the base. They assure her that nothing will go wrong but soon enough something does go wrong. The boosters blast too early after the rocket separates into its components and Titano is sent flying off into the last part of space never heard from again.

Twenty years pass since that day and Superman is in outer space taking care of a meteor shower that is about to hit a space station. He knocks back parts of the meteor sending them crashing into one another. One of the rocks comes flying in towards him and Superman notices a capsule stuck in it. He goes to examine and sees a sleeping Titano inside of it out cold.

Back at the science lab they look over Titano and he seems to be all right but not hungry and seems to be heavier then he was before they launched him. A now adult Lois Lane comes running in to see the monkey who seems pretty happy to see her as well. The doctor and Clark Kent think it's a good idea for Lois to take Titano back to her apartment to help the monkey get back into good spirits. Lois protests at first but sure enough she winds up taking him in.

Titano breaks everything in the apartment turning it into a disaster area. Lois flops into a seat unable to keep up with the wild monkey. Unknowingly to her, the monkey glows blue for a moment getting a few inches bigger before he goes back to destroying the place. Jimmy Olson walks in and takes pictures as Lois gets a great idea. Have Jimmy look after him for her so she can get some relaxing time. He reluctantly agrees. Just as she leaves Titano has a growth spurt  giving quite the scary reaction to Jimmy.

Back at the lab the doctor and Superman are examining samples from the meteor. There is a weird gas within them that they believe could have caused Titano to be in suspended animation for all these years. A loud scream is heard in the lab and Superman runs to action. Huge bacteria cells are suddenly growing to large sizes and start to attack all the doctors. Superman takes care of them all with his heat vision and strength saving the day. The scientist realizes that the atmosphere must have had a weird reaction on the things affected by the gas and caused a growth. They then realize that Titano may be as well.

Jimmy is calling Lois who is getting a massage for help. She tells Jimmy to just throw it a banana or something  just as Titano's now large leg crushes the table and disconnects the phone. Titano is now big enough to lift up the whole refrigerator and does so as Jimmy backs away in fear. Jimmy runs for the door only for the fridge to be tossed at him blocking the path. Titano has a huge growth spurt hitting his head on the ceiling of the apartment as he continues to chase after Jimmy. Jimmy trips on a banana peel and falls out of the window. Just as he is about to hit the ground Superman saves him and flies him back up.  Lois shows up as they both return to the half destroyed apartment and screams out in terror to what her place looks like now.

At the zoo a family is looking at the monkey cage. Titano suddenly shows up behind them even larger then previously causing everyone to scream and run. Titano rips the bars off of the monkey cage sending them all running free through the zoo. A group of them enter the control room and open the doors to the lions setting them free. Titano has another group spurt and grows to over 40 feet in size now as he stomps through the zoo. Superman shows up and stops the lions from charging by using an empty caged exhibit and throws it over them saving a group of children. Superman flies off to find Titano.

Titano is at the docks eating bananas and takes care of an annoying sailor who hits him with a newspaper. He sends him flying into a garbage barge on the ocean. A group of cops and detectives show up and fire tranq darts at it only to have no effects on Titano. Superman flies in to try and help but Titano is a lot more then he can handle easily. Titano grapples around Superman trying to crush him. Superman breaks free just as Lois and Jimmy show up in their car. Titano flings Superman into the car and jumps into the ocean heading off.  Lois' father calls her on her cell speeding over to her location. He says he has something that may calm Titano down.

Titano heads to an amusement park on the other end of the ocean and starts to go mad when he sees a ride in the shape of a rocket ship. Superman saves another person who falls from the ride that Titano hits and the giant and he fight it out again. Lois, Jimmy and her father show up and Lois grasp what the father is holding and runs towards Titano. She holds out his old stuffed monkey toy as Superman tells her to get away just as he is send flying into the House of Mirrors. Titano goes to crush Superman as he is still down in the mirrors as Superman holds the huge foot up. Superman flips Titano onto another attraction that sends stuffed monkeys flying everywhere causing Lois to lose the one Titano likes in the mix. She and Jimmy go searching for it in the pile as Superman continues to battle with Titano. Lois plays the Mulberry Bush song from the toy over the loudspeakers and the monkey is tamed as they gas him and put him to sleep.  They wind up putting him in a reserve on an island where he protects other monkeys from predators. Lois waves good bye to her large friend as Superman carries her off. 


REVIEW OF EPISODE: Titano is a pretty classic monster from Superman comic books.  He was a weird nemesis though, as it's not someone you would think of fighting Superman usually. But I guess they wanted to get in on the King Kong craze as well as the nuclear fears much in the way the Godzilla films were trying to do.  Titano hadn't been in animated form for a long time prior to this episode. The last time was in the 1960's in the episode "The Chimp Who Made it Big". So of course things would have to be modernized and jazzed up a bit to put Titano back into things with a modern twist to it.  No more Kryptonite rays like the original had but besides the minor changes, it's a fun story that I think pulled it off as well as a generic giant gorilla on the loose situation can.

The story started out well enough, building a relationship between Lois and Titano that would come into play later in the story.  But it basically is an updated version of the King Kong story, just without any climbing tall buildings with Lois in his huge hand.  There was never any real payoff on the relationship between the two until the end but it was basically just a stuffed monkey toy rather then the person who owned it. So again the fact that they grew up together was more of a small universe type of deal that it happened to deal with a main character and her pet rather then any payoff on the bond the two may have had. 

No episode of  the 90's version of Superman would be complete without someone falling out of a window only to be saved at the last moment by Superman. Amazing how this never happens in any other cartoon but one with a super hero that happens to fly through the city. And that is probably the only real problem with this episode, is that the writers are very in the box like that. Nothing too creative or out there, but just formulaic type of situations. One moment we have him causing trouble in an apartment the next he is some freedom fighter rescuing his fellow monkeys that are trapped in zoo cages as everyone runs in fear by the sight of him.

To me they missed the boat here. The fun of giant gorilla situations is the fact that they seem to have fun with  their new size and power. Going to an amusement park and zoo doesn't seem like the best uses of a giant ape when you are in a vast city like Metropolis. While it's not a bad thing that they didn't do the King Kong route either with the building climb, it would have been nice to see something that was less G rated and more PG with some fun on a busy street as cars come to a stop and people scream running only for Superman to come in to try and save the day.  Titano really wasn't much of a match for Superman as he didn't have the powers he had in the comic book and was pretty much just an over grown primate when all was said and done. He got into a few good punches to him but it seemed more like it was very safe and friendly here and that just didn't make for a fun situation.

There was some good spots to this cartoon though which saves it from being just average.  Good growth scenes that were found through out. That part where he grows in the apartment was cool right up to where he hits his head on the ceiling and freaks Jimmy out.  Titano does seem to enjoy his new size and does what he wants to even if the situations are a bit on the lame side. I thought the animation was pretty good and Titano looked cool as a giant ape. And the story flowed well enough to keep it interesting. I just wish it wasn't so childish and small universe feeling where everyone involved with Titano seemed to have relevance from the time they were kids. Just didn't work at points. Also even the ending, while usually I like when they are kept big at the end, this time again it was more kiddy fare. He lives happily ever after on some island somewhere protecting a bunch of monkeys from a panther. Ok...

A nice try and a few good moments that make this worth a watch. It was on par with the rest of episodes found in the series of this year but definitely not the best cartoon series ever to have the Superman name attached to it. It was nice to see Titano back again, even if it was a more dumbed  down and kid friendly version. Could have been worse but was much better then it could have been as well. The originality saves it as well due to it not just being another clone of giant monkey on the loose but then again I find myself wondering if that would have helped the lacking action throughout the episode. Anyway check it out if you want to see a cool gorilla growth moments here and there situation. Not bad at all.


RATING:   B-

 

MEMORABLE QUOTES AND MOMENTS IN EPISODE:


Lois Lane: "You think you can keep an eye on him for an hour or two?"

Jimmy Olson: "Me!?"
Lois Lane: "You've got to take the photos anyway. And I know they will be terrific.."
Jimmy Olson: "But..."
Lois Lane: "It's just like baby-sitting, with fleas..."

****************
(A mother and her kids are looking at the monkey cage at the zoo as a small kid on the mothers shoulder points at something behind them)
Little kid: "Look mom.. monkey!
Mother: "Yes dear there are lots of monkeys.."
Little kid: "No mom.. BIG MONKEY!"
(The mother screams out as the huge Titano stands before them)

*****************

(A large Titano is at the docks eating bunches of bananas only for a weird sea captain of sorts to climb some crates and walk towards his face)
Sea Captain: "all right Cheetah, you asked for it!"
(Titano moves in towards him and the captain hits him with a rolled up newspaper)
Sea Captain: "Bad monkey! Bad, bad monkey!"
(Titano looks sorry at first but then grabs the captain and sends him flying into a barge on the ocean)

******************

(The police arrive to the docks to take care of Titano. A female detective hops out of the car with a huge rifle and looks up in fear at the large monkey)
Maggie: "Criminals, mad men and aliens we can handle. But this!!?
Partner: "Don't sweat it Maggie, these babies will put anything to sleep!"
(They fire darts at Titano)
Partner: "Nighty night monkey boy!"
(Titano roars out angrily and starts to stomp over towards the cops)
Maggie: "That was a short nap."

******************

Superman: "Sorry Lois, your monkey friend is going down!
(Superman flies off)
Lois: "Don't hurt him!! He's just a baby!!... ok a really big baby.."

 

FINAL NOTES:

*Titano has been a long time nemesis for Superman in the comics. The origins were similar being that he was affected weirdly by outer space radiation but in the comics it was Kryptonite radiation  related and that is why Superman had trouble defeating Titano. Titano would have green Kryptonite rays that he could fire at Superman to weaken him. In this version it was just a regular monkey in a King Kong situation that Superman didn't have to much trouble taking care of. This would be the only time that Titano showed up in this cartoon series but did show up in other Superman series in some shape or form.

*The rocket used to blast Titano into space was named Titan-O which may be a clue as to why a monkey would be named what he was before he was big.  In the comics and other Superman based cartoons where he showed up, his name was Toto when he was his regular chimp sized and was renamed Titano after he grew.

*As should come as no surprise, Frank Welker was indeed the voice of Titano in this cartoon. Often playing the voices of many creatures big and small Frank Welker shines again in his role of the monster ape. He was also the voice of the scientist who Superman was talking to for a lot of this episode.

Errors--

      Factual -- There is no way to watch a rocket deep in outer space on a view screen on Earth especially back in the 60's like was shown in the situation here with Titano's rocket breaking apart and flying off into parts unknown.

     Factual -- Titano being able to swim and freely jumping into the water is factually wrong. While monkeys can swim if they had no choice to they don't ever willingly choose to go into water or swim.

    Continuity -- Size fluctuation problems. Especially with the moments before, during and after the zoo. Titano looked bigger at moments before his last growth then he would be at times after it.

+ :Lots of growth spurts all throughout. Well written story true to the Superman flavor. Well drawn and animated. Nice homage to the old story this is based on with a modern twist.

- :Lacks a bit on the excitement and action side. Moments at the zoo were a bit silly for my tastes.


PICTURES OF TITANO


Aww isn't he just a cute little thing..     Those blue glows are never a good sign     He does seem a bit bigger now

There he glows again     This could be bad     Up he grows

I think he wants something to eat. EVERYTHING!     Oh no.. not another growth spurt     Darn ceilings always getting in the way

This apartment isn't big enough for him now     A new exhibit at the zoo?     Freeing his friends to play

He's getting even bigger now     I think he's liking this growing feeling     Now that's one big ape!

Everyone is in BIG trouble now     What small buildings they have here     Ooo little police cars want to play

ROAR!!!     Oh look at what I caught     Not even an ape can crush Superman

Now for his King Kong impression     That was a nice bath.     Oh not him again..

Can't a monster rampage in peace?     Thats a lot of years bad luck for him     Time for a little workout

What you lookin' at?     Ah it's good to be the king     At least they didn't shrink me


AVI


2 minutes 46 Seconds