Superheroes, Inc.
Superheroes, Inc. Title Card.png
Film information

Directed by

Stefan Fjeldmark
Michael Hegner
Jesper Møller

Produced by

Anders Mastrup
Phil Nibbelink

Written by

Stefan Fjeldmark
Karsten Kiilerich
John Stefan Olsen
Tracy J. Brown

Starring

Tony Rosato
Burt Ward
Stephanie D'Abruzzo
Alan Rickman
Melissa Gilbert
Eli Wallach
Sirena Irwin
Danny Skinner

Music by

Thomas Newman
Kristopher Carter
Michael McCuistion

Cinematography

Raymond Nonato

Editing by

Per Risager

Studio

Beeko Comics
A. Film A/S

Distributed by

Paramount Pictures
20th Century Fox

Release Date(s)

September 17th, 2002 (Denmark)
May 30th, 2003 (United States)
June 16th, 2003 (Australia/Malaysia/Singapore/Venezuela/Hungary/Czech Republic/Albania/Armenia)
June 22nd, 2003 (Belgium/France)
June 23rd, 2003 (Portugal/Israel)
June 28th, 2003 (The Netherlands)
July 4th, 2003 (Brazil)
July 7th, 2003 (Taiwan/South Korea)
July 14th, 2003 (Hong Kong)
July 16th, 2003 (Japan)
July 29th, 2003 (UK/Sweden)
August 26th, 2003 (Finland)
September 1st, 2003 (Greece)
October 3rd, 2003 (Germany)
November 4, 2004 (US/Brazil/Argentina; VHS)
March 14, 2005 (US/Brazil/Argentina; DVD)

Rated

PG (For Parental Guidance Suggested)

Running time

102 minutes

Language

English

Budget

$116,00

Gross Revenue

$569,78,00

Followed by

Superheroes University

Superheroes, Inc. is a 2003 Danish-American computer animated comedy film produced by Beeko Comics and A. Film A/S, distributed by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, and the film based on Batman by Mistake.

Featuring the voices of Tony Rosato, Burt Ward, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Alan Rickman, Eli Wallach, and Melissa Gilbert, the film was directed by Stefan Fjeldmark, Michael Hegner and Jesper Møller in his directorial debut, and executive produced by Anders Mastrup and Phil Nibbelink.

The film centers on two superheroes employed at the titular energy-producing factory Superheroes, Inc. – top scarer Cyborg and his Red Hood, best friend Robin. For the honour of Disney on Ice's Monsters, Inc.

Docter began developing the film in 1996, and wrote the story with Michael F. Ryan, Sam Lester, and James Osborne. Fellow Beeko Comics director Stefan Fjeldmark wrote the screenplay with screenwriters Karsten Kiilerich and John Stefan Olsen. The characters went through many incarnations over the film's five-year production process.

The technical team and animators found new ways to render fur and cloth realistically for the film. Thomas Newman, Kristopher Carter and Michael McCuistion, who composed the music for Beeko Comics' three prior films, returned to compose its fourth. From the creator that brought you "Help! I'm a Fish".

Superheroes, Inc. was praised by critics and proved to be a major box office success from its release on May 30, 2003, generating over $578,00 million worldwide. Superheroes, Inc. saw on Blu-ray 3D re-release in theaters on December 16, 2017.

Plot

The city of Gotham City in the superhero world is powered by energy from the screams of human children. At the Superheroes, Inc. factory, skilled superheroes employed as "scarers" venture into the human world to scare children and harvest their screams, through doors that activate portals to children's bedroom closets. It is considered dangerous work, as penguin children are believed to be toxic. Energy production is falling because children are becoming less easily scared, and Superheroes, Inc.'s chairman, Mr. Freeze, is determined to find a solution.

Cyborg and his partner, Robin, are the organization's top employees, but their chief rival, Stockholm, is close behind. One day, Cyborg discovers that Stockholm has left a door activated on the scare floor and a small girl has entered the factory. After several failed attempts to put her back, Stockholm sends the door back into the factory's door vault and Cyborg conceals her and takes her out of the factory. He interrupts Robin's date with his girlfriend, Batgirl, at a sushi restaurant, and chaos erupts when the child is discovered. Cyborg and Robin manage to escape with the child before the Stormtroopers quarantines the restaurant. They soon discover that she is not toxic after all; Cyborg grows attached to her and calls her "Robbie," while Nightwing is just anxious to be rid of her.

The two smuggle her back into the factory, she becoming a new Batgirl in an attempt to send her home. Joker discovers Robbie and tries to kidnap her, but mistakenly kidnaps Robin instead. He straps Robin to a large machine called "The Scream Extractor", which he intends to use to revolutionize the scaring industry and solve the superhero world's energy problems by forcefully extracting screams from kidnapped the penguin children. Before Bane can use the machine on Robin, Cyborg disables the machine, frees Robin and reports Joker to Mr. Freeze. Mr. Freeze, who is secretly in league with Joker, initially indicates anger at hearing of Joker's actions, but instead exiles Robin and Cyborg to the Himalayas after revealing he is involved in Joker's plot. The two meet the Abominable Snowman, who tells them about a nearby village, which Cyborg realizes he can use to return to the factory. Cyborg prepares to return, but Robin refuses to go with him.

Meanwhile, Joker is preparing to use the Scream Extractor on Robbie, but Cyborg suddenly arrives and saves her, destroying the machine in the process. Phantasm and Cyborg battle, and after Robin returns and helps Cyborg overpower Phantasm revealed to be Andrea Beaumont, the two reconcile, take Robbie, and flee.

Joker pursues them to the door vault, and a wild chase ensues among the millions of doors as they move in and out of the storage vault on rails to the factory floor. Robbie's laughter causes all the doors to activate at once, allowing the superheroes to freely pass in and out of the penguin world. Two-Face and Poison Ivy attempt to kill Cyborg, but Robbie overcomes her fear and attacks him, enabling Cyborg to catch him. Cyborg and Robin then trap Two-Face and Poison Ivy in the human world, where Parr family at Parr's new house mistake him for the supers and beat them with a shovel.

Cyborg and Robin take Robbie and her door to the training room. Mr. Freeze appears and demands Cyborg surrender Robbie to him. Cyborg inadvertently baits Mr. Freeze into shouting "I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die, and I'll silence anyone who gets in my way"; the confession is videotaped by Robin, who then plays the recording to the Stormtroopers, who quickly arrest and imprison Mr. Freeze. Roz appears, revealing herself to be the Stormtroopers' director who worked for nearly three years to expose Mr. Freeze as a fraud and kidnapper. She thanks Robin and Cyborg for revealing his true colors, but orders the Stormtroopers to destroy Robbie's door; they do so and Cyborg is left saddened by Robbie's departure.

With the factory temporarily shut down, Cyborg is named the new CEO of Superheroes, Inc. Under his leadership, the energy crisis is solved by harvesting children's laughter instead of screams, as laughter has been found to be ten times more potent. Robin takes Cyborg aside, revealing he has rebuilt Robbie's door. It needs one final piece, which Cyborg took as a memento, in order to work. Cyborg puts the door chip into place, enters and joyfully reunites with Robbie.

Production

Box office

Superheroes, Inc. ranked number 1 at the box office on its opening weekend, grossing $62,577,067 in North America alone. The film had a small drop-off of 27.2% over its second weekend, earning another $45,551,028. In its third weekend, the film experienced a larger decline of 50.1%, placing itself in the second position just after Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. In its fourth weekend, however, there was an increase of 5.9%, making $24,055,001 that weekend for a combined total of over $525 million. As of May 2003, it is the eighth-biggest fourth weekend ever for a film.

The film made $289,916,256 in North America, and $287,509,478 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $578,425,734,00. The film is Beeko Comics's 60th anniversary highest-grossing film worldwide and sixth in North America. For a time, the film surpassed The Toys Room 2 as the second highest-grossing animated film of all time, only behind 1997's Anastasia.

In the U.K., Ireland, and Malta, it earned £37,264,502 ($53,335,579) in total, marking the sixth highest-grossing animated film of all time in the country and the thirty-second highest-grossing film of all time. In Japan, although earning $4,471,902 during its opening and ranking second behind The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring for the weekend, it moved to first place on subsequent weekends due to exceptionally small decreases or even increases and dominated for six weeks at the box office. It finally reached $74,457,612, standing as 2013's third highest-grossing film and the third largest U.S. animated feature of all time in the country behind The Toys Room 3 and Finding Dyno.

Animation

In February 2002, early in the production of Superheroes, Inc., Beeko Comics packed up and moved for the second time since its Disney and A. Film A/S years. The company's approximately 500 employees had become spread among three buildings, separated by a busy highway. The company moved from Point Richmond to a much bigger campus in Denmark, co-designed by Fleischer and Steve Osborne.

In production, Superheroes Inc. differed from earlier Beeko Comics' comic books features, as every main character in this movie had its own supervisor animator – Michael Helmuth Hansen on Cyborg, Jesper Møller on Robin, and Jørgen E. Hansen on Robbie. Ranieri found that the "bearlike quality" of Rosato's voice provided an exceptionally good fit with the character. He faced a difficult challenge, however, in dealing with Cyborg's sheer mass; traditionally, animators conveyed a figure's heaviness by giving it a slower, more belabored movement, but Ranieri was concerned that such an approach to a central character would give the film a "sluggish" feel. Like Rosato, Ranieri came to think of Cyborg as a football player, one whose athleticism enabled him to move quickly in spite of his size. To help the animators with Cyborg and other strength superheroes, Beeko Comics arranged for Rodger Kram, the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen expert on the locomotion of Team Fortress, to lecture on the subject.

Transcript

Main article: Superheroes, Inc. (Uncensored)/Transcript

Voice cast

  • Tony Rosato as Cyborg (sometimes "Cy") is the half-cybernetic half-man and chief technological expert. Even though Cyborg excels at scaring children, he is a mental giant by nature. At the film's beginning, Cyborg has been the "Best Scarer" at Superheroes, Inc. for several months running.
  • Burt Ward as Robin (real name Tim Drake), a short, round Red Hood and noted for his recurring interjections in the form of "Holy ________, Cyborg!". Robin is Cyborg's best friend, station runner and coach on the scare floor, and the two are close friends and roommates. Cyborg is charming and generally the more organized of the two, but is prone to neurotics and his ego sometimes leads him astray. He is dating Batgirl who calls him "Googly-Bear".
  • Stephanie D'Abruzzo as Robby (a.k.a. Robbie), an adult twenty six-year-old woman who is unafraid of any superhero except Joker, the scarer assigned to her door. She believes Cyborg is a large cat and refers to him as "Kitty". In the film, one of Robbie's drawings is covered with the name "Robby".
  • Alan Rickman as Stockholm, a new former fantastic-turned-superhero. Stockholm bears some resemblance to Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove. He is a spoof of Metro Man from Megamind.
  • Henry Silva as Bane, a genius-level tactician, master hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist and superhuman strength and physical attributes via the Venom drug.
  • James Remar as Two Face, the evil alter ego Big Bad Harv. He obsessively makes all important decisions by flipping his former lucky charm, a two-headed coin which was damaged on one side by the acid as well. He is a snide and preening character who makes himself a rival to Cyborg and Robin in scream collection.
  • Dana Delany as Andrea Beaumont, a woman Cyborg meets in the early years of his return to Gotham after traveling the world. The decision to propose to her in marriage leads to him abandoning his plans for becoming a vigilante.
  • Eli Wallach as Mr. Freeze, a cool, cruel crook who must dwell in an environment 50 degrees below zero. His weapon of choice is a freeze-blast gun. Mr. Freeze is the CEO of Superheroes, Inc., a job passed down through his family for three generations. He acts as a mentor to Cyborg, holding great faith in him as a scarer.
  • Stacy Keach as Phantasm, special gauntlet, a razor sharp blade and blend in completely with his surroundings when Cyborg reveals Phantasm to be Andrea Beamount.
  • Melissa Gilbert as Batgirl, a female magician. Barbara is the receptionist for Superheroes, Inc. and a love interest of Robin.
  • Bob Peterson as Roz, a big fat fabulous life who acts like Aunt Anna with a raspy voice who administrates for Scare Floor F where Cyborg, Robin, and Joker work. At the end of the movie, it is revealed that Roz is "Agent Number 1" of the Stormtroopers, and has worked undercover at Superheroes, Inc. for two and a half years.
  • Dan Castellaneta as Yeti (a.k.a. The Abominable Snowman), who acts like Genie (from Disney's 1992 film "Aladdin") wearing snowshoes for sleigh who was banished to the Himalayas. He was inspired by the Abominable Snowman from the 1964 Rankin/Bass animated special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  • Jeff Bergman as Joker, using his expertise in chemical engineering to develop poisonous or lethal concoctions, and thematic weaponry, including razor-tipped playing cards, deadly joy buzzers, and acid-spraying lapel flowers.
  • Sirena Irwin as Harley Quinn, whom wore a black domino mask, white facial makeup, and a one-piece, black and red motley outfit with a cowl, beleaguered assistant.
  • Carlo Bonomi as The Creeper (cameo only).
  • Danny Wells as Luigi, a first male carpenter who work as 1th janitor and operate the Door Shredder when required.
  • John Stocker as Bootlicker, a second male carpenter who work as 2nd janitor and operate the Door Shredder when required.
  • Tom Kenny as Iron-Man, a "living" armor for its improved tactical abilities (self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist with mechanical suits of armor) who manages Scare Floor F and is a good friend of Mr. Freeze.
  • Nicholle Tom as Supergirl, an employee at Superheroes, Inc. Kara drives a Gotham Cabs Car on Gotham City. Supergirl appeared on the Superheroes, Inc. commercial and was later seen at the factory.
  • Danny Skinner as Hai Lectrix, the superhero trainee scarer for Superheroes, Inc. Hai Lectrix bears some resemblance to Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost.
  • Bob Odenkirk as Winston Castellaneta Weaver, a superhero fan who leads a telecommunications company with his sister Karen, and wants to bring back superheroes by revamping the public's perception of them.
  • Catherine Keener as Karen Williams Weaver, Winston's older sister,  who trains new superheroes to scare children.
  • Samuel Lord Black as Captain Hopper, a superhero with a red mallet. A running gag throughout the film involves Captain Hopper repeatedly making contact with human artifacts (such as socks and the like which cling to his super suit via static), prompting his scare coach to trigger "23–19" incidents with the Stormtroopers resulting in him mobbed, shaved bald, and sterilized. He is good friends with Hulk.
  • Phil Proctor as El Chavo, Captain Hopper's assistant poor orphan. He is friends with Captain Hopper, Robin, and Cyborg, but is quick to call the Stormtroopers on his scarer at the drop of a hat.
  • Dan Castellaneta as Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible, who possesses super strength and limited invulnerability.
  • Sarah Vowell as Violet Parr, the family's daughter and first child, who can become invisible and project force fields for limited lengths of time.
  • Eric Wells provides the voice of Dashiell "Dash" Parr, the family's troublemaker first son, who has superhuman speed. He was previously voiced by Phil Proctor.
  • Stuart Rosato provide the vocal effects of Jack-Jack Parr, the infant son of Bob and Helen who has a large assortment of powers. He was previously voiced by Eli Fucile from the second film.

Parts of the Entire Movie

  1. Main Titles / The Moat Monster in the Closet / Mr. Freeze
  2. Morning Workout / Gotham City
  3. Superheroes, Inc / Stockholm
  4. The Scare Floor / "23-19!"
  5. End of the Day / Robbie
  6. Harryhausen's / Back at the Apartment
  7. Bedtime
  8. Sneaking Around Robbie to Work / Potty Break / Joker's Plot
  9. The Wrong Door / Robin on the Run
  10. The Trash Compactor
  11. Robin Kidnapped / The Scream Extractor
  12. Cyborg Scares Robbie
  13. Banished / Welcome to Himalayas
  14. Cyborg Rescues Robbie
  15. "Pussy Poo!" / The Door Vault
  16. The Demise of Two Face
  17. Tricking Mr. Freeze
  18. Goodbye
  19. The Laugh Floor / Kitty!
  20. End Credits

DVD Chapters

  1. Main Titles
  2. The Moat Monster in the Closet
  3. Mr. Freeze
  4. Morning Workout
  5. Gotham City
  6. Superheroes, Inc / Stockholm
  7. The Scare Floor
  8. "23-19!"
  9. End of the Day / Robbie
  10. Harryhausen's
  11. Back at the Apartment
  12. Bedtime
  13. Sneaking Around Robbie to Work
  14. Potty Break
  15. Joker's Plot
  16. The Wrong Door / Robin on the Run
  17. The Trash Compactor
  18. Robin Kidnapped
  19. The Scream Extractor
  20. Cyborg Scares Robbie
  21. Banished
  22. Welcome to Himalayas
  23. Cyborg Rescues Robbie
  24. Phantasm Unmasked by Cyborg
  25. "Pussy Poo!"
  26. The Door Vault
  27. The Demise of Two Face
  28. Tricking Mr. Freeze
  29. Goodbye
  30. The Laugh Floor / Kitty!
  31. End Credits

Blu-ray Chapters

  1. Main Titles
  2. The Moat Monster in the Closet
  3. Mr. Freeze
  4. Morning Workout
  5. Gotham City
  6. Superheroes, Inc / Stockholm
  7. The Scare Floor
  8. "23-19!"
  9. End of the Day / Robbie
  10. Harryhausen's
  11. Back at the Apartment
  12. Bedtime
  13. Sneaking Around Robbie to Work
  14. Potty Break
  15. Joker's Plot
  16. The Wrong Door / Robin on the Run
  17. The Trash Compactor
  18. Robin Kidnapped
  19. The Scream Extractor
  20. Cyborg Scares Robbie
  21. Banished
  22. Welcome to Himalayas
  23. Cyborg Rescues Robbie
  24. Phantasm Unmasked by Cyborg
  25. "Pussy Poo!"
  26. The Door Vault
  27. The Demise of Two Face
  28. Tricking Mr. Freeze
  29. Goodbye
  30. The Laugh Floor / Kitty!
  31. End Credits

Trivia

  • Two-Face, voiced by James Remar, at one point says to Poison Ivy, "If I don't see a new door in my station in five seconds, and which his hero gets put them THROUGH THE WOOD CHIPPER!" Buscemi starred in Fargo, a movie in which his character gets put through a wood chipper/shredder by his murderous accomplice.
  • This is the first Beeko animated film that was directed by Stefan Fjeldmark.
  • It is also the first Beeko animated film of the 21st century.
  • This is the last Beeko animated film to have outtakes at the end of the film.
  • The Blu-ray re-release version of the film's closing credits lacked the outtakes as in the original theatrical and home releases as such has been relegated to a bonus feature, instead it features stylized superhero body parts (like in the opening credits) and closet doors surrounding the credits.
  • All of the digital displays (such as the clock radio, the "Days since the last accident" counter, etc), are all made up of Nixie tubes. Nixie tubes were digital displays made up of digits formed from light bulbs with wiring shaped like letters or numbers, much like neon signs.
  • This is Beeko Comics' first attempt at animating fur.
  • It's also Beeko Comics' first attempt at animating loose clothing like skirts and dresses (in this case, Robbie's nightshirt). In the first two The Toys Room films, all human girls and women, (Mrs. Templeton, Penny Peterson) wore pants since it was very difficult at the time to animate skirts and dresses, Crystal's dress included a hoop skirt, and the various Barbiedolls were all seen wearing tight clothing. The second instance of Beeko Comics animating loose clothing was in Finding Dyno with a woman's skirt in the waiting room (most noticeable in the original 2006 US home release-exclusive fullscreen version) toward the end of that film.

Cameos

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.