“We’ve created Batman’s Gonna Get Shot in the Face and Nintendo: Oldschool Revolution, and they’ve both racked up millions of views,” told me. “We’re proud of them, but we also realize that we have got to move beyond the realm of fan films if we want to grow. So, we’re saying goodbye with our arrogantly titled animation, The Greatest Fan Film of All Time.”
Any movie with a name like that, even as a joke, probably has a strike against it. Throw in that it’s a homemade, 45-minute, flash-animated flick, and that creates even less enthusiasm. Guess what? The Greatest Fan Film of All Time is a helluva lot of fun to watch.
The plot is simple: Millions of superheroes gather in Metropolis to celebrate Stan Lee’s birthday, bad guys show up, chaos ensues, and good triumphs over evil. Along the way, there are so many appearances by various heroes across the fandom realm, that I’ll be honest: I didn’t know who a few of them were.
It doesn’t matter: Even if you have only the most basic knowledge of comics, you’re in for a treat. There are some priceless moments, like Superman “helping” Stan kick some ass, Venom eating Spider-Man’s skull, and a great—great—conversation between superteam leaders, talking shop about how every team has The Guy, the one who perpetually undermines their authority (cue Wolverine’s entrance).
SEE THE GREATEST FAN FILM OF ALL TIME AND MORE AFTER THE JUMP!
The battle between the Hulk and Superman is a riot—probably the best part of the flick. It brought back memories of Scott McCloud’s classic 1980s one-shot comic, Destroy (the 3D version is especially worth tracking down). For those who love gross-out humor, let’s just say it’s no fun being The Atom. And Comic Book Guy? Best. Fan Film Cameo. Ever.
Despite all the yuks, however, there are moments when the movie shifts moods. The flick starts out with baby Superman’s departure from Krypton, which is depicted with a melancholy that Richard Donner never managed to achieve. Later, too, when the bad guys have all but won, the tone is genuinely grim—not an easy thing to achieve in a fan film.
The movie was animated and directed by Jacob Drake, and written and edited by Longstreth; in total, they spent 18 months making the film, logging more than 1,300 hours of animating in the process. Voice work was recorded across six states and Canada, with assists from both fan film veterans like Aaron Schoenke and Paul Molnar (Patient J) who supplied the voices of Scarecrow and Joker respectively, and a bona fide rock star in the form of Raine Maida, lead singer of Our Lady Peace.
Is it the Greatest Fan Film of All Time? You’ll have to decide that for yourself—and you’ll have a great time along the way.