Spiderman before the Movie
Before the big debut of Spiderman in 2002, before the excellent sequel Spiderman 2 in 2004, “Spider Man the animated series” gave me the chills and trills of what it would be like to be Spiderman from an animated view. Yes I read the comics, and enjoyed them but there was something different about seeing Spiderman in motion.
The first time I saw Spiderman in motion I was about 8 years old when saw the classic carton “Spiderman and his amazing friends”. I spent the night over a friends house, browsed through his movie collection, spotted it, and put it on. It was probably one of the biggest disappointments for an animated cartoon series for me back then. The opening theme was corny even for me at the time. Slow paced fighting and action and almost unbearable dialogue. I gave it credit for being a so called “classic” cartoon but to me it didn’t do justice to one of favorite marvel comic characters as a kid. Will they ever show Spiderman the way he should look? Acrobatic, fast, strong, and quick reflexes. This is what I was expecting and hoping to one day see with my own eyes.
Spiderman would get his second chance in my mind to be shown in correct form when I was browsing the old classic TV channels one night. I was up real late, and should have went to sleep 5 hours ago. I was probably trying to catch another episode of “Secret Squirrel” when the masked hero suddenly popped up on the screen. I could have woke everyone up in the house with my laughter after I caught a glimpse of this show. No disrespect to the people that first tried to bring Spiderman to life, but man did this look like crap in my opinion. “This guy just throws a string around and catches villains?” I thought to myself. From the white stringed spider web to the funny mask of the costume, surely this cant be the best concepts of Spiderman they can come up with?
(For those that don’t know The Spider-Man TV series consisted of a pilot, and thirteen subsequent episodes which aired haphazardly over two seasons on CBS between 1977 and 1979. Several of the shows were edited to make three movies, as indicated. The story was only loosely based on the comics. The villains were all newly created, and most of the cast was re-invented. Apparently, CBS was reluctant to commit to a regular timeslot, as they didn't want to become known as "The Super-Hero Channel", since they were running a glut of Super-Hero movies and TV series at the time. The program wasn't pulling good numbers, and it was canned before it really hit it's stride.)I thought that maybe everyone has already tried and failed at the attempt to bring Spiderman to life the way I thought he should have. Luckily I was way off the mark because as they say, 5th times the charm!
With all the promo’s and hype behind the animated series building up. The first episode was broadcasted on Fox kids November 19, 1994 on a Saturday morning.
I remember it clearly watching it with my sister and my father and a big cereal bowl (there is no point in getting a small one…) It was set in the first few years of Spider-Man’s life as a crime fighter, the show portrays the hero’s first encounters with his colorful rouges gallery and is often considered to be the pinnacle example of season long story-arcs.
For the animated series they decided to blend 3D with 2D animation. It had great action and special effects for its time. Spiderman’s arachnid like movements was also portrayed in the series, and executed very well (Nod to Tod McFarlane).
Just to see Spiderman flip around and crawl up walls gave me so much joy I started doing it….. didn’t work out so well for me. It all worked out beautifully for the new Spiderman series. After about two weeks of showing word had got out. This cartoon was gold and was never missed by me or my friends at school. McDonalds even put in their pitch with the show by having happy meals with specially designed Spiderman and villains artwork all over the Happy Meal bag. Unfortunately all the joy came to an end on January 31, 1998, after showing a whopping 65 episodes and a two part finale the series was at the end of it's line (no pun intended).
Recently a new fully 3D Spiderman series spawned from the new movies and aired in 2003 on MTV. I was pretty stoked about this one, finally the Spiderman that I grew up with was being shown the way I envisioned ever since I picked up the first Spiderman comic and read it. This series had the lifespan of a housefly and was taken off the air soon after being introduced. This series marks the last of the animated Spiderman shows... so far
Although it has popped in and out of our broadcasting like a whack-a-mole "Spiderman the Animated series" will always live on and be remembered by most as one of the best animated Marvel comic inspired cartoon series ever to air on television.