I just got this set in the post this morning, and I have to say, I almost didn't believe it was really getting released until I held it in my hands, so convinced was I that Disney or someone else had a chokehold on the distribution rights. Once again, as with unedited classic WWF pay per view events, we UK-dwellers are treated to something or US counterparts are not. Which is only fair, because they usually get everything first anyway.
The set itself is well presented, although the artwork is a little cheap, and clearly done in a way as to mimic the style of the 90s series. Anyone who has the recent X-Men Season releases will be familiar with this. Unlike those, this one also has a slipcase. A booklet with episode synopses is also included.
I've recently come to realise this show is probably on a par with Batman, as both have their merits and drawbacks. While Batman has the better scores, acting and one-episode plots, Spider-Man has season-long arcs, which when viewed in succession make for great television. That's not to say the acting or music in Spider-Man is crap, by the way. Christopher Barnes is BRILLIANT as Spider-Man (especially in those fleeting moments of extreme rage), and the guests were memorable too, particularly Rob Paulsen's oafish Hydro Man and sexiest-voice-ever Jennifer Hale as Felicia Hardy/ Black Cat (that's Metal Gear's Naomi Hunter for you non-animation-buffs).
The music was great too, but while Spider-Man relied on several repeated (HEAVILY repeated) cues, each Batman episode had a fresh, full orchestral score by some of the best in the business. Another thing about Spider-Man is that even after all these years I find myself being surprised by some of the plot twists, which were even more abundant upon first viewing. Thankfully, John Semper (creative head of the show) was bold enough to change much of the original stories to make them worth animating in the first place. What else? A minor triumph, but the colouring on this cartoon is the best of any I've ever seen. A simple praise. While the show lost its way during the muddled fourth year it had some great episodes in the last series, with one of the greatest resolution-with-cliffhanger endings in animation history. A rare treat in that its much, much better than you remember it.
The first series holds some of the best episodes- the three-parter, "The Alien Costume"- a marvellous introduction for the ultimately underused Venom (a deliciously insane Hank Azaria)- and the two-part "Hobgoblin" are among the best in the show's five-year run. "Night of the Lizard", a pilot of sorts, is interesting in that there's an awful lot more effort put into the animation than in later episodes, as is often the case. The rest of the single-episode stories deal with classic villains including Mysterio, Dr. Octopus (no longer a nerd but a beefy cool guy) and The Chameleon.
The full list of episodes is:
Disc 1- Episodes 1-6 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Night of the Lizard The Sting of the Scorpion The Spider Slayer Return of the Spider Slayers The Menace of Mysterio Doctor Octopus: Armed and Dangerous
Disc 2- Episodes 7-13 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Alien Costume Parts 1-3 Kraven the Hunter The Hobgoblin Parts 1-2 Day of the Chameleon
In terms of DVD specifics, the episodes look great presented in their original ratio of 4:3 (not widescreen), but no worse when stretched to fill the screen. The audio is in available in English, German, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian, and the subtitles in Finnish and Dutch.
With a pre-order up for the complete (unlike those half aand half X-Men releases) second season on the distributor's website it looks as though Clearvision is motoring ahead with releasing the complete show. There's no better place to start than here, so if you've been a fan for years, want something for the kids or are simply feeling nostalgic, pick this up. Animation from the 1990s doesn't come much better than this, and Marvel have yet to top it.
Spiderman the animated series is easily up there with batman and the x men as the best animated series of the 90's. While the animation is a bit dated now, these are excellent episodes that spiderman fans of all ages should enjoy. Loved the venom episodes, which were far superior to the movie spiderman 3! An absolute joy to watch and an essential purchase for all fans of marvel cartoons.
Loved this show. The mid-90's gave birth to 3 of the best comic book adapted cartoon series ever. Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men, and Spider-Man. I live in the United States, and Spider-Man isn't released there, so I had to get a region free player, and it was well worth it.
The animation isn't as fluid as more modern or higher budgeted cartoon's, however, the writing and story's are great. I love how they made each season a continuing story arc, similiar to the X-Men. Season 1 deals mainly with introducing villians like the Lizard, Rhino, Scorpion and the introduction of the black suit and Eddie Brock.
I would recommend this to any Spider-Man fan; comics, cartoon, or just an overall general fan. I really have to commend Clearvision for these Marvel cartoon release's, and complete season's at that. Now I hope they can get the 90's Hulk series all on one complete season set (Personally, I don't really care for the volume sets).
Disc wise, the sound is great and the colors are generally bright (and dark during the night or sewer scene's, and there are plenty). The show was created in 4:3 and regular stereo, so don't expect hi-def capabilities, but is anormorphic for widescreens. Looking forward to the next seasons and the Silver Surfer.
i love this version, probably the best version of spider-man but however i only have one complaint. i am pretty sure that i am one of a little amount of people but amazon gurantees that there is a booklet with episode synopses but when my series 1 arrived in the post, i opened the case to find that i had no booklet inside, it is not very important but i like to get what i am told i will get but overall, a very good item!!!
Have been waiting for the release of this season of animated Spiderman adventures for some time - very pleased to stumble across this a while back - brings all the memories of Saturday cartoon TV back from my younger years. The animation was better that the original 1970's series (in my opinion) and the stories had grown more in-depth. This is a must for all Spidey fans who have time to reminisce.
i have some assorted episodes on tape from when fox kids used to air it on cable tv,i have to agree with most reviews that marvel should have released it a long time ago! just received the 1st season on dvd today from amazon and i'm very pleased, i always liked how some of the other characters such as blade, punisher, tombstone, rhino, scorpion etc got some "episode time" as it were compared to the main baddies, dr.oc, goblin, carnage, venom, kingpin and the like, good stories, great action and dialogue. i've pre-ordered seasons 2,3,4 a must buy....!
As an American, I grew up watching this show. I am thrilled that it is now available on DVD. I haven't seen this show in years, and when it was on, I never saw the whole series in order. While a UK (Region 2) release, I did not hesitate to buy it. It's relatively easy to watch DVD from different regions these days. Additionally, there is not an official release in the Unites States yet. Besides, Clear Vision is doing a far better job with their Marvel DVD releases than the company who has the distribution rights in the states (I won't mention names). I also have Clear Vision's X-men releases too, and they are just as good. As the price is very very fair, I don't mind not having any special features on the discs. This show is good enough to stand on its own. The presentation is very good. This SpiderMan set is two DVDs each with their own unique DVD artwork (Disc 1 has SpiderMan in his tradition costume, whereas Disc 2 features him in the black "alien" costume). There is an episode guide and a slip cover for the set. The video quality of the episodes I've seen looks really good. If you are a fan of this SpiderMan cartoon, or SpiderMan in general, get this DVD set. Season 2 will be released pretty soon, according to amazon.
Glad to finally be able to purchase the 1994 animated spiderman series on dvd, long overdue in the U.S. Regarding the dvd, the colors are bright and vivid, the episodes are highly entertaining just like I used to remember way back when! Absolutely great!!