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Not As Good As You Remember!
on 22 September 2011
Let me state here and now that I absolutely loved Spider-Man as a kid and still have a real fondness for him at age 44. Always my favourite Marvel superhero. I loved his vulnerability and the fact that Peter Parker struggled with the responsiblity his powers brought him. My brother was into the Fantastic Four and The Hulk and whilst I took an interest in the whole "Marvel Universe", the Spider-Man stories captivated me the most.
I was thrilled therefore to find that I could finally get the original cartoon series in a box set and relive those after school memories with the old "webslinger" and perhaps a bag of penny sweets. Oh dear, it is so much easier as a child to suspend disbelief isn't it? The passage of time has made me see that some of the animation techniques and production values of this series were pretty poor.
Don't get me wrong, it's great to see all those old villains and characters again but there are many episodes here that are best described as being thrown together. I understand that budgets were reduced after Series 1 and it shows. Endless use of stock footage to pad out the story, of Spidey swinging round the rooftops plonked onto any kind of background. This really does get tedious after a while and so do the garish colours of the poorly drawn backgrounds in use by Series 2. The production team also re-used footage from their earlier effort "Rocket Robin Hood" too, in some cases almost entire episodes.
There are some really strange animation sequences used such as when Spidey is supposedly "creeping up" on someone. He looks really bizarre and it had me crying with laughter. Some of the fight sequences and sound effects look as if they used ideas they saw on "Scooby Doo". Check out the really bad mistake on the title sequence too with the "Jewlery" store sign. Tee Hee! I never noticed that 35 years ago! That said, I am still glad I purchased this, anything that brings back a bit of my childhood once in a while is well worth it. Just don't watch too many in one sitting is my advice. Otherwise you may find yourself picking fault every few minutes and wanting to throw the remote at the screen when you see your "Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man" swinging round the Brooklyn Bridge for the 20th time!