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Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (also known as MTV Spider-Man) is an American animated television series based on the Marvel comic book superhero character Spider-Man. It ran for only one season of thirteen episodes, starting on July 11, 2003. It is a loose continuation of 2002's Spider-Man film directed by Sam Raimi. The show was made using computer generated imagery rendered in cel shading and was broadcast on MTV, and YTV. Eight months later after the series finale, episodes aired in reruns on the ABC Family as part of the Jetix television programming block.

Series overview

The story follows the events of the first Spider-Man film. Norman Osborn is dead. Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson, and Harry Osborn attended Empire State University. Peter and Mary Jane try to establish a relationship without success. Peter;s superhero duties, and later his involvement with Indira Daimonji, interfere with his romance with Mary Jane. Harry craves revenge on Spider-Man, whom he blames for the death of his father. Peter faces an assortment of other villains including Lizard, Kraven the Hunter and Electro while trying to maintain a job and his studies. He faces two psychic twins that ruin everything in the wallcrawler's life, causing Peter to give up being Spider-Man and try to live a normal life.

Production

Development

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series was initially supposed to be an adaptation of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. However, after the success of 2002's Spider-Man film, the show was reworked to follow that continuity. The series was produced by Brian Michael Bendis, who wrote on Ultimate Spider-Man comics, for Sony Pictures Television, who had purchased the film and television rights to the character. The computer-generated imagery (CGI) was produced by Mainframe Entertainment.

Peter Parker was originally supposed to wear baggier clothes to hide his superhero muscles, but cost effective difficulties with the CG format prevented folds from being put into his everyday attire. As a result, Peter's street clothes were redesigned to be close-fitting and contemporary, while still managing to hide his physique (and the costume he wore under his clothes) as Spider-Man. The character of Aunt May was not included in the series (except for a photograph in Peter's bedroom), because MTV executives feared that the appearance of any old people would deter their target youth audience from watching.

The producers found that the more relaxed standards of MTV allowed them more creative freedom than usually allowed for a Saturday morning cartoon show.

Cancellation

MTV decided that the ratings for the series were insufficient to warrant a second season, leaving the series to end on a cliffhanger. Director Brandon Vietti stated that had the series gone on he would have used the villains Mysterio, Vulture, and more of Kraven.

Cast

Main cast

Actor Role
Neil Patrick Harris Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Lisa Loeb Mary Jane Watson
Ian Ziering Harry Osborn

Recurring cast

Actor Role
Angelle Brooks Indira "Indy" Daimonji
Keith Carradine J. Jonah Jameson

Guest cast

Actor Role
Stan Lee Frank Elson
Rob Zombie Curt Conners / Lizard
Eve Jihan Jeffers-Cooper Talon / Cheyenne
Kathy Griffin Roxanne Gaines
Jeremy Piven Ronald Gaines
Michael Dorn Kraven the Hunter / Sergei Kravinoff
Michael Clarke Duncan Kingpin / Wilson Fisk
Keith David FBI Agent Mosely
Jeffrey Combs Dr. Zellner
Clancy Brown Raymond
Virginia Madsen Silver Sable
James Marsters Sergei
Harold Perrineau Jr. Turbo Jet
Ed Asner Officer Barr
Gina Gershon Shikata
John C. McGinley Richard Damian
Ethan Embry Electro / Max Dillon
Devon Sawa Flash Thompson
Tara Strong Christina
Cree Summer Professor Williams

Episodes

  • The Party
  • The Sword of Shikata
  • Law of the Jungle
  • Keeping Secrets
  • Tight Squeeze
  • Head Over Heels
  • When Sparks Fly
  • Spider-Man Dis-Sabled
  • Royal Scam
  • Heroes and Villains
  • Flash Memory
  • Mind Games, Part 1
  • Mind Games, Part 2

Reception

The series received favorable reviews from critics. In 2004, the series was nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Television Production while "Keeping Secrets" got a nomination in Outstandig Storyboard in an Animated Television Production.

Opening

Spiderman The New Animated Series Intro00:32

Spiderman The New Animated Series Intro

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