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Spider-Man was Canadian-American animated television series in the superhero genre. It was the original animated TV series based on the Spider-Man comic book series created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, and was jointly produced in Canada (voice acting) and the United States (animation). The first two seasons aired on the ABC television network, and the third was distributed in syndication. Grantray-Lawrence Animation produced the fist and second seasons and season three was produced by Krantz Films in New York City. The show starred Paul Soles as Peter Parker (Spider-Man). The series ran from September 9, 1967 to June 14, 1970.

Synopsis

The series revolved around teenager Peter Parker, a college student who develops extraordinary strength and spider-like powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Parker decides to become a crime-fighting, costumed superhero, but must deal with family tragedies, personal problems and the insecurity of youth, As Spider-Man, Parker risks his life to fight super-powered criminals such as Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, and the Green Goblin. Peter is also a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle, but editor J. Jonah Jameson considers Spider-Man a criminal and writes front-page headlines critical of his activities.

The first season dealt primarily with Peter's job at the Daily Bugle, focusing on his relationship with Jameson, his romance with receptionist Betty Brant and often being called into action as his alter ego. Peter's life, apart from the Bugle office and his Aunt May's Forest Hills home, war rarely dealt with in early episodes. Although he was never seen at college, he would sometimes visit professors he knew (such as the opening of "Sub-Zero for Spidey," when he went to see Professor Smartyr). Peter's character (blue suit, yellow vest, white shirt and red tie) was designed by Steve Ditko and art consultant John Romita, Sr.

Season-one stories mainly involved classic Spider-Man villains from the comic-book series, whose captures were often accompanied by a note signed "your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man." Stan Lee was the story consultant for this season. Season's two and three, produced by Ralph Bakshi, almost entirely eliminated villains from the comic book as a cost-cutting measure in favor of generic, green-skinned, magical monster; this enabled the reuse of stock footage from Rocket Robin Hood, another animated series produced by Bakshi.

Production

Budget

Because of the series' limited budget, Spider-Man's costume only has webbed areas on his head, arms and boots; the rest is plain, except for spiders on his chest and back. The series relied on reused stock animation, including Spider-Man swinging across the New York City skyline and Peter stripping off his white dress shirt to reveal his spider suit. Character movement was also minimized.

The second and third seasons were produced on a reduced budget by Krantz Films under Ralph Bakshi. The cost-cutting is most apparent in the third season, with two episodes reusing almost all the footage from the Rocket Robin Hood episode (notably the season three Rocket Robin Hood episode, "Dementia 5") and remaking previous episodes with minimal changes.

An error in Spider-Man's costume appeared throughout season one, with the spider on his costume having only six legs. By season two new drawings of the costume showed an eight-legged spider but reused footage from season one continued that season's errors.

The second and third season episodes had a darker tone, with dark-colored settings, psychedelic images and atmospheric music. Bakshi explored Peter's everyday life as a soft-spoken college student, such as his failure to make the football team in "Criminals in the Clouds" and becoming a star pitcher for the baseball team in "Diamond Dust." He dates a variety of women who were either concealing secrets ("Home") or waited angrily for him while Spider-Man saved the city from destruction ("Swing City"). Peter's most consistent love interest was Susan Shaw, who first appeared in "Criminals in the Clouds" and continued to appear in season two and three episodes (although her appearance changed from episode to episode). Bakshi provided the first origin story for Spider-Man presented on television, "The Origin of Spider-Man", which used chunks of Stan Lee's dialogue in Spectacular Spider-Man #1 ("In the Beginning", published in July 1968 - a few months before the episode aired).

Rocket Robin Hood footage

"Phantom from the Depths of Time" and "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension" were largely recycled animation from two episodes ("From Menace to Menace" and "Dementia Five") of the earlier series Rocket Robin Hood, with Spider-Man substituted for Robin Hood on the animation cels.

Theme song

Spiderman Intro 196701:06

Spiderman Intro 1967

The show's theme song has become a popular standard. It's lyrics were written by Academy-Award winner Paul Francis Webster, with music by Bob Harris. The song is most recognized by it's opening line, "Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can." It was recorded by RCA Studios in Toronto - where the series was co-produced - by twelve CBC vocalists (members of the Billy Van and Laurie Singers) who added to a musical backing track supplied by RCA Studios in New York.

Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 include Jayce Bartok and Elyse Dinh, respectively, busking the song. Both films have the song at the end of the credits; the 2002 adaptation featured the original 1967 recording, and 2004's Spider-Man 2 has a re-recording by Michael Buble. 2007's Spider-Man 3 features a performance of the song by a marching band at a public performance of the song by a marching band at a public rally for Spider-Man. Joe Perry and Aerosmith also performed a rock version of the 1967 theme song for the 2002 movie, Spider-Man. In 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter uses a version of the theme as his ringtone.

The series' incidental music uses jangling surf guitar, brass lines and jazzy scoring. The first season's score was original, with other music (from the Capitol library) by U.S. composers Bill Loose, Emil Cadkin and Jack Cookerly. The capitol music can also be heard on the earlier The Untouchables, The Fugitive and 8th Man. Other music was from the DeWolfe library.

Broadcast schedule

Spider-Man was initially broadcast in the U.S. on Saturday mornings on ABC. The first episode, "The Power of Doctor Octopus" and "Sub-Zero for Spidey", appeared on September 9, 1967. During the first and second seasons, the show was broadcast at 10:00 A.M. Eastern Time. ABC's last Saturday-morning broadcast of Spider-Man was on August 30, 1969, with 39 half-hour episodes (many with two stories) aired. The show went on hiatus until the following March, when a third season began a six-month run from March 22 to September 6, 1970 on Sunday mornings at 11:30 A.M. Eastern. It was rerun in syndication in the United States during the 1970's, usually as part of local stations' after-school cartoon block. In Canada, the series aired on CTV Network affiliates on Saturday morning and other time slots during the 1970's and 1980's.

In 1977 Spider-Man was broadcast abroad, airing in several international markets for the first time. The Spanish and Italian versions used a different theme song, written by Erick Bulling and Santiago and sung by Chilean singer Guillermo "Memo" Aguirre, dubbed over the original introduction. In the Italian version, the show's title (L'uomo Ragno) was superimposed in large yellow type over the first two shots of Spider-Man swinging through the city.

The series aired on ABC Family in 2002 as part of the network's Memorial Day weekend-long "Spidey-Mania" marathon to coincide with the release of the 2002 Spider-Man movie. It was not seen again until a 2004 "Spidey-Mania" marathon coinciding with the release of Spider-Man 2, it's last ABC Family appearance in the U.S. The show aired on Family in Canada until September 2007.

In September 2008, the series appeared in Canada on Teletoon Retro. A French-language dub aired on Radio-Canada's Saturday-morning lineup into the mid-2000's. Episodes of the series have been posted in the "Videos" section of the Marvel website.

Episodes

The show ran for three seasons with a total of 52 episodes. Many of the 30 minute episodes were divided into two 15-minute shorts.

Season one

  • The Power of Doctor Octopus
  • Sub-Zero for Spidey
  • Where Crawls the Lizard
  • Electro, the Human Lightning Bolt
  • The Menace of Mysterio
  • The Sky is Falling
  • Captured by J. Jonah Jameson
  • Never Step on a Scorpion
  • Sands of Crime
  • Diet of Destruction
  • The Witching Hour
  • Kilowatt Kaper
  • The Peril of Parafino
  • Horn of the Rhino
  • The One-Eyed Idol
  • Fifth Avenue Phantom
  • The Revenge of Dr. Magneto
  • The Sinister Prime Minister
  • The Night of the Villains
  • Here Comes Trubble
  • Spider-Man Meets Dr. Noah Boddy
  • The Fantastic Fakir
  • Return of the Flying Dutchman
  • Farewell Performance
  • The Golden Rhino
  • Blueprint for Crime
  • The Spider and the Fly
  • The Slippery Dr. Von Schlick
  • The Vulture's Prey
  • The Dark Terrors
  • The Terrible Triumph of Dr. Octopus
  • Magic Malice
  • Fountain of Terror
  • Fiddler on the Lose
  • To Catch a Spider
  • Double Identity
  • Sting of the Scorpion
  • Trick or Treachery

Season two

  • The Origin of Spider-Man
  • King Pinned
  • Swing City
  • Criminals in the Cloud
  • Menace from the Bottom of the World
  • Diamond Dust
  • Spider-Man Battles the Moleman
  • Phantom from the Depths of Time
  • The Evil Sorceror
  • Vine
  • Pardo Presents
  • Cloud City of Gold
  • Neptune's Nose Cone
  • Home
  • Blotto
  • Thunder Rumble
  • Spider-Man Meets Skyboy
  • Cold Storage
  • To Cage a Spider

Season three

  • The Winged Thing
  • Conner's Reptiles
  • Trouble With Snow
  • Spider-Man vs. Desperado
  • Sky Harbor
  • The Big Brainwasher
  • The Vanishing Dr. Vespasian
  • Scourge of the Scarf
  • Super Swami
  • The Birth of Micro-Man
  • Knight Must Fall
  • The Devious Dr. Dumpty
  • Up from Nowhere
  • Rollarama
  • Rhino
  • The Madness of Mysterio
  • Revolt in the Fifth Dimension
  • Specialists and Slaves
  • Down to Earth
  • Trip to Tomorrow

Cast

Actor Role
Paul Soles Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Fantastic Fakir
Ox
Vulture (Regular voice)
Bernard Conway Narrator
Dr. Magneto
Desperado
Doctor Von Schlick
Additional voices
Paul Kligman J. Jonah Jameson
Hippy Poet
Lee Paterson (The Spider and the Fly)
The Fiddler
Jake
Additional voices
Peg Dixon Betty Brant
Mrs. Conner
Adelaide
May Parker
Marie
Miss Trubble
Diana
Mrs. Van Meer
Emily Thorndike
Countess Belinski
Mary Jane Watson
Polly
Susan Shaw
Vern Chapman Doctor Octopus
(The Power of Dr. Octopus)
Gillie Fenwick Dr. Smarter
Lizard Man
Curtis Conner
Vulture (The Sky is Falling)
The Plotter
Blackwell the Magician (Magic Malice)
Pardo
Billie May Richards Billy Conner
Paper boy
Tom Harvey Electro
Director
Dr. Stillwell
Sandman
Doctor Octopus (The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Octopus)
Master Technician
Mugs Riley
Master Vine
Clive
Baron Von Rantenraven
Dr. Atlantian
Radiation Specialist
Additional voices
Chris Wiggins Mysterio
R. Lee Clivendon
Blackwell the Magician (Farewell Performance)
Boomer
Infinata
Henry Ramer Henry Smythe
Grandini the Mystic
Dr. Noah Body
Mr. Flintridge
Lee Patterson (Trick or Treachery)
Carl Banas Scorpion
Charles Cameo (Double Identity)
Len Carlson Green Goblin
Parafino
Stan Patterson (Trick or Treachery)
Bolton
Jan Caldwell
Captain Ned Stacy
Vegio
Ed McNamara Rhino
Blackbeard
Vulcan
Max Ferguson Phantom
The Executioner of Paris
Claude Ray Charles Cameo (The Sinister Prime Minister)
Jack Mather Jesse James
Frank Perry Captain
James Boothe
Alfie Scopp Stan Patterson (The Spider and the Fly)
Jewelry Store Clerk
J. Frank Willis Cyrus Flintridge III

Credits

First season

Produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation

  • Executive Producer: Robert L. Lawrence
  • Producer: Ray Patterson
  • Animation Directors: Grant Simmons, Clyde Geronimi, Sid Marcus
  • Story Directions: June Patterson
  • Story Material: Bill Danch, Al Bertino, Dick Robbins, Dick Cassarino, Phil Babet
  • Theme song written by: Bob Harris, Paul Francis Webster
  • Composer: Ray Ellis
  • Conductor: Ray Ellis
  • Animators: Hal Ambro, Robert Bentley, Dan Bessie, George Cannata, Herman Cohen, John Dunn, I. Howard Ellis, Bill House, Tom McDonald, Chic Otterstrom, Don Schloat, Ralph Somerville, Reuben Timmins, Harvey Toombs, Kay Wright
  • Backgrounds: Curt Perkins, Dick Thomas, Bill Butler, Mike Kawaguchi
  • Layout: Ray Aragon, Joe Asturino, Herb Hazelton, Jim Mueller, C.L. Hartman, John Ewing, Joel Seibel
  • Production Supervisor: Robert "Tiger" West
  • Production Manager: Gene Meyers
  • Film Editor: Bryce Corso
  • Sound Editor: Hank Goetzenberg
  • Animation Checking: Rollie Greenwood, Dave Hoffman
  • Creative Consultants: Stan Lee, John Romita Sr.

Second season

Produced by Krantz Animation Inc.

  • Executive Producer and Animation Director: Ralph Bakshi
  • Assistant Director: Cosmo Anzilotti
  • Layout: Gray Morrow
  • Animators: Clifford Auguston, Douglas Crane, Frank Enders, John Gentilella, Earl James, Martin Taras, Nick Tafuri, Terry Tarricone
  • Backgrounds: John Vita, Richard Thomas
  • Production Supervisor: Sylvia White
  • Production Manager: Jerry Schultz
  • Film Editors: Howard Kaiser, George Copeland
  • Animation Checking: Barbara Donatelli
  • Camera: Jerry Smith, Larry Hogan
  • Story Supervision: Ralph Bakshi
  • Story Material: Ira Turek, Lin Carter, Fred Halliday
  • Dialogue: Bernard Cowan
  • Voices: Paul Kligman, Paul Soles, Peg Dixon
  • Music and Effects Editing: Hank Goetzenberg, Inc.
  • Theme song written by: Bob Harris, Paul Francis Webster
  • Music composed and conducted by: Ray Ellis
  • Producer: Krantz Animation, Inc.
  • Distributor: Steve Krantz Productions (Krantz Films), Inc.

Third season

Produced by Krantz Animation Inc.

  • Executive Producer and Animation Director: Ralph Bakshi
  • Assistant Director: Cosmo Anzilotti
  • Layout: Gray Morrow
  • Animators: Cifford Augustson, Douglas Crane, Frank Enders, John Gentilella, Richard Hall, Earl James, Martin Taras, Nick Tafuri, Terry Tarricone
  • West Coast Animation Director: Grant Simmons
  • West Coast Animators: Robert Bentley, Ralph Somerville, Robert Taylor, Reuben Timmins, Karren Wright
  • Backgrounds: John Vita, Bob Owen, Richard H. Thomas
  • Production Supervisor: Sylvia White
  • Production Manager: Jerry Schultz
  • Film Editors: Howard Kaiser, George Copeland, Richard Calamari
  • Animation Checking: Rena Smith
  • Color Checking: Barbara Donatelli
  • Camera: Jerry Smith, Larry Hogan
  • Story Supervisor: Ralph Bakshi
  • Story Material: Ira Turek, Lin Carter, Fred Halliday
  • Dialogue Director: Bernard Cowan
  • Voices: Paul Kligman, Paul Soles, Peg Dixon
  • Music and Effects Editing: Hank Goetzenberg, Inc.
  • Theme song written by: Bob Harris, Paul Francis Webster
  • Music composed and conducted by: Ray Ellis

Trivia

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Left: Screen shot from the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon
Right: Screen shot from Spider-Man: The Animated Series

  • The effects for Spider-Man's spider sense in Spider-Man: The Animated Series is a homage to the backgrounds of the Ralph Bakshi-era of the Spider-Man cartoon from 1967.
  • John Semper Jr. originally wanted to use the theme song from this Spider-Man cartoon as the theme song for Spider-Man: The Animated Series. However, the rights owner of the song wanted too much money for the song. Because of this Joe Perry was hired to write the shows theme song.

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