Spider-Man (1994 TV series)

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Spider-Man (1994 TV series) title screen.png
Genre Superhero
Science fiction
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Developed by Marvel Films Animation
Supervising Producer
Bob Richardson
Supervising Director
Bob Richardson
John Semper
Head Writer
John Semper
Theme music composer Joe Perry
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 65[1] (list of episodes)
Running time 21 minutes
Production company(s) Marvel Entertainment Group
Marvel Films Animation
Distributor New World Communications
Saban Entertainment
BVS Entertainment
Original channel Fox
Original release November 19, 1994 (1994-11-19) – January 31, 1998 (1998-01-31)
Preceded by Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Followed by Spider-Man Unlimited

Spider-Man, also known as Spider-Man: The Animated Series, is an American animated television series based on the Marvel Comics superhero, Spider-Man.[2] The show ran on Fox Kids from November 19, 1994, to January 31, 1998, and ran reruns on the Jetix block on Toon Disney and on Disney XD. The producer/story editor was John Semper, Jr. and the production company was Marvel Films Animation.[3] The instrumental theme song for the series (including the lyrics) was performed by Joe Perry of Aerosmith.


The series focuses on Spider-Man and his alter ego Peter Parker during his college years at Empire State University. As the story begins, Peter has already gained his superpowers and is a part-time freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle. The show features most of Spider-Man's classic villains, including the Kingpin, the Green Goblin, the Lizard, the Shocker, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, the Scorpion, Rhino, the Vulture, the Chameleon, and Venom. Over the course of the series the single Peter contends with the romantic love interests of Mary Jane Watson, Felicia Hardy and her alter ego, the Black Cat. The show also features appearances from various other Marvel superheroes including the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, Blade, Doctor Strange, the Punisher, and Captain America.

Production overview[edit]

While Marvel's X-Men animated series was being produced by Saban, Spider-Man was produced by the newly formed Marvel Films Animation; it was the only series that in-house studio produced, but was animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha with Korean studios.[4] The series is the second longest-running Marvel show created, after X-Men, as well as the longest-running series based on Spider-Man. The series was also known for its high level of censorship, with Spider-Man almost never throwing a punch and laser guns instead of real ones (however, in some episodes, realistic guns were depicted, but only in flashbacks, such as the showing of guns being fired during a flashback about The Destroyer's origins where his wife was killed in the crossfire during a crime). In November 2014 podcasts, Semper clarified that the show was not censored as much as any other show at the time and that every time this has been brought up to him, he feels it has been blown out of proportion;[5] Semper said that Marvel had no creative control on the TV series because Marvel at the time was in a tough time and close to bankruptcy. In addition, Semper stated that Stan Lee had influence on the show in the first thirteen episodes. The series is currently owned and distributed by The Walt Disney Company, which acquired all Fox Kids-related properties from News Corporation and Saban International in 2001.


Concept art for Spider-Man in the series.

To reproduce New York City's style, background illustrators undertook a large amount of visual research by using photo archives from above New York, particularly rooftops. Maps were consulted for references and buildings were faithfully reproduced.

It has been reported that the animation cels depicting Manhattan's Pan Am Building were scrapped after being complete because the California-based art staff learned the Midtown landmark had been given a new sign more than a year earlier.

The animation staff were directed to populate the city with cars and crowds on the street level. Semper believed that was one of the limitations of earlier Spider-Man animated projects.

Originally, Marvel Films planned to make the backgrounds completely CGI while Spider-Man 'webslinged' around New York, yet due to budget constraints were forced to use traditional cel based animation while occasionally using CGI backgrounds. As well, reuse of animation became more common as the series progressed, which also included reuse of animation involving a character speaking (these scenes were sometimes slowed down in order to better match the actor's voice to the animation).


Recurring voice cast[edit]

Venom as seen in the series.

Guest voice cast[edit]


Spider-Man was one of the most popular TV series on Fox Kids, ranking with the programming block's other hit shows such as X-Men, Power Rangers and Batman: The Animated Series[citation needed]. Its ultimate cancellation after 65 episodes was not due to ratings trouble, but due to disagreements between executive producer Avi Arad and network head Margaret Loesch[citation needed].

Even after the series ended, it still had an impact on the entertainment industry, boosting sales of myriad Spider-Man merchandise and popularity[citation needed]. The show was named the 84th best animated series by IGN.[6]


First series of the show's toy line.

Three comics based on the series were produced:

  • Spider-Man Adventures (December 1994 to February 1996)[7] Spider-Man Adventures #1-4 was later reprinted in Kellogg's Froot Loops Mini-Comics #1-4.[8]
  • Adventures of Spider-Man: (April 1996 to March 1997) This featured new stories based on the series.[9] Adventures of Spider-Man was later reprinted in Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) #11-21 from August 1996 to May 1997.[10]
  • Marvel Adventures[11]

A number of video games based on the series were also produced:

Electronic versions of classic Spider-Man comics were released by Marvel that included narration by Christopher Daniel Barnes and featured animation and theme music from this series. Spider-Man novels inspired by selected episodes were also released. A wide variety of themed merchandise (lunch boxes, cereals, clothing, etc.) was produced. McDonald's produced a themed line of Happy Meal toys for the show. However, this paled in comparison to the extensive official toy line that ran over eight series, and included a staggering amount of play sets and vehicles and actually lasted longer than the television series itself.

Release availability[edit]

Despite the fact that the show ended in 1998, the success of the live-action Spider-Man films have sparked more interest in new fans, allowing the series to air in reruns due to its new owners: The Walt Disney Company.

As of February 2012, Marvel.com has uploaded every episode for streaming purposes, and they have been up since 2009.[12]

The entire series is no longer available for instant streaming on Canadian Netflix. The entire series is available on iTunes, Amazon Prime Instant Video and on Hulu Plus.

VHS and DVD releases[edit]

Region 1

During the series' run, some episodes were released on VHS. These were from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

In the late 1990s, another selection of VHS compilations were released by Marvel Films/New World Entertainment (these tapes were distributed in Canada by Telegenic Entertainment). These releases featured episodes edited into 70-80, 90-100 minute movies based on the particular story arc.

To date, the only VHS and DVD releases of the series in the U.S. have been several volume sets from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment that feature 4-5 episodes each.

Title Release Date Stock Number
Spider-Man: The Ultimate Villain Showdown[13] 30 April 2002 25911
  • The Sins of the Fathers Chapter II: Make a Wish
  • The Sins of the Fathers Chapter III: Attack of the Octobot
  • The Sins of the Fathers Chapter IV: Enter the Green Goblin
  • The Sins of the Fathers Chapter V: The Rocket Racer


  • 1967 Classic Episode: "The Origins Of Spider-Man"
Spider-Man: The Return of the Green Goblin[15] 29 October 2002 28126
  • The Sins of the Father: Chapter XII: The Spot
  • The Sins of the Father: Chapter XIII: Goblin War!
  • The Sins of the Father: Chapter XIV: The Turning Point
  • Partners in Danger: Chapter I: Guilty


  • Partners in Danger: Chapter VIII: The Return of the Green Goblin (WARNING: This is missing its background music in the VHS Version.)
  • 1967 Classic Episode: "The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Octopus/Magic Malice"
Daredevil vs. Spider-Man[17] 11 February 2003 28520
  • The Sins of the Father: Chapter VI: Framed
  • The Sins of the Father: Chapter VII: The Man Without Fear
  • The Sins of the Father: Chapter VIII: The Ultimate Slayer
  • The Sins of the Father: Chapter IX: Tombstone


  • Classic 1966 Bonus Episode: "King Pinned" - Featuring Kingpin
  • Fantastic Four Bonus Episode, "And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them" - Featuring Daredevil (DVD Version Only)
The Ultimate Spider-Man Collection[19] 2 November 2003
DVD Sets:
  • Spider-Man: The Ultimate Villain Showdown
  • Spider-Man: The Return of the Green Goblin
  • Daredevil vs. Spider-Man
Spider-Man vs. Doc Ock[20] 29 June 2004 34571
  • Doctor Octopus: Armed And Dangerous
  • Partners in Danger: Chapter II: The Cat
  • Partners in Danger: Chapter III: The Black Cat
  • Partners in Danger: Chapter V: Partners


  • A classic 1967 bonus episode: The Power Of Dr. Octopus/Sub-Zero For Spidey
Spider-Man: The Venom Saga[21] 7 June 2005 34892
DVD Sets:
  • The Alien Costume, Part One
  • The Alien Costume, Part Two
  • The Alien Costume, Part Three
  • The Sins of the Fathers, Chapter X: Venom Returns
  • The Sins of the Fathers, Chapter XI: Carnage

Region 2

In the UK, Sweden, and Germany, Clear Vision Ltd. has released all five seasons on DVD as of October 19, 2009.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Complete Season 1 13 June 22, 2009[22]
Complete Season 2 14 August 3, 2009[23]
Complete Season 3 14 August 17, 2009[24]
Complete Season 4 11 September 15, 2009[25]
Complete Season 5 13 October 19, 2009[26]
The Complete Collection 65 November 7, 2011[27]

Other releases

  • A Canadian DVD containing three episodes from the "Mutant Agenda" episodes. This is a reissue of the 1997 Marvel-New World/Telegenic VHS release (and it was mastered from one of those VHS releases); as a "Bonus" two episodes from the 1990s Iron Man TV series are included, just like on the VHS release. (Please note there are no audio/subtitle selections.)
  • Canadians also received another DVD release of the first season two-parter "The Hobgoblin". This was a re-release of a 2002 VHS release by Disney; the video quality of the episodes on the DVD is that of a VHS transfer. There are no bonus features or audio/subtitle selections on this DVD either.
  • A VCD release by Magnavision Home Video.
  • A boxed set of all the DVDs released in Poland, simply entitled "Spider-Man: 5 DVD Set". The front of the box features the same graphics as "The Ultimate Villain Showdown".
  • Several two-episode DVDs released by Marvel in 2002 prior to the acquisition by Disney.
  • The entire first season is available on Xbox Live and iTunes through Disney XD. All five seasons are also currently available for digital purchase on Vudu.
  • The entire series is currently available on Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant video.

Bootleg DVDs of the show have become popular among fans due to a lack of official DVD releases. The bootlegs feature all of the episodes but some of them have low video quality and watermarks. This is likely to change as the entire series becomes available in the UK. The series is currently the 16th most wanted unreleased DVD at TVShowsOnDVD.com.[28]


Writer / Producer John Semper Jr. won an Annie Award in 1995 for Best Individual Achievement for Writing in the Field of Animation for the episode "Day of the Chameleon". Spider-Man was also nominated for one 1996 Image Award for Outstanding Animated/Live-Action/Dramatic Youth or Children's Series/Special.[29]


A show called Spider-Man Unlimited was released on October 2, 1999, and is believed by many fans to be a loose sequel to Spider-Man: The Animated Series. The show features its own story which differs from the comics, but does show aspects which were never revealed during the series finale of Spider-Man, such as Mary Jane returning to her original dimension after Green Goblin sends her to another.

Spiritual successor[edit]

On November 1, 2014 at the Comikaze Expo, where the show's 20th anniversary was celebrated, John Semper Jr. revealed that much of the cast and crew of Spider-Man The Animated Series, himself included, had agreed to reunite for a new crowdfunded series entitled "War of the Rocket Men".[30][31][32][33] In addition, in late 2014, Semper Jr started a website (cartoonspiderman.com) that features behind-the-scenes content, podcasts about the show, a link to the Facebook page that Semper regularly posts on and more.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Spider-Man on TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  2. ^ "Top 10 Comic to TV Adaptations". IGN. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  3. ^ "John Semper on "Spider-Man": 10th Anniversary Interview". Marvel Animation Age. toonzone.net. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Cawley, John. "Marvel Films Animation 1993-1997". Home of John Cawley. John Cawley. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Making of Spider-Man The Animated Series - Podcasts". cartoonspiderman.com. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  6. ^ "84, Spider-Man". IGN. 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  7. ^ "Spider-Man Adventures". The Big Comic Book Database. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  8. ^ "Kellogg’s Fruit Loops (Spider-Man Adventures Reprints)". spiderfan.org. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  9. ^ "The Adventures of Spider-Man". spiderfan.org. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  10. ^ "Spectacular Spider-Man (UK Magazine) : #1-#25". spiderfan.org. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  11. ^ "Marvel Adventures (Spidey’s Appearances)". spiderfan.org. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  12. ^ "Stream episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series right here! | Marvel.com News". Marvel.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  13. ^ "Ultimate Villain Showdown VHS/DVD". usask.ca. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  14. ^ "The Ultimate Villain Showdown at dvdempire". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  15. ^ "Return of the Green Goblin VHS/DVD". usask.ca. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  16. ^ "The Return of the Green Goblin at dvdempire". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 
  17. ^ "Daredevil vs Spider-Man VHS/DVD". usask.ca. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  18. ^ a b "Daredevil vs Spider-Man at dvdempire". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  19. ^ "Ultimate Spider-Man Collection DVD". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  20. ^ "Spider-Man vs Doc Ock VHS/DVD". usask.ca. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  21. ^ "The Venom Saga VHS/DVD". ultimatedisney.com. Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  22. ^ "New Spider-Man 1995 - Season 1, Volumes 1 & 2 DVD: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  23. ^ "New Spider-Man 1995 - Season 2, Volumes 1 & 2 DVD: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  24. ^ "New Spider-Man 1995 - Season 3, Volumes 1 & 2 DVD: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  25. ^ "New Spider-Man 1995 - Season 4, Volumes 1 & 2 DVD: Amazon.co.uk: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  26. ^ http://www.clearvision.co.uk/product.cfm?prod_id=MAR1023
  27. ^ http://hmv.com/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?sku=705308&affiliate=td&lpgrp=network&tduid=68c9434f78171f4f364dfe4311c85ec4
  28. ^ "Spider-Man on DVD, Release Info, News at". Tvshowsondvd.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  29. ^ "IMDb: Spider-Man Awards". Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  30. ^ "'Spider-Man: The Animated Series' Cast Reunites and Reveals New Project". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-11-01. 
  31. ^ [1]
  32. ^ [2]
  33. ^ [3]


External links[edit]