Review and Media By Stu
Episode #1 - Triumph Of The Green Goblin
Written By: Dennis Marks
Music Composed By: John Douglas
Guest Starring: Neil Ross as Norman Osborne, Sally Julian as Mona Osborne and Dennis Marks as The Green Goblin.
1980ís cartoons canít be explained in mere text and pictures. To some, 80ís cartoons are what cartoons should be Ė light hearted fun, adventurous romps that anyone can enjoy if they donít take it too seriously. To others, the 80ís is an era best forgotten. For them, the reason why pretty much all cartoons were like they were is because the broadcast standards and networks were too scared to have it any other way.
This brings us to Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, one of the most popular cartoons from the decade. Marvel finally succeeded in their attempts to get Spider-Man on network TV, providing the show met the usual network criteria, of course. Spider-Man was to be joined by Iceman and a newly created female character called Firestar, and their dog, Ms. Lions. Itís been confirmed in an interview with Dennis Marks on Spider-Friends.com that the only reason the show was accepted was because they agreed to have a dog in the show, but with Iceman and Firestar, they hoped to reach more of the market, which is probably why we didnít get The Human Torch instead Ė NBC wanted girls to watch the show.
Whatever itís origins, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends has gone down as one of the most popular cartoons based on the opinions of the kids who watched it back in the day. Much like the first season of 67 Spider-Man, itís cheesy and itís not afraid to show it. This isnít The Batman style cheese however, nope Ė this was intentionally done for laughs, and most of the time it succeeded.
This episode is a personal favourite, and does a very good job at showcasing the tone of the show and the characters featured. Spider-Man is his usual smart mouthed self, Iceman is the self-loving wise guy and Firestar is a feisty chick with a thing for Peter. The 3 of them live together along with Peterís Aunt May and theyíre all on there way to a comic book costumed party before The Green Goblin gets in the way of their fun by attempting to turn everyone into ugly, grotesque goblins like him.
I was quite impressed by this version of The Goblin, he had a very cool design, with obvious inspiration from John Romita Jr. For those of you wanting to see the ruthless, vindictive SOB from the current comics, you might as well skip this. The Green Goblin is your squeaky voiced supervillian Ė it just so happens that heís a perfectly entertaining baddie for our Spider-Friends to battle. Visual wise, I was impressed with how the show was put together. Thereís very little repeated animation (which was notorious by budget saving productions in the 80s), the models are all based on the classic designs and the direction was much better than just about everything seen in the 90ís show. The show is very pleasing to the eye and the episode is just plain fun.
This show obviously isnít for everyone, but if youíre nostalgic about the 80ís, youíll love this.