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The Spectacular Spider-Man: The Complete Series - Blu-ray Review

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The Spectacular Spider-man: The complete Series - Blu-ray Review

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5 stars

From the sharp writing to the clever plotting, The Spectacular Spider-Man – appearing on the Kids' WB programming block of The CW and later on Marvel's sister network Disney XD from 2008 to 2009 – ended much too quickly. Series creators Greg Weisman and Victor Cook went out of their way to explore the relationships between Peter Parker, his enemies, and his friends. The animated series was richly rewarding for fans of the comic and often erudite – something different for a cartoon. There was just enough humor, just enough action to satisfy Spider-Man fans out there, young and old and then – without warning – the plug was pulled.

Revisiting every episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man is a journey through time worth reliving. It’s been eye-opening to see just how adept the show is at characterization, defeating even Sony’s attempts at bringing the world of Spider-Man to the big screen. Aunt May is a not only sweet but she’s tough on Parker and makes him keep a curfew that he must obey which makes for a lot of comical moments during those late in the evening brawls between Spider-Man and his many, many villains running wild in the streets of New York City. Parker himself is fully realized as he contemplates making the moves on Gwen Stacey, even as Liz Allan and Mary Jane watches from a distance.

Featuring the voice talents of Josh Keaton, Ed Asner, Steven Blum, Clancy Brown, Xander Berkeley, Keith David, Robert Englund, Courtney B. Vance, Danny Trejo, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jane Lynch, Peter MacNicol, and Lacey Chabert - with theme music by The Tender Box - the series capitalizes on the science introduced in the movies and expands on it in ways the technology at the time wouldn’t believably do. The show also handles the whole Venom arc much, much better than Spider-Man 3 ever did. Interestingly enough, the show stays in High School, meaning that he two seasons of the series are each set during a semester of Peter's high school years, with season one running from September to November and season two from December to March.

The writing is sometimes weak but this is – having crammed all 26 episodes in over the weekend – only occasional and never ever disappointing for very long. And, certainly, the stylized visual design wins over any weakness in the script when they pop up. This is refreshing entertainment that – while short of its projected 65-episode intentions – is still satisfying with book smarts and its treatment of the Spider-Man mythos.

According to TVGuide, The Spectacular Spider-Man is one of the 60 greatest animated series of all time. It stands shoulder to shoulder alongside Batman: The Animated Series from the 1990’s. It’s that good. Find out why and snatch the complete series on blu-ray with your own web shooter to enjoy with the kids.

The Spectacular Spider-man: The complete Series - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - April 22, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian
Language:
English
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Four-disc set (4 BDs)
Region Encoding: A

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents The Spectacular Spider-Man 1080p as a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen experience. The picture is clean, sharp, and free of any other problems bigger than one episode ("The Uncertainty Principle") looking a touch soft. The nice visuals exhibit a satisfactory range in color and rich contrast. Blacks are solid and edges are well-defined throughout the presentation. The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is surprisingly impressive, with spacious, realistic sound field activity helping generate appropriate atmosphere throughout.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

The four disc collector’s set is a little light on the supplemental materials but that doesn’t keep the release from being something every Webhead should own. We get a couple of features about the look of the animation and another on bringing the series to life. There is also a music video featuring The Tinder Box’s theme song. Unfortunately, for those who own the DVDs of the show, there is nothing new.

  • Styling Spider-Man (8 min)
  • Spider-Man: Re-Animated (12 min)
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man Music Video (3 min)

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