TV Review – “Spider-Man: The 67 Collection”

Wallopin’ websnappers! The original
Spider-Man cartoon is out on DVD!

Cast and Crew

Paul Soles provided voices for Peter Parker and

Bernard Cowan provided voices for the narrator and

Paul Kligman provided voices for J. Jonah Jameson and

Peg Dixon provided voices for the female

Gillie Fenwick, Tom Harvey, Len Carlson, and Chris
Wiggins provided
voices for other characters.

Beginning with season two (and “The Origin of
Spider-Man”) Ralph
Bakshi took over as executive producer, director, and

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Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate

This series originally launched in September 1967,
and ran until
September 1970.


Spider-Man faces off against a variety of enemies,
some of whom are
remarkably similar to enemies he’d faced before.

High Point

The music is fantastic. I’m not just talking about
the theme song
with melody by Bob Harris and lyrics by Paul Francis
Webster that
everyone knows, but the indicidental music along the
way is just as
catchy. Who doesn’t remember the music used while
Spider-Man is
falling, or when he’s booting it across town on his
webs as fast as he
can, or when he’s facing a new danger? The swingin’
party music is
also memorable. Granted, there’s probably a sum
total of about 10
minutes of different music used in the series, but
it’s still fun and

Low Point

This series reused a lot of footage. I’m not just
talking about using
the same footage of him swinging past a recycled
background, or the
footage of Spider-Man swinging over the city (with
weblines connected
to $DIETY knows what), but I mean entire composed
shots and action
sequences reassembled to make new episodes. The 13
episodes from
season three (starting with “The Winged Thing /
Conner’s Reptiles”)
did this in all but one or two episodes, and only
one, the series
finale, was a clip show. The worst of the bunch is
“Phantom from the
Depths of Time,” in which they reuse an entire
episode of Rocket
Robin Hood
! They didn’t even record new
dialogue for the
villain, so Spider-Man keeps referring to this island
he’s on, while
the villain he’s facing keeps calling it an asteroid.
Spider-Man even
had to go so far out of character that he stole an
experimental craft
(Robin’s space ship) to accomplish his mission, which
was even shown
with three passengers at certain points in the
animation, instead of
just one.

The Review

How can reusing about 15 episodes to make “new”
episodes count as
original? There were some new stories that
were pretty good
in here, and the tone of the series changed
dramatically (from
fighting goofy villains in the city to trippy world
jumping) when
Bakshi took over, but not enough to really count for
a lot. Even some
of the non-recycled episodes were just reusing old
comic book plots.
They did give Mysterio a completely new look for “The
Madness of
Mysterio,” but there really wasn’t any point in doing
so, and it was
completely dissimilar to his look in season one.
(Once Bakshi took
over, you could spot the villains by their green
skin.) I give it 3
out of 6.

The animation is lousy. The stock footage
developed for use
in all episodes can look good, and the picture and
sound in the DVD
release are the best they’ve ever been, but there
isn’t much that’s
animated. In several cased, eyes and mouths are
animated over an
otherwise static face, made even more obvious when
they aren’t
properly lined up, causing them to jitter around as
the character
talks. I give it 2 out of 6.

The stories had some that were good, and
others that were
outright terrible. There are loads of
inconsistencies, including
Spider-Man’s sudden and miraculous ability to fly for
Meets Sky-Boy.” Most are loaded with cliches, and
would be
predictable even if you hadn’t seen that footage in a
episode. I give it 3 out of 6.

The voice acting from Paul Soles, Peg Dixon,
and Paul Kligman
isn’t bad. Paul Soles is the voice of Spider-Man in
my mind. (In
fact, hearing Tobey’s voice from behind the mask is
the most
disorienting part of the movies for me.) Some of the
guest voices,
including Mysterio and the Scorpion, are actually
pretty good too.
There isn’t a lot of emotional range expressed, but
there’s not a lot
in the scripts to work with. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this produces is
driven by nostalgia.
I grew up watching this series, and caught it off and
on through the
rest of my life since it’s always on the air
somewhere. (It’s airing
nightly on Teletoon here in
Canada this season. They’ve got Rocket Robin
, too.)
This was, and still is, a lot of fun to watch. I
don’t regret
spending about $1.00 per episode on this DVD set.
(There were 52
episodes in total, telling 79 stories.) I give it 5
out of 6.

The production was pretty rotten. The
camera angles were
off, the animation mistakes weren’t corrected, and
the music I so
enjoy was played far too loudly in many cases. This
was just poorly
and haphazardly made. I give it 2 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a wonderful piece of nostalgia
embedded in a
pretty lousy show. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Spider-Man: The ’67 Collection
receives 23 out of 42.