SATURDAY MORNING REVIEWS: "Triumph of the Green Goblin"
Hey fellow super-hero fans! This is the first of what I hope will be many cartoon reviews from yours truly, revisiting some of your favorites from years gone by...so without further delay, I give you:
This is what it's all about! This inaugural episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends has it all. The episode kicks off with a rousing opening credit sequence that still looks great today, and gives us the premise for the show.
No time is wasted on origin stories either, we're told everything we need to know. Spidey, Iceman and Firestar are friends, they're in college, and they kick bad guy butt together. That's it. The tone of the episode is very dark and creepy, taking place over a stormy Halloween night, and the fantastic music just adds to the overall quality. There are some really great character themes, all done up in that unique jazzy Marvel style, with traditional orchestra and electronic music mixing beautifully.
The story begins with a great action sequence involving Spidey and Iceman foiling a jewel robbery. Classic stuff here with some great scenes of Spidey atop the robber's getaway car. Spidey is voiced by the uber-talented Dan Gilvezan, who will always be my favorite voice of the wall-crawler. He nailed the character's youth, optimism, and wisecracking perfectly, IMO.
We soon cut to Norman Osborn, who's flying out of the local sanitarium after supposedly being cured of his Green Goblin persona. The plane runs into a thunderstorm, crashes, and old Norman gets a konk on the head that makes him go all kooky again. Dennis Marks, the episode writer, also voices the Goblin, and I will go on record as saying I think this voice tops even Mark Hamill's turn as the Joker. His transition from Norman to the Goblin is about as creepy as you could get for Saturday morning back in 1981. We're talking seriously psycho here. Our heroes are attending an ESU super-hero costume party when Spidey's spider-sense alerts him to some criminal goings-on. The Goblin has returned to ESU to set out on a mad plan to turn the rest of New York's citizens into Green Goblins like himself. Interestingly, the Goblin is suggested as being a literal physical transformation in this episode, although we never actually see him transform, so it could be interpreted as being all in Norman's mind. His plan to turn everyone else into Goblins could have been nothing more than a deranged fantasy. Another interesting note is the introduction of niece Mona Osborn, an ovbious replacement for Norman's son Harry. I'm assuming this was done to service the story, since it's always better to have a damsel in distress. After a spectacular battle, our heroes save the day, and Gobby gets blown up again, causing him to revert back to Norman, who decides he still needs some more shrink time.
A great episode to be sure...just a lot of fun and done with a lot of care.
My rating five out of five stars.
You can check out the full episode here:
Weird, I watched that on netflix on Saturday.
I like this one, but I prefer the 80s solo Spidey toon version of this same story. It's a lot more grounded and less "cartoony".
I really enjoyed those 80s Spidey toons, used to refresh the 60s toons in syndication. I had seen those so many times, once the 80s episodes started aring, I'd get miffed when the old ones reaired...again.
I use to really enjoy this cartoon when it originally aired (fall '81?) and watched it off and on till the mid '80s. Good series and this is one of the better episodes (my favorite is the videoman episode). Holds up pretty well but I think I like The Hulk a bit better these days.
In The 80s - Saturday Morning TV Schedules of the 80s
Heres the cartoon lineup.
Amazing Friends is easily my favorite cartoon of all-time.
Loved both the standalone 80s Spidey cartoon and also Amazing Friends.
Both those series spend a lot of time in my DVD player.
Looking for loose MEGO COMIC ACTION HEROES