Spider-Man

TV review by
KJ Dell Antonia, Common Sense Media
Spider-Man TV Poster Image
Complex, sophisticated action for older kids.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive messages

Characters are often faced with moral quandaries -- they could act to save themselves but in doing so might endanger others. Revenge is a powerful motivator for most of the heroes portrayed, including Spidey himself.

Positive role models & representations

Spider-Man uses his powers, strength, and courage to protect and save others. 

Violence & scariness

Lots of cartoon violence and weaponry, all with a fantasy element -- the guns are futuristic laser guns, the bombs mainly smoke and fire. Death is never shown and rarely mentioned, although it's implied. Characters are in constant peril.

Sexy stuff

Female characters are depicted with typical comic book-style breasts and waists; some female superheroes wear revealing outfits and pursue Spiderman in mildly suggestive ways.

Language
Consumerism

There's plenty of Spider-Man stuff you can buy (and kids will want to).

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spider-Man (also called Marvel Comics' Spider-Man or Spider-Man: The Animated Series) is the mid-'90s animated Spidey series. It's more like the movies than the earlier cartoons. It's dark: Villains aren't neatly trounced at the end of each episode -- in fact, nearly every episode continues into other episodes (which can be a problem, since they're not always aired in order). The action, while "comic book" in nature, is quick and explosive (sometimes literally). Characters often find themselves in moral quandaries, and their back stories -- which often involve the deaths of beloved figures like uncles and fathers -- are both described and shown. On the other hand, the difficulties of being a superhero (loneliness, fear) are also made clear, as are the characters' dilemmas ("I could save myself, but I might endanger others").

User Reviews

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 12 years old April 11, 2011

Spidey stars in an exciting series with interesting characters and plots

Action packed Spidey toon involves many other Marvel characters.
Teen, 14 years old Written bymkalv February 5, 2009

Best Spider-Man cartoon.

This is the best Spider-Man cartoon! Nice animation, okay theme-song, and the voice actors are mostly perfect. Recomended.

What's the story?

SPIDER-MAN -- which originally aired on Fox from 1994-1998 -- follows Peter Parker/Spidey (voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes) from college through his early career and encounters with villains like the Green Goblin and Chameleon. Because each episode is part of a multi-part storyline, the action can be a little hard to follow (the episodes aren't always aired in order during reruns), and there's no expository catch-up -- familiarity with the Spider-Man back story and characters is assumed.

Is it any good?

This spidey series looks and feels more like a movie than a classic action cartoon. The plots are complicated, the scenes are cut in movie style, characters narrate their histories over flashbacks, and action interrupts conversations and prevents people from revealing or discovering things. It's interesting and complex -- a good introduction to the live-action movies that are more suitable for older tweens and teens.

It's also worth noting that this Spider-Man, like the one in the comic books and movies, isn't always clearly the good guy; he struggles with his identity. And other superhero characters in the series can be even more ambiguous. All of that complexity makes Spider-Man a fun world to enter into -- nearly everyone seems to have an alter-ego and a personal mission that drives them. In that way, it also serves both as a reminder that everyone has his or her own story and as an invitation to create your own.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Spider-Man more accurately reflects the original comic book Spider-Man than earlier series did. If so, what makes that the case? In what ways is it different from other versions of Spidey's story?

  • What messages do Spider-Man and his dilemmas send to kids?

  • How is Spider-Man different from other superheroes?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love superheroes

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