A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends is a decent, entertaining, and fairly wholesome series featuring the adventures of three Marvel Comics superheroes. Although each episode features at least one battle between superheroes and villains, the violence is mild and not likely to disturb kids, as it usually involves people being temporarily disabled rather than killed.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The classic early-1980s superhero cartoon SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS features the famous web-slinger teamed up with his super-powered pals Iceman and Firestar. Together, the trio keeps New York City -- and the rest of the world -- safe by battling a variety of bad guys, from mutants to "normal" villains. In their everyday, non-superhero lives, Peter Parker (voiced by Dan Gilvezan), Bobby Drake (Frank Welker), and Angelica Jones (Kathy Garver) -- Spider-Man, Iceman, and Firestar, respectively -- are students at New York's Empire State University, living together in one house with Peter's Uncle Ben and Aunt May. After teaming up to foil one of The Beetle's evil plans, the three decide to make their do-gooder partnership permanent. In addition to The Beetle, some of the well-known villains Spidey and his friends face off against include Dr. Octopus, The Green Goblin, Scorpion, The Chameleon, and Mysterio; they also fight Marvel universe baddies such as Magneto, Dr. Doom, and The Red Skull, as well as a set of brand-new villains created just for the series. The friends also occasionally join forces with other Marvel superheroes, including Sunfire, Captain America, and The Hulk.
Is it any good?
For any tweens out there who are fans of comic book superheroes and don't mind the flat, old-fashioned look of traditional animation, this cartoon won't disappoint. The series, even through its many incarnations, has always had an excellent balance of action, humor, and suspense, with the occasional touch of romance. Even though the show has that slight whiff of 1980s cheesiness at times, at least you won't find any intolerably goofy or superficial characters here, as you would in modern superhero cartoons like Kappa Mikey and Martin Mystery.
Better yet, you get fabulous, cheer-worthy superhero action with no visible bloodshed and little or no gunplay -- which usually can't be said of today's interpretations of Marvel Comics serials. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends takes you back to the (admittedly a bit black-and-white) days when the baddies were portrayed as super-bad and the good were super-good, the good set an admirable example, and you truly believed they were invincible.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the theme of each episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and the responsibility of having a special power. Who was the villain in this episode? What was the evil plan, and how did the villain intend to carry it out? How did Spider-Man and his friends foil the plan? If you had a special power, what would it be? How would you use it to help people?
Our editors recommend
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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