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Spider-Man: The Ultimate Villain Showdown

3.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Daniel Barnes, Sara Ballantine, Edward Asner, Roscoe Lee Browne, Rodney Saulsberry
  • Writers: Joe Simon, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
  • Producers: Joseph Lampone Jr.
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Marvel Studios
  • Release Date: June 29 2004
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0000633UA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,569 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Swing into action with America's most amazing superhero as Spider-Man faces off against arch-rival The Green Goblin and a host of his most evil foes in "The Ultimate Villain Showdown." Bitten by a radioactive spider while on a high school field trip, young Peter Parker is transformed into a human web-slinger with incredible spider strength. Now, for the first time on video or DVD, you can discover how the Spider-Man legend began and watch as he learns the dark origins of The Green Goblin and wages spectacular battles with supervillains Dr. Octopus and Kingpin. You'll get caught in a web of excitement with this thrilling animated adventure.


Spider-Man takes on Dr. Octopus, the Kingpin, and the Green Goblin, and takes us on a flashback trip to his origins for good measure, in this four-episode arc from the third season of the 1990s animated series. These web-slinging moral tales have none of Batman's sleek style, and the breathless pacing doesn't quite make up for the awkward animation and pedestrian writing, but the episodes are bright, busy, and action packed. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

No one expected much from this disc. With the big box-office take of Spider-Man (2002), it was inevitable that they'd compile some episodes on DVD as a quick cash-in. The fact that Buena-Vista didn't attempt to explain just what an "ultimate villain showdown" included made everyone even more skeptical.
Fortunately, Buena-Vista has done an excellent job with this DVD, at least with respects to the presentation. Menus are colorful, with animated transitions and the theme music from the 90's series. There are also a lot of extras that feature new interviews by Stan Lee himself. While I don't know how much of this information is new to die-hard Spider-Man fans, it's always nice hearing the original creator do a retrospective, and I'm glad Buena Vista took the time to consult with him.
However, the main feature of the DVD, the 4 episodes from the 90's series, are below par. Now I actually enjoyed the 90's version, theme song, story arcs, and all. Upon repeated viewing, it *does* become painfully obvious that chunks of the animation were recycled or badly animated, but overall the series seemed to capture the essense of Spider-Man's history like the Batman animated series did. To Buena-Vista's credit, the four episodes are in order, even if they are from the middle of the series. But WHY, oh WHY did they have to be these four episodes?? I can understand the Green Goblin episode, as it ties into the movie, and another episode deals with Spider-Man's origin. But the second part of the Dr. Octopus story is embarassing (tired plot of little child who nobody believes in saving superhero) and the last story piles on the morals in a disgustingly thick way without even offering a cool villain! What happened to all those wonderful villains listed in the extras section of the DVD?
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"The Ultimate Villain Showdown" features the 3rd animated Spider-Man series (updating the original 60's series and the 80's 'Spidey and his Amazing Friends'). The DVD incorporates 'The Sins of the Father" story arc introducing Madame Web, reliving his origin and featuring Doc Ock, Kingpin, and the Green Goblin.
I didn't care for the new 'spider sense' and the new theme song is grating. They dress Peter Parker in Don Johnson hand-me-downs from 'Miami Vice'. They commit the cartoon sin of focusing on stupid kids acting totally unlike real kids who get into trouble. They mix occasionally good art of Spidey in action with cheesy computer generated backround animation and I'd much have preferred the Venom stories to the ones presented here.
Still, the episodes here have a certain charm and most are at least watchable. The animated menus and special features including Stan the Man expounding on his most famous creation as well as a classic episode from the original 60's series make this DVD a keeper.
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I wonder if the series producer John Semper reads these reviews. If so, he might remember me from GEnie, where I was a well-intentioned, fairly good-natured critic of the series. What I remember from those long-ago days is that his heart always seemed to be in the right place.
And there are some good things about the series. Spidey is basically Spidey. The soap opera elements are important to the character. The voice acting of Spidey and Jameson (Ed Asner!) is good.
But the whole thing seems a bit laboured -- a bit mechanical. Much like the somewhat jerky animation which jumps between computer and traditional-looking far too often. Also, Spidey's always has been a chatterbox, but it seemed to me that he talks just a bit too much to work outside of the comics page. (Mind you, I'd like to see the movie Spidey be a bit more chatty.)
As for the individual episodes, I don't think they are the best of the series. But we do get to see a lot of classic bad guys -- always a good thing. Two episodes are somewhat based on the classic "The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man" story. That basic, warm story is not improved when the whole Doc Ock, Octobot, amnesia plot is graphed onto it. A half hour of Spider-Man visiting the girl in the hospital would have been more enjoyable, and the Doc Ock stuff dilutes that.
There's also The Origin of Spiderman (sic) episode from the 1960s series. Ah, now talk about limited animation. And stock footage. But I love those funky Ralph Baskhi-directed backgrounds. And it's a pretty good adaptation of the comic origin. And hey, I loved it as a kid. Nostalgia produces a kind of blindness.
The special features were pretty good. The gallery of villains was a nice round-up.
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By A Customer on June 8 2002
In 1995 when the new Spidey TV series was launched, producer
John Semper said in an interview with a popular comics magazine
that the 1967-1970 Spidey TV cartoon was badly done and that
the early 1980s cartoon was rubbish.
For the producer of the 1990s series to take such digs at
his predecessors just invites the same harsh criticism of
his Spider-Man. I concur with all of the prior negative
comments about it. It looks and sounds like any superhero
cartoon of the 1990s, characterless and computerised, full
of soap opera and very little fantasy, and what's with the freaking ray guns being used by police and villains alike? Is Spidey a futuristic or contemporary hero? I always understood that Spidey's adventures, however fantastic, are supposed to be present-day.
They may have used the voices of actors like Efram Zembalist,
Roscoe Lee Browne, Martin Landau, Joseph Campanella, Mark
Hamill, and Ed Asner to give life to the characters, but the
look of the series and the overabundance of computer generated
backgrounds and gratuitious action sequences with dull incidental music denies it any real flair or individuality. There's more
audio-visual sophistication in a minute of the 1960s episode than in the 4 1990s ones combined. Gray Morrow's backgrounds bring New York City to abstract life while the techies of the 1990s only succeed in making New York look like a Nintendo game.
Also, this DVD is not without its flaws. There's aliasing around many of the lines both on characters and on backgrounds, and the 1960s episode could have done with some digital clean-up. I saw a shadowy "Place Commercial Here" at a break halfway through the
episode plus a lot of film grain.
Let's see more of the 1960s Spider-Man with a proper DVD release.
Now's the time for it with Spidey flying high at the movies.
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