One of the most enduring of Marvel’s television output, Spider-Man: The Animated Series ran for five full seasons and delivered many iconic depictions in the process. From the 13-episode first season, which began November 1994, right up to the climax of the fifth season in January 1998, fans were treated to storylines that ran the gambit of Spider-Man’s villains, as well as crossing over with so many Marvel heroes, famous and obscure. Now, audiences can watch Spider-Man: The Animated Series online with Disney+, where Spider-Man will be streaming alongside all the other Marvel TV from the time. Starring the voices of Christopher Daniel Barnes, Ed Asner, Sara Ballantine, Linda Gary, Julie Bennett, among many, many, Spider-Man is as great now as it was 20 years ago.
Here’s how to watch the Spider-Man: The Animated Series streaming online:
How to Stream ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’
Spider-Man The Animated Series is one of the fan-favorite Marvel animated series that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Spider-Man: The Animated Series and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Spider-Man animated”
- 5. Tap on “Spider-Man: The Animated Series”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’: Overview
When Was It On TV: November 1994 – January 1998
Creators: John Semper, Bob Richardson, Stan Lee
Starring: Christopher Daniel Barnes, Ed Asner, Sara Ballantine, Linda Gary, Julie Bennett
Synopsis: Peter Parker tries to balance being a regular college kid with being Spider-Man, the web-slinging superhero of New York, protecting the city from all sorts of threats like Kingpin, Green Goblin, and Venom.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series Plot
Spider-Man: The Animated Series skips the pleasantries of Spider-Man’s origins and goes straight to Peter as a college kid in New York, trying to make ends meet as a freelance photographer, boyfriend, student, and superhero. Through his adventures in the show, we get many of his rogues gallery, creating some of the most memorable and iconic versions of his famous encounters to date.
How Many Seasons of ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Are There?
There were five seasons of Spider-Man produced and aired, running from November 1994 right up to January 1998. Seasons were all between 11 and 14 episodes, all following roughly the same pattern of some larger storylines involving some of Spidey’s tougher villains, and Peter’s personal struggles, with villain-of-the-week episodes interspersed.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 1
13 Episodes | November 1994 – June 1995
In body copy: Peter struggles with J. Jonah Jameson’s cynicism towards Spider-Man while trying to get his first proper scientist job and dealing with a host of enemies. Includes the introduction of Venom and the black Spider-Man costume.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 2
14 Episodes | September 1995 – February 1996
Spider-Man contends with a mutation that causes him to lose his powers and eventually turn into the Man-Spider, amid battling foes like Morbius, Hydro-Man and The Punisher, and a visit to the X-Men.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 3
14 Episodes | April 1996 – November 1996
A number of various villain storylines intertwine for the third season, in which Spider-Man has to contend with Kingpin, Dormammu and the birth of the Green Goblin. Luckily, Daredevil and Doctor Strange are among the allies that swing by.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 4
11 Episodes | February 1997 – August 1997
In the most insular season, Mary Jane has mysteriously disappeared, and Spider-Man must help the Black Cat when she’s targeted by Kingpin and Doctor Octopus.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 5
13 Episodes | September 1997 – January 1998
In body copy: Broken up into multiple, multi-part arcs, the final season is an epic send-off to the series. The pillar is an adaptation of the “Secret Wars” comic event, where Spider-Man brings in Fantastic Four, Captain America, Iron Man and more to help save the planet from a number of villains.
The Best ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Episodes
In 56 episodes, Spider-Man: The Animated Series has some of the most beloved pieces of Spider-Man action in the hero’s history. From one-off villain encounters to some big introductions, there are many highlights through-out the animated show.
Here’s a list of the best Spider-Man: The Animated Series episodes:
Season 1, Episodes 8, 9, 10: “The Alien Costume Parts 1, 2 and 3”
A mission to the moon brings back some sort of strange, symbiotic alien organism – Venom. The three-parter, which was released as a TV movie or sorts on VHS, runs through Spider-Man’s first encounter with the black symbiote, bringing in his black costume and Eddie Brock becoming the hulking mass we’re all familiar with.
Season 2, Episode 4: “The Mutant Agenda”
Spider-Man, concerned about his new mutation, visits Charles Xavier and the X-Men for help. Wolverine, Beast and Professor X himself, as seen in X-Men: The Animated Series, make appearances in the crossover.
Season 3, Episode 4: “Enter The Green Goblin”
Norman Osborn becomes the Green Goblin in the beginnings of one of Spider-Man’s most storied enemies.
Season 4, Episode 10: “The Lizard King”
Peter proposes and Mary-Jane accepts, but of course, there are very few happy endings for a Marvel hero, and the two are attacked by the lizard warriors, and the Lizard himself makes an appearance towards the end.
Season 5, Episodes 9, 10, 11: “Secret Wars Parts 1, 2 and 3”
In a dramatic final season, Spider-Man: The Animated Series brings in some extra help to battle the Red Skull and some other villains. Iron Man, Captain America, Fantastic Four, and the X-Men join Spidey in battling for the fate of the planet in a massive crescendo that sets up the series finale.
‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Voice Cast
For many fans, the Spider-Man: The Animated Series cast is the definitive versions of some of these characters. Current portrayals all seem to draw on what this cast accomplished in their depictions.
Christopher Daniel Barnes as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
One of the keys to Peter Parker is understanding that he’s very a charming young New Yorker, full of vim and vigor but also, well, a nerd. Barnes delivers on the best versions of Parker here, sounding confident when he needs to, but also at times extremely awkward. He returned to the Spider-Man universe recently as Electro and other voices in 2013’s Ultimate Spider-Man.
Ed Asner as J. Jonah Jameson
Before JK Simmons defined the role for all eternity, Ed Asner was our greatest reference for the Daily Bugle editor that refused to believe Spider-Man wasn’t himself a villain. Having acted opposite John Wayne, and playing Santa Clause in 2003’s Elf, Asner is an actor many fans of all ages will know.
Sara Ballantine as Mary-Jane Watson
Parker’s long-time romantic partner, and often one caught in the crossfire of his superheroics, Mary-Jane is a regular in the series, and their happy life is a constant goal for Peter. Spider-Man was a rare animated outing for Ballantine, who’s mostly been in live-action since.
Linda Gary as Aunt May
Peter’s dutiful and patient Aunt May is as kind in this show as she’s ever been. Acting in TV since the seventies, Linda Gary held roles in shows like Blackstar and She-Ra: The Princess of Power before her death in 1995, when Julie Bennet replaced her to finish the last Aunt May appearances in this series.
Roscoe Lee Browne as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin
While Vincent D’Onofrio’s depiction in the Daredevil Netflix series has become the most lauded depiction, Roscoe Lee Browne held down the role in Spider-Man as the most recurring villain of the series. An actor across film, TV, and animation, savvy-eared fans might know Browne’s voice as that of the narrator in the Babe movies.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’?
Many actors graced Spider-Man: The Animated Series with one-off or slight recurring roles over the five seasons. Among them are cult-favorite characters like Blade, and others are recurring favorites, such as Venom.
Segue text: “Here’s a list of the most important Spider-Man: The Animated Series guest stars:”
The day-walking vampire hunter joined Spider-Man several times before his own movie adventures. Hall brought Blade to life in a career of TV appearances, with credits in many TV movies and series such as Power Rangers Wild Force.
The muscular Eddie Brock Venom is one of Spider-Man’s most terrifying villains and needs no introduction to any Marvel comics fan. The Simpsons veteran Hank Azaria added his talents to the villain for this iteration.
The true blue American hero, now a cinematic icon via Chris Evans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. David Hayter, the voice of Solid Snake in many of the Metal Gear Solid games, was America’s number one son for Spider-Man here.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’?
Spider-Man: The Animated Series was the first series developed in-house by Marvel Films Animation, though the actual production was out-sourced to TMS-Kyokuchi Corporation and Koko Enterprises Ltd. The show was developed through a deal with Fox to bolster the success of X-Men: The Animated Series on Saturday mornings. Bob Richardson was the supervising producer, and built the entire studio’s team from scratch for this show.
John Semper is the main writer, having credits on 60 of the 65 episodes, and Stan Lee and Avi Arad were present as executive producers, overseeing everything. The production here was state-of-the-art, incorporating CGI and digital art. There were many restrictions, as at the time James Cameron was trying to make a Spider-Man movie, so his origin was off-limits. Nonetheless, what was made was groundbreaking, and many of the central creators were with it right to the end.
Bob Richardson: Spider-Man: The Animated Series Supervising Producer
Having previously worked with Margaret Loesch, the Head of Fox Kids, Richardson was the first pick for the studio to oversee this show. With credits on Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, Spider-Woman and more, Richardson is a tried-and-true talent of Marvel animation, who directed the Ultimate Avengers movies in the mid-noughties.
John Semper: Spider-Man: The Animated Series Writer/Director
Having some form of story or scripting credit on 60 episodes, and directing 23, John Semper was one of the lead talents in keeping Spider-Man together through-out the five seasons. A stalwart of family TV, Semper has credits on the likes of Fraggle Rock, The Smurfs and Static Shock.
Stan Lee: Spider-Man: The Animated Series Executive Producer
Co-creator of the webhead with Steve Ditko, Stan Lee oversaw all over Marvel’s multimedia comings and going during this period, helping bring the characters to a wider audience than ever before.
Avi Arad: Spider-Man: The Animated Series Executive Producer
In the weeds of all Marvel animation at this time, Arad helped produce Spider-Man and keep the show running during the touch waters of network television.
‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
As the show ran five seasons – one of very few animated series of the time to do so – it’s obvious the viewership was strong at the time. Press from the time is limited due to lack of archival information, but the show maintained a large following that remained entertained through syndication and re-runs.
Where ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Ranks in the Television Pantheon
One of the great Marvel productions, Spider-Man: The Animated Series remains entertaining and engrossing. The cast is good, the writing is strong, and the sheer variety of storylines is still unrivaled. IGN ranks it as the second-best Spider-Man animated show, stating “Even more so than X-Men, the show tapped into the serialized nature of comic book storytelling, delivering complex characterization and long-form story arcs that played out across entire seasons.” Nerdist, on the other hand, considers it third best, citing an overuse of Spider-Man’s inner-monologue as a negative.
‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Theme Song
The show’s intro is one of the most memorable of the intro, sporting a bluesy guitar lead over some electronic vocals and percussion.
‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
1. Three Comics Were Produced Based on the Show
Marvel Comics made three separate limited comics based on this universe: Spider-Man Adventures, from December 1994 to February 1996, Adventures of Spider-Man, from April 1996 to March 1997, and Marvel Adventures, from April 1997 to September 1998.
2. A Cartoon Maker Game was Created
A PC game in which players make their own episodes of the show, Spider-Man Cartoon Maker, was released.
3. The Cast and Creators Tried to Reunite for a New Project
John Semper and the show’s cast tried to crowdfund a new show, War of the Rocket Man, in 2014, but the project has since died.
4. The Series Introduced Blade Supporting Character, Whistler
Abraham Whistler, one of Blade’s mentors, was introduced in this show, in the episode “Blade. The Vampire Hunter”. He’s since become a mainstay in the comics, and was played by Kris Kristofferson in the Blade movies.
5. Joe Perry of Aerosmith Played Guitar on the Intro
The theme, composed by Shuki Levy, featured the Aerosmith guitarist playing lead guitar.
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