Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Morning Cartoon Fix: Spiderman and His Amazing Friends


If there is one thing that I miss most about growing up in the 80s, it would have to be watching Saturday morning cartoons! There was nothing like pouring yourself a bowl of your favorite cereal and getting up early to watch great cartoon shows. So why can't we relive a little of that now? Thanks to Youtube, we can watch full episodes of those great 80s animated shows (some of which are not yet available on DVD.) So, come rediscover your forgotten Saturday morning cartoons with RD80s Saturday Morning Cartoon Fix! This week's feature cartoon is Spiderman and His Amazing Friends!

In 1981, Marvel and NBC introduced the animated series Spiderman and his Amazing Friends. It was an attempt to replicate the success of the Hanna-Barbera series Superfriends based on comic book characters from DC Comics and shown on the ABC network. Although not as successful, the "Spiderfriends" introduced kids everywhere to some new original characters that had never been featured in comics. The trio of crime fighters consisted of Peter Parker (Spiderman,) Bobby Drake (Iceman,) and new character Angelica Jones (Firestar.) Together they battled super villains such as the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus and Red Skull while also being enrolled as Empire State University college students.

Spiderman and his Amazing Friends intro

13 episodes were produced for the first season which ran in the later time slots on Saturday morning, as opposed to Superfriends which ran early. The show proved to be a little more successful than the separate syndicated Spiderman animated series that was released at the same time. The shows would eventually intermingle in the 3rd season of the syndicated show which aired an episode with origin stories of the "Spiderfriends" (the Amazing Friends series also aired separate origin stories of all three characters in season 2.) The 2nd and 3rd seasons of Amazing Friends were combined with a new Hulk animated series before ending its run in 1983 after 24 total episodes. All three shows would join forces again in the 1988 syndicated TV block called Marvel Action Universe. They would be joined by new shows like Robocop: The Animated Series, Dino-Riders, and Pryde of the X-Men before finally going off the air.

I enjoyed watching Spiderman and his Amazing Friends as a kid and rewatched all the episodes a couple years ago when it was available on Netflix. The series has never been released to DVD in North America (a UK region 2 DVD set was released in 2010), but you can purchase episodes digitally through services like Amazon Video. You can also surprisingly find episodes on Daily Motion. 

Avengers fans should appreciate the episodes I've posted below for your Saturday morning cereal time today. First up is episode 10 of season 1 entitled "The Vengeance of Loki!" featuring a little help from Thor. Then a quick commercial break to watch "Super Bear" save the day (and a Super Sugar Crisp complete breakfast) in a 1981 TV commercial. Finally, Captain America is the victim of a mind control device in episode 12 of season 1 "Pawns of the Kingpin." Enjoy!

Season 1 Episode 10 - "Vengeance of Loki!"


1981 Super Sugar Crisp cereal commercial
 


Season 1 Episode 12 - "Pawns of the Kingpin"


Rediscover more of your Saturday morning cartoon favorites:

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