For the original animated series, see Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (also known as MTV Spider-Man) is an animated series featuring the Marvel comic book superhero Spider-Man, which ran for one season, 13 episodes, starting on July 11, 2003. The show was made using computer generated imagery (CGI) rendered in cel shading and was produced by Mainframe Entertainment (Executive Producer Brian Michael Bendis, who also wrote the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book) for Sony Pictures Television and broadcast on MTV and YTV; it featured characters and a loose continuity from the 2002 Spider-Man movie (except Aunt May, who was seen only in photographs throughout the series). Initially, this series was intended to be an adaptation of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book. Spider-Man was voiced by Neil Patrick Harris.
The complete series was released on DVD as Spider-Man: The New Animated Series: Special Edition on January 13, 2004. Four separate DVD volumes containing three episodes each were also released from 2004-2005. The entire series was licensed by Marvel and Sony to DigiKids/Sentimental Journeys, who re-edited the footage from many episodes into one feature, which is sold as a personalized DVD in which the purchaser's face is revealed under Spider-Man's mask
This series is able to be viewed online using the Netflix watch instantly feature available to any paying subscribers.
Peter Parker was originally supposed to wear baggier clothes to hide his superhero musculature, but cost-effective difficulties with the CG format prevented folds from being put into his everyday attire. As a result, Peter's street clothes were redesigned to be close-fitting and contemporary, while still managing to hide his physique (and the costume he wore under his duds) as Spider-Man.
Aunt May does not appear in this series (except for a photograph in Peter's bedroom), because MTV executives feared that the appearance of any old people would deter their target youth audience from watching. By contrast, she made several prominent appearances in the first animated series and was a regular character on NBC's Spider-Man and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the 1980s, and Spider-Man: The Animated Series on Fox Television.
The series employed a device which became a calling card for the show, where Peter Parker could apparently move so fast as to almost instantly change into his costume at will. Some of these scenes were visually creative. The police interrogation room sequence from "Law of the Jungle" is frequently cited as one of the best, with Peter shedding his clothes and suiting up as Spider-Man in a series of frozen, strobe light images as the emergency power struggles to kick in. However, other "quick changes" were downright baffling. As he runs down an alley to change in "Mind Games, Part 2," Peter's outer clothes literally morph into his costume in a burst of light. The first episode of the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon, "The Power of Doctor Octopus," featured the fastest change into costume before this series.
Every cellphone in the series is a bar style from Sony Ericsson.
| Spider-Man/Peter |
|Neil Patrick Harris|
|Mary Jane Watson||Lisa Loeb|
|Harry Osborn||Ian Ziering|
|1||Heroes and Villains||When a lowly high-tech thug named Turbo Jet starts stealing jewels to save the people who live near campus from relocating, he becomes a hero to New York - especially to the people on campus. But meanwhile, Spider-Man's reputation of a hero changes to a villain, thanks to Turbo Jet because the wall-crawler isn't stealing for the campus people. But as Spider-Man knows in his superhero career, stealing is stealing and something isn't good about Turbo Jet. Meanwhile, Harry Osborn seems to have involvement in the campus buildings being torn down.||August 22, 2003|
|2||Royal Scam||Spider-Man is duped into helping the Kingpin gain a computer chip that can access all the banks in the world. But after he helps him, he realizes he's been scammed (seeing the so-called Agent Robertson in the door to backstage of MJ's play reading a script) and must get the chip back before he really is a villain and the big crime lord pulls off the biggest heist in history! Meanwhile, with Spider-Man's alter ego, Peter Parker, is slowly losing his friendship with Mary Jane, as he misses her plays.||August 15, 2003|
|3||Law Of The Jungle||Peter’s professor, Doc Conners, injects himself with reptilian DNA to grow back his long lost right arm but that transforms him into Lizard. Now with his newfound abilities, he plans to kill Harry Osborn for revenge because Conners blames his late father, Norman Osborn, for his arm's loss. Now Spider-Man must save Harry. Meanwhile, Harry celebrates the first anniversary of his father's death and looks into his stuff.||July 18, 2003|
|4||The Sword Of Shikata||A powerful ninja assassin named Shikata is sent by Richard Damien to find and capture Spider-Man. But when Shikata sees how worthy a foe Spider-Man is after one fight, she decides to quit her deal with Damien and fight Spider-Man to the death. Meanwhile, Mary Jane becomes an actress thanks to Damien.||July 11, 2003|
|5||Keeping Secrets||Spider-Man meets a highly advanced techno-thief called Talon only to find out it's Harry's new girlfriend, Cheyenne Tate. Now Spider-Man and Peter Parker must break the two up without hurting either of Harry or Cheyenne's feelings.||July 18, 2003|
|6||Tight Squeeze||Pterodax, a group of three high-tech terrorists, takes the Empire 1 news station hostage and demand Spider-Man while one of their hostages, Peter Parker, is Spider-Man! Now, Peter must find a way to get out of Empire 1 in time to save the people without anyone knowing who he is. Meanwhile, Peter finds a possible new love interest in the quirky Indira Daimonji, short-formed Indy.||July 25, 2003|
|7||Head Over Heels||Peter’s lab partner Christina's new invention that helps her read minds goes haywire, driving her insane and making her obsessed with being with Spider-Man, in which she is already a fangirl of his! Meanwhile, Mary Jane decides to level her relationship with Peter by offering each other tidbits.||July 25, 2003|
|8||The Party||Peter's dorky friend Max Dillon gets bullied too far, only to become Electro. He seeks to kill his tormentors.||July 11, 2003|
|9||Flash Memory||Dr. Zellner tests his “smart drug” on Flash Thompson, who begins to display dramatic spikes in intelligence. However, the cure proves deadly. With only minutes to find an antidote, Zellner takes Flash’s suggestion that he experiment on an already intelligent candidate: Peter Parker. Meanwhile, Spider-Man notices that not only does Flash take the drug, but also two twin crooks: Jack and Mack.||August 29, 2003|
|10||Spider-Man Dis-Sabled||Spider-Man battles Silver Sable, an eastern European assassin for hire when Peter takes a photo of her trying to kill the Mayor of the city. However, Sable really wants to kill the visiting European commissioner, as he is a terrorist known as "the Piranha". She then goes undercover as the Mayor's assistant while Peter, Mary Jane, Harry and Indy investigate on her. Sable then kidnaps MJ, Harry and Indy and threatens Peter if he doesn't give her the evidence on what she's going to do, then the trio she has dies. Meanwhile, Peter starts dating Indy, which strangely makes MJ jealous.||August 8, 2003|
|11||When Sparks Fly||Electro returns from his seeming death and tries to make Sally, a girl he has a crush on, become just like him.||August 1, 2003|
|12||Mind Games, Part One||Spider-Man battles two telepathic twins called the Gaines Twins, and is brainwashed by them to believe that Kraven the Hunter killed Mary Jane in an attempt for him to kill Kraven.||September 5, 2003|
|13||Mind Games, Part Two||Spider-Man comes to his senses that Kraven didn't kill MJ, puts him to jail and battles the Gaines Twins as he figured out they have Mary Jane, but in the process seriously injures Indy by pushing her off a roof, putting her in a coma. Now all of New York wants Spider-Man to either leave the Big Apple or retire. Spider-Man agrees to retire but not before he defeats the Gaines Twins first. In the end, Peter is done being Spider-Man.||September 12, 2003|
Bendis wrote the first episode of the series (in terms of release date and not chronological order) and the opening scene is based on a similar opening scene from his Ultimate Spider-Man #22, in which a desperate Peter attempts to get out of his costume and attend class with humorous results. It follows the scene closely right down to the dialogue (in which Peter, after taking off the costume's feet, complains about the hot roof) but changes when Peter gets to class; in the original issue, Peter arrives in class late and slides on the floor by accident and causing a big mess, in the episode Peter somehow manages to sneak in class without anyone noticing. Bendis later commented on his messageboard that 80% of his script was used in the finished episode. If this is true in the case of the opening scene, then its possible that Peter's 'geekier' actions in the scene removed because they contrasted with the 'hipper' route that MTV took with the character.