DVD - The Ultimate Villain Showdown
Review By Joe Wagner
Scans By Amazing Spidey
curiosity - that was the sole reason I considered picking up this DVD especially
after reading that the Mouse House had did a cut and paste job to what is easily
one of my favorite cartoons of all time. When I found it released early at my
local Wal-Mart for $14.44 I couldn't pass it up - much like we slow down when
there is an accident I had to purchase this disk.
Let me say one thing - I was wrong.
Synopsis: There are four episodes featured on this disk - "Make a Wish", "The
Attack of the Octobot", "Enter the Green Goblin" and "Rocket Racer". These
episodes make up Chapter 2,3,4 and 5 out of the "Sins of the Fathers" story arc.
the movie will lead you into the long opening theme for the Spidey toon that was
featured for all but the final season. There has only been one change - an added
"The Ultimate Villain Showdown" label under the Spidey logo. The episodes still
contain the original title cards at the beginning of each episode and the end of
the first three episodes flows directly into the next episode, avoiding the end
credits until the end of the movie.
The episodes on this disk have probably never looked as good as they do here.
The animation can be a bit choppy at times but this is likely due to the
animation itself and not the transfer. Buena Vista continues there quest for DVD
transfer excellence with this disk and clearly gives Spidey the type of transfer
he deserves - making the series look the best it has since its glory days on Fox
Score - 10/10
Audio: While Spider-Man was created specifically for television Buena Vista home
video has upgraded the track to Dolby Digital. The audio comes through very
clear and the effects sound the same as they did when the show was still airing
on Fox Kids. Overall I would have liked to have seen a 5.1 track added but this
is still the best Spider-Man has been heard in a long time.
Visuals: The chapter sheet features the cover art for the front and back of the
DVD and the disk is just a picture of the Spider-Man face reflecting back the
Green Goblin. When I put the disk in I found something else to be amazing - no
forced trailers, something Buena Vista home video is notorious for. The menu
opens with a bunch of screen caps of villains flashing onto the screen and
eventually leads into the city with a still Spidey in mid-swing.
Each menu has an animated sequence leading into the next menu and the old menus
are all pulled away by a giant Spider-Man hand appear and pulling the screen
away with a shot of webbing. Although the idea may sound corny it's actually
quite cool in its effect.
Score - 10/10
Extras: Here is the part that really makes this disk. The special features
include the 1967 Origin of Spider-Man toon with an intro by Stan "The Man" Lee.
This cartoon also features one of the most famous themes in TV history with the
classic Spider-Man opening theme. I don't remember ever watching this episode in
this good of shape and believe this to be the best adaptation of this series in
There is also a Stan's Soapbox feature which is about 20 mins long and features Stan
talking about the creation of Spidey, the upcoming Spider-Man movie and some
other details of the Marvel Universe. As a fan boy I found this feature very
enjoyable and even got a couple of chuckles out of Stan.
There is also another feature that allows you to watch commentary by Stan before
each episode - once again, great stuff.
Another feature is a Rogues Dossier that allows you to select either Venom, Doc
Ock, the Hobgoblin or the Green Goblin and get a complete bio of the character.
Each villain has at least two clips that show some aspect of the character as
well as Stan's thoughts about the character. Each character is also given a
two-page bio that tells their origin and gives their first comic appearance.
The final feature was a sneak peek section - featuring Spy Kids 2, Snow Dogs,
Digimon and a couple others that I can't remember right at the moment.
Score - 10/10
Conclusion - Overall I think the disk is really worth the pick up and was very
happy that Disney hadn't pasted together a new movie as previously press
releases from the company had suggested. While the DVD had a lot of features I
felt that 4 episodes was a little short and wished there had been an Easter egg
with Sins of the Fathers Chapter 1 but I can also understand how Buena Vista
would want to avoid any confusion for people that had never seen the series
before this DVD. I highly suggest that if you are a fan of Spider-Man to pick
this up - I know that I always found Spider-Man:TAS to be one of the most
addicting ever and have watched this disk about four times since I picked it up.
With any luck sales will be good on this disk and we'll see Disney release