News : 2004 : Commercial Release of 1967 Spidey Cartoon on DVD

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Date: Feb 3, 2004
Next: PJ on Spectacular #14
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We recently got posted the following exciting news:

I can confirm that that Buena Vista will be issuing a six DVD boxset of the original Spider-Man cartoon series timed to coincide with the release of the feature film sequel this coming July. Although I cannot confirm that the original audio or voice tracks have been remastered it seems that at least the prints have been cleaned up. There were some reports to this effect which appeared online last year. The source was a press release credited to a certain Tom Toumazis, then a BVI Vice-President in Australia.

The boxset will include all the original episodes plus a limited number of extras headlined by a new interview with Stan Lee. There will also be a 'look back' or a 'making of' type documentary which is now being put together. Ralph Bakshi and some of the voice actors will be involved but I don't know if the producer is planning to include Ray Ellis (who scored the first season). At the time of this writing the project will go ahead without the involvement of Paul Soles (voice of Peter Parker/Spider-Man) who offered to narrate the piece, record audio clips for the extras menus, appear in the interview with Lee etc., etc., etc., but was turned down. By all accounts Smilin Stan alone will receive a buck for his appearance on the DVD package. Given that the original contracts for the cast and crew precluded optioning a piece of the action, Buena Vista stands to make a killing.

Sadly this project came too late for the likes of Bob Harris (theme song), Paul Kligman (J.J.J.), Peg Dixon (Betty Brant) and Bernard Cowan (narrator and dialogue director). What a shame the owners of the cartoon couldn't see the economic viability of such a project until now, until the huge success of Sam Raimi's motion picture.

Fans of the cartoon's score (I am one) have been unable to locate any master tapes and it's unlikely any have survived. Stll, Buena Vista's commercial release may yet spur someone to pony up and pay Ray Ellis to re-record his jazzy first year charts.

Thanks and regards,

Jonathan Soles

Thanks Jonathan!