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Mark Hoffmeier
Writing Credits:

Not Rated.

Standard 1.33:1
English Dolby Stereo
Spanish Dolby Stereo

Runtime: 79 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 10/29/2002

• Bonus Episodes Featuring The Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus
• The Rogues' Challenge
• Stan Lee's Soapbox


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Spider-Man: The Return of the Green Goblin (1994)

Reviewed by Blake Kenny (February 5, 2003)

Even before last yearís blockbuster monster hit crawled into theatres, I would consider myself a Spider-man fan. While Iím sure many people jumped on to the Spidey bandwagon after the film went big, Iíve always been somewhat of a Spider-man nut. Iíve always been a fan of anything that allowed me to escape from reality for a few minutes.

Not only was I pretty much raised on the classic 60ís cartoon series, but when I became a teenager/young adult, I was big into collecting comics books as well. I spent far too much money on comics in fact Ė collecting not only The Amazing Spider-man, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-man and just plain Spider-man, but about 20 other titles as well. I even spent a ton of time drawing comics with aspirations of perhaps, once day drawing them for a living.

Eventually, after 6 or 7 years of serious collecting and reading myself into the poorhouse, I slowly gave up the hobby. Comics were really big shortly after I got into them, and somehow paying $3-4 an issue for some comics felt like petty extortion. Basically I just couldnít afford to buy all the titles I wanted anymore. So I cut back on the number of titles I collected, placing Spideyís head on the chopping block in favour of a few characters I enjoyed moreÖ in particular The Punisher. Still, even he became victim soon after, as I inevitably stopped collecting all together. Granted, I still love comics, but not to the extent that I once did. The fireís still there, but the funds arenít.

Anyhow, while I was thrilled to see everyoneís favourite wall crawler get the big screen justice he deserved, I knew the popularity of the film would result in a marketing cash-cow for Marvel comics and whoever else was involved. Spider-manís arrival in theatres obviously meant merchandising overload Ė and soon after the film was in theatres, the first DVD full of Spider-man cartoons hit the stores. Then, after it lengthy theatrical run the film also ended up on DVD; and we were treated to a second batch of these toons. Obviously this second release was capitalizing on the subsequent growth in popularity of the Green Goblin. So this being the case, hereís the review of Spider-man: The Return of the Green Goblin for your reading pleasure.

One thing Iíll say about this disc and the one that came before right from the start. Itís very vague about itís contents. I happen to work in a store that sells DVDís and you would be amazed how many times someone brought the animated disc up to me and asked if it was the movie. Another thing Ė once you finally figure out that itís animated, youíre still left wondering which animated series these episodes are from. As you know, there have been several different Spider-man toons over the years, so to clear matters up, these are primarily the episodes from the early 90ís. The new series that highlights todayís hot characters - like Venom and Carnage. This is modern day Spidey.

For those of you who actually watched the TV show, youíre probably aware that this series played out in somewhat of an episodic format. Many of the subplots would carry over from one episode to the next. So while most of these episodes centre on the Green Goblin, there are many underlying plotlines going on that might go right over your head. Unless youíre very familiar with the characters youíre likely to miss out on some of the showís subtleties.

The DVD basically includes 4 episodes from the series. There are 2 more bonus episodes included on the disc, but Iíll discuss those later in the bonus section. The episodes include The Spot, Goblin War, Turning Point and Guilty. First off Iíll mention that the title of this DVD can be somewhat misleading, especially when the Green Goblin only appears in 2 out of these 4 episodes. In fact the 4 episode are linked more by a device known as the ĎTime Dilation Acceleratorí than anything else.

Not only is the time dilator a major factor in these shows, but it also brings about the creation of a new characters knows as ĎThe Spotí. Itís after the creation of the Spot in the first episode that the time dilator seems to move from one owner to another. Along the way the focus of each episode shifts to characters like the Kingpin of crime, the Hobgoblin and the Green Goblin. The time dilator is also responsible for a key moment when the Green Goblin discovers Spider-man secret identity and proceeds to torment Peter Parkers family.

In fact, the only episode of the 4 that I could have done without is the one entitled Ė Guilty. Not only did this episode have nothing to do with the Green Goblin, but the time dilator was nowhere to be seen either. In the scheme of the overall series, Iím sure this would have been nothing more than a filler episode.

As far as the look of the show goes, it pretty much standard fair. Itís basically Saturday morning cartoons with a nice mixture of primitive CG whenever Spider-man swings through the city. While the animation isnít bad, itís definitely assembly line stuff. When you have tons and tons of episodes to pump out during a season, this is the sort of animation youíre likely to see. Cookie cutter cartoons. Nothing grand, but it gets the job done.

Being a Spider-man fan, it was interesting to see the animated show since I havenít seen in years. Not only was it interesting, but it was even a little enjoyable. Iím sure that if I were 12 Iíd enjoy it even more.

While this DVD was clearly released to capitalize on the re-emerging popularity of the characters. Iím sure it was only a matter of time until we saw something like this on DVD anyway. Spider-man has always been a well known superhero and simply put, I donít think his popularity ever really diminished. Truthfully, itís just smart business to release these toons when the movie hits big. Thatís marketing! I mean what other proof do you need. The Animated DVD Ė Daredevil Vs Spider-man releases on February 11th 2003, a mere 3 days before the Daredevil feature film hits movie theatres throughout North America. Isnít that convenient?

The DVD Grades: Picture C+ / Audio C / Bonus C+

Since it was a television show, Spider-man: The Return of the Green Goblin is presented in a traditional aspect ratio of 1.33:1 Ė this of course means the show has not been enhanced for widescreen TVís.

Fortunately, since the animated series isnít really all that old, the picture quality is quite good. Colours are still very bright and vibrant without a hint off over saturation. In fact I hardly noticed any defects with the picture other than some occasional speckles and some compression artefacts. Fortunately children, who are the ones most likely to watch this DVDís probably wonít notice anything wrong with the picture what so ever. Overall, the show looks very nice, perhaps even better than when they first aired on TV.


Again, being a television show, Spider-man: The Return of the Green Goblin is presented with a very basic digital stereo soundtrack.

Thereís not a whole lot to say here, as the show pretty much sounds exactly the way it did when it aired on TV back in the early 90ís. The voices and sound effects come across clear and concise without any distortion. On the flip side, thereís nothing very memorable about the sound either Ė it simply gets the job done, As I mentioned above, since this is a DVD thatís geared more towards kids than adults, they probably wonít mind a less than impressive audio presentation.


First one our list of special features is another instalment of the 90ís cartoon series entitled Ė The Return of the Green Goblin. This episode serves not only to bring some closure to the 4 primary episodes, but features Harry Osbornís (Normanís son) transformation into the new Green Goblin. Not only that but it also contains an awesome cameo appearance by the Punisher, who is investigating the disappearance of Mary Jane.

Next up is something thatís going to be a real nostalgic treat for many. Itís called - The Terrible Triumph of Dr. Octopus / Magic Malice. This is a classic 1967 instalment of the original animated Spider-man show. This one episode features 2 Spider-man adventures. One featuring Dr. Octopus, the other, the Green Goblin. This is pretty cool to see, especially if itís been a while since you last saw it. While the animation is laughable by todayís standards, it was still great to see a show that many of us grew up on. Unfortunately this material defiantly shows itís age as the film stock show numerous video defect. The sound quality of this episode was also very poor, coming across extremely muffled and lifeless. Still, as an added bonus, itís a real treat Ė you might even catch yourself singing along to the theme song.

Next up are Episodes with Stan Lee Introductions. Rather than just pressing play on the main menus of the DVD, the viewer can head in here and watch each of the 4 main episodes with brief introductions by ĎStan the Maní. His introductions range in time from (1:05) to (1:46), for a grand total of (5:22). This is a great way to start an episode as Stan Lee is a great character in his own right and has a friendly, enthusiastic demeanour that kids are bound to enjoy.

Didnít get enough of ĎStan the Maní during the episode introductions, then head into Stan Leeís Soapbox (13:24) to learn even more. This segment is essentially an interview with the main man himself. Itís essentially a bunch of comments on varying topics that are all spliced together into a clean cut little package. Stan Lee talks about everything from what he wanted to do with his life when he was younger to why he never plans to retire. Naturally he also talks about Marvel Comics, his love of writing, his respect for the comic artists and of course Spider-man. Itís an interesting segment to view, especially if you ever fancied yourself a Marvel Comics fan. Getting to hear from the creator of so many famous characters really offers fans some insight into the man and the legacy he has created.

Last up on our list of special features we have a trivia game called The Roguesí Challenge. The object of the game is to answer several questions about each of 4 Spider-manís villains. Reach to the end without getting more than 3 questions wrong and you win. The questions are about the Chameleon, Mysterio, Doctor Octopus and of course the Green Goblin. As it turns out, watching all the episodes on the DVD will do little to help you with these questions, as you pretty much have to be an avid Spider-man fanatic to know most of this stuff. Fortunately for kids, if youíre unsure of the answer you can get hints from Stan Lee.

Itís clear when you see Spider-man: The Return of the Green Goblin on store shelves that it was designed with kids in mind. After all, the show originally aired as a Saturday morning cartoon. However, as a full grown adult, I found myself enjoying the show as well. As a guy who has been familiar with Spider-man in one form or another pretty much his whole life, it was hard not to have some fun with this. Iím sure many other Spider-man fans, both young and old, feel the same way. This is just pure fun for the whole family.

While itís obvious that this DVD was released to cash-in on the success of the feature film, itís hard to argue that fact that it still makes a decent little package in its own right. Not only does this disc offer a lot of fun and action for kids of all ages, but it also packs some fairly decent sights and sounds. For a very reasonable price, this is a DVD that any family (or hardcore fanatic) would be happy to add to their growing collection.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.7777 Stars Number of Votes: 18
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