Well, Disney may no longer have anything to do with Spider-Man in the movies, but they control his depiction in other media including television. As part of the announcements made at D23, was that of a new animated series for preschoolers and their families, ‘Spidey and his Amazing Friends’, featuring youthful versions of some of Marvel’s most popular icons. This series hails from Marvel Animation and Family Entertainment and marks the first full-length Marvel cartoon for Disney Junior. In addition to Peter Parker, the cast includes Miles Morales, Gwen (Ghost-Spider), Hulk, Black Panther, and Ms. Marvel.
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Cort Lane, the senior vice president of Marvel Animation & Family Entertainment, said:
“Preschool kids already love Spidey, so they’ll be delighted to have Peter Parker thwipping across their screens in this new series. Everyone at Marvel is thrilled to launch our first preschool series on Disney Junior, the gold standard platform for the audience. We believe parents and kids will be excited about these stories filled with themes of friendship, cooperation, solving problems and using your abilities to help others.”
Joe D’Ambrosia, senior VP of original programming and general manager of Disney Junior, added:
“We’re thrilled to be working with Marvel on this new series showcasing the exciting adventures of Spidey and his friends as they model the importance of teamwork and helping others in their community. This is the perfect series to introduce preschoolers to the superhero powers of friendship and working together to help others in need.”
The title of this series is a play on ‘Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends’, a Saturday morning cartoon that aired on NBC from 1981-83. That show paired Spidey with Iceman and an original character Firestar and was aimed at the elementary school-age crowd. Despite not being canon, the fact that this show aired on network television means it reached a broader audience than the comics ever did. As a result, the ‘Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends’ name and concept have continued to live on in the minds of the public and elements from it, including the character Firestar (and even her pet dog Miss Lion), have appeared in the comics.
‘Spidey and His Amazing Friends’ is not expected to launch until 2021.