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  • I agree with what many reviewers said and I wont rehash the story line anymore - many folks have done so already.

    What I'd like to add is that HBO Cable Networks did a wonderful thing in showing this as a weekly series. I was glued to the television weekly at midnight - not just me but all of my friends as well. I don't care what I was doing, I HAD to watch this. We all loved this animated working of Spawn. The animation was crisp, the storytelling was adult and intelligent, the vocal casting was superb. This is what adult animation and comic book adaptation was about. The first season was better than the second one to me but both were groundbreaking.

    What I disliked more than anything -- was the feature film of "Spawn". It did not hold a candle to this series and just ruined what was already done. Sad thing, HBO hasn't re-shown repeats of this and they should. And HBO hasn't produced & adapted other comics, which it should be doing along these lines. There are many production lessons here as well as a great adaptation lesson.

    Todd MacFarlane's creation is the best here. I hope they show it again, release a DVD if so, do not miss this. Be forewarned - adult themes run through this version. The first season is NOT for the kiddies or a PG-13 oriented. It is dark, it is wonderful and it is the world of Spawn as it should be seen and interpreted.
  • Spawn has, for quite some time, being the grounding stone of Image Comics. Image is the third largest retailer in the US and UK. Marvel, the leader, has names such as Spiderman, X-Men, Capt America, Hulk and a never-ending list of other heroes. D.C., the second, has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and a whole load more. And Image has Spawn. There are a few others, but most would not have heard of them. This is just a brief glimpse at the popularity of this single character whose sales in comics alone support the mammoth of a company that Image is.

    The animation runs over three seasons (also referred to as three feature-length movies) and each season is split into six twenty-five minute episodes. On DVD, the seasons run as individual films. This is a total running time of a little over seven hours, as each film is about two and a half hours. And within these seven hours, is everything one could possibly want from Spawn. Without giving away essential plot points, it is safe to say that the basic, original story of Spawn which is covered over the first couple of dozen comics and the not-so-well-received movie, is covered in the first season. The second and third seasons are also true to the comics, but are a deeper insight into the legend of Spawn.

    The animations are slightly in manga style (only very slightly, taking the few better elements of manga and mixing it with conventional western cartoons), but are also western enough so as to keep the gritty feel that the original comics generated. There is an abundance of blood (I would say gore, but it is all spurting blood and little guts), plenty of swearing and a whole load of nudity. Now, I am a fan of Justice League which is pure and innocent enough to be shown on day time TV. But if I'm going to go out of my way to watch an evening adult show, I do appreciate it when the makers go all out to MAKE it an adult show. It is not for the pathetic, faint of heart. It is brutal, it is hard core, and I love it to bits.

    Spawn is voiced by Keith David who had the most brilliant, atmospheric deep voice which captures the purest essences of what Spawn should sound like, and likewise the rest of the voice-casting is outstanding at worst. The voice overs are half what make a show like this, and when they are so precision perfect and so fantastically scripted it's no wonder that watching the film like this draws you deep into the world.

    And animation is well above par. Not the best I've ever seen, but that is rare and often a sure-fire sign that too much time and money has gone into too specific an aspect of the overall project. The colouring/inking and shadow work are perfect for Spawn. Most of the time the majority of the characters are cast half in shadow, and the more mysterious a character, the less you see. This applies to Spawn too, but we see plenty of him so it's fine.

    All in all, I can only wish there are more programs like this out there. I do believe that the audience they aim for is quite small considering all the people out there who would rather watch feel-good daytime talk shows and shopping channels than a brilliantly conceived film-noir style animation. So if this is your thing, I cannot recommend it more strongly. And if you are a fan of Spawn, lock yourself in a room with plenty of food and water for a day, because you will not be able to tear yourself away.
  • "Spawn: The animated series" is one of the best adaptations of one comic into animation, just like "The Maxx". The animation is excellent, full of details and with a dark and mysterious atmosphere, and the story is dark as well. While in the movie the characters are plain and uninteresting, in this show, all those characters are much better developed, and the story was interesting and well written.

    the whole series was put together fabulously, and it is superior in every single detail in the movie. It stayed true to Spawns roots, it was dark, it was emotional, it was violent, it had a sick sense of humor. "Spawn" is one of the best animated series ever made.
  • Spawn was way ahead of it's time. I remember watching the original in the 90's on HBO and loving it. Here we are in 2014 and I'm rewatching it and just loving it...just loving it. Adult all the way, Spawn isn't for the kids. It's, of course, a Faustian tale and a superhero title but at it's core this is horror. The cartoon is very dark, chilling, and gritty. It's ultra-violent, suspenseful, animated beautifully, the voice-acting is precise and quietly subdued. It's as if all it's characters are speaking as shadows. Brilliant stuff here that outshines anything DC is doing currently and DC is the only one really doing anything worth a crud for American comic-book animation. Love Marvel but their animation is pathetic. If you're over 18 and want a good super-hero animation that lives and breathes in the dark...go buy Spawn. Mr. McFarland....please bring this back!
  • The comic books are rich in character backgrounds and, elevate rapidly through masterful story lines. Since when has a comic book character brought so much pain and adversity to our screens. Since when has a comic book character been adapted into an animated series and still creates an aura of harshness and entertainment. Maybe the Batman series of the early 90's reflected the true depiction of it's character; Bob Kane intended Gotham City to be a dark and disturbing reality. A world like David Fincher or Tim Burton. Spawn does indeed thrive in this blend of nightmarish fantasy, which still portrays a world that does exists. Maybe the thought of a soldier sent from Hell, inhabiting the streets dressed in a red cloak and a rubber costume, while ridding the slums of criminals seems far fetched, it is still entertaining. The fact that Todd Mcfarlane has worked on comic books such as Spiderman shows that he knows how intricate characters are to be depicted. So he knew fine well that for this series to work an in depth, complex and intriguing storyline had to prevail. Spawn the animated series is just that and if you take time to appreciate each character and their personalities you should find Spawn to be highly watchable. Moving away from this the animation is just sublime; playing with the shadows of Rat Alley, and blending the hatred of Spawn with his undying love for Wanda, we are led into a paradoxical imagination of two untouchable forces colliding - Heaven and Hell. Watch Spawn and if you can read the comics, they are of a very good quality.
  • During the year when the live-action adaptation of, "Spawn", was released, HBO released an animated series based on the comic-book series that ran from 1997 to 1999. This is one of the greatest animated series ever made.

    The animation is excellent it make's the series look dark and edgy, the characters were great including Detectives Sam and Twitch, and the voice acting was good especially having Keith David provide the voice of the main character.

    Overall, if you didn't like the live-action movie or looking for a good show to watch, "Spawn: The Animated Series", is really worth watching.
  • Spawn was an animated series based on Todd McFarlane's comic book series.The first season of the show and the movie version both came out in 1997.The movie was PG-13 rated and while it was not the worst movie ever, it was nowhere near as good as the comics or this animated series.This series is great.It's dark, disturbing, violent, gory etc.Definitely not for the kids.The show is about a man who is left for dead by his old boss.He now comes back as a hellspawn and exacts his revenge while trying to see his ex-wife Wanda who has re-married to his friend.The show has Spawn living in an alley with other homeless people, as well as one who was once a hellspawn earlier.He basically saves them from all the gangs and the mafia who come and attack them as well, while trying to exact revenge on his old boss.Season 1 was the best season in my opinion, season 3 was great as well.Season 2 was good but a bit disappointing in comparison to the other ones.Overall a great series! The show was released on 3 DVD's originally where they combine all the episodes of a season to make a movie.Now they have a 4 disk tin case box set.Worth watching!
  • The movie was one of the worst I had seen in my life. I did not have high hope for the animated series but I was very much surprised. The dialogue and, bizarrely enough, the acting are a hundred times as good as the film and the plot and characters are also much more intriguing.

    Sadly production ended before the 4th season of Spawn and it just seemed to be getting darker and darker. But the one thing I can be sure of from this is that it's going to have one hell of a send-off when the entire story finally climaxes (if HBO ever bring it back, which they should!!!)

    I'd start watching this if I were you. But be prepared. The violence is quite graphic.
  • This is the ultimate expression of the Spawn character, engaging plots, amazing artwork and a propensity to the excellent. The voice casting is perfect, and a good job was done trimming the crap out of the comic book, and improving and streamlining the storyboards, it beats the ever living crap out of the movie and is the sort of thing that creates fanatics out of people.
  • Spawn was a 3-season long HBO animated series from 1997-1999.I was not there to watch it during it's original run, but I caught maybe one episode on Teletoon years ago.I watched the entire series on youtube about a year ago and I bought the Season 1 DVD.This review is for the third season? Why does it have it's own separate IMDb page? Well apparently, the seasons were combined and made into films for the older DVD's.I am not sure if they make it separate episodes for the new tin-case box-set DVD's.Season 1 was simply amazing, I loved it! Then Season 2 in my opinion was a disappointment.It was good just nowhere near as good as the first.Season 3 improved from Season 2 and came close to being as good as the first season.The series ended in a sort of cliffhanger and never came back, though there is talks for a continuation.You can either by the tin-case DVD set with all three seasons, or you can buy the 3 DVD's which are more like movies.At $6.00 a DVD, it's definitely worth it.The DVD for this season(the old one) has an interview with Todd McFarlane & the cast talking about the show, plus two music videos.One is "Bawbitaba" by Kid Rock and the other is "Play Around" by Lil Cease & Lil Kim.These are kinda random, they have nothing to do with Spawn.The songs are both decent in my opinion, but not great.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This TV series has a lot to credit itself to anime because of it's amazing animation technicques and dark ways. Story tells of a government soldier who dies in a fire and 5 years later comes back as a killing machine who is torn between protecting his once wife or serving his master Malbolgia (aka- Lucifer). Story twists around in more ways than one (especially in season 2 and 3), but that helps with the story, the mystery and the action. Great drama, provided by Todd McFarlane (who the cartoon was created by).
  • If you ask people around of why is animated Spawn good, you will have a 90% chance of getting this reply: It's cartoon for adults. BECAUSE CARTOONS ARE FOR KIDS!

    Why isn't that cute; too bad I am an anime fan and those crazy Japs were making adult cartoons way before this one. Heck, Ralph Bakshi was making adult animation in America way before this one. Heck, MAD TV did adult animation after it. Anyone seen The Maxx by any chance? So in other words, this ITS FOR ADULTS doesn't fly to veteran viewers.

    OK, let's see what else is there to it. Oh right, it has Spawn as the main character. Who doesn't like that half demon – half undead anti-hero who is stuck in the eternal war between heaven and hell? He has a cool cape that transforms to a dozen ecstatic weapons and fights demons and robots and mad assassins and other stuff. The artwork is super gritty and the world is one big sh1thole. Oh, right, and they say the word sh1t and f*ck a lot too. IT'S FOR ADULTS!

    The set up is great; that's for sure. This guy wakes up with superpowers and a mutated body and goes around trying to rebuild his life and fight all sorts of freaks. That's cool. Of course in the animated version his enemies are limited to humans so don't expect any real threats for Spawn; most of them are n00bs before him while the really powerful ones like the demon clown and the angelic chick are never dealt with in the cartoon. That's right; the whole show is the prologue to the comic book and even that takes out most of the occult aspects.

    This takes out a significant portion of the supernatural action and fun of the comic, but leaves room for far more psychology. Since almost everybody is mortal, they act in ways we can relate with instead of having unworldly demons that kill people just for kicks. When someone dies, he is a common man, and that multiplies the shock. Oh, and yes, people die in this cartoon FOR ADULTS all the time. Most for little to no reason. That is the main point of the whole show you see; when life and ideals have lost their values and everybody kills and tortures for power and money BECAUSE HE CAN. Neat concept for a cartoon but surely something you can find in any live action gangster film out there. Which if you ask me makes you wonder why didn't they add all the fantasy parts in a form or art that is there to depict things you DON'T find in live action. Jesus you guys, if I wanted violence and profanity around people, I would watch a life action title. If it is animated and you have the liberty to draw anything you like WHY DO YOU STICK SO MUCH TO THE BASICS? Oh right, it's for adults and we don't have much of that so it stands out. As far as cartoons go that is; anime do this stuff for over 50 years now.

    And I am not saying it looks bad or anything; animation and voice acting are as gritty as they are supposed to be. The action and torture scenes are as gruesome as they need to be. The feelings of hopelessness and disgust are there. Thumbs up for presentation. But when it comes to plot or characters, well, you get a prologues where an undying grumpy super- powerful dude wastes a bunch of thugs who love to torture people. Where is the challenge in there? OK, sure, you get lots of that in the comic but the cartoon is like a walk in the park.

    And no, the main focus was never the action but the atmosphere. To show a completely rotten and immoral society full of violence, profanity, and death. Bravo, they got that right. But don't go expecting for some sort of solid conclusion because all you get is Spawn and his indirect allies saying something corny like "Have hope, stay true to yourself, and things will be better tomorrow." Why thank you so much; I think Jack and Beanstalk had the same overall message. And that was a fairy tale. Spawn is in effect a dark fairy tale and an intro to things you need to read about in the comic. And even there, not after a certain point since after he deals with that Maleboja fellow the storyline becomes really messy and almost aimless.

    So in all, yes, it is a good watch. But not a very good watch. It is too different from the comic, since most of the supernatural stuff are taken out. It doesn't have a solid conclusion either apart from some weird war we never see much about and a long monologue of a depressed Spawn looking at trashcans and attempting philosophy. It is gritty and serves its purpose but doesn't fully exploit its setting and ends up being just that ADULT CARTOON everybody remembers for being an ADULT CARTOON.

    Kay, thanks, bye, 6/10 for the effort but have seen much better.
  • Great insights brought together in imagery and story that reach crescendos of wrenching intensity. We are creatures born of carnality of many sorts. These of themselves lead us to terrible evil and yet also may be the source of or are opposed by transcendent good. Spawn explores this metaphorical brew of opposites at its most elemental and archtypal. We rolled on the floor when Todd (the originator of the series) narrated after the second season that some wanted to purchase rights for Saturday morning kiddie viewing because it was in a comic book format. This is mature audience animation at is very finest. As it aged (second and third season)like a fine wine it gained depth, bouquet, and mystery. It needs a fourth season to be complete. There are so many things still dangling.
  • ...does that make it good? I do find Spawn the animated series interesting. The characters are fairly well-developed, I suppose the gore is an accurate representation of what's going on. But...the thing drags. And it drags further because HBO only seems to air the show in 6-8 episode batches, once a year. Just when things get interesting, it's Whoosh! off the air for 6-8 months. There also seems to be a lot of unnecessary padding (more in the second year), and Cogliostro is just downright annoying, both as narrator and in his conversations with Spawn. Keith David's voice work is excellent as always, though. Generally, though, this doesn't inspire me to go out and read the comic books. It's one of those shows you like to watch, but don't inspire you to watch devotedly every week. And Todd McFarlane as the intro Serling-like host? Sheesh.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love this show. It is so dark and so brilliant and so GOOD compared to the crap movie that i can't wait for the next season.

    Which season are they on? 6 I think. Let's recap. At the end of season 5, Jason Wynn has his face burned off by an enchanted mask, but escapes. Jade makes Spawn kill her so the bounty hunters will stop chasing them, and so she won't be sent to hell. The crooked police chief who shot Twitch is confronted in a subway by Twitch's partner, and afterwards he kills himself.

    There you have it; the genius that is Spawn.

    Things to watch for: -Terry becomes Lightbringer -Wynn returns -Tony Twist comes back?
  • Last review I did of FMA: Brotherhood, I mentioned that adaptations of original source material are a touchy subject. While you want to be fair and objective in a review, you also have your opinion colored if you're familiar with the source material.

    However, this one is a unique case. While the HBO series isn't a faithful adaptation of the comic books by any stretch, and while it contains the same premise and characters, it would be most fair to label this as a retelling.

    And it's a rather fantastic retelling, as the animation is dark, stylish and slick, which adds to the series' dark roots.

    The characters are from the comic books as well. You have Cogliostro, Bobby, Terry, Wanda, Cyan, the Violator, Malebolgia, Sam & Twitch, and the eponymous character, each are deeply realized and brought to life, with the title character being the star of the show because of Keith David's stellar voice acting.

    The music is rather mood setting too, adding to the effect of certain scenes. One highlight is a scene with Cyan and Spawn. It's little things like this that make the series an excellent re- telling.

    It's also not a series for children, as it's dark and surprisingly violent. Which is a given, considering the original comic books.

    Overall, this gets a 9/10. This is a great retelling of the Spawn franchise, though it isn't faithful to the comic books, it manages to shine just as bright.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This animated TV series is based on Spawn, a comic that was quite popular when it came out. I think after a while the adoration cooled, but as someone who didn't think I'd like the story, I must say there is definite merit in this show. It is indeed quite dark, but it's not evil.

    Spawn may be regarded as a superhero (he wears a mask and cape), but unlike Batman, Superman or Spider-Man, he's undead. He is sent by hell to kill evil people, so the devil (here called Malebolgia) gets their souls to use in war against heaven. Wouldn't the evil people die eventually without a Spawn? That question is my only problem with this idea. Anyway, Spawn struggles with his evil and humanity, with a former-Spawn named Cogliostro trying to get him to reject Malebolgia and evil.

    The look of the show is quite dark (lots of shadow and night scenes), and that fits in with dark subject matter. Season 1 features a child rapist and killer; season 2 has a racist serial killer; season 3 has a brutal vampire. Adding to the adult nature, the fact that this show ran on HBO means the show featured heavy profanity and even some nudity. This darkness can sometimes be too heavy, so that watching several episodes on DVD at one time can become too much. But one or two episodes can be wonderful, unafraid to tackle darkness in reality. The nudity doesn't start out that great (one scene has two naked women being shot in bed, which comes a bit close to misogyny), but I loved seeing Jade's breasts during a naked ritual in season 3.

    Season 3 is my favourite of the six-episode seasons; Jade, the powerful woman sent by heaven to kill Spawn, is an attractive character. The episode Hunter's Moon has heaven sending a vampire to kill Spawn. My favourite part of that episode is that the word "vampire" is never used, because we don't need to hear it to know she is one. But there also is some paradox that she would be sent by heaven, and indeed one driving concept of the show is that good and evil aren't pure, something stated by creator Todd McFarlane in one of the show's openings. It's a good point though some Christians might regard it as blasphemy.

    One problem I have with this show is that in action scenes it can be hard to tell what's going on. Spawn works best as psychological horror (how many other cartoons can be characterized as horror?). It is this quality that will hopefully make the show remembered as the years go on.
  • I must admit that this was one of the hardest animated series for me to get through.

    This adaption of Spawn doesn't pull any punches when it tells the story of the government assassin whose life on earth as a hellspawn is nothing but pain and suffering.

    The animation is very dark and gloomy and heavy on detailed gore and freaky images, and adding to the atmosphere is the music composed by the brilliant Shirley Walker. The subject matter is mature and the storytelling and realistic, so this is for adults only, but surely not for everyone.

    Keith David does a good job at portraying the tortured soul of Al Simmons/Spawn whose deep voice is both gritty when his anger is ruling and high-pitched when his sorrow and desperation consumes him. And Michael Nicolosi's performance as Violater is the epitome of frightening and gives Mark Hamil's Joker a run for his money.

    So to sum up, Todd McFarlane's Spawn is dark, gory, mature and atmospheric like nothing else, and therefore, it definitely isn't for everyone, but nonetheless very well done.
  • rodriguezm6076 April 2019
    This anime of spawn is perfect it portrays the comic books perfectly hope they continue on with this epic show
  • this could have been a great show but it has a very disjointed plot and the pacing is awful.

    random bad guys are thrown in and a lot of the time spawn is just creeping around having flashbacks. seizure inducing flashbacks for the viewer.

    the animation is VERY good and the voice acting is also great. also gratuitous violence and nudity are always a plus.

    I get the feeling that the director of the series and the writers weren't used to scripting TV...

    only watch this if you a) haven't seen the movie (since you will be even more bored) and b) don't mind going 20 minutes at a time waiting for something meaningful and interesting to happen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This season was great. Although I am disappointed that this one, as well as the first two, was for Mature Audiences Only. As I said with Spawn 2, if they could tone it down a bit, then it would attract a bigger audience. In this Season, Spawn is stalked by a Bounty Hunter from Heaven named Jade, who, in my opinion, is much like Angela in the comic book series. This one also features a man eating Angel named Lilly. Some of it gruesome. I wish that Todd could make a Season 4 of Spawn. Nothing really happens to the characters in the end. Spawn is still in the process of being convinced to stop living a life of violence, Wanda's left pregnate, Wynn's still alive... If McFarlane decides to continue the series, he should rap it up. I hope he's planning on continuing it... We're all in suspense! C'mon! I give it 10 strong stars out of, well, 10. An awesome film... Take the kids! j/k 10/10
  • Flat, colorless dialogue and characters just as one dimensional. The NYPD in Spawn is criminally stupid. One character, Twitch is the only one who approaches interesting. It's nice to see a strong black female character in Wanda Blake, but she only switches between that simple formulation and a few other clichés. The main saving qualities of this series are the animation quality, overall plot and concept (not the execution thereof, however), and the nostalgia factor.

    Todd McFarlane's intros are absolutely stupid. They give an idea of how much he wants to force a narrative tone ("And now, Spawn. So turn out the lights.) rather than create one. The effect is a melodrama whose painfully cliché dialogue wastes Keith David's incredible skills. The show does little to improve upon the source material or explore new dimensions of the Spawn universe and fails to create a product that fits into HBO's family of top-notch programming.

    McFarlane wasted an opportunity to tell a quality story that could attract a new audience, which was probably his intent, but he missed his mark so severely, ignores the potential of subtlety so thoroughly, that the end result is merely fan service in an attractive package.
  • Its been a long time watching this horror cartoon ,they must show this on Adult Swim for a re-runs,it better then other show They should make more episode of Spawn or at less a new season.

    I give this 8/10.
  • This is an absolutely fantastic cartoon, the big thing for me is the voice acting, it's flawless and probably some of the best in any cartoon. The storyline is perfect, the atmosphere is dark, mysterious, Gothic and eerie, unlike anything I have seen before. I have heard a lot of bad things about the film and I'm not even going to bother watching it. For those of you who have read the comics and enjoyed them, you need to watch this. You will find yourself saying "Wow" after even the first episode, you will keep wanting more the more you watch this and you need to watch every episode. The voice acting for the clown is absolutely outstanding, and that laugh he does sends a shiver down my spine. Great voice acting, gritty, dark, amazing animation, you need to watch this now!
  • I thought the movie could have used some work, this show did some things better than said movie, however, it too could have used some work. Suffice to say, it is almost all talk and no action with some pointless nudity thrown in probably to draw a person in. I love nudity, but not really in the context this show used it in. The story is somewhat similar to that of the movie only there is no real conclusion through the episodes I saw of this show. I saw what was the equivalent of the first two seasons, and quite frankly the first two seasons were all set up with very little payoff. I am just afraid that Todd Macfarlene is just a guy who is to full of himself and who tries way to hard to make this particular comic hero more than what he is, but adding unnecessary depth where a few more awesome fight scenes might liven up the program a bit. I can see from the score here I am in the minority in this thinking, but Spawn is not all that popular in the mainstream because it is at times boring to read and watch. However, he has his fans so I will not say to much about it, this show had some potential and is better than the movie which seemed to take an opposite course of becoming to action oriented and lame.
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