SOMEWHERE IN THE MULTIVERSE – Marvelous Movies’ own Sam Ewell has recently begun introducing his 18-month-old toddler (“The Child”) to the wonders and joys of ’90s Marvel cartoons. Sam is reporting the cartoons are having a profound effect on The Child–so much so that we decided to sit down and interview him.
Ben Jammin: So, what has been the Child’s favorite cartoon so far?
Sam Ewell: Probably Spider-Man: The Animated Series! The Child is really enjoying how advanced the series was for 1994, and he seems to think Christopher Daniel Barnes has THE definitive voice of Spider-Man for his childhood.
Ben: Most impressive! Does he want to be Spider-Man when he grows up?
Sam: He already is! I mean, he keeps climbing on the furniture during the show, and he sometimes even watches it facing the wrong direction. He’s developing his spider senses early! And the other day, he paid attention for a full two minutes! Spidey is really helping The Child with his focus!
Ben: What does he think of Tom Holland?
Sam: Yeah, he’s a fan, but I think he was more into Tobey Maguire. Probably because he was the first live action Spider-man and we watched it when he was about twelve or thirteen months and really hitting his toddler teens. That’s a really formative time.
Ben: Now, some of these cartoons were made for older kids. Are you sure they’re content-appropriate for The Child at such a young age?
Sam: Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s animated, so that means it’s fine for kids, right? Well, the other day he did get scared by Venom during the episode “The Alien Costume.” He started crying and ran off to his mom. So, naturally, I did what any good, thoughtful dad would do. I finished the rest of the episode myself–you know, just to make sure there wasn’t anything else scary in it.
Ben: Had to be rough. Did your wife forgive you? I’d hate for there to be Carnage over this.
Sam: You’re a bachelor. Leave the dad jokes to me.
Ben: Fair enough! Have you introduced him to X-Men: the Animated Series?
Sam: Yes! He really thought it was important to proceed chronologically through the shows, so we actually started there and finished it before starting Spider-Man. He loved it! He couldn’t believe how many famous X-Men storylines got adapted into short story arcs on the show. You know, Weapon X, Days of Future Past, Dark Phoenix, and so on. Once he watches the live-action movies, he’ll appreciate just how much the show laid the groundwork for what came next.
Ben: So have there been any downsides to exposing him to greatness so early?
Sam: Well…he was shocked that Spider-Man ended in the middle of the storyline about Mary Jane just up and disappearing. He was crushed! He wondered if it was ever possible to find love or to be happy. He’s really hoping Disney+ can revive the series and provide closure for Peter and MJ’s story. It would be cruel and unusual punishment for Disney to split those two star-crossed lovers and keep the audience hanging.
Ben: Has he experienced his first superheroine crush, yet?
Sam: No. But it’ll probably be Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane. Or even the Pink Ranger when we get there. I’m just speculating, though.