Background: During the Cadence Industries Corporation era, Marvel Comics began to produce animated shows in 1977 joining forces with DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. In 1981, David H. DePatie sold the studio to Marvel Comics and DFE became "Marvel Productions, Ltd." as Marvel's animation division. In 1983, Marvel Productions joined forces with Sunbow Productions, who ended their venture in 1987. Cadence Industries was liquidated and sold Marvel Entertainment Group to New World Pictures in 1986, and later became part of New World Entertainment. In 1993, Marvel Productions was renamed to New World Animation/Family Filmworks. However, in 1994, New World and Marvel formed Marvel Films and Marvel Films Animation. In 1996, New World was sold to News Corporation; after the sale was completed in 1997, New World was folded into Fox. However, its Family Filmworks division (which included New World Animation and Marvel Films Animation) was folded into Fox Children's Productions, which merged with Saban Entertainment to form Fox Family Worldwide. In October 2001, the Walt Disney Company purchased Fox Family Worldwide, along with Saban, renaming them as "ABC Family Worldwide Inc." and "BVS Entertainment" respectively. Today, Disney owns the libraries of Marvel Productions, with a few exceptions.
Nicknames: "The Spider-Man Emblem", "The Spider-Man logo"
- Opening: On a blue or light blue background, there is a text that reads:
P r e s e n t a t i o n
At the top left is a white circle containing a blue circle in the center. Inside of it features Spider-Man's head inside the blue circle. The circle is surrounded by a text that says "MARVEL COMICS ANIMATION" in a different position (ala Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television or Sunbow Productions).
- Closing: We see the Marvel Comics Animation logo appeared full-screen on a blue background with the text in yellow, the circle was white instead and there's no white circle border surrounding the text.
Music/Sounds: The opening variant is usually silent, but on the closing variant, the closing theme of the show was used.
Availability: Seen on Marvel shows during the era. The opening variant was also seen on television broadcasts of the 1967-1970 Spider-Man cartoon, several season one episodes of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, and may also appear on The Fantastic Four and The Marvel Super Heroes episodes of the same era. On Netflix the opening logo is preserved, but the closing logo is plastered by the 2009 Marvel Animation logo.
Scare Factor: None. Low for the arched variant.
(February 14, 1981)
Logo: On a light blue background, we see the text in a groovy font: "A MARVEL PRODUCTION". Underneath is the words: "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" in a smaller font and below is the text "MIRISCH, GEOFFREY, DePATIE-FRELENG" and "DISTRIBUTED BY UNITED ARTISTS".
Cheesy Factor: There is no effort with the logo. At least, the animation is better on the next logo.
Music/Sounds: A very dramatic fanfare.
Availability: Only seen on The Pink Panther in: Pink at First Sight.
Scare Factor: Low, the fanfare is very cheesy. The logo is nothing compared to the next logo,
- 1981-1982: On a blue background, several large sets of lines rotate. Over the lines, a "star" traces out the company logo that of a stylized "MP", with another "M" cut out of the "M" part of the logo. When the logo is fully traced and the lines are in position (with horizontal lines for the "M" part and vertical lines for the "P"), the logo flashes, and the "M" cut out turns white while the rest turns yellow. The logo shrinks to the top-left corner, an "MARVEL PRODUCTIONS LTD" is drawn out with a star below it in the same font as the 2nd logo. The byline "A CADENCE COMPANY" is seen below the logo.
- 1982-1986: Over a blue-black gradient background, we see some white grids rapidly converge together to form the "MP" from before, but with the text "MARVEL PRODUCTIONS LTD." is shown with the Cadence byline is shown on the bottom right of the company name. The "O" shines with a ping.
- The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat has a rare still variant of the 1981-1982 version of the logo with a DePatie-Freleng byline. the logo's BG is much lighter than the normal logo.
- Sunbow-Marvel combo variant: See Sunbow Entertainment for description.
- On the short-lived cartoon series Meatballs and Spaghetti, the Intermedia logo is seen above the Marvel Productions logo. The Marvel logo has a shining light effect directly behind it.
- Another short-lived cartoon series Pandamonium has the InterMedia logo below the Marvel Productions logo. The "MP" shines the same way as in the Meatballs and Spaghetti variant.
- In the Little People VHS tape 3 Favourite Tales, the logo has a more darker blue BG, is still and has the byline "A NEW WORLD COMPANY". This variant is a prototype of the next logo.
- Still variants exists with the logo superimposed into the background. An mid-'80s airing of an episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends had this with the Cadence byline in a white rectangle.
FX/SFX: The "star" effects and drawing in of the logo, and the rotating lines, which may remind one of Avco Embassy's logo.
- 1981-1982: Same as the second logo, although on The Grinch Grinches the Cat, the end theme plays over the logo.
- 1982-1986: None, just the end theme of the show finishing over the logo.
Availability: Most Marvel shows of this time (The Incredible Hulk, Dungeons and Dragons, the 1981 solo Spider-Man series, Defenders of the Earth) have been updated with either a newer Marvel logo and/or a Saban logo. However, you may still see this logo on some videos of Marvel shows of this time. It also turned up when Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was reran on Disney XD. The still variant with the DFE byline is rare, and it was seen only on The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, the last Dr. Seuss/DFE animated special. The 1982 version also appeared on the failed Solarman pilot, made in 1986 but released on video in 1989, then aired only once on Fox Kids in 1992. The still version with the New World byline only appeared on Little People Tales.
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- 1981-1982: Low to medium. The fanfare is overly dramatic and the animation is cheesy, so some might be startled by it.
- 1982-1986: Low to minimal.
- None for the DFE variant.
Nicknames: "MP II", "CGI Spidey", "The Spider-Man logo II", "Silver Spider-Man"
Logo: In space, we pan out through a series of glowing 3D bars. As the bars rotate up towards us, we see that it is the Marvel Productions logo, done in glorious 3D (and with the "M" cut-out not filled in). In the background, a CGI Spider-Man leaps up, and the logo is "absorbed" into his body, turning him silver. The space background turns into a "timewarp mode" into a silver background, as the words "MARVEL PRODUCTIONS, LTD" rise up from the bottom-right with a trail behind it. The "MP" logo returns to the screen, as the silver Spider-Man somersaults to the top of it and takes a prowler-like stance above it as the logo takes its place on the center of the screen (Spidey's eyes return shortly after). The Marvel Productions text takes its place below the logo.
Trivia: The reason for the MP logo being absorbed and then mysteriously reappearing is to provide a place to cut the logo so that it is not as long. In most cases, however, the logo is shortened so that only the tail-end of the animation is seen. This logo was animated at Digital (Last Starfighter) Productions. The concept of the chrome Spidey flying through space was bizarre, but that was the assignment.
- In its logo's first year, the logo is tinted entirely in light blue.
- Starting in 1987, a byline "A NEW WORLD COMPANY" is shown below the logo.
- On later episodes of Muppet Babies, a copyright stamp for Jim Henson Productions fades in below.
- Sunbow-Marvel Combo Variant: See Sunbow Entertainment for description.
- A still version existds.
FX/SFX: EXCELLENT CGI effects! Even today, the CGI effects were ahead of its time.
Music/Sounds: A THX-like "chord" sound with some futuristic "whooshes". On the video release of the 1989 X-Men pilot, a dramatic synth tune is heard. At other times, the ending theme plays over it.
Availability: Rare. The short version was seen on many shows, including later episodes of Defenders of the Earth, the late 1980's Marvel Action Universe block (Dino Riders, RoboCop, and the Pryde of the X-Men pilot), the first season of Biker Mice from Mars (with the second season New World Animation took over), the animated Blondie & Dagwood special (and its' sequel, Second Wedding Workout), Rude Dog & The Dweebs, Spacecats, and the animated adaptation of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It was most notably seen on Henson co-produced shows like Muppet Babies and Fraggle Rock (the animated version). The longer version can be considered extinct; it was mainly used on early 90's video releases of Marvel material.
Scare Factor: Low to medium for the longer version, as people may get caught off guard by the dramatics, the creepy looking CGI Spider Man might also freak out some viewers. Minimal for the short version, but both versions just have very good computer animation.