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Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood

X-Men: The Animated Series - Season 1

The X-Men animated series debuted on October 31, 1992 on the Fox Network as part of the "Fox Kids" Saturday morning lineup. The plot was loosely adapted from famous storylines and events in the X-Men comics, such as the Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, the Phalanx Covenant, and the Legacy Virus. The show features a team line-up similar to that of the early 1990s X-Men comic books: the lineup largely resembles that of Cyclops' Blue Team, established in the early issues of the second X-Men comic series. Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey and Professor X were featured as the X-Men.

X-Men: The Animated Series - Season 1

The series' first 13 episodes were notable for being possibly the first time that an animated series had a full season of episodes flow one into the next, creating a single continuing narrative, something the series producers fought heavily for. However, starting with season three, most episodes (except for multi-part stories) were shown in random order.

Each episode was assigned two different numbers internally. One was for script order, which indicates the number assigned by the production company. The other was for the production order, which are the official episode numbers assigned by Fox Children's Network, indicating the order in which they received the episodes. These both vary from the order in which the series actually aired after season three. According to series writer Steven Melching, the script order is the "best guide in terms of overall series continuity, as this is how the stories were originally envisioned to flow together."[1]

The X-Men also appeared on Spider-Man in episodes "The Mutant Agenda" and "Mutants' Revenge". Storm later appeared in the three-part episode "Secret Wars" on the good side against the evil side. The series was canceled after the episode "Graduation Day", which aired on September 20, 1997. The X-Men animated show was the longest-running Marvel Comics animated series, lasting for six years, with five seasons and a total of 76 episodes until their record was beaten by Ultimate Spider-Man, when its 77th episode aired on October 17, 2015.[2]

"Beyond Good and Evil" was meant to be an ending to the series, until Fox decided to buy more episodes at the last minute.[citation needed] As such, the final six episodes produced have a different animation style. To save money, Saban produced the final episodes of the series in house rather than involving Graz Entertainment, to whom it had outsourced production of the series until that point. Saban hired a studio in the Philippines (simply called the Philippine Animation Studio, which also worked on the second season of the 1994 Fantastic Four series) because the animation studio AKOM (the company that did the previous four seasons) was unavailable due to other projects in their pipeline.

X-Men, also known as X-Men: The Animated Series, is an animated superhero television series which debuted on October 31, 1992, in the United States on the Fox Kids Network.[5] X-Men was Marvel Comics' second attempt at an animated X-Men TV series after the pilot, X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men, was not picked up.[6]

Because of the production delays and animation errors in these two episodes, Fox threatened to sever AKOM's contracts.[4] When Fox re-aired the pilot in early 1993, the errors were corrected.[9] The series earned top ratings throughout its first season,[4] and was renewed for a second season of 13 episodes. Throughout the series run, producers had to deal with quality control issues including attempts to cut costs, requests to change the tone of the series to something more child-friendly as well to integrate toys being sold into the show.[3]

X-Men crossed over with the animated series Spider-Man, when Spider-Man seeks out the X-Men's help to stave off his progressing mutation. In the abbreviated form of the Secret Wars storyline, the Beyonder and Madame Web selected Spider-Man to lead a team of heroes including Storm against a group of villains. An earlier draft of "Secret Wars" involved all of the X-Men, but transporting the voice cast from Canada to Los Angeles, where production for the Spider-Man animated series was based, had been too costly in previous crossovers, so the episode was re-written to include only Storm, whose actress, Iona Morris, lived in Los Angeles. Hulk and She-Hulk were excluded from the episodes because[citation needed] the Incredible Hulk animated series featuring the characters was airing on rival network UPN.[13]

The original opening sequence features the X-Men demonstrating their mutant abilities to a now very distinctive instrumental theme (written by Ron Wasserman). This intro is used throughout the first four seasons. A modified version is eventually introduced in season five, episode one ("Phalanx Covenant, Part One"). In this new intro, the beginning of the theme is slightly changed. When UPN began airing repeats on Sunday mornings, an alternate credits sequence was used: a high-quality Japanese-animated version of the original opening. This modified version occasionally appears in the digital streaming release of the show, which was used for re-runs on Toon Disney.[citation needed]

X-Men originally aired on TV Tokyo from 1994 through 1995. For the TV Tokyo dub of the series, the intro was replaced with a new, Japanese-animated sequence as well as a new theme called "Rising" (ライジング), by the band Ambience (アンビエンス). Starting with episode 42, a second new intro was used, featuring the song "Dakishimetai Dare Yori Mo" (抱きしめたい誰よりも...). The end credits sequence was also changed: it featured shots of American X-Men comic books set to the song "Back to You" (バックトウユー), also by Ambience.

X-Men Adventures was a comic book spin-off of the animated series. Beginning in November 1992, it adapted the first three seasons of the show; in April 1996, it became Adventures of the X-Men, which contained original stories set within the same continuity.[23] The comic book lasted until March 1997, shortly after the show's cancellation by the Fox Network.

Additionally, stories featuring the same characters were print through the 19 issues run of Spider-Man Magazine, published between March 1994 and March 1997, alongside stories inspired by the animated series Spider-Man.

In the 2022 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, produced by Marvel Studios, the theme song from the TV series (orchestrated by Danny Elfman and credited as X-Men '97 Theme) is played when Charles Xavier (portrayed by Patrick Stewart) first appears; in the film, unlike his previous performances as the character in Fox's X-Men franchise, Stewart's Xavier is visually redesigned to match his animated counterpart, complete with his iconic green suit, blue and black tie, and yellow hoverchair.[35]

The popularity and success of X-Men, along with Batman: The Animated Series (which also debuted in the 1992-93 season), helped launch a number of 1990s-2000s animated series based on comic book series.

X-Men was one of the longest-lasting series on Fox Kids, and next to Batman: The Animated Series, its most acclaimed and successful to date.[citation needed] Despite its final new episode airing in late 1998 after 5 complete seasons, Fox did not remove the show from the line-up until 1998. The show is also one of the highest-rated and most-viewed Saturday morning programs in American history. During its peak years (1995 and 1996), the show was often shown weekday afternoons, in addition to Saturday mornings.[citation needed]

X-Men stands as the longest running Marvel Comics based show, running for five seasons and 76 episodes. The next longest-running, Spider-Man (1994 animated series), lasted for five seasons and 65 episodes.

Fox canceled the series in large part because the network did not like that Marvel Studios controlled their most popular animated series. Thus, they pulled the plug on both X-Men and Spider-Man animated series despite the fact that both received good ratings. Many fans predicted the series' cancellation because of the noticeable drop in the quality of the animation and story during the second half of the final season. Fox soon realized just how popular the X-Men animation series was when ratings dropped 31% after the network stopped showing it in heavy rotation.[citation needed]

George Buza, the voice actor for Beast in X-Men: The Animated Series, has explained why the character was sidelined for most of season 1 of the show. The veteran voice actor, who has performed in over 150 movies and TV shows, including a brief cameo as the trucker who picks up Rogue in the first X-Men movie, found his character sidelined in the first season of the early 90s animated show.

In the second episode of the show, Beast is arrested and thrown in jail for infiltrating the Mutant Control Agency and is only seen in brief cameos throughout the rest of the season as he languishes in prison. However, the character is helped to escape in season 2, and from that point on plays a much more significant role in the series, eventually appearing in more episodes of X-Men: The Animated Series than any other character, besides the ever-popular Wolverine.

The character's fate in season 1 of the animated show is similar to what happened to him in the first X-Men trilogy. Beast didn't appear in either of the first two movies and was added to X-Men: The Last Stand played by Kelsey Grammer, where he was finally able to hold his own alongside the other classic X-Men characters. Beast then became a core member of the team following the reboot of the series with X-Men: First Class, where he was portrayed by Nicholas Hoult, who reprised the role in X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. 041b061a72


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