X-Men: The Animated Series Now Streaming on Disney+! Watch the trailer below!
As a child of the 90s, there were really only three superhero cartoons that defined the era for most kids. The best, was of course, the absolute classic Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, and X-Men: The Animated Series. Batman: The Animated Series aired on Kid’s WB, while Spider-Man, and X-Men: The Animated Series were both on Fox Kids or Fox (Though there may have been some overlap at some point). I was a Batman and Spider-Man kid all the way, I loved both of the shows. Those shows were the reason I started reading comic books. When I went to my local comic book store, while I was in middle school, I asked the owner to set me up with the Spider-Man and Batman comic books.
While Spider-Man has its charms, it doesn’t hold a candle to Batman: The Animated Series, which still holds up as one of the best television shows of all time. It may surprise you to hear that, despite my love for superhero comics and my love of the X-Men in general, for some reason I never got into X-Men: The Animated Series. It was a big deal for all the kids I went to school with, but something about just turned me off and I never got into it. As time went on and I started to get into actual comic books and I became a huge X-Men comic book fan I would check out random episodes here and there, but I hadn’t seen very much of the show. At that point X-Men: Evolution had begun to coincide with the X-Men live action films that were being released. However, to many people who grew up in that era, X-Men: The Animated Series is the definitive take on the characters. I knew a lot of people who based their expectations of the X-Men films on what was done on the animated series. Like I said, I haven’t seen more than a few episodes, but from what I understand they took on classic stories like The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, and Age of Apocalypse.
The one problem I will really always have with an X-Men cartoon that’s aimed at kids, is that I think the subject matter just doesn’t translate well to a heavily censored audience. One of the biggest issues I‘ll always have is the fact that everyone’s favorite character from that series is Wolverine. I’ve viewed Wolverine as a perfect example of main stream popular culture’s fundamental misunderstanding of comic book superheroes. Let me see right away, this is something that has hugely improved over the last few years. I think that as a culture, we have become more understanding that superhero stories run the gamut from something that’s appropriate for young children to stories that are only appropriate for adults. The example I love give is, when Batman Returns came out, McDonald’s had toys for that film in their happy meals as part of a promotional deal. Yet that is one of the most fucked up, dark, superhero movies that exists. The Penguin bites a guy’s nose off at one point. Which brings me back to X-Men: The Animated Series and the man called Logan. When Wolverine, one of the main protagonists of an animated show aimed at children, whose defining ability are the razor sharp adamantium claws that shoot out from his hands, there’s a disconnect between content and audience. I mean, there’s only so many times someone can throw a chair at him and he cuts it in half with his claws, with the pieces knocking the assailant out. Or Wolverine cuts a door or weapon. Come on, those things were created for one thing and one thing only and that is to take chunks out of people and stab them until they’re dead. But obviously you can’t do that on a kids show. I always felt like there was extra silliness to the character because it was so obvious that he was being toned down just by the very nature of his powers. His powers revolve around his excellence at murdering people, it’s just right there. Anyway that’s my nitpick.
The point is that, up untill now, X-Men: The Complete Animated Series was never available easily on any streaming service or even some of the major digital purchasers. And there’s never been a DVD or Blu-ray release for The Complete Animated Series or even season by season. Well, that has all changed with Disney+, for the first time X-Men: The Animated Series is available in it’s entirety on Disney+. I think they know that they have an asset with this series, not only will all the original fans go out of their way to watch and enjoy the show, but many of those original fans will share the series with their own children. So Disney+ has putout a special trailer to commemorate the X-Men: The Complete Animated Series becoming fully available on their streaming service. It’s actually pretty cool. Check it out here:
Unfortunately they missed the opportunity to include the iconic X-Men opening theme song. If they put out this trailer, with the X-Men theme song playing at some point in the background, people would be running to their tablets and computers to sign up for Disney+. Even though it isn’t in this pretty cool trailer, the theme song is so goddamn catchy I wanted to make sure I included here for your viewing and listening pleasure…
It’s always worth noting that Disney+ may be promoting the show to gauge audience interest in producing a new season. That’s just conjecture, but it’s worth asking the question. Disney+ actually has a fantastic back catalogue of TV shows, especially when it comes to great cartoons from the 90s and early 2000s. You can find Spiderman: The Complete Animated Series, the aforementioned X-Men: Evolution, and a lot more to discover and explore. My personal favorite is the classic 90s Disney Afternoon series, Gargoyles, which is available in its entirety streaming on Disney+. This show is ridiculously fucking good. It is amazing the shit they got away with for a late 90s cartoon on Disney Afternoon. It is extremely dark, there are on screen murders, they even swear a few times, which is crazy for any animated series that is directed at children. The show is so fucking cool, deep, with characters that are compelling and fascinating, along with a rich and complex mythology that sucks you in. I will definitely write a much longer article about why you need to go out of your way to watch Gargoyles, because it’s fucking awesome. In fact, rumor has it for a while now that Jordan Peele actually wants to make a live action Gargoyles movie, which would be fucking amazing. I really hope that one comes through. Anyway I thought you guys might be interested in these trailers and the info about what is available over on Disney+. Enjoy your binge watching and bring your kids if you have them, I guess. Or screw your kids, go enjoy yourself, pawn your kid off on your spouse or just let them walk around in the yard or some thing. Lock yourself in a room for a few hours and kick back to a time when you were the kid instead of worrying about your goddamn kid. That’s pretty good advice right? All you need is a leash attached to one of those runners that goes across the yard, so kid can just run back and forth and tire itself out. Set out a bowl of water, watch your cartoons, and you’re good to go.
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