Nearly everyone who was alive and breathing at any point during the 90s is familiar with X-Men: The Animated Series. In fact, it was odd for a child in this time period to NOT refer to those around them as “bub”.
It aired from 1992 to 1997, and it gave 90s children both one of the best animated action shows ever made and one of the greatest theme songs for any show ever.
Despite how much Jubilee sucked, this was easily the brightest moment in the life of the X-Men series. Things were not always this glorious.
Just a decade before, Marvel was riding high with the success of their animated shows, in particular Spider-Man. Trying to bank off of this success, they decided it was time to make a series for their most popular super hero group, The X-Men.
From a creative standpoint, it made perfect sense: the group had multiple key members, which lead to plenty of story lines to follow. Characters who weren’t popular could just be easily removed without hindering the creators ability to continue the show.
In fact, they went ahead and removed Morph in the very first episode.
In 1989, however, Marvel did the unthinkable. They took a concept that should have been an instant success and completely botched it.
Thus, X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men was created.
The obnoxious “Y” in the name of the pilot episode was the least of their problems. The writing was awful. The action was rushed. The plot was nearly non-existent. The voices were terrible.
But most shockingly, they found the absolute LEAST likeable character to name the pilot after: Kitty Pryde.
The show focused on an unbelievably 14-year-old girl who could walk through walls. In the episode, she has inexplicably abandoned her family to go meet a strange man who invited her to his mansion.
Stranger danger, Kitty. Stranger Danger.
Nobody seemed to really mind having a teenage girl as a member of a crime fighting team. However, this ridiculous truth proved to be only the tip of the iceberg for what was wrong with this show.
Pryde of the X-Men very obviously showed LITTLE thought. Just a few of the things that should have been solved with an actual planning session:
Magneto and his group of villains are so up front about things that they actually named their group the Brotherhood of Mutant Terrorists.
The characters costumes were awful.
And the Canadian character Wolverine had an Australian accent.
That’s right, due to a writing mistake, one of the major characters in the X-Men Universe came out with the wrong nationality.
In the original script, Wolverine referred to the character Pyro (who WAS an Aussie) as a “dingo”. However, during rewriting, Wolverine somehow ended up calling the character Toad (who was simply useless) as a “dingo.”
Besides this being an obviously terrible insult, it ended up meaning that the man providing Wolverine’s voice misread this and needlessly turned him into an Australian.
Most surprisingly, nobody figured this was important enough to correct. Of course, this was the 80s, where plenty of mistakes were made.
So beyond a horrible character to name the show after, a rushed plot, and key characters having the wrong accent, there had to be SOMETHING redeemable about Pryde of the X-Men, right?
Right. The theme song.
While the 90s show was known for its iconic theme, Pryde of the X-Men had this sadly overlooked gem:
Look at the way the word “X-MEN” comes closer on the echo! REVOLUTIONARY ANIMATION, GUYS.
Pryde of the X-Men may not have instantly spawned a series like Marvel had hoped (though the pilot was shown multiple times until 1992 for some reason), there were some positives. For example, it happened to inspire one of the greatest arcade video games ever.
And at the very least, it now serves as an example of what to never, EVER do when coming up with an animated action series.
Join us on Friday for a full breakdown of the entire episode!
What is your favorite animated action series?