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Beauty And The Beast
Review by Stu, Media by Jim Harvey

Episode #23 - Beauty And The Beast
Original Airdate 15th January 1994

Beast falls in love with one of his blind patients Carly, who is the daughter of a mutant-hater. Meanwhile, Wolverine infiltrates the Friends of Humanity headquarters.

Written By: Stephanie Mathison
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy
Animation Services By: AKOM
Guest Starring: John Stocker as Graydon Creed

Review: As a huge fan of this version of Beast, I think it's a great shame that was practically his only 'focus' episode. The creative team obviously thought Beast worked better in a team, rather than concentrate on his solo efforts. The same could be said for Gambit, who also only got one focus episode. I suppose it does work in a way, but to be honest, I thought Beast deserved a lot more than one full episode to himself. Wolverine aside, he was the most interesting member of The X-Men.

I always thought the Friends Of Humanity was a great idea, a fantastic foil for the mutants. They work so well, because, as Jean pointed out, if the mutants act violently towards them, the FOH are essentially proving the message they are trying to deliver, that mutants are too dangerous to be around 'normal' human beings. It was especially sweet to see Wolverine of all people prove them wrong, as Wolverine would've preferred to beat the living snot out of them. This series didnít have trouble remembering that Wolverine is an intelligent tactician too, not just a mindless savage he fought so hard not to become. The FOH did appear again in an episode towards the end of the show's run, called Blood Lines and that too was a fantastic episode.

The love angel between Beast and Carly was arguably one of the best the series did. I was so close to having a teary eyed moment when they had to say goodbye, and I've never cried at a cartoon before in my life. There was some great character development here from Beast, especially if you've seen 'The Mutant Agenda/Mutants Revenge' crossover from Spider-Man, which revealed how Beast came to be like he is, a product of his own hatred towards himself.

Beast was a character I've always felt a great sympathy for, more than likely because of the fact he was jailed for the first season. The scene in 'Enter Magneto', in which he appears before Court and is denied bail, was truly a defining moment in this series for me. It showed that this episode wasnít simply a good guy vs. bad guy ordeal, no; this series had far more depth to it. I often think if the series was done byÖ anyone but AKOM, it would be remembered in the same light as Batman: The Animated Series.I never read the comics before watching this show, so this was my first introduction to all of the X-Men. Beast was a specifically enhanced for me because he had an outstanding voice actor. I think everyone else who has portrayed him as got it wrong. They either were trying to sound too intelligent, or too animal-like. This version had a great mix of both. Undoubtedly the best Beast voice ever. I always liked his little poems and verses he would recite, the often gave a great understanding of the scene. A little off topic, but The Evolution Beast did this once too, in the Christmas episode, which put a nice smile on my face.

Overall, this episode stands out as one of my favourites. It was great to see one of the characters fight for mutant rights hitting so close to home for them.