Review By Stu, Media By James Harvey
Episode #1 - Night Of The Sentinels, Part One
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy
Animation Services By: AKOM
Guest Starring: Cal Dodd as Wolverine, Norm Spencer as Cyclops, Cedric Smith as Professor Charles Xavier, Iona Morris as Storm, Chris Potter as Gambit, Lenore Zann as Rouge, George Buza as Beast, Catherine Disher as Jean Grey, Court as Jubille, Ron Rubin as Morph, Len Carlson as Senator Kelly, Barry Flatman as Henry Peter Gyrich and David Fox as The Sentinels.
Review:In the fall of 1992, Marvel had accomplished a task they long thought impossible. They finally got an X-Men cartoon on the air. A pilot was produced years earlier, but the series was never picked up. With their own production company shut down, and no new Marvel series on the air for years, it was doubtful as to when fans would see the merry mutants get their own animated series. Thankfully, when the former head of Marvel Productions became President of the FOX Network, The Uncanny X-Men finally got their time on TV.
X-Men, the first of Marvelís foray into animation in the 1990ís is widely regarded as the best. The pilot is also one of the best episodes of the show. It undoubtedly works better when watching both parts together, as very little actually happens in part 1, other than introducing the characters and the showís premises.
The main focus was to introduce the characters, and the world they live in. Using The Sentinels this early on was a risk, after all, in some respects, The Sentinels are the X-Menís worst nightmare, the very opposite of what they stand for and couldíve been used to a great effect in a later episode, much like X-Men: Evolution later did. Alas, The Sentinels worked perfectly in this episode and proved to be more than a match for The X-Men. One of the things I liked most about the episode was that their first mission was a complete and utter disaster. The destroyed the files sure, but Morph was killed (on Saturday morning!) and Beast was arrested and jailed for the entire first season.
The episode opens with Jubilee, the annoying brat and her parents discussing the problems with having their child being a mutant. It also served as a great build up to The Sentinels appearance, with it crushing everything in site.
The mall scene was a pretty weird, in that it didnít really use any of the more popular characters until Cyclops appeared at the end. For an action cartoon, the premiere episode had very little action in it. The mall fight was the only fight throughout the episode. Considering this is an early 90ís cartoon, it was quite odd, as most had a good, 2 or 3 fights in them. If X-Men was anything, it was different from practically every other cartoon ever made. Such diversity isnít to be found on Saturday morning cartoons anymore, unfortunately.
I thought attacking the mutant control agency in the first episode was a solid idea. It showed that whilst they fought for mutant rights, they were reluctant to breaking the law but would do it, if forced.
Overall, the episode served as a solid introduction and featured a pretty good cliffhanger. Not a lot happened, with so many characters to introduce and tell their story of why they did what they did, itís forgivable. It introduced the incredibly annoying Jubilee sure, but you canít win them all. Part 2 however, completely surpassed the quality of this episode.