X-Men: Pryde Of The X-Men
Music Composed By: Rob Walsh
Starring: Michael Bell as Cyclops/Scott Summers, Earl Boen as Colossus, Pat Fraley as Pyro, Alan Oppenheimer as The Blob, Susan Silo as The White Queen, Kath Soucie as Kitty Pryde, John Stephenson as Professor Charles Xavier and Frank Welker as The Toad/Lockheed (voice)
X-Men: Pryde Of The X-Men served as a self produced pilot that Marvel hoped to use an animated X-Men series to NBC. Although they didnít pick up the series, it did air as part of a Marvel marathon shortly after it was produced, but has found itís home as a video release.
The episode itself is enjoyable, and I certainly wouldnít have minded if it were to lead to a series, but the main standout here is the pilotís animation. It is stunning. Obviously, Marvel spent a little more on the featureís animation in hopes to lure the networks, but as it stands, it looks better than any of the other shows Marvel produced in the 80ís, and completely obliterates the visuals of the 1990ís X-Men show by comparison.
The story itself isnít anything remarkable, but each of the characters get a good appearance, and get to show off their fancy powers. Their designs are from the classic Claremont/Bryne era, with Wolverine in his adored tan suit, and Cyclops with his dome head and yellow underpants. Cyclops looked completely badass in this suit. The right mixture of shadow and yellow, it was what the 90ís X-Men design shouldíve looked like. With the awesome Michael Bell voicing the character, he really did stand out as the best represented of all the mutants. Unfortunately, Wolverine didnít come off so great. Whilst I liked his design, his voice was baffling. Why Canadian Wolverine was given an Australian remains a mystery, but it was simply odd to hear. The fact he did nothing but moan about Kittyís annoyance didnít really help matters. In short, they really dropped the ball on his version of Logan.
Most of the other cast came across pretty well; the only real annoyance was Kitty. I couldnít help but laugh at her ďDonít treat me like a kid! Iím 14 years old!Ē line. Whilst sheís not as annoying as Jubilee was in X-Men: The Animated Series, she came in close, quite impressive for a 22-minute episode. Iím not sure why Dazzler was included here whilst the likes of Beast, Iceman, Angel, hell, even Jean wasnít here. I assume it was simply based of the team that was in the comics at the time.
Magneto aside, the villains didnít really do a lot instead of being super powered henchmen. The majority of them had the same costumes as TAS, and, as you can guess, looked a hell of a lot better. Iíd have loved to see these animators work on TAS, which wouldíve been a real treat.
Overall, despite some odd casting and the occasional cheese, this episode is a perfectly enjoyable adventure with some brilliant visuals. Iím not too disappointed it didnít get picked up; X-Men TAS had better characters and writing, whereas this just serves as a very pretty one off episode. Grab it if you can find it, but donít feel too bad if you missed it.
To see storyboards for this episode, check out Storyboardpro.com