Steve Gordon, director/designer for Kids' WB!'s X-Men: Evolution animated series, says the show's creators were striving for a look different than the previous Fox Kids' series.
"We knew we wanted to do something that was easy for animation, that would move well. We didn't want to overdo it. We didn't want to overdraw," Gordon states. "We didn't want to put too much line work in it because that never works well. All the shows that have done that in the past have suffered artistically because of that. We knew the kind of simplistic approach we wanted to use.
"From there, it was just a matter of deciding just the types of figures we wanted."
Gordon said the creators originally went for more of an anime approach with longer, leaner figures.
"Slowly we ended up pulling back and back from that to where we are, which is essentially a reasonable, realistic look, except that if you would measure these bodies up against a normal human's, they'd be way off," Gordon said. "The torsos are extremely short and the legs are long.
"The style of the actual drawing, once again, we wanted to go for a simple approach. I fell back on a style I learned back at Disney, which is straights against curves, which also gives a very dynamic look. It's a simple look, but it's a strong look because it forces a dynamic into the drawing that you don't normally get, especially with Saturday morning animation."
In terms of costumes, Gordon said the show's creators tried several approaches, even using the very first X-Men costumes before selecting a traditional-yet-new look.
"Even though it's a cartoon, a lot of it is a much more realistic look," Gordon said. "If you look at the costuming, even though they're wearing skin-tight spandex, they all have wrinkles and bags around their knees and ankles. It's a little more realistic than what the Fox show did. It's not just people running around in tights. To a certain degree, it could be used for live-action costuming if you wanted to. Obviously, it's still people in tights, but it's a little more realistic approach to it, I think."