X-Men: The Animated Series Almost Didn"t Survive Past Season 1

  • X-Men: The Animated Series almost ended after one season due to the initial show only being scheduled for 13 episodes.
  • The initial show's season 1 approval resulted in a successful five-season run.
  • The struggles faced by the creators of X-Men: The Animated Series make the success of X-Men '97 even more impressive and special.
Despite its success, X-Men: The Animated Series almost found itself ending after its very first season. Decades after X-Men: The Animated Series' ending - and with the release of X-Men '97 season 1 years later - the five-season long show is secure in its legacy as one of the best animated superhero adaptations of all time, and one of the best X-Men series as well. In many ways, this is a reputation only bolstered by the prestigious reputation of its successor series, especially since the X-Men '97 cast of characters brought back so many familiar faces.
However, things didn't always look this way for the series, as events took complicated looking turns at several points during the process of it being created, despite the Marvel installment's immense legacy now. Indeed, in the early days of X-Men: The Animated Series' run, it seemed as though the show would run for a substantial amount less time than it would go on to continue for, as it almost ended entirely after only its initial season.
Related X-Men '97 Season 2: Characters, Story & Everything We Know X-Men "97 Season 1 is now available on Disney Plus, and here is everything we know about Season 2"s characters, story details, and more.
X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1 Was Originally The Show's Only Season Close Prior to X-Men: The Animated Series' considerable success upon release, there was a lack of understanding and belief in how the series and its storylines could engage with audiences across many networks, which had led the show to struggle to get picked up. Not only were superheroes in general considered risky for adaptations, but the X-Men and their larger character roster also suggested a bigger risk via introducing too many figures at once.
As such, when X-Men: The Animated Series eventually was approved, it was not for the five season run that eventually ended up being reality, but for one lone season. However, this did give the show the opportunity to prove itself, leading to a sequel season.
In Assembled: The Making Of X-Men ’97, Eric and Julia Lewald explain that, since the initial X-Men: The Animated Series team was originally only hired for one 13 episode season, they were all let go after it, and hired again after the season aired and proved decidedly popular. This did present some issues, as some creatives had already signed up for other projects, but saw many of the main figures involved in the show return for the second season onwards.
Related 10 Best Quotes From X-Men '97 Season 1 X-Men ’97 season 1 has proven itself to be as iconic as the classic X-Men: TAS, proffering a swathe of celebrated scenes and perfect quotations.
X-Men: The Animated Series Was Almost Never Made Close While X-Men: The Animated Series almost running for only one season seems surreal now, the fact it almost had no seasons seems even more bizarre. But this is in fact the case, as Assembled: The Making Of X-Men ’97 also sees X-Men: The Animated Series creators the Lewalds and Avi Arad discuss how close the series came to never making it to fruition.
Arad explores this idea by stating that the show was pitched “during the eighties” but that “nobody in Hollywood thought it would be successful”. This is why the series first aired much later in 1992, after a considerable period of trying to get it off the ground in the first place. X-Men: The Animated Series season 1 gave the show and its crew a chance to prove its worth, but this simply wouldn't have been possible had it not been picked up in the first place, underlining just how fraught the early days were in spite of Stan Lee's own belief in the animated Marvel show's potential.
X-Men: The Animated Series' Initial Struggles Make X-Men '97 Even More Impressive Close When watching X-Men '97 and looking at its deservedly phenomenal reviews, it seems as though it was always destined to be a part of the Marvel landscape after X-Men: The Animated Series' ending, and that it was always par for the course that things would unfold as they did. However, it's clear looking back that things were far less concrete than they may appear now in hindsight, and that the original show came very close to not being fully realized at several points.
All of this makes X-Men '97 all the more special, as its smash success is not the result of inevitability, but rather the consistent and devoted work of those involved with both the new and old series. Without its committed cast dedicating themselves to their roles, dedicated animators working tirelessly to make visuals that would capture audiences hearts, and figures able to convince executives to give X-Men: The Animated Series at least one chance, hours of iconic Marvel scenes would have never been able to actually take place.
X-Men: The Animated Series Where to Watch *Availability in US
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X-Men: The Animated Series is a television show based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The series, which aired from 1992 to 1997, follows the adventures of a team of mutant superheroes, led by Professor Charles Xavier, as they fight for peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants in a world filled with prejudice and fear.
Cast Cedric Smith , Norm Spencer , Catherine Disher , Alison Sealy-Smith , Lenore Zann Release Date October 31, 1992 Seasons 5


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