This one was actually tough to get a hold of, as apparently WMG (which isn’t getting along with YouTube these days) has the rights to the theme. So outside of going through Marvel’s site and posting a full episode, all I can give you is a low-quality video.
(Geez, guys, it’s a 1 minute intro.)
And the sad part is I’m only posting this today to post tomorrow’s “Not-So-Favorite Intro”, as I just felt like you needed this to see how to do it right. Still, Marvel creating the X-Men cartoon was probably the best move they made at the time. Of course, this being the gimmick and Liefeld ridden 1990’s, there isn’t a lot of competition. Still, you knew from the open that this show was going to be good, and it did not disappoint. At least not until the later seasons when the art quality went down and all the space aliens started popping up.
When Fox Kids began airing the X-Men cartoon, it was light on competition in the superhero cartoon department, as least as far as my memory recalls. Superfriends was long gone, and Batman: The Animated Series was also on Fox. (Odd that one network had the rights to two shows from competing comic companies. Yes, then Spider-Man came along.) While it didn’t really make me an “X-Fan”, it was a good show, and I do love their version of Nightcrawler. (It’s rare to see a Christian perspective treated fairly on TV these days, much less a cartoon.) It’s also where I first learned to hate Wolverine, which would continue as I saw him in the comics, and the more recent fanboyism that’s crept its way into how he’s written only makes it worse.
But the opening really sold you on the show. Premiering in Prime Time of all places (rare for a Saturday Morning show outside of the Friday night new season preview special–remember those?), they did a good job showing off each of the main characters and their powers. Each character had their own logo that showed up as each X-Man showed off his or her power (although we don’t see a lot of what Jean, Rogue, and Professor X can really do, which would be difficult) some cool action shots, and a kickin’ theme song. It all came together to perform an intro’s #1 job: let you know that this was going to be bloody epic!
And epic it was. Sure, a number of stories were taken right out of the older comics, but outside of comic fans, none of us knew that, or cared. The end result made you come back each Saturday to see what was going to happen. Was Morph really dead? Would Beast get released? Would Jubilee decide to stay with the group or be hunted down by some anti-mutant group? Granted the acting seemed a bit light on emotion at times, but most of the time you cared about the characters, with the A plot/B plot I look for in shows.
In later seasons they would redo the intro by updating the theme and dropping the character intros for random action shots from the series.
It was OK, but really it wasn’t the same. And in case someone wants to bring up the anime intros (because Japan loves to do their own intros to our shows–why is THAT never wrong, anime purists!?), yes, I’ve seen them and they may get their own entry in the future.
So why did I post this one when it’s not the one I wanted to talk about? Because I really wanted to bring up a knock-off version of this opening and decided to show off the original. Tomorrow, a poor imitation rears its ugly head.