Robot 6

Watch opening of 1990s X-Men cartoon, recreated with action figures

If you’re a comics fan who came of age in the ’90s watching the terribly animated X-Men cartoon as part of the Fox Kids Saturday morning lineup, you’ll likely appreciate this video, which recreates the show’s opening using action figures and stop-motion animation. According to Kyle Roberts’ YouTube page, he used more than 4,000 pictures, and “spent two months rotoscoping and animating all of the special effects.” Add to that the work done by Nathan Poppe on the doodle-style background, and the theme song recreated by Colin Nance and Zach Zellar.

And on top of all of that, there’s a mildly amusing framing sequence. Still, though, the stop-motion credits sequence is the star of the show.

(via Forbidden Planet International)

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20 Comments

Awwww… the X-Men cartoon wasn’t that badly animated. When it came out, there was a whole decade of horrible animated Hasbro properties and barely mobile Hanna-Barbera cartoons (like the rebooted Jetsons. With Orby). I remember seeing X-Men and going, “Wow, the characters don’t wildly change height from frame to frame? Pretty impressive!”

The replicated music, by the way, appears to lack a crucial element. The guitar is squealing, going, dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-DUUNNNNN!!!! And then… well, let’s say it’s missing an element crucial to to the glory of the X-Men theme song. The gong. Kinda disappointed.

“Terribly animated X-Men cartoon”? Not sure which cartoon you were watching. I just got done watching season three and it is still awesome sauce. Season 5 did have a dip in animation. PS Animated X-Men Wolverine is still the best Wolverine.

Huh, they added a Mystique vs. Nightcrawler battle where it would have been Jubilee running up to a chain link fence. …. Yep.

Dear Robot6

you have terrible taste, the X-Men cartoon still holds up! (its all on Netflix instant play)

and that theme song is the greatest cartoon theme from the 90s

Why is Fred Durst in this video? Brotastic…

Oh come on, are you telling me there’s no Avalanche action figure?

I wonder why everybody is so quick to pick up their own little flaws instead of admiring what’s been done here.

I think this if far better action figure stop motion. And hilarious to boot! http://www.youtube.com/user/TheShellShowLive

@ Kevin: There actually is an Avalanche figure. http://www.oafe.net/yo/xm_aval.php It is, however, quite rare, expensive to get and doesn’t look a thing like the classic version.

Man, I wish I could get five X-Men on the bridge of the Blackbird…

SO GOOD! Were the Jubilee and Jean figures custom made??

The Cyclops one looked different as well.

Great job, kudos to those involved. I have fond memories of that cartoon…

I realize I’m a real geek here, but that VHS box was for “Pryde of the X-Men,” not the 90s series.

I like doing stop-motion stuff now and then. Probably one thing I consider one of my best is having a Transformers: Armada Unicron play the piano, and then bowing after the performance.

This is already light years better than the terrible cartoon. Thumbs up.

To everyone saying the show holds up… watch any of the old Batman: Animated Series or Justice League and then immediately after watch X-Men. It didn’t even “hold up” to the shows of its own era!

I want that VHS/TV hybrid.

Great video, no doubt. I’m sure it took a ton of work to make sure the posing reflected the original art. This seems to be happening more and more. There were the folks who did something similar with the 60’s Jonny Quest opening, remember?

As far as critiquing titles of yester-decade, it happens. I look back at the Spider-Mans and X-Mens of the 90s and sure enough, relative to the hyper-polished and committee-driven scripts that pop out of networks nowadays, they’re clunky and stiff; but you have to contextualize the piece, because great action/adventure properties, cartoon or comic, always propel an industry and its artists forward.

@zik: see, I thought that was a false equivalency. In the large scheme of the things, nothing holds up to Batman: The Animated Series. It was in a class of its own, no doubt. (Justice League came out several years later.) Shoot. You could use that argument today. What’s better animated: Bob’s Burgers or Batman: The Animated Series? Batman, of course. But that doesn’t mean Bob’s Burgers is dragging its feet.

However, the best of the rest? X-Men wasn’t that bad. Let’s not forget that the same era included such stellar entries as ExoSquad, Biker Mice From Mars, James Bond Jr., King Arthur and the Knights of Justice, and the Carmen Sandiego cartoon. In the days before Cartoon Network existed (and even after when all they did was just air classic ‘toons), having not one, but two superhero shows that were decently animated was a godsend.

Brilliant, well done to all involved, I enjoyed picking out the different figures and the Sentinels looked great. And also, the cartoon animation was well good for the time!

X-Men had fair animation, it’s just with that much detail there are bound to be hiccups now and then. Sacrificing animation quality for picture quality.

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