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DVD Review: X-Men (1992) – Volume 1 & 2

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The Show

The fans have finally gotten what they’ve been wanting for years. If you’ve ever spent any time on tvshowsondvd.com, you’d know that X-Men the Animated Series has consistently been in the top five most-wanted programs that haven’t been released on DVD yet.

X-Men the Animated Series chronicles the story of the X-Men, which closely resembles the story in the early comics. The cartoons aired Saturday mornings on Fox and enjoyed a long life-span as far as Saturday morning cartoons are concerned.

Disney acquired the rights to the cartoon, and decided to finally bring it out on DVD. As Disney is known to do, these releases are volumes, not straight seasons. But, contrary to some other Disney cartoons, like Phineas and Ferb, Disney does end up including all of the episodes in chronological order.

Volume 1 contains all of season one including the two-part pilot episode "Night of the Sentinels" and part of season two. Volume 2 picks up where volume one left off and contains the rest of season two, and the starting half of season three, "The Phoenix Saga."

Most of the dialogue is cheesy one-liners, like Gambit’s continuous Cajun sayings, but memorable just the same. It is interesting how deep some of the storylines are considering this was a cartoon created for children. People that enjoyed the cartoon as kids, will still be able to enjoy it, but just on a deeper level. The battle between humans and mutants and the fight for acceptance rivals that of the live-action movies, in depth and understanding.

The Quality

Each cartoon is presented in its original 1.33:1 fullscreen aspect ratio.

Many of the fans of the series have had to turn to YouTube and videotaped recordings to view these X-Men cartoons, so this certainly will be a step up in quality for them.

The cartoons aren’t overly colorful, or bright, but still the transfers look solid. A few blips and spots appear every now and then, but that’s to be expected for such old shows.

The sound seems a little suspect, and is fairly muted throughout. I had to turn it up passed where I regularly keep my volume to get clear and accurate dialogue, but again with something this old, you really can’t expect anything less.

In any case this is leaps and bounds away from huddling in front of a computer screen trying to watch a pixilated YouTube player.

Special Features

Besides the French and Spanish language tracks and subtitles, these two volumes come with nada in the way of special features. It’s understandable that just the releasing of these cartoons is an achievement, but to not include any special features at all, is somewhat of a travesty.

Not too long ago The Real Ghostbusters was released by Time-Life in a full series compilation, which was jam-packed with special features. You could really tell the producers of that set went all out to please long-time fans of the show. Adding no special features here is a bad sign for quite a few different reasons. It shows that Disney, while releasing the cartoons was a good move, didn’t think too much more about fans of the show. It also gives off an air of nervousness. Because Disney didn’t spend any time putting together any supplemental material, it seems that they wouldn’t think much about not releasing the rest of the seasons if sales are not where they should be with these ones.

Ending Thoughts

It’s been a long time coming! Fans of the show should be thrilled that these cartoons finally got released. No special features make these volumes seem pretty thin, but the show itself is exactly what people remember and love.

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