It’s not an exaggeration to say that if there was no X-Men: The Animated Series, the boon of Marvel animation in the nineties wouldn’t have happened. Coming out of a failed pilot and wanting to replicate some of the success of Batman: The Animated Series, more than one career lay on the line when X-Men was ordered straight to season at Fox Kids.
Thankfully, it all paid off, and the five-season run from October 1992 up to September 1997 was a very lucrative time for all involved. With Eric Lewald as showrunner, Mark Edens as writer and Larry Houston as director, taking heavy inspiration from Jim Lee’s X-Men comics run, the show is a benchmark for quality American animation.
Thanks to Disney+, you won’t need to gather up numerous DVD box-sets, as you can now watch X-Men: The Animated Series online, where it’ll be streaming.
Here’s how to watch X-Men: The Animated Series streaming online:
How to Stream ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’
X-Men: The Animated Series is one of the fan-favorite Disney original movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream X-Men: The Animated Series and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “X-Men”
- 5. Tap on “X-Men: The Animated Series”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.Start Your Free Trial
‘X-Men: The Animated Series’: Overview
When Was It On TV: October 1992 – September 1997
Creators: Eric Lewald, Sidney Iwanter, Mark Edens, Larry Houston
Starring: Norm Spencer, Cathal J. Dodd, Lenore Zann, Alison Sealy-Smith, George Buza, Chris Potter
Synopsis: Ostracized and oppressed in society, the mutants of Xavier’s School for Gifted Children form a superhero team that protects the world from mutants and villains that are out to destroy or enslave humankind.
X-Men: The Animated Series Plot
Professor X leads the X-Men, a team of his best and most gifted students, against the forces of evil, particularly other mutants that wish to do harm to society. Featuring many of the most famous mutants in the comics, like Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Beats, the group butt heads against the likes of Sabretooth, Magneto and Apocalypse as they stand firm to protect humanity.
How Many Seasons of ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ Are There?
The X-Men animated series ran for five seasons, from October 1992 to September 1997. Running between 13 and 19 episodes each, the seasons each followed a broad over-arching story with specific adventures inter-mingled within, involving the mutants facing a particular enemy, mystery or struggle.
X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1
13 Episodes | October 1992 – March 1993
The X-Men face a new government initiative to control mutants, the Sentinels, and have to navigate Magneto’s efforts to start a mutant-human war.
X-Men: The Animated Series Season 2
13 Episodes | October 1993 – February 1994
The X-Men scramble as Professor Xavier and Magneto are transported back in time to the Savage Land, leading to stories that delve into some of the team’s pasts.
X-Men: The Animated Series Season 3
19 Episodes | July 1994 – June 1995
The show adapts the Dark Pheonix saga, pitting the X-Men against Jean Grey at the peak of her powers in a cosmic battle for her life and the fate of planet Earth.
X-Men: The Animated Series Season 4
16 Episodes | September 1995 – May 1996
The mutant team have a prolonged face-off with Apocalypse, the all-powerful first mutant, involving time-travel and alternate time-lines.
X-Men: The Animated Series Season 5
14 Episodes | September 1996 – September 1997
The final season relies more on stand-alone narratives, focusing on the disparate characters like Cyclops and Jubliee and further fleshing out their background on solo excursions, before bringing the series to a close.
The Best X-Men: The Animated Series Episodes
Having over 70 episodes, X-Men: the Animated Series contains many highlights that are at once brilliantly animated and contain poignant character moments that have helped make the team a pillar of pop culture.
Here’s a list of the best X-Men: The Animated Series episodes:
Season 1, Episode 13: “The Final Decision”
Political intrigue and comic book action inter-twine in the final episode of the first season where the X-Men team-up with arch-rival Magneto to stop the Sentinels, giant robots made to nullify mutants and stop Master Mold from turning the world’s politicians intro computers. Hare-brained and action-packed, it’s an early example of the scale and drama the series was capable of.
Season 2, Episode 10: “Beauty and the Beast”
In a solemn episode, Beast, the blue-furred Hank McCoy, and one of his blind patients fall in love. But her family hates mutants, until the X-Men help save from a criminal group known as ‘Friends of Humanity’.
Season 3, Episodes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7: “The Phoenix Saga Parts 1 – 5”
In light of the X-Men movies failing to put this epic, cosmic tale to screen twice, X-Men: the Animated series’ adaptation is a strong, and remarkably comic accurate take on Jean Grey fusing with a an alien force. Told over five parts, the plot delves in Professor X-s capabilities and digs into what happens when the X-Men truly fear for one of their own.
Season 4, Episode 12: “Have Yourself A Morlock Little X-Mas”
Some delightful Christmas shopping between Wolverine, Storm and Jubilee is interrupted by a visit from the Morlocks, a misfit tribe of mutants Storm was once a part of. The trio agree to help a sick member of the Morlocks, and Storm officially gives her blessing to the underground group’s new leader.
Season 5, Episode 11: “Old Soldiers”
Captain America drops by in a flashback as wovlerine discusses serving in the second world war with America’s favourite superhero. The two had to infiltrate a Nazi base and battle the Red Skull.
‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ Voice Cast
Between the base team and the array of villains, X-Men: The Animated Series had an enormous cast and many of the voices have stuck with the characters as fan-favoutite depictions.
Cedric Smith as Professor Charles Xavier
A man of empathy and an incredible telepath, Charles is the wise owner of the school for gifted childre, giving young mutants a haven and training them to navigate a world where their powers are a ceaseless liability. A career-long TV actor, Cedric returned to Marvel to voice The Mentor in the Silver Surfer animated show.
Cathal J. Dodd as Wolverine
Perhaps the most famous mutant of all, Wolverine is one of Marvel’s most popular creations. The X-Man animated series delves right into his character, going into his romantic interest in Jean and his tragic history with Weapon X. Some of Cathal’s other work involved Goosebumps and Ned’s Newt.
George Buza as Beast
One of the warmest of the team, Hank ‘Beast’ McCoy is a gentle soul afflicted with the mutation of blue fur. George had many TV roles before and X-Men, including Maniac Mansion and Tales from the Cryptkeeper.
Norm Spencer as Cyclops
The leader of the X-Man and lover of Jean Grey, Cyclops is a competent leader capable of being disliked for his decisions. Norm has played Cyclops across many iterations including videogames, where he recently gave Cyclops his voice in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
Lenore Zann as Rogue
With her southern accent and wild brown hair with a white streak, Rogue is one of the more distinct mutants in the X-Men. Charming, but also vulnerable as her power to drain people at a touch means she struggles with real connection, Rogue requires a delicate touch that Zann brings to her voice and mannerisms. Acting across movies and TV, anime fans may know Zann from her work on Outlaw Star, and those who grew up in the nineties will recognize her as one of the cast-members from Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.
Catherine Disher as Jean Grey
One of the staples of the team, and up there with Wolverine for having the most dramatic storylines, Jean has a strong heart but her unruly powers – a level of telepathy that is unmatched – sometimes create deep trouble for her friends and team-mates. Acting in many genres, gaming fans may know as Jill Valentine in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.
Chris Potter as Gambit
The smooth-talking card-thrower with a french accent is one of the more charismatic X-Men, able to charm his way out of any scenario – and able to explode his way out if his wiles fail him. An actor in live-action and animation, Potter has held a main role in the series Heartland since 2007.
Alyson Sealy-Smith as Storm
Third in command of the X-Men, Storm is a ferocious protector of her team and advocate for mutant rights who can make the weather do her bidding at a moment’s notice. Sealy-Smith took over the role Iona Morris after the first season. Though she’s been involved in animation, Sealy-Smith has seen some Hollywood success, having had roles in the likes of Dark Water and Honey.
Alyson Court as Jubilee
The youngest X-Man, the series opens with Jubilee joining the school after she and her parents are attacked by sentinels. Playful and naive, she represents a youthfulness toward the X-Men, with her power to generate literal fireworks. Aside from Jubiless, Alyson Court’s held several ongoing roles, including Claire Redfield in the Resident Evil games and CGI movies, and Loonette in the pre-schooler show The Big Comfy Couch.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’?
Given that X-Men has such a wide array of enemies and side-characters to choose within the Marvel universe, guest stars strictly outside what X-Men fans expect tended to be rare. Still, among the recurring roles were a couple of surprises.
Here’s a list of the most important X-Men: The Animated Series guest stars:
The metal-skinned mutant who’s since co-starred in the two Deadpool movies opposite Ryan Reynolds, here is another mutant caught in the struggle for somewhere safe from human oppression. Not so much a regular in the world of Marvel, Cait has been working as the voice of Fryno on the Skylanders games.
One of the X-Men’s most reviled villains, every one of Apocalypse’s visits with his devotees, known as his ‘four horsemen’, in the series is a bad sign for the team. Wicked, all-powerful and, worst of all, convincing if you listen long enough, the first mutant presents an existential threat that takes the mutants to their limits. Colicos led a strong career, having appeared in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the original Battlestar Galactica among many others before passing away in 2000.
Bennett’s performance as the unstoppable force the Juggernaut may not be as meme-worthy as Vinnie Jones’ in X-Men: The Last Stand, he still gives the brute the gravitas and danger he deserves. Bennett also provided his talents for the videogames X-Men Vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’?
X-Men: The Animated Series was born from the ashes of a failed pilot in 1989, X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men. Margaret Loesch ordered the first season as one of her first moves as head of Fox Kids, with Sideny Iwanter as an accompanying Fox executive, Eric Lewald as showrunner, and Mark Edens as a story-writer in the development. South Korean animation studio AKOM provided the animation under Saban Entertainment, and nineties animation stalwart Larry Houston directed 62 of 75 episodes.
Bob Harras served as a story consultant for the entire run, while other names on the writing staff include Christ Claremont, Len Wein, Steve Melching, and Marty Isenberg among many others.
Eric Lewald: X-Men: The Animated Series Showrunner
Having now brought no less than 12 successful series to screen, Lewald is a mastermind of animations with a number of credits to his name. X-Men: The Animated Series was a huge hit for everyone involved, and in it, he shaped the perception of Marvel and the mutants for decades to come.
Mark Edens: X-Men: The Animated Series Writer
With a development credit on all 76 episodes, Mark is one of the central creative forces on the writing side of the show, having directly written the scripts for some of the biggest storylines, like the Dark Phoenix episodes. As a writer for animation, Mark Edens’ credits outside of X-Men include the CG-animated ReBoot, Robocop and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Larry Houston: X-Men: The Animated Series Director/Producer
One of the most hard-working creators of this era, Larry Houston was instrumental in putting together the iconic intro for the series, helping develop the colorful, kinetic visual language of the show. He directed 62 out of 76 episodes.
‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
It’s hard to understate the reaction to X-Men: The Animated series. Coming out of the failed pilot for Pryde of the X-Men, this show was a complete turn-around, becoming an instant hit. Reviews since, coinciding with re-releases on home media, have been universally positive, critics often referencing what a revelation the series was back in the early-to-mid nineties.
Where ‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ Ranks in the Television Pantheon
Without X-Men: The Animated Series, the general attitude towards Marvel would be very different. X-Men did for Marvel Comics what Batman: The Animated Series did for DC – completely solidified the brand as a household presence. Bringing mature, character-based storytelling to what was, functionally, children’s television, X-Men proved what could be done within serialized animation, as well as demonstrating the incredible tapestry comics had to offer. Reviews for the DVD box-sets were strong, DVDTalk praising the wide array of villains the show uses, and IGN saying it brought “Saturday morning fodder into a more imaginative realm.”
‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ Trailer
‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ Theme Song
Composed by Ron Wasserman, this is one of the great animation intros, the X-Men theme song is an iconic theme that introduces the drama and action of the show in equal measure.
‘X-Men: The Animated Series’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
1. A Comic Tie-In Ran Concurrent to the Series for Five Years
X-Men Adventures, based on the animated show, ran for 53 issues between 1992 and 1997.
2. The Show’s Success Was the Basis for the Marvel vs. Capcom Series
An arcade game, X-Men: Children of the Atom, was developed based on the show, which led directly to the Marvel Vs. Capcom series of fighting games.
3. X-Men Helped Saban Launch Mighty Morphing Power Rangers
Haim Saban credits the runaway success of X-Men: The Animated Series with helping him pitch and land the Power Rangers franchise.
4. The Theme Song is Currently Involved in a Lawsuit
A Hungarian man has sued Marvel over X-Men: The Aniamted Series’ theme song because he believes it to be plagiarized from Hungarian series Linda from the mid-eighties.
5. The Cast Was Recorded in Toronto
Although production per-dominantly occurred in Los Angeles, the cast performed their lines in a studio in Toronto under Dan Hennessy, where many of the cast of the sixties Marvel series had also recorded