X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men

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X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men
X-men pryde of the x-men cover.jpg
Genre Superhero
Action/Adventure
Science fiction
Drama
Created by

Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
(creators; unbilled)

Len Wein
Dave Cockrum
Chris Claremont
John Byrne
(concepts; unbilled)
Written by Larry Parr
Directed by Ray Lee (as "Direction Supervision")
Stu Rosen (voice director)
Voices of Michael Bell
Earl Boen
Andi Chapman
Pat Fraley
Ron Gans
Dan Gilvezan
Alan Oppenheimer
Patrick Pinney
Neil Ross
Susan Silo
Kath Soucie
John Stephenson
Alexandra Stoddart
Frank Welker
Narrated by Stan Lee
Composer(s) Robert J. Walsh
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 1
Production
Producer(s) Rick Hoberg
Larry Houston
Will Meugniot
Editor(s) Al Breitenbach
Marc Van Der Nagel (assistant editor)
Running time 30 min (including commercials)
Production company(s) Marvel Productions
New World Television
Toei Animation (Uncredited)
Baker and Taylor Entertainment
Metrolight Studios
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Broadcast
Original channel First-run syndication
Original airing September 16, 1989
Chronology
Followed by X-Men (TV series)
Related shows Marvel Action Universe
X-Men (arcade game)
External links
Website

X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men (commonly known as Pryde of the X-Men) is an animated television pilot originally broadcast in 1989 on the Marvel Action Universe television block, featuring Marvel Comicsmutant superheroes the X-Men.[1] The pilot aired infrequently in syndication, and was later released on video. It later served as the basis for Konami's X-Men arcade game.[2]

Overview[edit]

Television pilot[edit]

The title is a pun on the name of Kitty Pryde, the youngest of the X-Men. The series for which this episode was intended to launch never materialized; Marvel Productions would have to go back to the drawing board for 1992’s X-Men. Funding for this pilot actually came from the budget for RoboCop: The Animated Series. Instead of making a 13th episode of RoboCop, Marvel Productions decided to use their funding to have Toei Animation produce the animation for this pilot. The pilot itself is most specifically influenced by issues #129[3]-139[4] of Uncanny X-Men.

Shortly after this pilot was delivered, Marvel started having financial issues (New World Pictures, who purchased the Marvel Entertainment Group or MEG from Cadence Industries in 1986, sold MEG in January 1989 to the Andrews Group) and stopped work on just about everything but Muppet Babies. This pilot effectively marked the end of the Marvel animated universe created by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises/Marvel Productions, which began with Fantastic Four (1978) and continued with Spider-Woman (1979), Spider-Man (1981), Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981) and The Incredible Hulk (1982). The X-Men themselves had previously guest starred in several episodes of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, although that particular series isn't necessarily in the same continuity as "Pryde of the X-Men".

Main characters[edit]

Narrated by X-Men co-creator Stan Lee, Pryde of the X-Men stars Professor X and the X-Men (Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Wolverine, who speaks with an Australian accent despite being Canadian in the comics, Kitty Pryde, and Dazzler) saving the world from Magneto and his "Brotherhood of Mutant Terrorists" (Toad, the Blob, Pyro, who was identified as Australian, Juggernaut, and the White Queen, who in addition to her telepathic abilities, displays the ability to create "psy-bolts" – sometimes called "psionic energy spears" or "psychic harpoons" – that can damage physical objects, similar to her character's abilities in early comics). The X-Mansion, Danger Room,[5][6][7][8] Cerebro, Blackbird,[9][10] Asteroid M, and Lockheed the dragon, who was introduced as a pest on Asteroid M, are also featured.

Plot[edit]

The X-Men’s archenemy Magneto is being transported by a military convoy. Magneto is unable to use his powers, trapped in a force field—that is, until the White Queen appears. A member of his "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants", she scatters the escort and dismantles the field restricting Magneto, allowing him to use his magnetic powers to tear apart his portable prison and escape.

Elsewhere, Kitty Pryde arrives at Professor Xavier's to be trained to use her power of phasing, passing through solid matter. The Professor leads her to the Danger Room and introduces her to the X-Men: Cyclops, Colossus, Dazzler, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Wolverine. Kitty is frightened by Nightcrawler’s demonic appearance and almost causes the Danger Room to go haywire, making Wolverine insist that the X-Men don’t have room for children.

Magneto sends Pyro and Blob to retrieve the tracking coordinates for the Scorpio comet approaching Earth. This has the secondary goal of diverting the X-Men while Magneto and Juggernaut invade the X-Mansion. The Professor learns from Magneto’s thoughts that they have come for the "mutant power circuit" of Cerebro (the mutant-tracking computer). He gives it to Kitty and orders her to flee, but Magneto captures it.

The X-Men return from their confrontation with Blob and Pyro to find the mansion in ruins and the Professor and Kitty unconscious. Xavier once again reads Magneto’s thoughts, this time learning the full details of his plan. Magneto plans to redirect the passing Scorpio comet onto a collision course with Earth. This would send up a cloud of dust and debris, blocking out the Sun for years, plunging the planet into another Ice Age, which would leave normal humans weakened, allowing the mutants to take over. The X-Men leave at once for Magneto’s orbiting sanctuary Asteroid M, but the X-Men instruct Kitty to stay, as the mission is far too dangerous. Kitty, however, wanting to prove her worth and make amends for her previous failure, phases aboard the Blackbird and hides, with the Professor's blessing.

Upon reaching the asteroid, each X-Man quickly becomes engaged with an obstacle on the way to Magneto: Storm is needed to cover the breach the X-Men blow into Asteroid M; Cyclops battles White Queen, Colossus engages Juggernaut, Dazzler takes on Pyro, and Wolverine traps Toad. Only Nightcrawler (after effortlessly teleporting past the Blob) finally confronts a gloating Magneto as the Scorpio comet is approaching Earth. As Magneto is about to blast Nightcrawler, Kitty emerges from the floor, causing Magneto to accidentally blast the wiring of his device. Nightcrawler teleports up and uses his body as a conduct, while Kitty knocks Magneto onto the platform, using his power to redirect the comet's course towards Asteroid M. Nightcrawler must risk sacrificing himself to complete the machine's circuit, or the comet changes course back to Earth.

The X-Men watch from the Blackbird for Nightcrawler to teleport at the last minute. The comet and asteroid collide, but Nightcrawler rematerializes out in space. The team attempts to retrieve him with the Blackbird's grappler arms before he burns up entering the atmosphere. They miss, and Nightcrawler disintegrates. The X-Men mourn their fallen teammate, and Kitty cries over how badly she had treated him earlier. But then coughing from one of the storage lockers revels that Nightcrawler has just managed to teleport himself into the plane before the atmospheric friction totally burned up his suit. While the X-Men give Kitty open credit for her efforts, Wolverine insists that Kitty is not a member of the X-Men—at least, not yet.

Credits[edit]

Cast[edit]

Michael Bell Cyclops & additional voices
Andi Chapman Storm & additional voices
Ronald Gans Juggernaut
Allen Oppenheimer Blob & Col. Chaffey
Neil Ross Nightcrawler
Kath Soucie Kitty Pryde
Alexandra Stoddart Dazzler & additional voices
Earl Bowen Magneto
Pat Fraley Pyro
Dan Gilvezan Colossus
Patrick Pinney Wolverine & additional voices
Susan Silo White Queen
John Stephenson Prof. X
Frank Welker Toad & Lockheed

Crew[edit]

Stan Lee Narration
Larry Parr Writer
Will Meugniot Producer
Ray Lee Animation director
Stu Rosen Voice director
Margaret Loesch & Lee Gunther Executive producers
Robert J. Walsh Composer

Critical response[edit]

The reaction from fans to the pilot is generally mixed. Although praised for its high quality animation,[11][12][13][14][15][16] fans simply felt that the pilot for the most part, came across as too campy[17][18] for a comic (especially under the guidance of John Byrne and Chris Claremont[19]) with often dark and adult oriented themes like X-Men. The on-screen action sequences had to be severely curtailed for a children's cartoon show, and the episode only superficially deals with the sort of social issues often dealt with in the comics, such as isolation, intolerance, racism and bigotry.

Furthermore, purists were not fond of the way certain characters were portrayed in the pilot. For instance, Kitty Pryde was seen in their eyes as coming across as too much of a whiny[17] damsel-in-distress (although this may have been intended to be the start of her character arc, eventually evolving into a stronger, more mature heroine).[19] Fans also found it confusing to see the White Queen be portrayed as a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants.[18][19][20][21] This Brotherhood was a mix of Magneto's group (with the inclusion of Toad) and Mystique's (with the inclusion of Pyro and the Blob) along with the previously unaffiliated Juggernaut and White Queen. Most importantly, fans were upset at the sound of the traditionally Canadian Wolverine, speaking with an Australian accent. This casting error seemed to stem from a brief run-through of the script in which, mockingly, Wolverine calls the traditionally Australian character Pyro, a dingo.[12][18][19][21] In the final version, however, Wolverine calls Toad a "dingo" rather than Pyro.

According to Rick Holberg (as taken directly from the book X-Men: The Characters and Their Universe), storyboard artist and finalizer for Pryde of the X-Men and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends:

I ended up being the voice director on the show, and I was forced to use the Australian version of Wolverine (which coincidentally, foreshadowed the casting of Australian actor Hugh Jackman in the live-action X-Men film), because all of this Australian stuff was popular at the time - the Mad Max films, Crocodile Dundee, and so on - it was going to turn out (in the comics) that Wolverine was an expatriated Australian. The direction of the character however never got beyond the plotting stages and Wolverine remained Canadian in the comics.

Tie-ins[edit]

Graphic novels[edit]

In 1990, Marvel published a graphic novel titled X-Men Animation Special,[22][23] an adaptation of Pryde of the X-Men that featured film images of cel animation from the cartoon rather than original art.

Video games[edit]

In 1989, X-Men: Madness in Murderworld (also known simply as X-Men) was released for DOS, Commodore 64, and Amiga computer systems. It was developed and published by Paragon Software in 1989 and featured the cast of Pryde of the X-Men. It was a side-scroller with puzzles set in Murderworld. A limited edition comic book was included.

In 1990, LJN released The Uncanny X-Men for the Nintendo Entertainment System, featuring a near exact lineup of the team from this cartoon, only swapping out Dazzler for Iceman. The game received negative reviews from gamers and critics, and was named one of the worst superhero games of all-time by 1Up.com.[24]

As previously mentioned, in 1992, Konami produced an X-Men arcade game based on the Pryde of the X-Men pilot. The player chooses one of six X-Men: Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, or Dazzler. Their objective is to stop the villain Magneto from wreaking havoc on human civilization. They must fight through an army of hundreds of human-sized Sentinels and supervillains such as Pyro, Blob, Wendigo, Nimrod, The White Queen, Juggernaut, and Mystique. Later, Magneto kidnaps Professor X and Kitty Pryde, prompting the heroes to go on a rescue mission. The heroes fight their way to Island M and ultimately to Magneto's base on Asteroid M, where the final battle with Magneto takes place.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The History of Wolverine and the X-Men on TV". IGN. 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  2. ^ "Digital Monkey Box Brings You: X-Men Arcade". Digitalmonkeybox.com. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  3. ^ "X-Men #129 [UPC with Black Slash] (January 1980)". The Grand Comics Database. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "X-Men #139 [Direct] (November 1980)". The Grand Comics Database. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  5. ^ http://marvel.toonzone.net/xmen/pryde/12.jpg
  6. ^ http://marvel.toonzone.net/xmen/pryde/15.jpg
  7. ^ http://marvel.toonzone.net/xmen/pryde/16.jpg
  8. ^ http://marvel.toonzone.net/xmen/pryde/20.jpg
  9. ^ "X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men Screen Grabs". Toonzone. September 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  10. ^ "X-Men Episode Review: 'Reunion'". Toonzone. September 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  11. ^ "The X-Men In Animation - A Retrospective". Marvel Animation Age. 
  12. ^ a b "Marvel Animation Age Presents: X-Men - Reviews". Marvel.toonzone.net. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  13. ^ "Marvel Animation Age". Marvel.toonzone.net. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  14. ^ "Marvel Animation Age". Marvel.toonzone.net. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  15. ^ "Marvel Animation Age". Marvel.toonzone.net. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  16. ^ Goldman, Eric. "The History of Wolverine and the X-Men on TV - TV Feature at IGN". Tv.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  17. ^ a b "Marvel Animation Age". Marvel.toonzone.net. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  18. ^ a b c "X-E - Pryde of The X-Men - The Original X-Men Cartoon!". X-entertainment.com. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  19. ^ a b c d "UGO's World of X-Men - Pryde of the X-Men TV Pilot". Xmen.Ugo.Com. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  20. ^ "Marvel Animation Age". Marvel.toonzone.net. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  21. ^ a b "3B Theater: CultTV: X-Men - Pryde of the X-Men!". Badmovieplanet.com. 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  22. ^ X-MEN Animation Special Graphic Novel PRYDE OF THE 1990[dead link]
  23. ^ "X-Men: Animation Special Gn". Mile High Comics. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  24. ^ "Legion of Suck". 1Up.com. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 

External links[edit]