X-Men: The Animated Series
Based on
Voices of
Theme music composerRon Wasserman[1]
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada[a]
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes76 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseOctober 31, 1992 (1992-10-31) –
September 20, 1997 (1997-09-20)

X-Men, also known as X-Men: The Animated Series, is an animated superhero television series that aired in the United States for five seasons from October 31, 1992 to September 20, 1997, on Fox's Fox Kids programming block.[6] It was Marvel Comics' second attempt at an animated X-Men television series after the pilot X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men was not picked up.[7] Set in the same fictional universe as Spider-Man, Earth-92131,[8][9] it was followed by a revival, X-Men '97, which began airing on March 20, 2024, on Disney+.


In March 1990, Margaret Loesch, who had previously worked at Marvel Productions as president and chief executive officer, became head of Fox Children's Network.[10] Having championed the Pryde of the X-Men pilot in 1989, she ordered 13 episodes of X-Men.[when?][5] Saban Entertainment was contracted to produce the show and hired a small studio, Graz Entertainment, to produce episodes because, at the time, they lacked sufficient staff to handle in-house production. Mark Edward Edens and Eric Lewald were hired to be in charge of writing the show, with the two dividing the job between Edens as head writer and Lewald as story editor.[11] The voice work was done through Canadian studios and South Korean studio AKOM was hired to animate episodes. X-Men was originally set to premiere over Labor Day weekend in September; however, due to production delays, it was delayed to the end of October. When AKOM turned in the first episode, it contained several animation errors, which they refused to fix. Because of time constraints, the episode was aired in an unfinished form;[5] when Fox re-aired the pilot in early 1993, the errors were corrected.[12] The second episode was submitted just before the deadline, with 50 scenes missing and a single day reserved for editing.[5] The two-part episode "Night of the Sentinels" originally aired as a "sneak preview" on October 31.[13]

Because of the production delays and animation errors, Fox threatened to sever AKOM's contracts.[5] The series earned top ratings throughout its first season,[5] and was renewed for a second season of 13 episodes. Throughout its run, producers had to deal with quality control issues, including attempts to cut costs and requests to change the tone of the series to more child-friendly and integrate toys.[4]

The show was originally planned to run for 65 episodes, but as a result of its success, Saban funded eleven more episodes, albeit with a reduced budget due to Marvel's bankruptcy.[14]

The series was added to streaming service Disney+ following its launch on November 12, 2019, with a revival, X-Men '97, subsequently announced to be in development.[15][16] The series premiered on March 20, 2024.


Main article: List of X-Men: The Animated Series episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113October 31, 1992 (1992-10-31)March 27, 1993 (1993-03-27)
213October 23, 1993 (1993-10-23)February 19, 1994 (1994-02-19)
319July 29, 1994 (1994-07-29)October 5, 1995 (1995-10-05)
421May 6, 1995 (1995-05-06)October 26, 1996 (1996-10-26)
510September 7, 1996 (1996-09-07)September 20, 1997 (1997-09-20)


The show features a team similar to that of the early 1990s X-Men comics by Jim Lee, specifically the Blue Team established early on in X-Men (vol. 2). It consists of Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, and Professor X, as well as original character Morph, who is based on Changeling.[citation needed] All 76 episodes were directed by Larry Houston.

The series deals with social issues, including divorce ("Proteus"), Christianity ("Nightcrawler" and "Bloodlines"), the Holocaust ("Enter Magneto", "Deadly Reunions", "Days of Future Past" and "The Phalanx Covenant") AIDS hysteria ("Time Fugitives"), and loneliness ("No Mutant Is an Island"). It satirizes television in the episodes "Mojovision" and "Longshot".

It crossed over with Spider-Man when Spider-Man seeks the X-Men's help to stop his progressing mutation. In the abbreviated form of the Secret Wars storyline, the Beyonder and Madame Web select Spider-Man to lead a team of heroes against a group of villains. An earlier draft of "Secret Wars" involved all the X-Men, but transporting the voice cast from Canada to Los Angeles, where production for the Spider-Man animated series was based, had been too costly in previous crossovers, so the episode was rewritten to feature only Storm, whose actress, Iona Morris, lived in Los Angeles.[17]

In the first season, the X-Men come into conflict with human conspirators building Sentinel robots to kill mutants, Magneto's plan to instigate a human-mutant war, and the powerful mutant Apocalypse's plan to eradicate the weak. Other storylines include X-Men member Morph's death at the hands of the Sentinels, Beast's incarceration, and Apocalypse's minions attempting to assassinate U.S. Senator Kelly to turn humans against mutants.

In the second season, Cyclops and Jean are married and targeted by Mister Sinister, who seeks to use the genetically perfect combination of their DNA to create an army of obedient mutants. Morph returns, having been rescued by Sinister and brainwashed into forcing the X-Men apart. Over time, a rift grows between humans and mutants, with the Friends of Humanity, an anti-mutant group, leading their persecution. Apocalypse returns, developing a deadly plague that he plans to blame on mutants to fuel hatred against them. It features a parallel narrative of Professor X and Magneto being lost in the Savage Land.

The third season involves the Phoenix, a cosmic force that merges with Jean Grey and turns her into the Dark Phoenix. It introduces the Shi'ar Empire, which includes Lilandra and Gladiator and seeks to stop the Dark Phoenix. Other storylines include the introduction of Wolverine's former lover turned mercenary, Lady Deathstrike, former X-Men member Iceman, and the villainous Shadow King.

Volume 5 of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcovers lists the cartoon as part of the Marvel multiverse, inhabiting Earth-92131. As well, the plague-infested future that Bishop tries to prevent in Season 2 is listed as Earth-13393, while Cable's release of the cure is listed as Earth-121893.


Although most of the series' stories are original, several storylines and events from the comics are loosely adapted, including:

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Voice cast

See also: List of X-Men: The Animated Series and X-Men '97 characters

The series' voice acting was recorded in Toronto studios, with Dan Hennessey serving as voice director. Toronto voice actors had also been used in the 1960s Marvel Comics cartoons.

Principal cast

Additional cast

Other versions

The original opening sequence, used throughout the first four seasons, features the X-Men demonstrating their mutant abilities to an instrumental theme written by Ron Wasserman and composed by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy. A modified version is introduced in season five, episode one ("Phalanx Covenant, Part One"), which slightly changes the beginning of the theme. When UPN began airing reruns on Sunday mornings, an alternate credits sequence was used: a high-quality Japanese-animated version of the original opening. This modified version occasionally appears in the digital streaming release of the show, which was used for re-runs on Toon Disney.

In Italy, where the series began airing in 1994 on Canale 5, the intro and outro sequences were replaced by a new sequence and theme song: "Insuperabili X-Men", sung by Marco Destro and Pietro Ubaldi.[18]

X-Men originally aired on TV Tokyo from 1994 to 1995. For the TV Tokyo dub of the series, the intro was replaced with a new, Japanese-animated sequence and a new theme: "Rising" by Ambience. Starting with episode 42, a second intro was used, featuring the song "Dakishimetai Dare Yori Mo" (抱きしめたい誰よりも, "I want to embrace you more than anyone else"). The end credits sequence was also changed: it featured shots of American X-Men comic books set to the song "Back to You", also by Ambience.

The TV Tokyo dub was directed by Yoshikazu Iwanami and featured scripts rewritten to include a more humorous, self-satirical tone and with an emphasis on comical adlibbing, a hallmark of his dubbing style. Episodes were edited for time so that new segments could be added to the end to promote X-Men: Children of the Atom, which featured the dub actors pretending to play the game as their characters. A second dub was made in the early 2000s for broadcast on Toon Disney (Japan) that is more faithful to the original English scripts and does not cut episodes for time. This version used the original American intro and end credits rather than the unique ones created for the TV Tokyo version.

Two versions of the episode "No Mutant is an Island" exist, each with different animation. The first version was aired for Toon Disney reruns, can be seen on digital streaming services such as Amazon Video, aired on Fox Kids in the United States, and uses the remixed intro theme from Season 5. The second version is available on region 1 DVD, aired on Fox Kids overseas, and uses the default intro theme from Seasons 1–4.[19][citation needed]


In its prime, X-Men garnered very high ratings for a Saturday morning cartoon and received praise for adapting many different storylines from the comics. Haim Saban credits the success of the series in assisting him to sell his next project to Fox: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.[4]

X-Men reached a viewership of over 23 million households.[20]


X-Men '97

Main article: X-Men '97

By 2019, there were ongoing talks with Disney+ to revive the series.[21] In November 2021, it was revealed that a revival titled X-Men '97 was in development which will continue the plot of the series.[22] X-Men '97 eventually premiered on March 20, 2024. Beau DeMayo served as head writer for the first two seasons, with most of the surviving cast members of the original series reprising their roles, including Dodd, Zann, Buza, Disher, Potter, Sealy-Smith, Hough, and Britton. They were joined by Jennifer Hale, Anniwaa Buachie, Ray Chase, Matthew Waterson, JP Karliak, Holly Chou, Jeff Bennett, and A.J. LoCascio. Alyson Court did not reprise her role as Jubilee, requesting that Jubilee be voiced by an Asian actress. She is being reported to return as a different character.[23] The series is produced by Marvel Studios Animation, but does not take place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[24][25]


X-Men Adventures

X-Men Adventures
X-Men Adventures vol. 1 #1 (Nov. 1992)
Art by Steve Lightle
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
Publication dateNovember 1992 – March 1997
No. of issues53
Main character(s)X-Men

X-Men Adventures was a comic book spin-off of the animated series. Beginning in November 1992, it adapted the first three seasons of the show; in April 1996, it became Adventures of the X-Men, which contained original stories set within the same continuity.[26] The comic book lasted until March 1997, shortly after the show's cancellation by the Fox Network.


Additionally, stories featuring the same characters were print through the 19 issues run of Spider-Man Magazine, published between March 1994 and March 1997, alongside stories inspired by the animated series Spider-Man.

X-Men '92

The comic book series X-Men '92 was first released as one of the many tie-in titles for Marvel's 2015 Secret Wars event, and continued in its second volume as a regular series in early 2016, starring characters of the TV show's reality.[31]

In January 2022 Marvel announced a new series inspired by the cartoon, X-Men '92: House of XCII. Scheduled for publication in April of that same year, the series will explore an alternate universe where the events of Jonathan Hickman's House of X and Powers of X happened decades earlier, in the '90s of the original show.[32]


Previously on X-Men

In 2017, series developer and showrunner Eric Lewald released the book Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series, which features his interviews with 36 of the staff and voice cast behind the TV series, as well as Lewald's personal experiences on the series' development and production.[33]

X-Men: The Art and Making of The Animated Series

In 2020, Eric Lewald and Julia Lewald released the book X-Men: The Art and Making of The Animated Series, which features previously unseen concept art, storyboards, character models, background layouts, animation cels, and other production/promotional materials, along with new interviews with the series principal artists and production staff.[34]

Video games

See also: Marvel vs. Capcom franchise

In film

The series was credited for being responsible for the beginning development of the 2000 X-Men film. Fox Kids owner 20th Century Fox was impressed by the success of the TV show, and producer Lauren Shuler Donner purchased the film rights for them in 1994.[36][37] The film's success led to a film franchise, which includes a series of sequels, prequels, and spin-offs, for two decades up to 2020, when the series came to an end due to Disney's acquisition of Fox, with the character rights reverting to Marvel Studios.

In the 2022 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, produced by Marvel Studios, the theme song from the TV series (orchestrated by Danny Elfman and credited as X-Men '97 Theme) is played when Charles Xavier (portrayed by Patrick Stewart) first appears; in the film, unlike his previous performances as the character in Fox's X-Men franchise, Stewart's Xavier is visually redesigned to match his animated counterpart, complete with his iconic green suit, blue and black tie, and yellow hoverchair.[38]

In television

In the Ms. Marvel episode "No Normal", set in the MCU, the theme song from the X-Men animated series is played when Kamala Khan discovers that she is a "mutant".[39]


On October 9, 2019, Hungarian immigrant Zoltán Krisko, manager of the estate of György Vukán [hu], filed a lawsuit against Marvel Entertainment Group, Warner Chappell Music, Haim Saban, Shuki Levy, Ron Wasserman, UMG Recordings, the current distributor of Disney Music Group, and Fox Corporation. He claims the theme music was plagiarized from the theme song to the 1984–1991 Hungarian action-adventure television series Linda, which was composed by Vukán.[40]


  1. ^ Sources differ regarding the country or countries of origin. Some indicate that the United States is the sole country of origin, while others (e.g, FilmAffinity, Allmovie) list it as a co-production of the United States and Canada.[2][3]


  1. ^ https://www.inverse.com/entertainment/x-men-97-theme-song-composers
  2. ^ "X-Men (TV Series) (1992)". FilmAffinity.
  3. ^ "X-Men (1992)". Allmovie.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Couch, Aaron; Burton, Byron (October 30, 2017). "'X-Men' at 25: The Unlikely Story of the Animated Hit No Network Wanted". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Mangels, Andy (August 1993). "Scorching the Screen". Wizard: X-Men Turn Thirty. pp. 70–73.
  6. ^ "Top 10 Comic to TV Adaptations". IGN. June 21, 2007. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
  7. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 923–926. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  8. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #5
  9. ^ https://collider.com/x-men-97-mcu/
  10. ^ "Kids vet Margaret Loesch to run Hasbro-Discovery cable network". Los Angeles Times. July 16, 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  11. ^ https://www.inverse.com/entertainment/x-men-the-animated-series-pilot-oral-history
  12. ^ "DRG4's Exclusive X-Men Cartoon Pilot Differences". drp4.wariocompany.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  13. ^ Mangels, Andy (January 1993). "Hollywood Heroes". Wizard (17). Wizard Entertainment: 32.
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  15. ^ White, Brett (27 November 2019). "Every Single X-Men Animated Appearance on Disney+, in Order". Decider. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
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  17. ^ Goldman, Michael. "Stan Lee: Comic Guru". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  18. ^ Genna, Antonio. "AntonioGenna.net presenta: IL MONDO DEI DOPPIATORI - ZONA ANIMAZIONE: "X-Men"". Il Mondo dei doppiatori (in Italian). Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  19. ^ "Animation Changes in No Mutant Is An Island". DRG4's Marvel Cartoon Pages. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
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  24. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (November 12, 2021). "Marvel embraces the Sad Wolverine meme to announce X-Men '97, a new animated Disney Plus show". The Verge. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
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  27. ^ "X-Men Adventures Comics checklist Volume 1". comics-db.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
  28. ^ "X-Men Adventures Comics checklist Volume 2". comics-db.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
  29. ^ "X-Men Adventures Comics checklist Volume 3". comics-db.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
  30. ^ "Adventures of the X-Men Comics checklist". comics-db.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2007-02-13.
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  35. ^ "Hot at the Arcades". GamePro. No. 67. IDG. February 1995. p. 20.
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  39. ^ "Ms. Marvel Finale MCU Easter Eggs & References". Screen Rant. July 13, 2022. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
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