The X-Men Cartoon that Wasn’t: Pryde of the X-Men

When I was a kid I remember catching a little bit of this X-Men carton called Pryde of the X-Men on TV one random Saturday Morning. The cartoon featured Kitty Pryde on her first crazy adventure with the X-Men team. I was blown away, not only by the great animation, but by the fact that it was mysterious. There was only this one episode and nothing else. Why wasn’t I watching an X-Men cartoon series that was totally bad ass? The cartoon had been better than a lot of the superhero cartoons I had grown up with, there had to be some sort of reason for this injustice!

Years later they released the thing on tape and I was able to see it again. It wasn’t as amazing as what I “remembered”, but it was still pretty damned great for a 1980s animated series.

According to Wikipedia the mystery of why this particular X-Men cartoon done by Marvel Productions is finally solved. Apparently Marvel Productions hit huge financial troubles and could only focus on making Muppet Babies and could not afford to launch an X-Men cartoon.

Coolest part of Kitty Pryde is her pet dragon.

Coolest part of Kitty Pryde is her pet dragon.

The money for Pryde of the X-Men came from the Robocop animated series of all places! Instead of producing a 13th episode of Robocop, Marvel Studios put the money into Pryde of the X-Men.

The animation was done by Toei, which is probably most famous in the U.S. for Dragonball Z. It’s some of the best I’ve seen in 1980s era cartoons, though who knows if they’d have had the budget to keep that quality up over the course of the series.

Wolverine's new catchphrase didn't catch on, "G'day, mate!"

Wolverine’s new catchphrase, “G’day, Mate!”, didn’t catch on,

One of the weirdest parts of Pryde of the X-Men is Wolverine’s Australian accent. Australians were super popular for awhile in the ’80s and supposedly Wolverine was going to be an Australian ex-patriot in the comics, but it never came to fruition. Weird. I didn’t know a whole lot about the X-Men, so I just ran with the Australian thing. Years later when I found out he was Canadian it was kind of a let down. Sorry Canadian friends, your accent isn’t as cool.

Dazzler!

Dazzler!

It’s also strange to see Dazzler on the team as she’s probably one of the more obscure X-Men, but it’s still pretty cool at the same time to have such a minor character in animated form.

I also love that the White Queen, Emma Frost, is involved in the story before she became as popular as she is these days.

Also notable is the fact that there are so many familiar voices from 1980s cartoons that it’s just a treat to hear them all in one place. At times it feels like a G.I. Joe / X-Men crossover.

While I prefer the animation of Pryde of the X-Men way more over the 1990s X-Men series that came to be, it’s doubtful that a series would have been as close to the comics as the ’90s series. Still that’s just speculation.

X-MenPrydeoftheXMen03

Pryde of the X-Men does have a bit of a popular legacy. It was the inspiration behind the X-Men Arcade game, which lives on in the hearts and minds of many child of the 90s.

X-Men Arcade came out in 1992 and at the time I thought it was weird that Dazzler was a selectable character. Knowing the history of Pryde of the X-Men helps explain that one. I can imagine one of the Japanese developers wondering who was on the X-Men, then seeing the Japanese animated cartoon and thinking, “Oh yeah, Dazzler is one of the main X-Men, we have to use her.”

  • I actually really liked this when I saw it on tv as a kid. I think Wolverine also had an Australian accent when he appeared on the old Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon, so maybe they got the idea there.

  • Tom

    I remember a buddy of mine telling me he saw and X-Men cartoon after school the previous day so we rushed home and turned on the TV and it was something else, I promptly called shenanigans and probably hated on my buddy until several months later I saw it, it was amazing! I remember finding it sandwiched on some Marvel VHS and promptly scooped it up, I also remember being a bit disappointed when the Fox Kids one came out, it seemed to be lacking compared to the one-off.

  • Exactly!

    And yeah, it was so strange for it to show up and go away. There wasn’t an internet to verify what just happened.

  • Lamar The Revenger

    The Marvel animation block that was on early Saturday morning was my first exposure. Watching it was a shock because I couldn’t believe it was happening. After that one time it aired, I forced myself to wake up early enough to hopefully see it again. I only saw it once.. right on that Saturday morning. I managed to find the graphic novel of the show (screenshots & word balloons) but it got sold in the Great Purge of ’94. (same with the video copy I got at a video store.) As I stated on Facebook, ALL other X-Men cartoons were subpar compared to this one.

  • clark

    I found this on VHS at Best Buy when I was in 4th grade, and bought it assuming it was the 90s cartoon which had just come out. To my surprise, it was something unique, and in my mind better. Not only were Colossus and Nightcrawler a part of the team, but the artwork was better and Wolverine was in his brown costume. I have donated or thrown away most of my VHS tapes, but I still have some C.O.P.S. and this.

  • Yeah, Pryde of the X-Men is a keeper VHS, until it comes out on DVD…

  • While I was also surprised by Dazzler’s inclusion in the arcade game, having her in the cartoon wasn’t that farfetched. She was a pretty important character around Fall of the Mutants, plus Marvel has always had higher ambitions for that character than ever came to fruition. I kinda liked her brief window of fame. Wish she could get back to that now.

  • Pingback: WilliamBruceWest.comWest Week Ever - 4/19/13 » WilliamBruceWest.com()