Pryde Of The X-Men: The Animated Adventure

For many fans the X-Men animated series they most fondly remember is the one which ran in the early 1990's.  Did you know however that this was not the first time the X-Men were animated on the small screen and there could have been an entire series before the one we remember!  That's right in 1989 the X-Men appeared on the small screen in the adventure known as "Pryde Of The X-Men."  The animated adventure was designed as a pilot for a potential X-Men animated series but it wasn't meant to be!  Here's what we know about the 1989 X-Men animated adventure!
     The animated episode of the X-Men was produced originally as a pilot in hopes of it being picked up to series.  Marvel Productions had been working on the Robocop animated series and instead of producing a 13th episode of that show, they instead decided to make this.  Why was this incredibly cool cartoon not picked up for series you ask and only one episode was made?  Well basically the long and short of it is that Marvel Productions ran into financial trouble.  Marvel Entertainment was sold to a new owner and therefore all animation projects were halted.  It's a shame really because this could have been a heck of a cool series.  From what we know no other episodes were planned since they had only hoped that it got picked up.  However this 22-minute episode we do have does so much right and is actually pretty good.  We get the introduction of the X-Men and their powers!  We get Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!  We get the mansion getting destroyed as the X-Men come to the rescue and to the aide of the young mutant Kitty Pride!  We get some very nice animation and the look and feel of the characters is all there!  (Well except for the strange Australian voice of Wolverine but more on that in a few).  X-Men: Pryde Of The X-Men captures the essence of the characters in so many ways it's amazing to think where this series may have gone if it had been given a full series order.  But it wasn't meant to be.  Instead though we at least have this one very memorable episode that you can watch and enjoy!
     So what could have been if the 1989 X-Men animated pilot had been picked up for series?  Well we can only dream of the X-Men going up against the various schemes of the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants from week to week.  Or other X-Men such as Angel, Beast, and more joining the fight!  We did of course get the fantastic X-Men animated series a few years later in 1992 that was only marginally influenced by this pilot.  But from this pilot we did get the great Konami coin-op game that you played in arcades!  That's right that huge 4-player machine featuring the X-Men in a hack and slash level by level adventure was influenced by "Pryde Of The X-Men".  The game went on to find a place in X-Men fans hearts everywhere and people are still playing it today on X-Box Live, PC emulators, and other ROMs.  It is not known if the game was already in the works to tie in with the possible animated series but unlikely since it did not see release until 1992 but it defiantly used the character designs and influence from the animation special.
     A few other notes about the special.  That is Stan Lee himself doing the narration at the show's beginning.  Why was Wolverine Australian you ask?  Well according to voice actor Rick Holberg he was told to play the Canadian mutant that way because Australian stuff was popular due to the Mad Max films and Crocodile Dundee.  A ridiculous reason if you ask us but I guess he had to listen to whoever was signing the paychecks at the time!  Did you see some of the X-Men also star on Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends?  Yes you did!  The X-Men appeared in a second season episode of the show and there was also an episode where Wolverine appeared without any other X-Men.  The shows are not meant to be in the same continuity even though the character designs were the same.  Wolverine's voice in the Spider-Man episodes was that of British decent and not Australian.  Marvel Productions just couldn't seem to get him to sound Canadian!  Hey I remember having a comic book with animation used for the artwork?  You remember that because you just may very well have!  Marvel Comics released the X-Men Animation Special in 1990 adapting the "Pryde Of The X-Men" to comic book form using animation art from the series with word balloons.  It's a neat piece of memorabilia from what could have been had the series continued!
    One last thing, did you know the theme song for this was created by the same guy who wrote The Transformers theme?  Yep Robert J. Walsh was responsible for the theme song on this epic cartoon special.  Overall this one time animated special created a lot of memories for so many fans.  It never made it to series but this one pilot is as much responsible in the X-Men's rise to popularity in the late 80's and early 90's as much as any first issue book of the series was at the time.  It helped young kids find the X-Men and learn who they were and for some it was their first time experiencing the mutant super heroes.  If the show had gone to series we can only imagine the adventures we would have gotten but you can bet they would have been fun, adventurous, and full of wonder.  A few years later we would get an amazing X-Men animated series from FOX but in 1989 we almost had this as a series but instead we settle for a memorable and fun X-Men animated special.  What kind of memories did this stir for you?  Do you remember watching "Pryde Of The X-Men?  Let us know!  If you have never seen it watch it below or watch it again if you like!  Until then to borrow from the show's narrator, excelsior!