Article | X-Men Animated Series – The Rescue of Iconic Properties

Continuation of the drawing is just the most recent example of a trend

The nineties were a truly golden period for animated comic book adaptations. Batman: The Animated Series pulled this type of production and, mainly, pushed away from the popular imagination the old idea that cartoons with super heroes should be obligatorily simplistic (such as Best friends; Batman’s New Adventures and the old Marvel drawings).

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Then came the awards and acclaim from the audience (both children, who saw the episodes as fun, as well as adults who perceived the respect for comics), which consequently motivated the emergence of more similar productions. Still in 1992, another animated adaptation of a quadrennial property would win the small screen with Batman.

The X-Men’s adventures had been on the market for at least 30 years by the time their animated series aired on former Fox Kids. The production wasn’t exactly unheard of in the market, as in 1989 there was an attempt to bring mutants to life in the animated pilot Pryde of the X-Men.

“Pryde of the X-Men” was the prototype of classic animation

However, the reception was not as unanimous by the public as it would be a few years later; the childish tone of the production ended up going against the grain of what was happening in the comics (since the 80s was the period when the author Chris Claremont was having a lot of success with his stories about social dramas lived by mutants).

Lasting five seasons, the new venture proposed to more faithfully follow what was being worked on in the comics; so faithfully that even the animation trace echoed similarities with the models of the source material (as well as a little also with toys, facilitating an eventual production and sale of the brand’s products for children’s spectators).

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In 1994, Marvel produced another adaptation, this time targeting the Man – Spider. Utilizing the same successful strategy as two years earlier, the Spider-Man animated series was a blend of vision-aligned approaches that originally Stan Lee e Steve Ditko they had for the character added to a designer who facilitated the sale of toys.

’94 animation was essential to capture a new generation of fans

What all these productions have in common, besides the source material coming from the same industry, is the fact that they helped to consolidate a very specific niche in television. Thus, not surprisingly, numerous other comic book productions, some of them re-adapting the same superheroes as the aforementioned animated series, emerged in the following years.

Not only that, but the fan community created by these productions has grown since the 1990s and has seen itself even more represented after the boom of quadrish productions in cinema with Marvel Studios films from 2008 onwards. past achieved a status worthy of the most valuable item in Western pop culture today: nostalgia.

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What else is in production is the rescue of well-known brands to the public, but not only in general (such as the announcement of a new Batman movie) but rather in specific approaches. During DC Fandom 2020 it was announced that a new Batman animation was in production; titled Caped Crusader she would gather in her production names like those of the filmmakers Matt Reeves e J.J Abrams and the animator Bruce Timm.

Big names will be involved in future animation

He was one of the architects of the Batman animated series in the 90s, from batman of the future and yes Justice League stressed that future animation will bring back the essence of the 1992 award-winning series, although further information has not been revealed. The same goes for the most recent announcement during Disney Plus Day about the X-Men.

New episodes were announced to be released on the streaming service in 2023, which will follow on from the 1992 series. Even though it is still too early to know if the same style of animation will be adopted, it is worth noting that only the responsible company will focus exclusively on this adaptation in Mutants’ specificity is an attempt to exercise an exploration of the feeling of nostalgia.

The big question about these types of productions is that there is a space between what is promised (thus what is created in the consumer’s mind) and what is delivered. One of the reasons these productions were so admired was because they existed in a very specific context of television history, specifically children’s programming, which was still plastered with the production model of the 1980s.

These shows then come and break the current status quo, paving the way for a new approach in future productions. The announced bailouts will hardly break paradigms in the same way, because they will target a different consumer from their predecessors. No longer a children’s audience (with a small portion of adults included) but a mostly adult audience in which there may be one or another child in the middle.

With that in mind the biggest risk that always haunts nostalgic productions is hovering in the air; audience disappointment can be a possible reaction, regardless of whether these productions try their best to be faithful to previous materials or try something new and move away from them altogether.

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