X-Men The Animated Series
Night of the Sentinels - Part 1
To kick off the latest feature on cartoonandhorror.com I've decided to pick one of my favourite '90s cartoons - X-Men The Animated Series. I've seen the entire series at least two times in my life, so this series will be the most memorable. I just hope the nostalgia of the show doesn't influence my adult opinions of each episode.
The episode begins with a relatively unknown (for me at least) mutant named Jubilee being hunted by a pack of Sentinels (still to this day I don't see Jubilee gracing too many comic covers). Luckily she is saved by a group of mutants known as the X-Men. Storm, Rogue and Gambit save Jubilee from the Sentinels and take her to the X-Mansion for safety. After meeting part of the team, we are introduced to the rest - Wolverine, Beast, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Professor X and an extremely obscure character named Morph. We discover, along with the X-Men, that the group running the Mutant Registration Program is using Sentinels to hunt down mutants to terminate them. Pretty heavy shit for a young kid watching the show back in the early '90s. The X-Men discover the secret base of the organization and decide to go infiltrate them to destroy their mutant files. The episode ends with a cliff-hanger just as the X-Men are about to get attacked by a group of soldiers.
Overall, this couldn't be a more perfect pilot episode. It introduces the characters effortlessly and develops their ticks and character traits in such little time - only 24 minutes. The episode has a few silly lines of dialogue, but makes up for it with some of the most memorable one-liners I've ever seen in a show to date. The voice actors are perfect in their roles and really capture the characters personality. Another thing that makes this episode and show so brilliant is that each episode sets up so many stories that are explored in later episodes. Although the animation design of the show may be a little dated, I still think it has more life than 95% of the cartoons you see on TV today. That includes all of the new Marvel and DC cartoons currently on the air.
Even for just being part 1 of an entire story, I have to give this pilot big props as it still holds up to this day and begins an interesting a adult themed story-line that continues for the rest of the series.