X-Men '97 Brought Back A Key Player To Recreate The Original Show's Opening Titles [Exclusive]


'90s kids TV theme songs included classic examples such as those found on "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." But even they couldn't match the sheer earwormery of Fox Kids show "X-Men: The Animated Series", where an instant recognition can be felt thanks to its synthetic tones embedded deep within our collective cortexes.

Now Disney has decided to tap into that reservoir of nostalgia with "X-Men '97," an animated streaming show which emulates the distinctive visual style and story arc from 1997's series finale. Everything we have seen leading up to its release points to an accurate revival; for instance, an easter egg-filled "X-Men '97" trailer promises not only aesthetic continuity with original series but also bring back many original voice actors as well as its signature theme song!

Since 1992's "X-Men" show ended on television, its theme music has permeated our consciousnesses; now it's back! But it wasn't just composer Ron Wasserman's music that contributed to its effectiveness; Wasserman also composed the iconic Power Rangers theme song! Producer/director Larry Houston created an iconic title sequence in "X-Men '97," where each mutant in their action-filled individual vignette is introduced and shown off against giant text with their name displayed prominently. That sequence has also been faithfully recreated for this revival show by inviting its original writer as consultant so their interpretation was just right!

X-Men '97 brought in the OG X-Men animated series director

Before his abrupt dismissal from the series, "X-Men '97" showrunner Beau DeMayo seemingly did his utmost to ensure the revival show remained as faithful as possible to the Fox Kids original. That involved asking the surviving voice cast back, though sadly both Norm Spencer (Cyclops) and David Hemblen (Magneto) passed away in 2020. But pretty much everyone else from the original cast returned, alongside several newcomers and "White Lotus" star Theo James, who voices a mystery "fan-favorite" character.

And it wasn't just the actors that returned from the original. Larry Houston was asked back specifically to lend his expertise to the all-important opening titles, and appears to have been indispensable to their creation. Having started as a storyboard artist for Filmation, Houston went on to work on several beloved animated shows from "Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends" to "Transformers" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." But there's no doubt he's best known for his work on "X-Men," and supervising producer/head director Jack Castorena was eager to tap into his experience.

Castorena spoke to /Film's Ethan Anderton for an episode of the /Film Daily podcast, and revealed that Houston was psyched to help out with crafting a modern version of his original "X-Men" titles. He sai.

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