A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this 1990s cartoon has plenty of animated fantasy/weapons violence, as well as some positive messages about teamwork. The X-Men are mutants who've developed amazing superpowers and have dedicated their lives to using their abilities to help others -- despite the fact that they're frequently subjected to bigotry from some vocal groups of "normal" people, who claim that mutants aren't human and should be exterminated. It's a simple, but powerful, metaphor for racism. The X-Men a diverse bunch drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds, and the huge variety of their powers requires them to work effectively as a team when battling their enemies.
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What's the story?
Professor Charles Xavier (voiced by Cedric Smith) is the founder of a very special school where he trains mutants to become the X-MEN, a team of powerful superheroes. His students -- who have all developed amazing powers -- have a wide range of abilities. There's Wolverine (Cathal Dodd), who can extend a set of razor-sharp blades from his forearms; Jean Grey (Catherine Disher), a powerful telepath; Cyclops (Norm Spencer), who shoots energy beams from his eyes; and Storm (Alison Sealy-Smith), who can control the weather. Under Xavier's guidance, they learn to control their talents and work together to combat evil.
Is it any good?
Based on the very popular Marvel Comics series, this anmiated show -- which originally aired from 1992 to 1997 -- places a strong emphasis on teamwork. The X-Men all have amazing, but very specific, powers. None of them is a Superman, and they must cooperate to fight effectively against their toughest enemies.
The show stays true to the comic books, including the original story's strong current of anti-mutant bigotry. The world of the X-Men is filled with mutants, some more powerful than others, some who look quite average, and others who don't even look human. All of them face considerable enmity from some groups of "normal" people who distrust mutants and consider them a threat to humanity. This simple metaphor for racism is a fairly adult theme for a show aimed at young people, but it's presented in a way that even kids will be able to understand.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about bigotry. Why are the X-Men persecuted? Do you think that's fair? Is it at all comparable to racism in the real world? Also, how do you think the violence in this cartoon compares to other animated superhero shows? What about to the live-action X-Men movies? Kids: If you were to become a mutant, what kind of powers would you like?
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