X-Men ’97’s opening title was created by the original series director

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Thanks to the contributions of a significant creative, X-Men ’97 manages to evoke the sentimentality of the original animated series. For Marvel fans who grew up in the 1990s—a decade also characterised by programmes like Batman: The Animated Series—the birth of the first X-Men animated series was a seminal moment. Some were notable for having memorable themes or opening titles; X-Men’s intro sequence was excellent in both areas, bringing viewers in with an instantly recognisable tune and attention-grabbing graphics. The showrunners took advantage of this in X-Men ’97, effectively emulating the tone and animation style of the original. Key creatives from the original series were actively engaged in X-Men ’97, including the director of that show’s opening credits, as showrunner Jack Castorena confirmed in an interview with /Film.

X-Men ’97’s opening credits were directed by Larry Houston, a move that Castorena voiced his pleasure over. “I’ve gotta give a huge shout-out to Larry Houston,” he stated. “We returned the O.G. man, brought him himself. Originally, he storyboarded the opening titles. He couldn’t have been happier when we brought him back to ask if he wanted to assist in leading and directing these opening titles.” In addition, Houston contributed storyboards to a number of other 1990s television programmes, including Batman: The Animated Series, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For 44 episodes of X-Men: The Animated Series, he created the storyboards. Castorena disclosed that Houston, along with episode directors Chase Conley and Emi Yonemura, collaborated on the X-Men ’97 opening sequence.He said that Yonemura and Conley collaborated with Larry to truly deliver, really follow the storyboards, and basically push the opening titles to obtain what we got. In the end, Emi, Chase, and Larry got their hands dirty to deliver us the titles, while I was there overseeing to overall steer everything. X-Men ’97’s ongoing story arcs are represented in their updated, yet accurate, replica of the old opening scene, which was made possible by their active participation.

According to Castorena, there was nothing they could do but pay tribute to the classic opening credits of the first animated X-Men series. “It was always known that we were going to pay homage and do the opening titles right, just because, c’mon, it’s the theme song,” he said. “The topic is necessary for the titles, and the titles are necessary for the theme tune. We’re not the show if we don’t do it. It was an obvious choice in this instance.” In addition to enhancing fan service, X-Men ’97 features a reunion of the original voice performers, who were asked back by showrunner Beau DeMayo before to his dismissal from the X-Men project.

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