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X-Men: The Animated Series - Volume 5 Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 May 2010
ImageIt is finally here.  The final volume of the greatest animated X-Men cartoon.  Volume 5 contains the fifth and final season of the mid-90s cartoon.  For a while I was worried that the final volume would never come.  Season four was supposed to be the final season.  It was concluded with a 4-part episode that wrapped things up better than most cartoons.

However, Fox decided to add a fifth season.  This season brings several changes.  These changes include different voices for several characters and a new animation studio.  These changes make it difficult at a glance to realize this season belongs with the first four seasons.

The animation has changed quite a bit, separating it from the first part of the series, and from all the other animated cartoons of the era.  It also takes a little while to get used to the new character voices, such as Gambit.

This final volume contains several good comic book story adaptations.  "Old Soldiers" is the favorite among fans.  This episode has Wolverine and Captain America fighting together.  "The Phalanx Covenant" two-part episode is also another favorite.  The most disappointing part of this final volume is the lack of closure.  There are far too many unanswered questions.

This X-Men cartoon is not the best of the cartoons from the era but it is very nostalgic.  The Spider-Man and Batman cartoons of the same era are much better and I certainly cannot wait for the Spider-Man series to be released in its entirety, despite the horrible way in which the series abruptly ended.

If you have seen the previous four volumes of the X-Men series then you already know that the video quality is not the end all be all.  Unfortunately, the video quality of this volume is only marginally better.  The new animation style lends itself to more colors and sharper lines.  However, video interlacing is a major issue.  Dimensionality is decent.  There are still numerous artifacts in the image.  However, this is likely the best the series is going to look so you are just going to have to accept it.

The audio is also upgraded from previous volumes.  The audio track does remain in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.  However, Pro Logic results in a better surround field.  While it is not encompassing, it is still more enveloping than most 2.0 tracks.  Dialogue is also mixed better among the music and special effects.  The biggest drawback of the track is the large echo in the rear channels, likely due to some mono summed problems.

There are no special features on these two discs.

I highly recommend this DVD set for any fans of this era of cartoon animations.

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