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Warner Home Video presents
X-Men Evolution: Mutants Rising (2002)

“Yes, a problem. But what are X-Men if not problem solvers?”
- Kurt (Brad Swaile)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: April 21, 2003

Stars: Venus Terzo, Colleen Wheeler, David Kaye, Scott McNeil, Kirby Morrows, Meghan Black, Brad Swaile
Director: various

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for nothing offensive
Run Time: 01h:23m:12s
Release Date: April 22, 2003
UPC: 085392395620
Genre: action

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B B+B+B B-

DVD Review

Unlike many children who grew up in the years previous to the internet and other technologies, I never found myself immersed in the world of comic books. I never could get into the excitement that was visible across my friends' faces as they raced to the store after school each day to blow their allowance on the newest issue of any given superhero. I am paid for this recently, of course, as I was left nodding stupidly as people around me wento on and on about Spider-M comics and how they relate to the recent blockbuster. Uh huh, I would say politely.

So now that I have shown my complete ineptness in the area of comic books, I realize that I am probably not the best person to review X-Men Evolution: Mutants Rising. But this collection of programs, culled from the recent animated television series, offer a sort of fun energy as they follow the crusaders for good, and evil, when they were just teens at Xavier's School for the Gifted.

The first episode on the disc is the second season premiere, Growing Pains, in which Scott (who would become Cyclops) and Kurt (who would become Nightcrawler) use their powers to save a group of people from a car crash. Their loyalty to the school is tested when Professor X questions their use of powers in a public place. Many of the episodes deal largely with this type of moral dilemma and they work for the best because of it. It's nice to see a collection of popular programming aimed largely at children, and maybe somewhat older kids as well, that offers a learning message along with inspired entertainment. Going into this review I expected just silly cartoons; what I got was some smart and creative writing that offers something more than is seen on the surface.

Growing Pains
As mentioned above, Scott and Kurt use their powers to save several people from a car crash causing the question of whether or not they can keep their powers secret. As Professor X explains, the world is not ready for this sort of display and a choice must be made.

Power Surge
Jean Grey's telepathic abilities grow stronger by the moment and she is beginning to see that with the powers she is developing comes a great responsibility. At the same time, she and Scott begin to forge a friendship that will eventually grow into a relationship.

Bada-Bing Bada-Boom
Tabitha and Kurt are grounded for misbehaving, which prompts Tabitha's father to arrive and force some less than moral choices upon his daughter. It seems that her father wishes her to steal the proceeds from the annual carnival taking place that night. An average episode that gets bogged down by some Blossom-like antics.

Fun and Games
You thought only human parents had to worry about the kids having a party while they were away. Well, rest assured, even mutants will play when their supervision is not around. When Juggernaut sees a malfunction in his stasis field, the kids are left without adult supervision. They decide to throw a party, and everything goes out of control when one of the guests gains access to the chamber known as Cerebro.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in a full-frame aspect ratio that is the same as in the original broadcasts, X- Men: Evolution: Mutants Rising looks, as one would expect for such a recent program: very nice. Colors are vibrant with no bleeding apparent, while black levels show a nice amount of depth with no grain. There are very few noticeable defects evident, the smallest being some slight artifacting in certain scenes.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanish, Portugueseyes

Audio Transfer Review: A Dolby Surround track is offered and it is largely focused in the center channel. I would have enjoyed a bit more activity in the surround speakers, particularly in the action scenes, but some slight ambient sounds will have to do I suppose.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portguese with remote access
Packaging: Snapper
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. X-Men and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants profiles
  2. Epsiode introductions
Extras Review: A small handful of extra features are offered, the most notable being episode introductions by producer Boyd Kirkland. Kirkland shows a great amount of enthusiasm for the show and his bits of information offering enough insight for first time viewers that we feel comfortable. Also included are entries for each character in divided sections pertaining to their allegiance to The X-Men or The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

For fans of X-Men Evolution this collection will likely find a way into your collection. For those of you with children who enjoy a good cartoon with a strong moral message, this disc will certainly do the trick.


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