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Warner Home Video presents
X-Men Evolution: The Complete Third Season (2002)

"No, we're the X-Men. We're not kids anymore. You trained us. And you know something? We're good. Very good."
- Cyclops (Kirby Morrow)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: June 01, 2006

Stars: Christopher Judge, Venus Terzo, Colleen Wheeler, David Kaye, Scott McNeil, Kirby Morrow
Other Stars: Meghan Black, Brad Swaile
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 04h:33m:00s
Release Date: May 23, 2006
UPC: 012569693944
Genre: animation

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

DVD Review

Animated films based on classic comic books are fairly common now, and nearly every one has multiple spin-offs as well. X-Men is no exception, as its latest incarnation, X-Men: Evolution takes a slightly different look at the beloved characters that were previously seen in X-Men: The Animated Series. X-Men: Evolution premiered in late 2000, after the first X-Men feature film struck it rich at that summer's box office. Evolution aired for four seasons of episodes before taking its final bow in 2004. Comic book fans can still relive these episodes on DVD, as the third season makes its debut.

Most of the same characters continue here; the main difference is in the storylines. Evolution follows these mutants during their high school years, as they must adjust to their strange powers along with the strains of pre-adulthood. We see a young Nightcrawler, Jean Gray, and Cyclops (to name a few) under the instruction of the older Storm, Professor X, and Wolverine. This age difference adds a nice dynamic to the show, making for interesting subplots involving peer envy and empowered teenagers dealing with taking instruction from other mutants.

The third season gets underway with Day of Recovery, where the X-Men and Brotherhood are coming to grips with the world's new knowledge of mutant existence. The government takes action by capturing various mutants, which leads into The Stuff of Heroes, where Cyclops takes charge of the X-Men. This episode finds the group split up to battle members of the Brotherhood and try to reason with the humans. After the very similar installment, The Stuff of Villains, we see the rebuilding of the recently destroyed Institute in Blind Alley. A pair of fluff shows follow, with X-Treme Measures and The Toad, the Witch and the Wardrobe doing little to advance the main storyline.

Self Possessed centers on Rogue, who is struggling with her powers. She is being haunted both mentally and physically by all of the people she has touched in the past, and when she accidentally makes contact with Mystique, the changes are nearly uncontrollable. Under Lock and Key is another throwaway episode, but the fun X23 involves a Logan clone. The two-part finale, Dark Horizon, is easily the most involving part of this season. Rogue is basically the centerpiece in these two installments as well, as she unexpectedly leaves the mansion and absorbs the Acolytes' powers. Meanwhile, Mesmero continues his quest to free Apocalypse, which leads the X-Men and Acolytes to a tomb for a final showdown.

X-Men: Evolution will more than please fans of the comic, but it should also provide quite a bit of fun for kids who are just looking for a tight, action-packed adventure cartoon.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: All of the episodes are presented in their original format. The crisply drawn animated images are rich with detail and color, with a wide variety of hues practically bursting off the screen. There is no bleeding or other major print flaws, aside from occasional bits of grain.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, French, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio keeps everything up front for the most part. The surrounds come to life a few times to accommodate music and a few action-oriented effects, but the dynamic range is somewhat limited. The dialogue is always clear, and is integrated well into the overall audio mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring X-Men Evolution: Enemies Unveiled, X-Men Evolution: Mystique's Revenge, X-Men Powers Revealed, X-Men Evolution
3 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Mystique's Trivia Challenge - Series of mutant-related questions.
Extras Review: The extras consist of a trio of featurettes. Disc 1 has Cerebro's Mutant Files: The X-Men and Cerebro's Mutant Files: The Acolytes, a pair of four-minute introductory segments. X-Men Season 3: X-Posed is a six-minute piece on Disc 2 that features discussion from head writer/executive story editor Greg Johnson and other parts of the X-Men: Evolution creative team. Most of the talk centers on the third season, but the entire franchise is touched on as well.

Mystique's Trivia Challenge is a series of questions you must answer correctly to become a member of the Brotherhood. Unfortunately, this isn't an interactive feature, so you have to either be quick to answer the question or quick on your remote's "pause" button.

There's also a collection of trailers for other animated X-Men series on DVD.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Fans of the X-Men: Evolution animated series have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of their beloved series in a seasonal DVD format. The wait is over, with Warner Home Video's release of X-Men: Evolution - The Complete Third Season. TV broadcast quality audio and video is accompanied by a small, yet informative extras collection to make up this nice two-disc set.


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