X-Men: Evolution-Mutants Rising (2000)

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Released 9-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio
Episode Introductions-Boyd Kirkland (Producer)
Biographies-Character-X-Men - Shadowcat, Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue,
Biographies-Character-X-Men - Spyke, Nightcrawler
Biographies-Character-Brotherhood of Mutants - Toad, Mystique, Blob, Avalanche
Biographies-Character-Brotherhood of Mutants - Quicksilver
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 99:58
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (79:35) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Steven E. Gordon
Gary Graham
Frank Paur
Studio
Distributor
Marvel
Warner Home Video
Starring Kirby Morrow
Scott McNeil
Venus Terzo
David Kaye
Christopher Judge
Meghan Black
Neil Denis
Brad Swaile
Maggie Blue O'Hara
Kirsten Williamson
Noel Fisher
Richard Ian Cox
Michael Dobson
Case ?
RPI ? Music William Anderson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Spanish
Arabic
Romanian
Portuguese
Hungarian
Turkish
Greek
Dutch
Hebrew
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

I'm not very knowledgeable about the X-Men, but I suspect that some of our readers are. So I'll tell you what I think is going on here, but I fully expect to be corrected.

The previous X-Men cartoon series had many of the major X-Men as adults (admittedly, many were young adults). This newer series goes backwards in time to when many of the main characters were in high school. However, it seems to re-write X-Men history, bringing Wolverine into the X Institute much earlier, and making him rather older than Cyclops. Anyway, in this series we have:

The adults at the X Institute:

The youths at the X Institute, who are also students at Bayville High School:

The bad kids, members of the Brotherhood, also sometime students at Bayville High:

There are a few other mutants who appear during these episodes: Mystique, Boom Boom, and The Beast (Hank McCoy). Magneto, however, is believed to be dead, although there is some doubt about it.

They've played a few games: Cyclops and Jean Grey are not together yet, although Cyclops yearns for her and Jean shows occasional jealousy (the old unrequited love game). Nightcrawler is able to mix with regular people because he has a holographic imager that lets him appear normal. Neither Jubilee nor Gambit appear in these episodes.

The episodes on this disc may be consecutive ones, or may be selections from an entire season (they are all drawn from season 2) I don't know. The episodes are:

Episode Director
Growing Pains 19:17 Frank Paur the Brotherhood try to expose all the mutants by putting on a show in front of the entire school
Power Surge 19:53 Gary Graham Jean's powers become far more powerful than before, getting out of control
Bada Bing, Bada Boom 20:06 Steven E Gordon sassy Tabitha (Boom Boom) gets an unwanted visit from her father, prompting more delinquent behaviour
Fun and Games 20:19 Frank Paur the children hold a party when all the adults are away, and things get serious when a kid starts playing games on Cerebro
Beast of Bayville 20:23 Gary Graham chemistry and PE teacher Hank McCoy suffers a bout of Jekyl and Hyde (or The Hulk)

This series rings some interesting changes on the X-Men themes, including the whole idea that teenage alienation is exacerbated when you're a mutant with odd-ball powers. These teens do act like brats on occasion (Boom Boom more than most she's a real delinquent and vandal), but they are generally decent people. Even the bad boys may be bad, but they aren't that bad the writers bring in adults when they want someone really evil.

If you like the X-Men cartoon series, you'll probably enjoy this series too. The animation is much cleaner and more attractive, and the storylines are a bit lighter than the original. I like it.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. That's probably the original aspect ratio for an American TV cartoon series.

The picture is quite sharp on close-ups, but blurry on long shots; backgrounds look soft, probably because they are painted rather than drawn. Film grain is never an issue, although it is occasionally simulated. Low level noise is completely absent.

Colour is bright and vivid, and well-rendered. There are no colour-related artefacts.

There are no film artefacts.

There is plenty of aliasing, ranging from minor to medium (the worst example is probably at 76:22), but there is no moire. There is no background shimmer. There are no MPEG artefacts.

There are subtitles in twelve languages, including English, and captions in English and German. I watched the English subtitles they are quite accurate (virtually word-for-word), well-timed, and easy to read.

The disc is single sided, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 79:35, between the fourth and fifth episodes, which surprised me: I expected it to be between the third and fourth episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

There are four soundtracks, one being the original dialogue in English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded, at 192kbps.

Dialogue is clear and readily understood.

The music comes from William Anderson. It is somewhat updated from the original series, and better quality. It won't be mistaken for a film score, but it's better than average for a TV series.

The surrounds don't get anything significant to do this is a very frontal soundtrack. There's no signal for the subwoofer in this track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The menu is static, but with music. It's easy to use.

Episode Introductions

These are brief introductions (typically just over half a minute) to each episode by producer Boyd Kirkland. They are accessed from the episode selection menu, by clicking on an "X" next to each episode. Unfortunately, there is no "Play All" option that includes the intros. Indeed, after watching the intro you have to select the episode manually you'd think the episode would play after the intro, but it doesn't.

X-Men

This is an introduction to a number of the X-Men characters, with each introduction including a voice-over, plus half a minute of character highlights from the series.

Brotherhood of Evil Mutants

This is an introduction to mutants on the other side. Like the X-Men intros, these include a voice-over and a half minute of character highlights.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

Region 1 received the equivalent to this disc in early 2003. I haven't discovered if their disc contains the same extras as the Region 4, but I can tell you that it only has the first four episodes that appear on this disc apparently they miss out on the fifth episode. That makes the R4 look like the preferable disc.

Summary

Five episodes of this series given a reasonable transfer to DVD.

The video quality is fairly good.

The audio quality is good.

The extras are fairly rudimentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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