Animated nostalgia reigns on Disney Plus with X-Men '97 and The Bad Batch

Both X-Men ’97 and Star Wars: The Bad Batch are currently dropping new episodes every Wednesday on the Disney Plus streaming platform.

Jubilee (voiced by Holly Chou) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL.
Jubilee (voiced by Holly Chou) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

X-Men ’97 is a continuation of the animated series that ran on Fox television thirty years ago. That show was officially titled X-Men: The Animated Series and was wildly popular in the 1990s; it was a Saturday morning cartoon favorite. Those who grew up at that time, when a variety of animated superhero series came out of the woodwork, seemed to come to a common consensus that the X-Men animated series reached a zenith for the genre.

X-Men: The Animated Series aired for five seasons, from 1992 to 1997, and the X-Men ’97 showrunners wisely picked up where that series left off. They only made slight visual adjustments when updating the show thirty years later, which resonates strongly with fans who loved the design of the original. X-Men ’97 is the epitome of nostalgia, right down to the theme music in the definitive intro, matching the 1990’s show in setup and style, while substituting new team members.

A lot of shots are replicated for the X-Men ’97 intro, and it even features Sunspot running towards an enclosed gate, replacing Jubilee's identical dilemma in the X-Men: The Animated Series opening. Jubilee was the new recruit back when the first show began and now a young Sunspot has been brought into the school in X-Men ’97, allowing the full-time X-Man, Jubilee, to mentor Sunspot.

With only a handful of episodes airing so far, it is clear, maybe even from word of mouth alone, that X-Men ’97 surpasses expectations. It already has shown the potential to be better than its exceptional predecessor. The show is also yielding positive results for Disney Plus, with four million viewers watching the commencing chapters in its first five days of release. But X-Men ’97 isn’t the only Disney Plus animated series dropping new episodes on Wednesdays.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is more than halfway through its final season. The show has gained popularity throughout its concise run, purposefully forming a story that will end after three seasons. Televisionstats reveals that during its height in March, The Bad Batch was one of the top 10 most popular shows currently running. Other sources confirm it was in the top 3% of shows in March, in terms of level of demand.

Like X-Men, Star Wars fans may have sentimental feelings about The Bad Batch. While it only lasted for a few years, it is basically a continuation (technically a spin-off) of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which began over 15 years ago. While nostalgic infatuation is being reinvigorated over at the mutant camp, clone trooper supporters are hanging on to every moment as they witness the end of an era in The Bad Batch.

Even fan-favorite Clone Wars veteran, Captain Rex, figures into the narrative of The Bad Batch. And now the deadly assassin, Asajj Ventress, has gloriously re-emerged for this Star Wars animated swan song, dominating a chapter entitled “The Harbinger”. Ventress hasn’t been seen since the fifth season of The Clone Wars concluded over ten years ago. Even more significant to admirers of these series, is the fact that she made her grand entrance as a virtuoso villain at the very beginning of The Clone Wars, in 2008.

With Star Wars: The Bad Batch looking to finish off a fantastic run and X-Men ’97 just starting to astonish Marvel fanatics, Disney Plus is currently a must watch on Wednesdays.

Next. The 8 best X-Men: The Animated Series episodes, ranked. The 8 best X-Men: The Animated Series episodes, ranked. dark