Streaming Review: “Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of X-Men ’97” is a Documentary 30 Years in the Making

Disney+’s Marvel Studios Assembled has been looking at the making of various Marvel projects since WandaVision hit the streamer in 2020. While there is a lot of overlap with these series and movies, each one has a little something different to explore.

That is especially true for Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of X-Men '97, as it explores just the second animated series to be featured in this docuseries. Plus, this particular installment gets to do something none of its predecessors has: look all the way back to the 90s.

As always, this installment of Assembled provides plenty of great insights from directors, producers and dozens of brilliant people who made the series possible. It certainly provides a comprehensive look at the decision making process behind the creation of this revived series. Fans get to see everything from early sketches to the voice actors recording some of their more memorable lines, giving plenty of behind-the-scenes moments that made this show possible.

One of the big topics on which this documentary touched was the adult themes and moments featured in this animated series. This was a subject we discussed frequently on the Zzzax of Life podcast, as this animated series which is largely for children consistently played to a much broader audience than one might have expected. It is mentioned in the doc that the creative team followed the direction of “don’t write down to kids, write up to kids,” which is a brilliant philosophy for creating a family show, and this documentary gives a look at that process.

The element that makes this particular installment of Assembled so unique is that it is truly 30 years in the making. This doc isn’t just a look at the making of X-Men ‘97, but also the making of X-Men: The Animated Series. It was necessary to look back at that original series to tell the full story and it was fascinating to watch. Getting to hear from the cast and creators of the original series only enhances the nostalgia provided by this revival and carries it right into the documentary.

And that is taken a step further when we get to see those original creators return to work on the revival themselves. Watching the voice actors return and discuss their love for these characters and this series is so incredibly charming and provides a sense of magic to this doc that could never really be there for any of its predecessors. And hearing them all talk about how they’ve been told the series has impacted the lives of so many fans, provides a rare emotional moment for this docuseries.

Like X-Men ‘97 itself, this latest Assembled is darn near perfect. However, if there was to be one nitpicky complaint it would be that there is no mention of the major character cameos we saw throughout the series, hinting at the larger Marvel Universe. Producer Brad Winderbaum mentioned during the run of this series’ first season that fans would be excited to see some of these characters, so it’s clear they are willing to publicly acknowledge their presence. The doc even features brief glimpses at some of these cameos, but no further recognition of these characters is provided. Of course, it’s always wishful thinking to expect any information on future projects in an Assembled, but it would have been fun to hear about the decision to include some of these characters.

Overall, Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of X-Men '97 is an incredibly fun watch for fans of both X-Men ‘97 and X-Men: The Animated Series. Getting to hear some of the creative process behind the revival of a beloved series is fascinating and the doc provides a lot of different perspectives. And, if nothing else, seeing the original voice cast return to these characters and the joy it brings them is worth a watch alone.

Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of X-Men '97 is now streaming on Disney+.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."