Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fifty-second week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
The X-Men Animated Series had three different voice actresses voice Storm in the first season.
The X-Men Animated Series turned 25 years old this week and this weekend, we will be celebrating that anniversary with three legends about the series! Not only that, but each legend will be based on something that I read in an advanced copy of an awesome new book about the series by the series showrunner (or whatever the 1992 animated equivalent of that term), Eric Lewald called Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series
You can buy a copy of the book right from the publisher right here.
In one segment of the book, Eric discussed the casting of the voice actors for the series. While discussing them, he revealed the hilariously odd story of how there were somehow THREE different voice actresses who did the voice for Storm in every episode of the first season of the X-Men Animated Series!!
Why were Storm's lines for the ENTIRE 13-episode season recorded by three different women? Well, the first problem came after production on the season was pretty much over and they allowed themselves to think about other aspects of the show and they began to think about the fact that this show was probably going to get a lot of attention. With that in mind, they realized that perhaps people might not appreciate the fact that the actress who voiced Storm on the series, the most prominent black character on the show, was actually a white woman.
So they quickly brought in actress Iona Morris to re-record all of Storm's lines.
Problem solved, right? Well, not exactly. You see, Iona Morris was excellent, but she also had a major problem from the perspective of the show's producers - she was American. You see, American voice actors get paid residuals based on their work being rerun. Canadian voice actors, on the other hand, do not. That is why the X-Men series was made up almost entirely of Canadian voice actors.
So having Morris do the series long term was not feasible. They needed a black Canadian actress and they found one in Alison Sealy-Smith. Sealy-Smith was the voice of Storm from Season 2 onwards. However, they also had her re-record all of Storm's lines in Season 1, as well. Morris' voice was used in the original airing of each episode, but in the reruns, Sealy-Smith's voice would replace Morris' so that the series could avoid having to pay Morris residuals for her work that they would have owed her every time they reran one of her episodes.
Therefore, the first season of the X-Men somehow had three different actresses do the voice of Storm for the entire season's worth of episodes!
Thanks once again to Eric for the great information from his awesome book. Anyone with any interest in the X-Men should be sure to buy a copy of his book! Once again, you can buy a copy of the book right from the publisher right here.
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Did Bob Dylan nearly have his own sitcom on HBO?
OK, that's it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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See you all next week!