Even though X-Men: Evolution ended 16 years ago, it's still one of Marvel's most beloved animated series.
Today, X-Men: Evolution might be most famous for introducing the world to X-23, Wolverine's young female clone. While it premiered shortly after the first X-Men movie opened in 2000, the series re-imagined the X-Men as teenagers in high school for four seasons.
After all these years, one eagle-eyed fan at The Dork Review spotted X-Men: Evolution's long-hidden homage to The Craft, an iconic 1996 horror movie about teenage witches that stars Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk and Rachel True.
In this moment from the 2002 X-Men: Evolution episode, "Walk on the Wild Side," several female X-Men walk down a high school hallway in frame-by-frame recreation of a similar moment from The Craft.
While The Dork Review first noticed the homage in September, the clip recently went viral on Reddit and social media.
To make the connection even more explicit, both The Craft and this episode of X-Men: Evolution feature female teenagers embracing their powers and rebelling against the status quo. In this X-Men's case, this group was called the Bayville Sirens and included Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Magma and Boom-Boom, who isn’t pictured in the scene.
As X-Men: Evolution writer and producer Boyd Kirkland noted in a Q&A with Toon Zone, it wasn't uncommon for animators to reference live-action shots while trying to animate difficult scenes. He also pointed out how another scene, which featured Rogue and Kitty Pryde dancing, was based on a similar moment from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
While The Craft didn't end well for its protagonists, these X-Women returned to their regular roles on the team for the remainder of the cartoon's run.