I've said before that comic books weren't a part of my world as a kid. This meant that superheroes would enter my world in the form of cartoons, and X-men was a big one. I usually missed the Saturday morning airings, but I caught them a couple years later when they would be re-run late at night.
The show itself adapted long comic story lines and you'd have to go through 3-4 episodes to get a full plot done. This didn't work out too well for me as the re-runs would be played out of order, leaving me jumping from one plot to another and filling in gaps over time. This created a weird love-hate relationship with me and the X-men. The characters were so cool and the story was pretty engaging, but the convoluted nature of the X-men tied in with unfinished plots left a big mess for me to wrap my head around. Until very recently, I have avoided picking up most X books for fear of the years of baggage and countless retcons.
As mentioned though, I did fall in love with the characters. The X-men cartoon followed as closely as it could to Claremont's legendary run, who was a master at juggling different voices and personalities. This is important, as X-men has always seemed to be much more soapy and character driven than a lot of other comics. With a huge roster of characters coming on and off of the team, the cartoon ends up hitting classic archetypes like the driven leader, badass rebel, outcasted intellectual, and many more.
It's difficult to sum up the X-men cartoon in one post, as I'm sure the cartoon had difficulty summing up the comics they were based on. The story ranges from dealing with bigotry, politics, and religion to space adventures, time travel, and a magical dinosaur island in Antarctica. The show did not hold back to say the least. Overall the show had a huge impact on the youth of that era, as they've grown up and spawned a new comic book based on the original cartoon over a decade after the show first aired.
A couple of years ago my friend held an X-men marathon at his place, and to my surprised it held up pretty well. The animation was pretty poor, but that was completely understandable given that the show tried to match the artwork of the comics which was way too detailed to animate properly. To this day, I would still entertain the idea of another X-men marathon, though I'd rather delve into the newer more stream-lined takes on the X-team that I haven't watched yet.