There have forever been questions about art, how it affects us, which elements are most important. Is it the images or the words? Movies and TV and live theater and comics share the advantage of having both — with sound effects and music included in what we do in animation. The philosophical positions (writer: “I thought it up!”; artist: “I made it real!”; actor: “I gave it life!”; composer: “I gave it context!”; etc.) have been argued since before Aristotle made his points millennia ago. To me, the disputes seem not only wrong-headed but futile. No one can ever prove that the words of a poem or the style of a painting or the lilt of a melody or the dynamism of an actor’s reading provoked the most profound artistic experience. To pretend otherwise may make for fun arguments, but it is sheer indefensible arrogance. Creative people tend to get so caught up in their craft that it “feels” like a creation is theirs alone. But in a collaborative art like animation, all contribute. Look at the moment below from Episode Two (“Night of the Sentinels – II”), where Jean has sensed Morph’s pain at his death. When Charles Xavier reaches out with his mind to locate his friend, the deftly-written and sensitively-voiced line is simple: “I don’t sense anything… At all.” The scene is precisely sketched and directed by Larry Houston in the storyboard. The audience can feel the sense of loss in actor Cedric Smith’s quiet reading. The sound track and music were thankfully restrained. Editor Sharon Janis paced the cuts just right. Change any of these elements, and the power of the moment vanishes. Above all: collaboration.