Alien: Covenant isn’t the first time a famous drooling black buglike thing is going to be exploited for profit, nor will it be the last. But did you know in the early 90’s, the Alien series came THIS CLOSE to becoming a Saturday Morning cartoon? Brought to our attention by Dread Central, Operation: Aliens was to premiere on the Fox Kids lineup in the fall of 1992, presumably airing next to Bobby’s World.
Did you ever wonder what was up with all those weird Alien toys that came out around 1993 — the ones that had Xeno variants not seen in any movie, like a gorilla Alien, a snake Alien, and a Flying Queen? They were created for the TV series. It’s established lore that a Xenomorph takes the shape of whatever host it hatches from, but aside from Alien 3 and its bull/dog variant (depending on the version you’re watching) this aspect of their biology has never been explored. Might’ve been interesting.
The few images we have of Operation: Aliens were originally posted on the now-defunct website of the Korean animation studio that worked on the project. It’s unknown how far it got along before cancellation, and no video has ever turned up. If you’re familiar with Fox Kids’s X-Men cartoon, though, you can already picture what it would have looked like in motion. The art style, with its bold colors and solid black shadows, is very similar.
The closest evidence we have for what the show would have been like are the mini-comics inserted into Kenner’s Aliens toy lineup (which, as we said, was originally based on Operation: Aliens). The show would have starred Hicks, Ripley, Bishop, Apone and Drake as they traveled around the galaxy eliminating the Alien threat wherever it infested itself.
The Kenner line was renamed before release, but other products (like this puzzle) shipped using the Operation: Aliens logo. No one knows why the cartoon was cancelled mid-production, but one would assume trying to get Chestbursters past the censors would have played a role.