31 May 2006

A letter from Skeletor...

One of those little scenes that can be easily overlooked occurs in He-Man's "A Beastly Sideshow" episode. Skeletor and his warriors kidnap Cringer and hold him at Snake Mountain. As we all know Skeletor is evil, former pupil of Hordak, former member of the Evil Horde, the Lord of Destruction, and yet even he will take some time out to pen a little ransom letter to Prince Adam! I find it highly amusing that an evil villain, capable of magic, would sit down and write a letter to his enemy! I love the end part of the letter too, "IF YOU DARE!"


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

30 May 2006

...the madness...

J. Michael Straczynski is more commonly known for his He-Man and She-Ra characters spouting very clever or amusing dialogue. Obviously "Origin of the Sorceress" is his shining episode with lots of deep character defining moments. However I believe that Granamyr's haunting speech about war in the season two episode "Battle of the Dragons" is one of his best pieces of writing. A lot of praise has to go to John Erwin for acting out the dialogue with so much feeling...

For your listening pleasure, Granamyr's haunting speech...

29 May 2006

Sludgeman!

For years one of my favorite scenes in She-Ra's "Day Of The Flowers" episode featured a new, yet very comical-looking character standing beside Hordak; Ore Captain Sludgeman! His name alone is hysterically funny, but what is even stranger is that this creature was last see in He-Man's "Search for the Past" episode from season two. In that episode this creature was a Mud Monster, but now was being used as one of Hordak's captains. John Erwin does a good job giving Ore Captain Sludgeman the only voice he should have; a slurry, bellowing voice, seeming to show little emotion. But Sludgeman is hard to take seriously...

For your listening pleasure, Ore Captain Sludgeman!

28 May 2006

Man-Antennae?

If you look at Man-At-Arms during the moral segment for the episode "The Region of Ice" you will notice that he is standing in front of a hanger, making it appear as if he has antennae! An obvious joke by the storyboard artist and director...We hope!

27 May 2006

Robert Lamb: Loo-Kee's appearance...

I spoke to Robert Lamb about his She-Ra season one episode "Loo-Kee Lends a Hand"...

"The timestop device is a perfect example of writing with the limitations of the medium. Animation is expensive. In live action when time stops, the actors have a real hard time holding still to maintain the illusion. In animation it is ridiculously simple. Shot after shot of held cels. Cheap, but effective. After I had returned to storyboard "Loo-Kee Lends a Hand" made its way through the production mill. Lou Scheimer phoned me in Bob Arkwright's office to tell me how much he liked the episode. Unfortunately, it was afternoon breaktime and all the storyboard guys were in Bob's office hooting at me as if I was kissing up to the Big Boss."

26 May 2006

The Iron Master!

Here is a wonderful illustration by Robin Davies taken from the He-Man Ladybird book "The Iron Master." As I mentioned in a previous Blog entry the Ladybird books stated that no being with a trace of evil within them could hold the Sword of Power without it burning their hand, thus Skeletor has the giant Iron Master built in an effort to obtain the Sword of Power! The colors in this image are very striking, and the small touches, like the light blue line around Skeletor, help create a memorable image.


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

25 May 2006

Robert Lamb: He-Man's Character...

Since 1997 I have been fortunate enough to converse on many an occasion with Filmation storyboard artist and writer Robert Lamb. An extremely friendly and very approachable guy he put a lot of love into He-Man and She-Ra, and over the years has revealed many facts, anecdotes and secrets about his time spent working on both shows. Ever since we started speaking via email I've wanted to place these comments on-line, but found that my past websites were by no means a great home for them. This Blog however does appears to be the perfect stage! And so without further ado...

I spoke to Robert Lamb about the character of He-Man...

"He-Man (or any hero for that matter) is what you make him. No, he didn't come with a bag of neuroses like many comic book heroes were manifesting then. I liked He-Man, though I thought the name embarrassing at first. All heroes save the day and He-Man is no exception. What makes a character interesting is what matters to him or her. Whether it's the thought of losing your best friend in the abyss or renouncing power because you thought you killed someone. This rounds out a character where feats of strength do not."

24 May 2006

Boreworms!

In the comments section of the Fruit?! post a few days back Aidan "Mosquitor" Cross stated that a reference to Flash Gordon was made in the story "Man-At-Arms: Traitor!" from issue three of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Indeed he was right; here is that very panel and the reference to Boreworms!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

23 May 2006

Four games straight?

"Duel at Devlan" from She-Ra's season one is an episode that is at times slightly unfocused, featuring a lot of filler material. These scenes do well to showcase the rebels in their day to day lives, but in the context of the episode do not appear to fit in very smoothly. However, one filler scene in act two is absolutely hilarious! Broom, Kowl, Madame Razz, and Sprag are playing a board game when Madame quitely stops the game to make an announcement. Not only is her announcement ridiculous, but the sheer disbelief and shock in Sprag's voice is superbly acted by Lou Scheimer! The scene is pure and unadulterated Madame Razz, and it is hilarious!

For your listening pleasure, Four games straight?

22 May 2006

She-Tiara!

In an effort to fool her enemies She-Ra removes her tiara in the season two episode "Return Of The General." What is surprising to the viewer is that her hair is exactly the same as Adora's, and without the headpiece She-Ra looks exactly like Adora in a different costume! The only real difference between Adora and She-Ra is that the most powerful woman in the universe has slightly longer hair, but somehow I doubt that would fool many people.


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

21 May 2006

Fruit?!

Issue three of the UK Masters of the Universe comic featured a story titled "Man-At-Arms: Traitor!" As you can see the Evil Warriors sit around their council table listening to Skeletor's latest plan of action, but notice that instead of a horrid creature, or the standard viewscreen on the table we have a bowl of fruit. A bowl of fruit?! The most evil beings in the universe are sitting down eating fruit? Something seems very wrong with this! Not for a second am I saying that they should be promoting junk food; but fruit? That's just not right! Also check out the very odd-looking Mer-Man!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

20 May 2006

Confronting the Gedge!

Another beautiful looking panning shot shows up in the season two episode "Battlecat" as He-Man and the star of the episode Battle Cat leap into shot to confront the recently escaped Gedge monster! This scene is directed fantastically in the episode as the camera follows the Gedge along the gorge with He-Man and Battle Cat leaping into frame drawing the Gedge's attention. Also worth mentioning is that the colors on this panning shot are so very vibrant!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

18 May 2006

Thank goodness!

The He-Man episode "A Friend in Need" is well-remembered for a scene where Prince Adam transforms into He-Man as he falls towards certain doom. An odd moment occurs when falling from the sky He-Man grabs hold of a tower and we see his mouth move. However no dialogue comes out, but the script clearly indicates that he is supposed to say "Thank goodness!"


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

16 May 2006

Catra calling...

In the season one She-Ra episode "The Sea Hawk" we get a fine example of what makes Melendy Britt such a great voice actress. Catra contacts Hordak, and in doing so stutters in her own cat-like way, resulting in an amazing, dedicated and probably sore piece of voice acting...

For your listening pleasure, Catra calling...

15 May 2006

Rainbow Quartz.

A few Blog entries back I was talking about the slight moralistic story conflicts within the season two He-Man episode "Three on a Dare." None of that today. Instead I present a lovely panning shot of Skeletor gloating over the heroes' lack of Rainbow Quartz whilst standing above a vast "mountain" of the crystal. He truly is the evil Lord of Destruction!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

13 May 2006

100th Blog Entry! :)

Well, here we are; ONE-HUNDRED Blog entries! And if any of you are wondering how long I can keep this Blog going for, well, I have eight-hundred planned posts, along with the twenty new ones that pop into my head on a daily basis...Transformation in a cupboard!...You see? There's another one!

So let's take a quick glance over the previous ninety-nine posts...

01 - Welcome...
02 - Snoopy and a Smurf?
03 - Mer-Man = Drama?
04 - Witnesses!
05 - Emiliano's Princess of 1999!
06 - Orko's refreshingly original spell!
07 - Deciphering Orko's spell...
08 - Road Rage!
09 - He-Man rides into battle...
10 - Cat got your tongue?
11 - How does a lion find...
12 - The evil warlord from ancient times.
13 - Road Rage (again)!
14 - She-Wha?!
15 - Santalucia's Blog!
16 - Even when I'm right, I'm wrong!
17 - Horde Prime?
18 - Scorpia's UK cameo...
19 - August 28th 1986! :)
20 - This is most unsettling.
21 - Anime Glimmer!
22 - The cowardly cat's point of view.
23 - He knows what to do!
24 - Teela...in pink?
25 - Snake Mountain: Explained!
26 - Poisonous?
27 - What was Faker?
28 - Faker "corrected" model sheet!
29 - Man-E-Faces: Unmasked!
30 - The Sorceress?!
31 - Happy Valentine's Day! :)
32 - Evil Robotic He-Man Imposter!
33 - Panthor's armor?
34 - Evil Robotic He-Man Imposter (again)!
35 - Jukka and Mike Bock take on Faker!
36 - 21 years ago to this very day...
37 - Icer's "roar."
38 - The Sword of Power?
39 - The other side of the mountain...
40 - Spikor poses!
41 - Yeeowww!
42 - This kitten has claws...
43 - Thick-Skull!
44 - Seven, Eight, Nine...
45 - Evil-Lyn's origins...
46 - Hourglass Guardian.
47 - Light Spinner?
48 - Dark Hope?
49 - Commentary Time!
50 - 50th Blog Entry! :)
51 - Scorpia's UK cameo...Jukka style!
52 - A thrilling, new dimension!
53 - "Let's humor him!"
54 - Okay?
55 - Your feet?!
56 - Imperfect Evil Warriors...
57 - Stratos on Etheria?
58 - Spikor poses: The Revenge!
59 - Posed like Prince Adam...
60 - Nah!
61 - The greatest story never told...
62 - Sunset on Eternia.
63 - Too much!
64 - Peephole Mutants!
65 - Squash and Stretch Evil Warriors...
66 - Pony!
67 - The mysterious, caped, blue-skinned dude!
68 - Attempting a villainous laugh...
69 - The robotic ouch!
70 - Dynamic Transformation!
71 - MushBROOM!
72 - Skeletor's mispronunciation!
73 - The Princess of Power!
74 - Too much detail!
75 - Skeletor's Slippers?
76 - Competition...
77 - Nervous?
78 - Gepple's Goo advert!
79 - Questionable Statue...
80 - Catra's Glamorous Cat.
81 - WATOOOM!
82 - Climbing Sky Dancer...
83 - Long-lost hero...
84 - Beast Man burn hand!
85 - Orko revealed?
86 - Razz revealed!
87 - The Zactons Return!
88 - Surprise Transformation!
89 - Orko versus Skeletor!
90 - From Eternia?
91 - THIS forest?
92 - Trap Jaw's Tongue?
93 - The Mondor epilogue.
94 - Rainbow Quartz reaction...
95 - Royal flight of fancy!
96 - Short black hair?
97 - Night Stalker?
98 - Evil-Dye?
99 - Catra Got Milk?

Is there anything you would like to see in the future?

Things to look out for; Fat He-Man?!, Modulok drools!, Anime Lady Valtira!, The design of Davey Jones., Man-At-Arms' mystery construction., The prettiest thing..., The Rose Goddess., Skeletor in detail..., Is that supposed to be Imp?, Summing up!, Skeletor's Christmas Cast!, Convenient Statue., Eternia's New Characters?, Man-E-Direction..., The terms of the treaty..., Sludgeman!, Four games straight?, Blankfort's theme..., Blonde Gal?, Catra calling..., Greyskull?, A battle fought in the stars..., Point Dread?, Eternian cast!, Orko to camera..., Skeletor's craziest laugh!, Spunky plays the flute..., Drissi's Pokemon!, as well as many more tidbits of information, animation art, storyboards, scripts, ideas for episodes, etc. Hopefully for many years to come this Blog will continue to entertain! :)

10 May 2006

Catra Got Milk?

The Filmation artists under the supervision of director Tom Tataranowicz add an amusing joke to one scene in the She-Ra episode "Return of the Sea Hawk." As Grizzlor is hunched over the control panel we can see that in the background Catra is drinking milk from a bowl! It is attention to detail like this that makes Tom Tataranowicz my favorite Filmation director...


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

09 May 2006

Evil-Dye?

In the comments section of the Short black hair? post a few days back Aidan "Mosquitor" Cross requested a look at Evil-Lyn with black hair, instead of the white hair that Filmation gave her. So here is our favorite witch with her newly dyed black hair! Personally I'm not sure what to make of it...

08 May 2006

Night Stalker?

Issue three of the UK Masters of the Universe comic featured a story titled "Jewel of Fire." In the first few opening panels Tri-Klops is shown to be spying on a lone Fisherman making a discovery. As Tri-Klops leaps on his horse to report back to Snake Mountain we see a creature of flesh and bone, but with the exact same color scheme as the robotic Night Stalker, the Evil Armored War Horse! Am I the only one to think this?


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

07 May 2006

Short black hair?

Possibly one of the finest hair-revealing moments in the entire He-Man and She-Ra series occurs in the episode "The Witch and The Warrior." Evil-Lyn, complaining about the heat in the desert, takes off her helmet. What does surprise us all is that she has white hair; very short hair at that. Oddly, the script written by Paul Dini actually states that she should have "short black hair."


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

05 May 2006

Royal flight of fancy!

Here is probably the biggest panning shot I have ever assembled! In He-Man's "The Royal Cousin" episode Jeremy "borrows" a Sky-Sled and takes it for a joyride over the rooftops of the Royal Palace! Now as it was filmed for a few seconds Filmation artists created a looping background. Here from start to finish I have assmebled the looping background with Jeremy's starting position, all the way to the very last frame of the panning shot with Jeremy removed. It's always nice to see how looping backgrounds work, and I have to admit that I'm a little impressed with my composition here!


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

04 May 2006

Rainbow Quartz reaction...

In He-Man's "Three on a Dare" episode Prince Adam and Cringer journey to Snake Mountain in order to obtain Rainbow Quartz. As much as I love this episode the heroes' actions are in direct conflict with the moralistic tone set by the series. Numerous times in both the He-Man and She-Ra series we were told not to take anything that did not belong to us because that would be stealing. Yet in this very episode the heroes do not ask Skeletor for the Rainbow Quartz; they sneak into Snake Mountain and try to take it without his knowledge. Isn't that stealing?

03 May 2006

The Mondor epilogue.

At the very end of the She-Ra season one episode "The Mines of Mondor" we see the epilogue begin with a long panning shot. What I believe makes this image so very interesting is that we have the panning shot bookended with close-up cels of the characters that we are only used to seeing on static shots. It frames the image beautifully and matches the progression of the dialogue in this scene. A great piece of direction by Ernie Schmidt.


(click on the image to see it at full-size)

02 May 2006

Trap Jaw's Tongue?

As we all know Trap Jaw, my favorite Evil Warrior, is famed for his steel jaw and razor sharp teeth that can bite through anything. In one of his finest episodes, season one's "Double Edged Sword", Trap Jaw high above the Sands of Time lowers Mer-Man towards the heroes via his Dropper arm attachment. When the cable on the Dropper snaps Trap Jaw's shocked expression reveals something odd thing that we have never seen before, and never see again; a tongue! This was probably just a momentary lapse by the artist of this sequence, or drawn on purpose to add more comedy to the moment.

01 May 2006

THIS forest?

In the episode "Prince Adam No More" the map that King Randor examines in the Attak Trak features a lot of Filmation in-jokes. Drawn by William Wray it features some interesting locations on Eternia. Aside from the blatantly obvious "THIS forest" we have "Joan Rivers" a nod to the American talk show host, "Herschensohn Lake" a reference to Wes Herschensohn one of the elder storyboard artists at the time, "Rolnik River" a reference to Sharon Rolnik another storyboard artist, and finally "Emerald City" from The Wizard of Oz makes an appearance. Also we have the amusingly named "Evil Area" and "Bad Mountains."


(click on the image to see it at full-size)
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