30 June 2006

Aching bow...

When the heroes journey to the Valley of the Lost in the season one She-Ra episode "The Rock People" we are treated to some amusing scenes! One of my favorite images and pieces of dialogue occurs as Bow and the others are confronted by the gigantic King Liz! Bow's shocked expression is accompanied by a fantastic piece of dialogue which is comically performed by George Dicenzo!

For your listening pleasure, Bow's shock!

29 June 2006

Plains of Perpetua.

One of my favorite panning shots is featured in the He-Man season one episode "Song of Celice." Though unnamed in the actual episode this location is referred to in the script as the Plains of Perpetua, an area of Eternia mentioned in the Series Bible and numerous other Masters of the Universe canons. It is a beautifully painted panning shot, very mysterious looking, and I love how we can see the plains trail off into the distance. We only see the location once in the entire series, but personally I think it is so unforgettable, and was deserving of further appearances!


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

28 June 2006

What happened to Trap Jaw's voice?

In the season one He-Man episode "Teela's Trial" we see the common pairing of Beast Man and Trap Jaw. Beast Man is oddly silent in the episode and does not speak a single word, whilst Trap Jaw talks constantly throughout. However in one scene, the steel-jawed villain's voice changes very noticeably, as if another character is present! Close inspection of the script reveals something very interesting; originally it was supposed to be Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops who were paired up in this episode. This explains that the voice change is because it is Tri-Klops talking, not Trap Jaw, and also explains why Beast Man has no dialogue in the episode whatsoever! It is obvious that there was not enough appropriate animation of Tri-Klops for this episode, prompting the Filmation artists to replace him with Beast Man, and force his one piece of dialogue over to Trap Jaw!

For your listening pleasure, Trap Jaw with Tri-Klops' voice!

27 June 2006

ROAR!

In the season one He-Man episode "Game Plan" the most powerful man in the universe is captured prompting Battle Cat and Ram Man to work together. When the pair invade Negator's base of operations they are confronted by the villain's Nerbs. As Ram Man sits still in recovery after smashing his way through an air vent Battle Cat takes it upon himself to let the Nerbs know that he means business. We are then treated to a very expressive piece of animation as you can see below, and one of the loudest Battle Cat roars in the series!

For your listening pleasure, ROAR!


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

26 June 2006

Breathless Broom!

Broom is one of my favorite She-Ra cast members mainly for Lou Scheimer's great voice acting, but also for the design and mannerisms that the Filmation artists created for Madame Razz's comical sidekick! In the She-Ra season one episode "A Talent for Trouble" Broom is hilarious as he desperately tries to update She-Ra on the recent Evil Horde activities that have caused both Madame Razz and Orko to be captured...

For your listening pleasure, Broom trying to explain...

25 June 2006

Robert Lamb: Problems with "Fisto's Forest"...

I spoke to Robert Lamb about his storyboarding on the He-Man season two episode "Fisto's Forest"...

"The rough cut of "Fisto's Forest" was so bad that Lou called in all those who worked on it into the conference to show us what we had wrought. My mistakes were in drawing the proper stock in the storyboard but writing the wrong stock number above the scene. Lou went easy on me but blasted everyone that followed for not catching the mistake. All anyone had to do was look at the drawing to know which stock to use. In one sequence He-Man runs into the scene...cut to a close-up of Adam delivering dialogue...then a wider angle of He-Man running out of scene. Stupid stuff, really. Other errors stemmed from not reading the board better...a scene where characters are stuck in spider goo is the size of a puddle in one shot and the size of a soccer field in the next and back again. The main people who caught it from Lou were the director, layout supervisor, and the head of animation checking. 75 percent of the scenes had to be reshot."

24 June 2006

A jaunty tune.

In the She-Ra season one episode "A Talent for Trouble" Larry DiTillio's script states that Orko should be "humming a jaunty tune", as he sweeps through the corridors of Castle Grayskull. Fortunately for Larry DiTillio, Lou Scheimer is an entertaining voice actor who had perfected Orko's voice, and the only word that can be used to describe the little Trollan's tune is "cute!"

For your listening pleasure, Orko's jaunty tune.

22 June 2006

Blow the candle out...

Issue four of the UK Masters of the Universe comic featured a story titled "Mountains From Space." In this story there is a scene where Skeletor erects a protective barrier around Snake Mountain to protect he and his Evil Warriors from a forthcoming meteor shower! An amusing panel shows that the barrier plunges Snake Mountain into darkness. What is so amusing about that I hear you ask? Well, surprisingly it turns out that the Evil Warriors and Skeletor himself are afraid of the dark! Take a look at the panel below to read some very odd dialogue exchanged between Beast Man and Skeletor...


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

21 June 2006

The Giggleberry effect.

Besides being one of the best episodes of season one, "The Stone in the Sword" is also one of the most memorable and best episodes of the entire She-Ra series. For such a serious episode, it involves lots of humor. One such scene has Sprocker accidentally scattering pollen from the Giggleberry bush amongst his fellow rebels, with hilarious consequences! A delightful scene follows, as Adora, Bow and Glimmer are thrown into fits of laughter due the pollen from the bush, whilst at the same time trying to discuss the serious matter of Hordak's forthcoming attack! Excellent voice acting on the parts of Linda Gary, Melendy Britt and George Dicenzo make this moment highly entertaining!

For your listening pleasure, Laughter aplenty!


(click on the images to see them at full-size)

19 June 2006

Kobra?

In the He-Man Ladybird book "A Trap For He-Man" the writer gives name to the snake-headed staff that Teela wields, Kobra. In this story Teela demonstrates its ability to fire blasts, communicate with the animals of Eternia, and contact other Heroic Warriors. This particular story seems to focus heavily on the powers that Teela possesses whilst in possession of her Kobra staff. It is actually a shame that other canons did not follow this minor plot point. I for one would have enjoyed seeing this take place in the cartoon at certain points. That said eventually She-Ra would possess the ability to talk to the animals of Etheria.


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

18 June 2006

The terms of the treaty...

Just what are the terms of the treaty between Dragons and humans? Fortunately the season two He-Man episode "Battle of the Dragons" has Man-At-Arms inform us, providing us with yet another fantastic piece of writing by J. Michael Straczynski!

For your listening pleasure, The terms of the treaty...

16 June 2006

Twice in one day...

I'm always a big fan of Cringer's little comments during the transformation sequence. One of the longest ones and most comical is featured in "Dree Elle's Return" when Cringer quips that it is the second time in a day that they are transforming into their alter-egos! If you listen as Cringer talks you can still hear the power of Grayskull surrounding He-Man, making me wonder; when the cowardly cat makes a comment does the most powerful man in the universe just stand there with the sword across his chest waiting for Cringer to stop talking?! Cringer's change of expression is also amusing as evident in the two extreme images below.

For your listening pleasure, Twice in one day...


(click on the images to see them at full-size)

12 June 2006

Blankfort's theme...

"Hordak's Power Play" as we all know is one of the worst She-Ra episodes not only of season two, but the whole series! What somewhat harms this episode is one bit of music in particular that thankfully is never heard in any other He-Man or She-Ra episode, and sounds as if it is from another series altogether! The music is intensely dramatic and harsh, not sounding suited in the two scenes it accompanies. The staccato sound is first played during Dr. Blankfort's meeting with Adora and Bow and during the last moments in the Fright Zone. The music is memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. Yet no matter how bad the music is "Hordak's Power Play" is bad on so many other levels...

For your listening pleasure, Blankfort's theme...

11 June 2006

A battle fought in the stars...

Here is my first Blog entry referring my least favorite part of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe; the live action movie! There are many things I like about the movie, mainly the production artwork by Moebius and Bill Stout, and the actual designs throughout the film, but they are overshadowed by in my opinion an extremely weak story. But I will be posting further Blog entries about the movie because it is a part of the Masters of the Universe, and always will be! An advert that was carried across numerous publications can be seen here on taken from the back cover of issue sixty-four of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. I actually think this is a very appropriate advert for the film.


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

10 June 2006

Blonde Gal!

During the runaway wagon scene in the She-Ra episode "The Red Knight" it approaches a large crowd of people. As the crowds separate, look at the woman on the far right of the screen who looks like she could pass as one of She-Ra's main cast members!


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

09 June 2006

Robert Lamb: "What a stupid name..."

I spoke to Robert Lamb about He-Man's name...

"Before the character He-Man, the term was used to describe a guy as a hunk. "He's a real he-man." When feminism arrived, it was used as a term of derision. "Some sort of macho, testosterone-brain-damaged, he-man jerk." Masculine terms were deemed pathetic and some became attached with negative stereotypes. We were quite surprised by the choice of names considering that climate. When someone would ask what I was working on, I would sheepishly say "He-Man", and there would follow gales of laughter. Then usually a comment like, "What a stupid name for a character! Who thought that up?" After the show became a hit, the term he-man was thankfully retired by our culture. Forevermore it would be the name of a beloved hero."

08 June 2006

Eternia's New Characters?

I have showcased once before the odd background characters that appeared in the season two episode "To Save the Creatures." Well here are two characters that did not appear in the background! These two characters appear to serve King Randor, referred to in the script as "Assistants", but we have never seen them in the Royal Palace before. Interestingly the design for the man in blue was used as a generic warrior that served Rago in the season one episode "It's Not My Fault."


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

07 June 2006

Who are these people?

During the runaway wagon scene in the She-Ra episode "The Red Knight" three people are shown on a balcony. The female is actually a clone of Sibyline from the He-Man season one episode "The Defection", and the man in green is a clone of the adult David from "The Once and Future Duke", also from He-Man's season one. What is amusing about this scene is the way the man in green grabs the woman and runs her to safety as the wagon crashes into the balcony, leaving the other poor guy to hang on for his life!


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

05 June 2006

Fly Stratos! Fly!

Here is another fantastic illustration by Robin Davies taken from the He-Man Ladybird book "The Iron Master." This image is so atmospheric; a storm unleashing its fury with the Iron Master making an attempt to steal the Sword of Power from Stratos! Also notice that Stratos is wearing his "other" costume; a red jetpack and blue wings, instead of the common toy and cartoon colors; blue jetpack and red wings.


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

04 June 2006

What's in the box?!

A small little throwaway scene occurs in the opening few moments of the season one episode "The Huntsman." This scene links two characters that rarely had much to do with one another, King Randor and the Sorceress. Though we do not see them on the screen at the same time during the episode, the show opens up with Prince Adam returning something belonging to the Sorceress that King Randor has borrowed. We ask ourselves as to what it could be? Unfortunately the artists at Filmation give us no clue, and neither does the script. As you can see from the images below all that King Randor apparently borrowed from the Sorceress was a small box...


(click on the images to see them at full-size)

03 June 2006

Common Sense!

"Temple of The Sun" is a great episode from He-Man's season one, and really proves the strength of the regular cast. However, it is really Cringer's episode to shine, and shine he does! After Prince Adam transforms into He-Man the cowardly cat stubbornly refuses to become his danger-loving counterpart. This scene is immediately striking because we expect Cringer's comment to be met by a blast from the Sword of Power as we have seen on numerous occasions. Instead, we get Cringer using his reason and discontentment to justify not being transformed. When Cringer believes that he can provide the "common sense" that Battle Cat cannot, we have to laugh! This scene is instantly a classic moment in the series, as it starts out so ordinarily and yet ends so atypically!

For your listening pleasure, Cringer's rant!

02 June 2006

Convenient Statue.

Issue eight of the UK Masters of the Universe comic featured a story titled "He-Man the Powerless." In the first few panels we see something that I like to call the "convenient statue." As Skeletor is ready with his new plan to take over Eternia he destroys a statue of He-Man in front of his Evil Warriors. I always laugh at the idea that somehow the Lord of Destruction obtains a statue, maybe has one carved for him, only for the purpose of destroying it to emphasize a threat!


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

01 June 2006

Robert Lamb: Micah's disappearance...

I spoke to Robert Lamb about the character of Micah from his She-Ra season one episode "Micah of Bright Moon"...

"I wanted to have him stay with his family and become a recurring role. Arthur said no. The shows would not be shown in sequence (because there was no sequence) and kiddies might be confused if Micah was with Queen Angella in some shows and not in others. So I had to have Micah run off to fight the rebellion after a quick hug with his family. I was not happy."

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