30 November 2006

Man-At-Arms' Laboratory...

Well, November has easily been the busiest month for this Blog; a total of EIGHTY posts! :)

Here is a familiar He-Man panning shot that I have assembled from the season one episode "Disappearing Act." I always enjoyed this piece of artwork by the Filmation artists showing Man-At-Arms' laboratory in all its glory. All too often the storyboard artist and director would make the laboratory seem rather small and closed off with the characters all gathered in one spot. Here we can see the true size of the laboratory, stretching far out into the distance with wondrous shapes and inventions.


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Elmas and Abram.

At the very beginning of the season one episode "Disappearing Act" we see two men driving an odd vehicle across a rugged terrain when a volcano explodes. First off the vehicle is supposed to be a futuristic tractor, and secondly the two men are farmers named Elmas and Abram. Yes, just another little fact that I wrote for the BCI He-Man and the Masters of the Universe DVDs. To me the terrain they are driving on does not look suitable for crops at all...


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That's no mouse...

It is funny how a panning shot can make a monster look so much larger than it actually is! In this assembled panning shot from the season one He-Man episode "Orko's Favorite Uncle" we can see the Manticore was very big, but by no means a towering giant. For some reason I always imagined the creature to be so much larger, but this image shows its true size! Also it appears that Prince Adam is not even looking at the Manticore...


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Evil oops!

"Things That Go Bump in the Night" features an amusing scene between Evil-Lyn and Clawful. After yet another defeat at the hands of the Heroic Warriors the evil Skeletor wanting to test his warriors' courage demands that each of them walk an energy beam tightrope over a deep pit. Evil-Lyn is first and accomplishes walking the beam, as does Clawful who just loses his balance towards the end. In order to save himself he leaps to safety only to land with his arms wrapped around Evil-Lyn's waist with his head on her chest, his face in a desperately thankful look! Evil-Lyn is shocked, and the two turn away from each other in a delightfully spiteful pose. As you can see from the images below the animator did a fine job portraying the emotions of the two warriors! It also should be noted that the pairing of Evil-Lyn and Clawful is a rare one, having only been used previously in "The Witch and The Warrior."


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The Crimson Valley...

In the season one He-Man episode "Eternal Darkness" Prince Adam and Teela journey to the Crimson Valley to investigate some explosions that Orko has heard. Here we can see that once again the artists of Filmation have created another beautiful image showcasing Eternia's weird locations! The "reddish cast" as described by the script is evident across the land, and the director has even made sure to include a sun, requested in the script. If you look at the map of Eternia earlier in the episode Prince Adam points to where exactly on Eternia the Crimson Valley is. Maybe another post for another time?


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29 November 2006

A lonely figure...

No video post today; but hopefully FOUR cartoon posts will entertain you all! :)

"The Price of Freedom" from She-Ra's season one is easily one of the greatest episodes of the entire He-Man and She-Ra series, mainly for the fact that the heroes actually lose their battle against evil! One of the best scenes in the episode is not He-Man being defeated by the Evil Horde, but his self-sacrifice allowing the villagers of Dryl to escape as he holds up a collapsing mine! She-Ra desperately searching for the most powerful man in the universe finds our hero, now a lonely figure, supporting the mine roof. Back in the days of the Episode Review Website my partner in crime Zadoc Angell once said it appears as if He-Man is in deep mediation. Bob Forward compliments the scene as She-Ra quietly whispers "Adam" bringing the whole brother and sister reality into a new light.


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Zagraz Mountain.

A very brief shot from "The Cosmic Comet" shows the entrance to Zagraz Mountain. What I like about this image is the design of the entrance, especially the image showing the comets circling a large star. It always amazes me that the artists at Filmation put so much effort into this background for it to only appear on screen for barely a second!


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The Valley of Echoes...

"The Toy Maker" from He-Man's season two features an exceptionally eerie location, the Valley of Echoes! It provides us with one of the most underrated scenes in the series when He-Man's fear is revealed; I will save that for another Blog entry. For the time being here is a wonderful panning shot of the Valley of Echoes. I am always a big fan of painted backgrounds that show mountains in the distance as I feel it presents an immense sense of depth and distance. It is a shame that the Valley of Echoes never reappeared in the series. It is worth mentioning that "The Greatest Show on Eternia" many episodes before "The Toy Maker" featured Echo Valley, similar in name, but an entirely different location!


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No longer available...

One of the most creative simple panning shots was achieved by Gwen Wetzler in "The Problem With Power." The character close-ups move on a separate field, creating a wonderful sense of depth; the camera panning across from Prince Adam's sadness to King Randor being told by Man-At-Arms that He-Man is no longer an option against the forces of evil. Although Gwen Wetzler directed this episode, a lot of credit probably has to go to Tom Tataranowicz who undoubtedly would have come up with this idea for a panning shot during his storyboarding of the episode...


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28 November 2006

This is not going well...

The New Adventures of He-Man was a series that was sent overseas to be animated. Because of this a variety of different styles would turn up throughout the series. The episode "Council of Clones" features one of the stronger styles of the series, with good animation and a great attention to detail. In this clip you will see one of the few times that the Sorceress communicates with Master Sebrian!

Download the video clip!

Holding the sword.

After today's video clip, like yesterday, here are another FOUR cartoon posts for your enjoyment...

At the very beginning of the He-Man episode "Eye of the Beholder" Prince Adam has to transform into his alter-ego in order to save himself and Man-At-Arms as the Wind Raider's engine's fail. The shot following the transformation sequence features a very nice piece of continuity with He-Man standing upright, still with the Sword of Power across his chest. However close inspection of the image shows that the artist has He-Man holding the sword past the hilt!


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Yellow nose: The Revenge!

It is nice to know that some things never change. In The New Adventures of He-Man episode "The Galactic Guardians" we see that the occasional error from the Filmation He-Man series could still exist as Skeletor once again sports a yellow nose! Maybe it was a homage to the Filmation series? But I doubt it...

Valley of the Lost #2

Here is another image from the She-Ra season one episode "The Rock People" showing the mysterious yet often unthreatening Valley of the Lost. The background shown here may not be full of detail, but I love the fact that the Filmation artists would create images that were incredibly atmospheric even though they would only be shown on screen for a few seconds or, as is the case with this image, when there was not much happening visually.


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

Flogg's eyes.

In The New Adventures of He-Man episode "Dreadator" Skeletor delights in the forthcoming gladiatorial victory of Dreadator, but Flogg's shocked reaction at one of Skeletor's comments is very distracting! He is obviously supposed to give a wide-eyed expression, but the animators appear to exaggerate his eyes a little too much!

27 November 2006

He-Man and Battle Cat to the rescue!

"Three on a Dare" is one of my favorite season two He-Man episodes. It features a fantastic cast of characters, a beautiful array of colors and many great exciting scenes, all of which give it a season one feel. The following action scene is one of the best moments of the episode. The way the scene is carried out is so over-the-top; He-Man and Battle Cat racing to Teela's rescue as the theme song plays. It captures the true essence of what makes He-Man such an entertaining and fun cartoon! The direction on this scene is impressive with Teela and the children are calling out He-Man's name, only for the scene to cut dramatically to He-Man leaping on Battle Cat's saddle as the theme tune kicks in! Enjoy!

Download the video clip!

Green Mantisaur?

I decided against writing yet another additional UK comic post, and instead present you with FOUR cartoon posts...

The Mantisaur was a toy released by Mattel that was an addition to the Evil Horde rank, and appeared to be very much alive, titled the Evil Insectoid Steed. Surprisingly in the She-Ra episode "A Talent for Trouble" the Mantisaur makes an appearance! However its design differed greatly from the toy. Instead of the Horde colors of red, grey and black, the Mantisaur bore all the greens of an actual Preying Mantis! The animated design of the Mantisaur is superb, but this, it's only appearance in the series, seems very much wasted!

Yellow nose?

An extremely brief shot in the season one He-Man episode "Diamond Ray of Disappearance" features Skeletor with a yellow nose, but you have to be quick to catch it! Maybe the camera move was so quick in an attempt to cover up the mistake?

Valley of the Lost #1

The Valley of the Lost was an odd Etherian location. Initially it was written to be a place of dread that no one ever returns from, but as the series progresses we see that pretty much anyone can return from the valley. Often thought to be just a misty location this striking image from "The Rock People" shows the valley in all its glory! Not only is this a great composition with the heroes looking out into the distance, but the Filmation background artists prove once again that they can take a description and turn it into something truly magical, if not a little eerie.


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Misty gorge.

Here is an atmospheric panning shot from season two's "Hunt for He Man" episode. The mountains in the background look beautiful, especially surrounded by the eerie mists. The size of the figures, combined with the frailty of the bridge, make for a threatening image, proving once again that Eternia is a place full of wonderment, and danger! It is amazing to look at this image and muse over how long the background artist took to paint it, and what inspired them whilst painting it...


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26 November 2006

Who needs She-Ra and He-Man?

Yes, another video about a collapsing bridge! What is it with the He-Man and She-Ra series and its fascination with collapsing bridges? In the She-Ra episode "Just The Way You Are" a very odd thing happens. Drew, a young circus performer is clinging to a broken bridge for his life when Adora and Adam make an appearance. Now what would you expect to happen? A double transformation? You would be wrong! On this occasion they decide to save the day as themselves! Also, be sure to check out this scene for the amusing line where Adora appears to reference the gymnastics they used to do in their younger days. Would that be during the days when Adora was a part of the Horde?!

Download the video clip!

eBay time! :)

Yes, once again I'm selling more of my He-Man and She-Ra animation art collection! If you want to purchase some great pieces of Filmation production artwork then follow this link...

Busta Toons animation art for sale!

Scared of invisible warriors?

From issue thirteen of the UK Masters of the Universe Adventure magazine here is an interesting couple of panels from a story titled "Inside Castle Grayskull". In these panels we see the Ninjor, Blade and Saurod flee when confronted by the magic of Castle Grayskull. Reminds me somewhat of "The Secret of Grayskull" from He-Man's season two...


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25 November 2006

I was just asking.

I just about made yesterday's update deadline! If you missed it, scroll down and enjoy a superbly directed action scene from the She-Ra episode "Just Like Me", and yet another one page comic from the UK Masters of the Universe Adventure magazine.

Now to today's posts...

From the highly memorable "Adam's Adventure" episode here is a video clip showing just how the relationship between Skeletor and Flogg worked in The New Adventures of He-Man. This clip also features some wonderfully traditional anime-like animation on the parts of both Skeletor and Flogg!

Download the video clip!

An eerie feeling...

From a story titled "Skeletor's First Attack" here is a fantastic-looking panel of the Sorceress looking shocked from issue fifty-six of the UK Masters of the Universe comic.


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24 November 2006

You asked for me, Leena.

One of the best action scenes ever to grace the She-Ra series occurs in the season one episode "Just Like Me". In order to save Leena, She-Ra must walk a thin rope, in high heels, and position herself below Leena who is hanging for her life on a broken bridge. This is the perfect scene for director Tom Tataranowicz! He shows Leena clinging for life above, with She-Ra below, her hair flapping in the wind and her feet standing on the weak support of a string. Even further below She-Ra we can see the far-off river. This type of direction is usually reserved for feature films, not typical bridge scenes in cartoons!

Download the video clip!

Arms for the Man!

Here is a one page story from issue thirteen of the UK Masters of the Universe Adventure magazine starring Grizzlor and Modulok...


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23 November 2006

We must help He-Man...

Before I start this post I just want to remind you all that if you are unable to watch the video clips on this website, then you can enjoy them on my YouTube page!

Here is a fantastic action scene from The New Adventures of He-Man episode "Escape from Gaolotia". The animation throughout this episode is of a high standard, and hopefully from watching this video clip you will agree! This scene is entertaining not only for the fight between He-Man and the prisoners, but also for the way in which the lovely Drissi screws up in a pretty bad way!

Download the video clip!

The Last Slice!

Here is yet another one page story from issue three of the UK Masters of the Universe Adventure magazine! This time we are treated to the antics of Two Bad and Spikor...


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22 November 2006

But we don't just go down there...

Here is a follow up to the post Okay? from way back in March! This hilarious clip from the episode "Attak on Onnor" is one of Skeletor's shining moments from the first five episodes of The New Adventures of He-Man.

Download the video clip!

Odd colors #2

Following up yesterday's post about the odd colors given to Tri-Klops in issue nine of the UK Masters of the Universe Adventure magazine you will see below that it did not get any better as the story progressed. On this page, which humorously introduces Ninjor, Tri-Klops retains his garish color scheme and surprisingly Beast Man is colored like Moss Man! This is amusing when you consider the fact that the Beast Man action figure was recolored to create the Moss Man action figure.


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21 November 2006

Steady, boys.

Here is a silly little fight scene from the She-Ra episode "Troll's Dream" involving Bow and his rebel friends against Grox. What I like about this fight scene is not only the absurdity that Bow and his friends could overpower a Troll, but the way in which Bow directs his nameless comrades into battle. It almost feels like a drunken brawl outside a bar, especially with my Bow telling his boys to be "steady", my favorite line from the scene!

Download the video clip!

Odd colors #1

More odd colors for the Evil Warriors in this panel taken from issue nine of the UK Masters of the Universe Adventure magazine. In this panel from "Enter...The Ninjor!" we can see that Tri-Klops is a little different in appearance than what we are used to. It should come as no surprise that this is the same story that gave us the multi-colored Ninjor whom I showcased in a previous post...


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

20 November 2006

Duck!

Here is a video clip that I showcased back in the old Episode Review Website days! The confrontation at Snake Mountain between He-Man, Orko, and Snowflake against Skeletor, Beast Man and Trap Jaw is a fantastic moment from "The Region of Ice", the He-Man episode that features the best physical comedy. One of my favorite pieces of dialogue occurs when He-Man throws Trap Jaw at Skeletor and Beast Man; as they collide and slide out of shot we can hear one of them shout "Duck!", which is clearly the wrong choice of word in this situation...

Download the video clip!

King in a Spin!

Here I present an amusing one page story from issue three of the UK Masters of the Universe Adventure magazine starring King Randor, Man-At-Arms, Mekaneck and Sy-Klone. Be sure to look at the trippy colors that represent the walls of the Royal Palace...


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17 November 2006

Weekend Away #1 - Adam's raised hand?

I'm away for the weekend and taking a well-deserved break from my freelance work on Filmation's Ghostbusters for BCI. The next Blog update will be on Monday! With this in mind instead of a video clip or a UK comic post I decided to give you all something to wade through; FOURTEEN posts...

Enjoy! :)

Here is something that only I would find interesting, but I will throw it out to you all in any case. "Dawn of Dragoon" has a few oddities and variations on the transformation sequence, mainly on the stock footage of Prince Adam unsheathing the Sword of Power. The two images below show one of these minor oddities. The image on the left is how Prince Adam is positioned as he unsheathes the sword only to find out that he cannot transform on Trolla, while the image on the right is the traditional stock image of him ready to unsheathe the sword. The obvious difference is that Prince Adam's hand is still raised when it should already have dropped out of frame. This is the only occasion where Adam keeps his hand raised while reaching for the sword. Yes, only I could make a Blog entry about that!


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Weekend Away #2 - Swords at the Ready!

"Treasure of the First Ones" is full of great visuals, for the most part due to its change of location, and for its inclusion of the pirate Sea Hawk and the debut of Octavia of the Evil Horde. One of the more memorable shots of the episode occurs as the Evil Horde prepare to raid the building on Mystic Isle, but are greeted by She-Ra and Sea Hawk. I love the angle on the heroic pair as they stand swords at the ready for the immanent battle.


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Weekend Away #3 - Celebration!

In He-Man's "The Energy Beast" episode from season two a despondent Orko floats around the Royal Palace until he stumbles across a poster advertising "He-Man Day," which King Randor and Queen Marlena have recently announced. Seeing the most powerful man in the universe advertised on a poster in the Royal Palace always struck me as animation imitating life, because at this point He-Man and the Masters of the Universe posters were on many walls! Also worth noting that the Sword of Power appears to be golden...


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Weekend Away #4 - The Star Sisters?

The second season She-Ra episode "Bow's Magical Gift" has the rather forced and rather blatant appearance of the Star Sisters. Bow demonstrates his newfound magical weapon while Tallstar, Jewelstar, and Starla watch. For those that do not know, the Star Sisters were one of the last line of toys to be released by Mattel for the She-Ra series, but even though prototype figures were made and advertised, the figures sadly never made it to toy shelves. Thus the Star Sisters, who could have gone onto bigger and better things had the toys and the series continued, remain a very small part of She-Ra's history.


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Weekend Away #5 - Wrong hand?

Now we all know that if Prince Adam unsheathes the Sword of Power before uttering his magic words chances are that he will lose it. One only has to look to "Disappearing Act", "Trouble in Arcadia" and "Pawns of the Game Master" for examples of this. In "The Region of Ice" Prince Adam unsheathes the sword off-camera, and when we finally see him the biggest clue that he will lose the sword is revealed by the fact he is holding it in his left hand! Sure enough, a second later, Adam falls down a trap door...


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Weekend Away #6 - Silhouette of evil...

One of my favorite scenes in the season one She-Ra episode "Horde Prime Takes A Holiday" occurs when we see the awesomely impressive Velvet Glove looming over the Etherian skies. It truly is one of the most awe-inspiring moments because there is only the threat and no direct action, as the frightened Etherians can only look on in fear. The Velvet Glove is one of the most powerful weapons of destruction in the entire He-Man and She-Ra series. And to think, it was originally one of two ships...


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Weekend Away #7 - Feeding time for Cringer.

Another beautiful panning shot from the season two He-Man episode "Battlecat" features a young Prince Adam and Cringer as seen in the flashback sequence. Here we see the baby Cringer meowing for his saucer of milk, as the young Prince looks on with amusement. There is no doubt that the artists at Filmation enjoyed drawing the very cute baby Cringer, of which I will feature more of in future Blog entries!


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Weekend Away #8 - The cracked stone!

Here is an interesting panning shot I have assembled showing Adora holding aloft the Sword of Protection from the season one episode "The Stone in the Sword." This was of course one of two animated sequences in which Adora would raise her sword and call upon the honor of Grayskull, the other sequence would have her unsheathing the sword. In this image we can see Adora raising the sword with the cracked stone, preventing her from transforming into She-Ra, and creating the major story arc for this episode!


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Weekend Away #9 - The Drachadon unleashed!

Here is a very memorable panning shot from the season one episode "Creatures From The Tar Swamp." I always liked the design of the Drachadon that the Evil Warriors raised from the Tar Swamp; he was believable and not an exaggerated Eternian creature. This image always reminds me of Skeletor's earliest plots against the people of Eternia, and his often forgotten efforts to overthrow the Royal Palace, instead of Castle Grayskull! Notice that Beast Man in this image has no cuffs...


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Weekend Away #10 - Falling for Hordak!

The final moments of the season one She-Ra episode "The Stone in the Sword" features a wonderful scene with She-Ra confronting Hordak as she rescues Bow from the Fright Zone. We see Hordak reeling She-Ra in with a chain wrapped around her feet, and as the most powerful woman in the universe gives her most seductive look, she delivers a wonderful piece of dialogue...

For your listening pleasure, Falling for Hordak!

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