30 June 2007

Darkspy!

At the beginning of the season one He-Man episode "The Time Corridor" a mysterious pink portal appears and a voice is heard speaking to Skeletor. This character is referred to as Darkspy in the script, "a shadowy demon". It soon becomes obvious when reading the script that the director opted to simplify the character design, and the shadowy elements were completely removed...

29 June 2007

Madame Whizz!

"She-Ra and the surprise party" features some classical artwork by Terry Gabbey. While not as action-packed as Robin Davies' style, it was not as simple and girl-orientated as Glenn Steward's style. In this angular illustration we see Madame Razz accepting a gift from her former teacher Madame Whizz. And if you were ever in any doubt that these books were produced in the UK the gift that Madame Razz is receiving is a cup that magically produces tea should ever she want some. Interestingly, Madame Razz likes her tea the same way I do, milk with two sugars!


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

28 June 2007

Well-struck, hero...

There is no doubt that Trap Jaw made quite the first appearance in his minicomic "The Menace of Trap Jaw!" In this beautiful panel by Mark Texeira the villainous Trap Jaw, now powered by Castle Grayskull effortlessly blasts He-Man away! Mark Texeira was one of the best minicomic artists as his work had a traditional, but very dynamic look to it...


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

27 June 2007

Bow versus Mantenna!

Featuring an extremely weak and uninspiring plot "The Missing Ax" is quite possibly one of the worst episodes of She-Ra's season one. However this one action-packed scene featuring Mantenna attempting to capture Bow is one of the episode's surprisingly interesting moments! You will notice in this scene that Mantenna does not refer to Bow by name, harkening back to the early days of the She-Ra series where they were a band of unnamed rebels that had to walk around in disguise...

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They just don't appreciate good music!

"The Mines of Mondor" is one of the best episodes of She-Ra's season one featuring a refreshing plot that takes place far away from the Whispering Woods and the Fright Zone. Keen-eyed viewers will note that some of the action takes place on backgrounds that had previously been used in numerous He-Man episodes! One of the best things about this episode is the way Bow is written as a bad musician, and this clip showcases that perfectly, featuring one of Kowl's best comebacks ever!

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25 June 2007

ITV edited scene (1988 rerun).

In the eighties when He-Man and the Masters of the Universe aired in the United Kingdom the episodes were edited on their initial run. This was because it was common practice to show cartoons without any ad breaks, and as the shows were allocated twenty minutes of airtime, the twenty-two minute episodes of He-Man had to be trimmed to fit! This video clip is an example of an extreme piece of editing from the season one episode "The Shaping Staff" when it was shown as a repeat in 1988. You can blatantly see where the edit occurs because the splice marks can be seen, as shown below...

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24 June 2007

Alternate Sorceress footage!

Unbeknownst to many the season one He-Man episode "The Dragon Invasion" was sent directly to video with a couple of errors, preceding the actual airing of the episode in the US! The most famous error is that the episode features the original intro with the "Evil forces of Skeletor" dialogue replaced with "Evil Masters of the Universe". One of the errors that many may have missed occurs when the Sorceress appears to confront Skeletor at Castle Grayskull. In the original footage the Sorceress first appears in the form of Zoar and then transforms, which was a huge continuity error as the Evil Warriors were not supposed to know that Zoar and the Sorceress were one and the same! Later in the production of the series the scene was corrected...

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23 June 2007

Adam will know how I feel...

One of the most underrated scenes occurs in the season one He-Man episode "Quest for the Sword", as Teela and Ram Man get dangerously close to the truth about He-Man and Prince Adam. When two people are trying to hide a secret from others, they often want to appear as calm as they can, even when communicating with each other, and so the animators lack of expression on He-Man and Man-At-Arms works in the scripts favor! When Teela and Ram Man are brainstorming out loud, He-Man and Man-At-Arms remain perfectly motionless, expressionless, and calm, hoping to dispel any credence to the truth. When He-Man and Man-At-Arms look at each other, it is with the understanding that they must exhibit a calm exterior whilst becoming frantically worried inside. It is a riveting moment for all the characters involved...

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22 June 2007

Man-At-Arms' servants!

The Ladybird book "Castle Grayskull Under attack!" features some interesting little characters that work for Man-At-Arms called Nerlins. The book refers to the characters as Man-At-Arms' "servants", which seems like he has somehow enslaved them. And in the accompanying illustrations they appear to be doing all of the work while Man-At-Arms and Stratos simply watch. Honestly, I was never too keen on Man-At-Arms having servants...


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

21 June 2007

I'm afraid I'm blind, too.

The season two He-Man episode "Not so Blind" features one of the best and most dramatic endings to act one. The feeling of dread when He-Man reveals that he has lost his sight is extremely powerful, and the disheartening atmosphere is emphasized in this scene with the eerie music that plays in the background. The direction on the last shot is perfectly paced with He-Man keeping his eyes closed until the last second with a sad look on his face...

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That's some doorbell!

This humorous scene from the He-Man season two episode "The Magic Falls" is pure J. Michael Straczynski. Only Straczynski could come up with a scene featuring He-Man, Orko and a door, and make it so thoroughly entertaining! Be sure to look at the beautiful animation of He-Man pulling himself out of the rockface...

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20 June 2007

Those great, gorgeous muscles...

This scene from the season two He-Man episode "No Job too Small" features Evil-Lyn is one of her most memorable appearances in the series. Evil-Lyn picks up on He-Man's hotheadedness right away in this scene and uses it to mock him, teasing him, whilst perched seductively on the edge of a table. Linda Gary voices Evil-Lyn with the kind of fire that sets lines ablaze. This is one of Evil-Lyn's best scenes, as she gets to display her cunning, treachery, and sexiness all at once...

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Have I seen her before?

One of the most amusing character model reuses occurred during the first season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe! The character model for Celice who appeared in the memorable "Song of Celice" episode was later used for Mira in "Ordeal in the Darklands" and again for the character Nami in "City Beneath the Sea". The most surprising thing is that these episodes are all fairly close together!


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

19 June 2007

What a depressing thought...

The She-Ra season one episode "Huntara" features many great scenes. This is largely due to the awesome combination of writer Larry DiTillio and director Tom Tataranowicz! This scene not only features amusing dialogue, but also some fantastic character animation on Imp who mimics Hordak's movements to perfection. The punch line at the end of this scene is a memorable one, and it is delivered by the rarely seen Horde villain, Leech!

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A dramatic direction of death!

"Sweet Bee's Home" was easily Tom Tataranowicz's best work on the She-Ra series, and this scene below is an example of why. When Hordak threatens a robot we expect the trap door treatment, a self-programmed destruction, or something equally as silly. But what happens is quite dramatic because of the direction. It is quite a startling image to see a Horde Trooper staring down the barrel of Hordak's blast cannon, but what makes this scene work so well is the exterior shot showing all four Horde ships and a large explosion coming from one of them. It always strikes me as a more striking scene because Tom chose not to show the violent outcome...

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18 June 2007

Goodbye, dear brother.

Back in the early days of the Internet, when none of us knew for sure how many episodes of He-Man and She-Ra had been produced, "Shera Makes A Promise" was the first episode that we discovered was a part of a second season. At that time a few of us suspected that this was the last ever episode of She-Ra due to the downbeat ending and farewell between He-Man and She-Ra. Years later we would find out that it was not the last episode, and yet I still believe that it is written as a final farewell between brother and sister...

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17 June 2007

Horde Inspector Kowl!

I find this scene from the She-Ra season one episode "Small Problems" to be one of the most memorable of the series. Bow's acting as the Horde Inspector is hilarious, and when he desperately searches his mind for a name only to come up with Kowl we have to laugh! Also be sure to note Scorpia's interest in Horde Inspector Kowl. George Dicenzo's voice acting is perfect in this scene, being both awkward and yet retaining Bow's charming arrogance...

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Scrawny legs...

In the season one He-Man episode "A Friend in Need" the evil Jarvan is described in the script as having "scrawny legs and a potbelly." If you look at the image below you will see that the character designer and animators followed this description to the letter. Jarvan would of course later show up as Zem in "The Return of Granamyr" and his body would be used for Spyster in the She-Ra season two episode "The Inspector".


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

16 June 2007

The Hosers?

Robert Lamb came up with numerous story ideas during his time working on She-Ra. One of many which unfortunately never saw the light of day was an untitled story that would've seen us introduced to Snout Spout's race of people, the Hosers! I doubt that they would have all looked like Snout Spout, but who knows? Also note that at this point in production he is still referred to as Hose Nose. Read for yourself!


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

15 June 2007

Entrapta versus Imp!

THREE videos today! :)

Here is a beautifully animated scene from the She-Ra season two episode "Romeo And Glimmer" featuring Entrapta and Imp squaring off against one another! Credit for animation like this appearing in Filmation show has to be given to Tom Tataranowicz who constantly pushed the boundaries at Filmation and would often do as much as possible with the stock system. The way Imp is animated attacking Entrapta as a pair of scissors is simply amazing!

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One day Etheria will be free.

"Day Of The Flowers" in my opinion is quite possibly one of the least enjoyable episodes of the She-Ra series. The episode features the Monstroids, the most powerful robots in the universe; robots that for some unknown reason are unable to cross a field of flowers in under a few minutes! The end of this episode is surprisingly well written with Adora delivering a speech about the Great Rebellion's cause. Note that Prince Adam refers to himself as being a part of the rebellion against the Evil Horde...

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Frosta impersonates Iceman!

One of the things I most remember about watching the She-Ra series as a child was when Frosta demonstrated her ability to speed across land on a bridge of ice. I remember staring at the screen in disbelief as this bridge of ice trick had already been used, specifically by Iceman in the 1981 Marvel series Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends! This scene from the season one episode "Black Snow" demonstrates my point!

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14 June 2007

Tri-Klops safe landing!

In the season one He-Man episode "Quest for He-man" we see that luck is most definitely on Tri-Klops' side as he falls from the sky towards the ground. Also check out that fantastic foreshadowing at the very end of the scene...

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Twigget rough - Spragg!

Here is the third of three interesting design comparisons featuring Spragg of the Twiggets from the She-Ra animated series. You will notice that aside from the slightly rougher and more detailed style of character design, his hair is somewhat longer, the lower half of his costume is much bigger, and his face is more angular. While these may not be the greatest of character design alterations it is interesting to see what might have been.


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

13 June 2007

But can I do it as Adam?

This scene from the season two He-Man episode "No Job too Small" was the first time we saw He-Man transform back into Prince Adam. Even though we never actually see the physical transformation we do learn that lightning is involved. It would not be until "The Problem With Power" and "The Ancient Mirror of Avathar" that we actually see the physical transformation.

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12 June 2007

One push of this button…

Yes! The video clips return...

"The Secret of Grayskull" was one of only two scripts that John Curtin wrote for the He-Man series, which is a shame as both were memorable episodes for very different reasons! This scene featuring Trap Jaw and Clawful bantering with Orko is one of the most enjoyable scenes he wrote, featuring great acting from Lou Scheimer who voices all three characters!

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11 June 2007

Fire starter!

"She-Ra and the Golden Goose" is a very important Ladybird book where it is revealed that the Sword of Protection can start a fire. Now if only it were only possible to express sarcasm in that previous sentence...


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

10 June 2007

Apologies...

My apologies for the lack of updates. The production of cereal:geek issue two (which of course will feature some great He-Man and She-Ra artwork) is making it hard for me to update this Blog as often as I would like! This week I will try my best to update as much as possible...

There is the possibility that video clips may return! :)

Entering Grayskull...

"He-Man and the Lost Dragon" was one of the Ladybird books where the artwork of Robin Davies had shifted over to a more Filmation-inspired look. Even though the castle still retains the look that the Ladybird books had established, this illustration highlights cartoon-inspiration with an angle of Castle Grayskull often shown in the animated series...


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

The Thunder Punch #2

Following on from my previous post, in a magnificently action-packed panel from "The Treachery of Modulok!" minicomic, we finally see He-Man unleashing the power of the Thunder Punch to devastating effect! I was personally never a fan of the Thunder Punch He-Man action figure, but this minicomic did make me appreciate the character design somewhat.


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