30 September 2013

30 YEARS - Top 30 GREATEST MOMENTS #5

On the 5th of September 1983 the animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe received its WORLD premiere in the UK! To celebrate 30 YEARS since this historic day I am counting down (on a daily basis) what I believe to be the 30 GREATEST MOMENTS of the Filmation series.

GREATEST MOMENT #5
Prince Adam explains to Cringer that he has grown tired of his dual identity.
"Into the Abyss"



Having saved the Widgets from Beast Man, at Castle Grayskull He-Man, Teela, and Orko tell the Sorceress of their victory. Teela remarks that she must get back to the Royal Palace, as Prince Adam is behind in his training, prompting a wry smile from He-Man. Back at the Royal Palace, a frustrated Teela attempts to locate Adam, but has no luck. Eventually she finds he and Cringer sleeping under a tree and questions why he failed to meet her for training. Adam is brutally honest and states that he simply didn't feel like it. Teela is shocked at Adam's response, and even more so when he accuses her of being obsessed with work. Having heard enough, uncharacteristically, Prince Adam dismisses Teela as nothing more than a simple servant. As Teela leaves, Cringer confronts Prince Adam over his treatment of her...

Having heard the entire conversation between Adam and Teela, Cringer confronts the Prince, "Well, I hope you're proud of yourself. I've never heard you talk that way to Teela." Defensively Adam begins to make a point, "Well, she's always...", before realizing that there are other reasons he snapped at Teela. The Prince rolls over onto his front and in a somewhat exhausted tone begins to tell the cowardly cat, "I don't know. I guess I'm....just tired, Cringer." Cringer, still stood over Adam, and confused by the statement, replies, "But you're He-Man!" Adam with a little sense of irony in his voice responds, "Yeah, he never gets tired. But Prince Adam does!", before continuing in a strong tone of voice, "It's always study this! Learn that! I'm tired of it!" Cringer, now laying next to Adam, is surprisingly honest with his response, "Well, I'm tired of being Battle Cat, but as much as I hate to say this, I'm sure glad he's around when we need him." Adam understands Cringer's point, agreeing with the cowardly cat, adding, "I'd just like to take a break for a while. Do something relaxing for a change." Cringer wholeheartedly agrees with Adam's statement, before asking, "But what about Teela?" A much calmer Adam responds, "Don't worry. I'll say something to her." With the two now laying down Adam suggests, "Why don't we use this nice shady spot for a nap?", to which Cringer replies, "Now you're talking!" Prince Adam and Cringer close their eyes, and begin their nap.

After the powerful exchange between Prince Adam and Teela, writer Robert Lamb wonderfully utilizes Cringer to be the voice of the audience, and ask the Prince for an explanation. What happens over the next forty or so seconds is a beautifully written scene in which we see a side of Prince Adam that has never truly been showcased in the series; it is truly a moment in which we see the breaking of a character. After Adam's exchange with Teela we are as confused as the cowardly cat is to his reaction. Throughout He-Man and the Masters of the Universe we only ever really see two extremes of the lead character: He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe and champion of Eternia, and Adam, the secret identity and intentionally-bumbling Prince. With this scene, Robert Lamb gives us a third person: the character that has to play both Prince Adam and He-Man back and fourth, never truly allowing time to be himself. This aspect of the scene is even more powerful when Adam discusses himself in the third person, not identifying with either Adam or He-Man, clearly implying that both are roles that he plays. This scene beautifully shows us how conflicted he is inside, and how neither personality is the true Adam. Subliminally, this scene also reminds us that Adam and Cringer have been friends for the longest time. This conversation could've just as easily had Prince Adam conversing with Man-At-Arms. However Cringer is the perfect choice, as not only does he also shares the problem of having a duel identity, but he also Adam's closest friend. It shows how he can be Adam's equal at times, debating and discussing with his longtime friend. Both John Erwin as Prince Adam and Alan Oppenheimer as Cringer deliver the dialogue perfectly. And the scene's simple direction only helps to bolster the fantastic dialogue that takes place. With this scene we see a character reveal his inner frustrations at playing the hero, and a friendship celebrated through deep three-dimensional conversation. And it all wonderfully takes place under the shade of a tree.

1 comment:

Kevin Martinell said...

It's like Prince Adam bottled up all of the times he was reprimanded by Teela throughout Season One (Ex.: "Teela's Quest," when Adam was fishing instead of training with Teela) and reached his breaking point just for this scene, sending an upset Teela away! Even Cringer's dialog is more firm and hard hitting than much of his dialog from Season One, as he would usually try to find excuses to avoid becoming Battle Cat! The unique facial expressions for Adam are perfect for this scene. In addition, the dialog for the following scenes that feature Teela complaining to Man-At-Arms and both Teela and Adam apologizing to one another and agreeing on a picnic, followed by a game of "Hide and Seek" are well delivered too. :) Thanks for reading and God Bless! ~"KevyGuy" :)

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