29 September 2013


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.

Orko declares his love for Dree Elle.
"Dawn of Dragoon"

At the Royal Palace, Man-At-Arms attempts to fix Orko's broken magic pyramid. Orko accidentally drops some meteorites near the pyramid causing it to disappear. When it reappears, a female Trollan emerges fourth, introducing herself as Dree Elle. Dree Elle tells Orko that his homeworld Trolla is in great danger. Orko gets into the pyramid and travels back to Trolla. Dragoon, the villain that has overthrown Trolla, captures Dree Elle and begins to drain her energy. As He-Man and Battle Cat fight Dragoon, Orko heads inside the fortress where he discovers Dree Elle has been drained of all her energy. A saddened Orko tells He-Man that his magic has failed to revive Dree Elle, but He-Man's faith in the Trollan forces him try one more time. This time Orko is successful in saving Dree Elle, and the pair prepare to say their final farewells to one another...

With all the other Trollans freed, and He-Man and Battle Cat giving them privacy, Orko and Dree Elle converse alone in a large empty room. Dree Elle thanks Orko for saving all the Trollans. Orko, nervously avoiding eye contact with Dree Elle for the first time, informs the female Trollan that he has to leave. Dree Elle's voice is full of confusion and concern as she asks, "Can't you stay here...with us?" Orko replies, "I wish I could. But my friends in Eternia need me. There's still so much evil to fight there." A tear begins to form in the eye of Dree Elle as she sadly replies, "I understand." Forlornly looking at the ground, Orko asks, "Dree Elle...do you think before I leave we could...really see each other...show faces?" Dree Elle responds with excitement in her voice, "Oh, Orko. I was hoping you'd ask!" Orko reaches up and slowly removes his hat. Dree Elle reacts with delight at the sight of the unmasked Trollan. Orko replaces his hat, just as Dree Elle removes hers. Orko's eyes light up as he declares, "You're beautiful!" Orko announces to Dree Elle, "I'll come back some day", with Dree Elle replying, "I'll be waiting." As Orko leaves, Dree Elle swoons, having fallen completely in love with him.

Being one of the earliest staff writers on the series, Robby London knew how to write Orko better than most. Instead of treating the Trollan like a mischievous child, or using him as comic relief, London would often give Orko stories that shaped his personality, and often showed a great maturity. "Dawn of Dragoon" is the quintessential Orko episode. In this story he makes us laugh, makes us cheer for him, and we even get caught up in the emotional roller coaster of his falling for Dree Elle. The character interaction between he and Dree Elle is, at times, beautifully scripted, and we get a sense that these two cartoon characters actually do love one another, which leads us to the most memorable Orko scene in the series! In this scene Linda Gary voices Dree Elle with such emotion, that each line is delivered perfectly. You really do get a sense that she has completely fallen in love with Orko. Lou Scheimer's voice work for Orko steals the show. Even though we hear the usual unique vocal processing on the voice, the dialogue is delivered in such a way that Orko's maturity shines through. The way in which this scene is directed is fantastic, utilizing no stock on the part of Orko, and incredibly smooth and expressive animation on the part of Dree Elle. By far one of the most identifiable images of the series is the shot of the shadow of Orko removing his hat with Dree Elle reacting. Originally the plan was for Orko to reveal his face to the audience. Thankfully, at some point during the storyboard stage, the decision was made to have his unmasking represented with the shadow. This also makes the scene even more special, because it truly is a moment shared by only Orko and Dree Elle. This scene truly is a beautiful moment between two well-rounded characters that have shared a great deal by the end of the episode.


Kevin Martinell said...

Definitely one of the most touching scenes in the series, and it's nice to see Orko's personality come across as a mature adult. :) I also liked his introduction to Dree Elle, saying something like, "I am Orko, resident magician at your complete and total service!" Yet again, the soft, beautiful music really sets the mood for a sad and romantic scene. :) Thanks for reading and God Bless! ~"KevyGuy" :)

Mosquitor said...

I have an interesting story about this episode... as a kid this particular scene was the only one from this episode that stuck in my mind... but I used to write a lot of He-Man stories as a kid, and one that I wrote when I was about 6 had Adam going to Orko's homeworld and finding everything was backwards there, and having to change into He-Man by saying "Grayskull Of Power The By". Reading these when I was older I thought I could easily have thought up this story myself, as I had a pretty vivid imagination as a kid, but then when I came online and read the synopsis for Dawn of Dragoon, I saw that this had been the theme of an actual episode... so clearly more of the episode must have stayed with me as a kid!

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