27 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.

The Sorceress tells Teela that her mother is very proud of her.
"Teela's Triumph"

Missing her daughter, the Sorceress decides to observe Teela at the Royal Palace in the form of Zoar. Skeletor, demonstrating his latest invention, fires it at a falcon, not realizing it is the Sorceress in the form of Zoar. The Sorceress finds herself on a distant, volcanic planet. The Spirit of Grayskull contacts the heroes and asks Teela to take the Sorceress' place as he cannot find her anywhere on Eternia. A confused Teela agrees to help in any way she can, and so heads for Castle Grayskull. As He-Man and Battle Cat attempt to save the Sorceress, Teela slowly forms an understanding of the power of Castle Grayskull in order to stop the villains. When the Sorceress finally returns, Skeletor hastily retreats, and Teela attempts to understand why she was chosen to replace the Sorceress...

The Sorceress discovers Teela by the throne of Castle Grayskull. Teela quickly apologizes for intruding inside of Castle Grayskull, oblivious as to the true nature of why she was chosen. The Sorceress assures Teela, "That's all right, Teela. Without the right person to sit in it, a throne is nothing more than a simple chair." Teela replies, "And I certainly wasn't that person." The Sorceress is quick to respond, "Wrong, Teela. You were exactly the right person." Teela, clearly frustrated with herself, continues to be despondent, "But I failed you! I let Skeletor inside the castle!" The Sorceress states that Teela helped drive him back out again, "You didn't fail anyone -- not He-Man, not me, and not yourself." A still visibly upset Teela responds, "I wish I could believe you. I just don't think I'm special enough to do what you do", before adding, "I don't even know why I was picked to substitute for you." Knowing that she cannot reveal the truth to Teela, the Sorceress tries to provide some comfort to her daughter, "Teela, there are certain things that I cannot tell you now, but someday you will understand everything -- I promise." The Sorceress then assuredly adds, "As for not being special -- oh, Teela -- you're very special", explaining, "You found the courage to overcome your fears and help defeat Skeletor. You will never, never know how special you are to all of us." Briefly connecting to her daughter the Sorceress informs Teela, "I know that your mother would -- is -- very proud of you." Teela, appreciating the words of the Sorceress thanks her, before adding, "You know, I -- I never knew my mother, but I wish she could be just like you." The Sorceress turns away from Teela with tears filling her eyes, as He-Man and Man-At-Arms look on, smiling at the event occurring. The Sorceress turns back to Teela and holds out her arms. Teela walks into them, and the pair embrace.

"Teela's Triumph" accomplishes a great deal by managing to balance a typical Saturday morning cartoon plot with some of the greatest character writing on the part of Teela. For the first time since "Teela's Quest" we see the connection between Teela and the Sorceress addressed. The final scene between the two characters is beautifully written and acted. For this scene is the closest that the Sorceress comes to admitting to Teela that she is her mother outside of the events of "Teela's Quest". Teela's lack of understanding as to why she was chosen to defend Castle Grayskull adds a believable innocence to the often strong-willed character. It is even more appropriate then that it is her mother that reassures Teela of her accomplishments and value to those around her. One of the most important lines in the scene occurs when the Sorceress begins to refer to Teela's mother in the past tense, before quickly correcting herself to reveal that her mother continues to be very proud of her. The Sorceress does her very best in this scene not to reveal too much to Teela, whilst at the same time giving her hope and a belief in herself. The fact that Linda Gary voices both mother and daughter in this scene is phenomenal. When listening to the way in which the dialogue is delivered, you get a real sense that Gary understood both of these characters. Teela's frustration at herself is wonderfully contrasted with the warm, assuring vocal tones of the Sorceress. The final moments of the scene in which we see the Sorceress begin to weep, coupled with the embrace that her and Teela share, really does remind us why we love these characters so much.

1 comment:

Kevin Martinell said...

Yet again, the warm and beautiful background music accompanies this touching scene so perfectly and I agree with the way that you summarized this scene, James. :) I like how the continuity was kept between this episode and "Teela's Quest," as the Sorceress "erased" Teela's memory of her mother after revealing to Teela that she is her mother, in the former episode. Thanks for reading and God Bless! ~"KevyGuy" :)

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