29 June 2013

FILMATION ART: Royal Palace outskirts.

For the last sixteen years I have collected He-Man and She-Ra animation artwork. As a result I have amassed a pretty large collection! Here I present a piece of original background artwork from the He-Man episode "Creatures From The Tar Swamp". This rarely seen location, which by all indications is situated on the outskirts of the Royal Palace, appears during the scene in which Prince Adam transforms into He-Man. I always enjoyed the fact that this near-desolate location had some interesting features; the alternately-colored stones on the floor indicate that at some point this may have been a castle. Sadly, in the episode this particular shot was cropped dramatically, especially when He-Man runs past the camera.


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

And here is how the background was used in the episode...

27 June 2013

Evil She-Ra?

I always thought this panel from issue three of the UK Princess of Power comic could have made for an excellent cover. The way in which the evil version of She-Ra is staring down at herself looks great, as does the way in which Shadow Weaver is looming over her, with Hordak issuing out his commands! For the time being I will not spoil the story by revealing the context of this illustration, as I will feature it on this Blog very soon...


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

26 June 2013

The Nemesis...

"The Nemesis Within" is one of the most memorable episodes of The New Adventures of He-Man. The story tells of a clone of He-Man created by Skeletor that pushes our hero to the very limit; something Filmation really dropped the ball on when it came to Faker! There are some nice little touches throughout the episode once the clone appears; for example he commands, "By the power of Skeletor!" Another impressive moment occurs when He-Slave reveals to He-Man that as they share the same thought process he knows what He-Man is going to do before he does it, thus they fight to a standstill! The one problem I have with the episode is the name He-Slave; I was hoping for something a little more striking...


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

25 June 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #16

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the two pages focusing on the Sorceress. I love the fact that we see the Sorceress transforming into the falcon form of Zoar, posed in the exact same way she would be in the Filmation series. I like the fact that the text refers to the Sorceress making Prince Adam aware of his power to become He-Man, rather than simply stating that she gave him that ability.


(click on the images to see them at full-size)

24 June 2013

The fake beard...

For some reason I always loved this piece of animation of Madame Razz from the season two She-Ra episode "The Inspector". Even though we had seen this spell casting sequence numerous times throughout the series, I love the way in which they decided to end the sequence with Madame Razz sporting an incredibly self-assured look upon her face, as she holds the fake beard. I also like the use of different colored pencils on this piece of layout artwork, with the red representing the existing stock, and the blue and black representing the movement and new stock.


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

23 June 2013

Ridiculous detail!

I have been purchasing animation art from the He-Man and She-Ra series for the last fifteen years! One thing that many collectors will miss out on are the pieces of artwork and cels where it appears that there is not much on show. Here is an example of a piece of She-Ra animation art, from the season two episode "One To Count On", in which this appears to be the case. However, upon inspection, you will see that even for such a tiny piece of animation, the Filmation artists were still required to illustrate every little detail. Bear in mind that both Bow and Glimmer are in the distance during this shot, with Clawdeen in the foreground. Dare I say there is an element of cuteness about the way in which they are illustrated.


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

22 June 2013

He-Man versus Trap Jaw!

Here I present a page full of panels from the lengthy deleted action scene from the season one He-Man episode "Golden Disks of Knowledge" featuring He-Man, Beast Man, Evil-Lyn, and Trap Jaw! In this page of assembled panels you can see that it was originally staged for He-Man to have a physical fight with Trap Jaw. Keen-eyed observers will notice that the fight between He-Man and Trap Jaw strongly references a fight between Man-At-Arms and one of Rago's guards from "It's Not My Fault", and the fight between He-Man and Garn from "A Tale of Two Cities". It is somewhat amusing to see Trap Jaw thrown about so much in the space of a few seconds!


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

20 June 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #15

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the second of the two black and white illustrations focusing on Stratos, resized for you to enjoy! This illustration beautifully showcases Stratos' ability to swoop down and save his friends; in this case rescuing Man-At-Arms from a fire-breathing dragon!


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

19 June 2013

Deep in the caves...

The Masters of the Universe minicomic "King of the Snake Men" featuring artwork by Bruce Timm also features some of the most beautifully colored panels ever to see print! In this introductory page we see Skeletor and Kobra Khan descend into the caverns below Snake Mountain. Not only are the background colors spectacular, but the coloring and highlights on the characters are also beautiful.


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

17 June 2013

Narwhal by Timm!

Here is a fantastic character turnaround of King Narwhal from the season one She-Ra episode "Black Snow" by Bruce Timm. What is always interesting to note about Bruce Timm's model sheet concepts is that even though his is adhering to the Filmation character guidelines, his evolving style of illustration shines through. What makes this piece even more interesting is that the concept is illustrated in red pencil, which was frequent in layout artwork, but not in model sheet concepts.


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

16 June 2013

Doe-eyed Adora.

"Book Burning" from She-Ra's first season was not only notable for featuring one of the most striking plots of the series, but also because it featured some noteworthy pieces of animation. In this illustration, from a sequence in which the heroes sneak into a Horde vehicle, we can see Adora illustrated in a unique fashion. I always loved the visual moments in the series when the characters would look slightly off model, but in a good way! We rarely, if ever, got to see Adora's face from this angle, so I love the fact that we see her given a somewhat doe-eyed look.


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

15 June 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #14

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the first of the two black and white illustrations focusing on Stratos, resized for you to enjoy! Here we see an amazingly action-packed illustration with Stratos looping around a destructive blast from Evil-Lyn!


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

14 June 2013

A brief review #039 - "Trouble in Arcadia"

As many of you will know, in 2010 I published The unofficial cartoon guide to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. At 300+ pages the book features 700+ pieces of trivia, 460+ deleted scenes, 360+ examples of animation reuse, 380+ quotes, 50+ abandoned episodes, and a LOT more! It is the book that NO fan of the Filmation series can live without! BUY IT NOW!

As an incentive, here is my brief review and rating (as they appear in the book) for "Trouble in Arcadia"...

In this character-heavy episode, not only do we get to see Prince Adam captured and made to work in a mine, but we are also treated to an interesting look at the dynamic between men and women. And as a clever running race against time sub plot, we see the Sword of Power's durability pushed to the limit. What this episode achieves most of all, through both its writing and direction, is craft the perfect relationship between Prince Adam and Teela. They clearly care a great deal for one another, as is evidenced with their embrace as they are reunited. Of the two Teela is written the strongest; David Wise giving her fantastic dialogue and scenes opposite Queen Sumana. 7/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

13 June 2013

Double Trouble or Entrapta?

Issue four of the UK She-Ra comic presents us with an incredibly strange situation. Firstly, the story has She-Ra seek out the help of Entrapta, who appears to be an ally of sorts in this story. However, the most perplexing part of this story occurs visually when Entrapta appears. As you can see below Entrapta is illustrated as Double Trouble, but with an alternatively colored costume! Why the decision to play Double Trouble as Entrapta will never be known...


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

11 June 2013

Trap Jaw's dizzy!

Here is yet another comical storyboard panel by Rich Chidlaw from the season one He-Man episode "The Region of Ice". As funny as the produced episode is, there is a lot more visual comedy found in the storyboards. Of course this was the case with many storyboards as the final look of the episode had to adhere to Filmation's style and stock system. In this panel we see an incredibly dizzy Trap Jaw, with quite possibly one of the most confident-looking Orkos ever illustrated!


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

10 June 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #13

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the two pages focusing on Stratos. If you look at the landscape beneath Stratos you will notice an incredible use of forced perspective. Sadly the text makes no reference to Stratos' race being known as the Avionians.


(click on the images to see them at full-size)

09 June 2013

No greater honor...

Here is another example of Andie Tong's fantastic artwork on the Rise of the Snake Men miniseries published by MVCreations. In these three panels from issue two we see King Hsss reveal his true form as Evil-Lyn is informed that there is no greater honor than being consumed by him! I absolutely love the energy of the second and third panels after the calmness of King Hsss' stance in the first one...


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

08 June 2013

Shakes off the snow.

In these three panels by Rich Chidlaw from the season one He-Man episode "The Region of Ice" we see King Randor buried under the snow, comically shake it off, and then look concerned for Queen Marlena. The over-the-top movement in the second panel is incredibly well-rendered as King Randor shakes his head from side to side in an effort to remove the snow. Once again Rich uses a marker to create shadows which sadly would never be acknowledged as production on the episode's animation began. Also, note Man-At-Arms' concerned expression; he looks close to tears!


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

06 June 2013

Pink-clouded transformation.

This beautifully colored illustration of She-Ra was seen alongside the story "The Lost River", which was featured in the rarely-seen four story She-Ra Ladybird compilation book. What I love about this Glenn Steward illustration is that due to the way it has been colored it looks as if the transformation sequence is taking place in front of the famous Etherian moon background seen in the Filmation cartoon. I have to say that I love the simplicity of the way in which She-Ra is drawn!


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

05 June 2013

GIANT Picture Book (Heroic Warriors) illustration #12

Golden Book published a great deal of Masters of the Universe material during the eighties. Two of the most notable and yet rarely seen books are the Giant Picture Books; oversized quality publications printed on thick quality paper featuring artwork by Fred Carrillo. One book focused on the Heroic Warriors, whilst the other focused on the Evil Warriors. Here I present, from the Heroic Warriors book, the second of the two black and white illustrations focusing on Orko, resized for you to enjoy! This is a fantastic companion piece to the previous illustration with Orko using his magic to bring life to what appeared to be a dead plant. Pay particular attention to the physical expressions of joy on both King Randor and Queen Marlena.


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

03 June 2013

Zalewski's returns!

Aside from being one of the best episodes of the series, The New Adventures of He-Man episode "Crack in the World" also has a connection to the original Filmation series. Writer Tony Zalewski wrote a few episodes of the Filmation series under the name Antoni Zalewski! For those wondering, he wrote "The Gamesman", "Island of Fear", "Hunt for He Man", and "The Gambler" with Larry DiTillio. Maybe more former Filmation writers should have worked on the series?


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

02 June 2013

He-Man's messy hair.

There are numerous odd moments throughout the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series. One of the earliest occurs in the season one episode "Reign of the Monster". During the opening battle He-Man, on the Sky Sled, is shot of the sky and crashlands. When the heroes locate He-Man and ask of his wellbeing, he simply replies, "Just mussed my hair!" It is amusing to see He-Man's hair looking a lot less groomed than it usually does! Due to the inclusion of Molkrom this episode is one of the most visually disturbing of the series, so this brief moment of comedy is a nice change of pace. The only downside of this scene is that as He-Man runs his hand through his hair we see that he is missing the gauntlet around his wrist...


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

01 June 2013

The original Fire Person!

Here is a very interesting conceptual illustration from the development of the season one He-Man episode "The Curse of the Spellstone". This illustration is one of the earliest designs of the Fire People, the tribe of warriors that guard the Spellstone. Many ideas were illustrated until Filmation settled on a transparent group of characters that bore no resemblance to this design. Since this design was abandoned, this illustration would make for a pretty interesting character on its own! Fire-Man, anyone?


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