28 February 2011

Raising the new sword...

Here is a memorable shot from The New Adventures of He-Man episode "The Ultimate Challenge", one of the best-looking episodes of the series! When He-Man is feared dead, much to the surprise of Skeletor, the Mutants, and the people of Primus, he makes a rather dramatic entrance. I always thought that the artists in this scene looked to the Filmation cartoon when drawing He-Man with his sword aloft. The way in which he is posed, the angle of his head; it is very reminiscent of the Filmation art for the transformation sequence. Also worth noting that in this scene his ponytail does not make an appearance...

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

26 February 2011

"Droid of Destruction" #1

Here I present the first two pages of "Droid of Destruction" a very memorable story from issue seven of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. I am always a fan of stories that play around with the Prince Adam/He-Man dual identity; and this is by far one of the most entertaining! Interestingly He-Man remarks that his brain-waves are different to Prince Adam's, whereas The New Adventures of He-Man episode "Adam's Adventure" would later contradict this...

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

25 February 2011

Mer-Man's lair.

This is one of my favorite illustrations from the Ladybird book "Skeletor's Ice Attack". While Mer-Man received plenty of starring roles in the cartoon and comics, he was never all that imposing a character. However, in this great illustration we see Mer-Man ruling over his servants, the Sea People. The design of Mer-Man's throne room is impressive and the influence of coral is incredibly well incorporated into the design. The Sea People I always thought were a lot better, in both terms of design and presence, than the allies Mer-Man had in both "Teela's Quest" and "Fraidy Cat". Those of you with a keen eye will spot the little crab...

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

23 February 2011

Spikor toils...

The Masters of the Universe minicomic "The Terror Claws Strike!" was one of the few canons to actually give Spikor a decent story. In this minicomic, specifically in this panel by Bruce Timm we see that Spikor is a skilled inventor of weaponry, as he creates the Terror Claws for Skeletor. He is also written rather intelligently in this minicomic, as opposed to the awful characterization in the Filmation series. Sadly we did not see enough of this particular interpretation of Spikor...

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

22 February 2011

"Enemy With My Face" cover.

Here is an example of the rarely seen model packs that were created for each episode of He-Man and She-Ra. These model packs were distributed to all the artists involved in the production of an episode. That said, the storyboard artists would often be working on the episode before the character models had been finalized. These designs were primarily used by the animators, given that there are numerous character turnarounds within. Quite often the layout department's backgrounds and suggested scenes would be included. You can see that this model pack for the She-Ra season one episode "Enemy With My Face" features numerous character models that appeared in the episode, along with model designs for devices, and vehicles.

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

20 February 2011

Ferros model sheet.

One of the many memorable aspects of the season two He-Man episode "Origin of the Sorceress" is the fact that it features the first appearance of the Evil Horde. The three unnamed representatives of the Horde clearly sport the emblem that we would soon associate with the villains featured in the She-Ra series. Here is a model sheet featuring Ferros, described in the script as the "rat-faced representative of the Horde"...

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

19 February 2011

Proud Mutants.

"The Ultimate Challenge" was the fifth episode of The New Adventures of He-Man, and the fifth part of the opening five-part introduction to the series. What is notable about this episode is the high quality of animation throughout! In many scenes the characters in conversation move and express their words perfectly, alongside some fantastic direction. In this one sequence we see Flogg and Slushhead reveling in their forthcoming attack on Primus. In these images, most notably on Flogg, you can see the numerous expressions animated to emphasize the dialogue...

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

18 February 2011

Short cropped brown hair.

Here is an interesting character description by Larry DiTillio that appeared in the script for the "Into Etheria"; the first episode of the She-Ra series. Given how Catra wound up looking in the series, I for one am glad that the character described in this piece of text was altered for the series! I have nothing wrong with petite women with short cropped brown hair. Heck, I used to date one!

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

17 February 2011

The missing scene...

The first time it became apparent that the digital master of "Diamond Ray of Disappearance" had something wrong with it occurred when Mattel released certain episodes of the Filmation series to video cassette during the 2002 toyline. When I watched the episode the first thing I noticed was that an entire scene was missing. After Skeletor makes King Randor, Queen Marlena, and Man-At-Arms disappear, we suddenly cut to He-Man and Battle Cat outside of the Royal Palace; thus losing an entire scene showing Orko's escape! Sadly the same version of the episode appeared on DVD, too. It is sad to think that this brief comical scene has been lost forever. Here are some stills from the missing scene; for those of you that have never seen it!

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

15 February 2011

A brief review #003 - "Disappearing Act"

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 "Disappearing Act"...

The biggest problem about this episode is that it seems to be confused as to what story it wishes to tell. Numerous storylines suddenly pop up the moment Prince Adam's Sword of Power is sent to Eternia's past. We have what appears to be the beginning of an identity crisis story, alongside a kidnap, a time travel trip, a robot He-Man decoy, and a rescue attempt; not forgetting Skeletor's invisibility helmet, which in itself could be the basis for an entire episode. The script goes back and fourth between all these different facets, and while they are entertaining individually, together in one episode they present a confusing story with little personality. 4/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

13 February 2011

"The Wuglies" #3

Here are the remaining three pages of "The Wuglies", a story that appeared in issue five of the UK Princess of Power comic. Towards the end of this issue it turns out that the language spoken by the Wuglies is in fact Freezian, a dialogue that Frosta can apparently speak!

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

12 February 2011

Bermuda shorts?!

Here is an interesting excerpt from Bob Forward's script for the season one She-Ra episode "Horde Prime Takes A Holiday". Earlier in the script Bob mentions that Horde Prime should not be seen; which makes sense to us, as his actual look was never revealed during the series. However, at the end of the episode the script states that upon Horde Prime's return he should be seen "decked out in dark tan, Bermuda shorts, and a wild Hawaiian-print shirt". I will be the first to express my confusion, and my gratitude that we never saw that particular scene come to life!

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

11 February 2011

Mer-Man on TV.

Some illustrations, no matter how expertly executed they are, always make me chuckle. This illustration from "Castle Grayskull Under Attack!" reveals that Skeletor is not all that happy with Mer-Man. What I love about the artwork is the way in which Skeletor's fury is dramatically contrasted with Mer-Man's comical expression of fear!

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

10 February 2011

"The Wuglies" #2

Here are pages six to eight of "The Wuglies", a story that appeared in issue five of the UK Princess of Power comic. The first panel on page six presents a unique character trait never before seen; She-Ra states that now transformed she is able to understand the Wuglies. It is interesting to think that in the form of She-Ra, Adora has the ability to understand foreign languages...

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

09 February 2011

So you keep saying.

I always thought that this panel from "He-Man's Gamble" that appeared in issue sixty-five of the UK Masters of the Universe comic was an interesting one. I like the way in which Prince Adam is trying to explain himself to Teela as they stroll along. Teela's pose, even though it is not supposed to be, looks like she is flirting with Prince Adam, or at the very least posing for him. The story itself is memorable, with Prince Adam and Orko hatching a plot to convince Teela that Adam is no coward, only for it to backfire on them.

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

07 February 2011

Hydron senses...

In this panel from "A New Beginning", the story that appeared in the UK He-Man magazine (formerly Masters of the Universe Adventure), we see Hydron as Mattel originally envisioned the character; a deep-thinking, aquatic warrior. It is amusing to compare this character with the Hydron that appeared in The New Adventures of He-Man cartoon, who was a strong-willed, gung-ho warrior! I for one am glad that the cartoon version of the character was vastly different...

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

05 February 2011

"The Wuglies" #1

Here I present the first five pages of "The Wuglies", a story that appeared in issue five of the UK Princess of Power comic. In this story Adora stumbles upon a race of creatures that live underground. It is good to see Adora, Madame Razz, and Broom relaxing, rather than worrying about the threat of the Evil Horde. I do enjoy Broom's line about not needing to eat...

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

03 February 2011

Orko's comic strip #68

Almost every issue of the UK Masters of the Universe comic featured an Orko comic strip on the inside front cover. As this Blog continues I will try and feature all of them for your amusement. Here I present the "Orko the Magician" comic strip from issue sixty-eight. The audience appears to have little faith in Orko...

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

02 February 2011

Garth (as a human) model sheet.

Even though "Eye of the Beholder" is one of my least favorite episodes, I cannot argue with the fact that the episode has some interesting visuals, especially when it comes to character designs. Here I present a model sheet of Garth in his human form. I always thought that this design was incredibly strong; it is not hard to fathom this character as a regular cast member of the Heroic Warriors!

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

01 February 2011

Snowflake's model.

One of my favorite guest females from the He-Man series is Snowflake from the season one episode "The Region of Ice". I like the fact that her character design is quite simple, yet effective. Even though she appears briefly in the episode she is given an interesting personality. That said, she can never be forgiven for not being able to distinguish the characters of He-Man and Orko!

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