April 22, 2015

What He-Man & She-Ra book should Dark Horse publish next? Please let it be 2002 Cartoon Guide...

Dark Horse has asked for fans help over at He-Man.org


What He-Man & She-Ra book should
Dark Horse publish next?



At the same time you can enter a chance to win a copy of the Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Book at the same time!

Dark Horse is interested in what type of He-Man and She-Ra books YOU'D like to see published next! There's no guarantee more books will be released but they'd still like to get your feedback just in case. 

As an added bonus, every person who votes will be entered into a drawing for a FREE copy of the Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe from Dark Horse! Two lucky winners will be selected at random.

You don't have to be registered to vote.
This poll will end on May 1st, 2015, at 11:00pm Eastern time. 



March 3, 2015

2003 NBA All Star Commercial

In 2003, Cartoon Network aired short clips titled NBA All-Star Slam, that paired NBA players chatting with cartoon characters.


For many, the cartoon characters appear to be their childhood favorites, such as Bugs Bunny, Flintstones, etc.

Elton Brand & Space Ghost
Shaquille O'Neal & Godzilla
And among these, was also something for Masters of the Universe fans, when Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks) had a spot with He-Man himself.

Though it wasn't the original Filmation Studios' He-Man that joined Mr. Redd, but instead then-current MYP series with Cam Clarke voicing He-Man.


The clip was aired before next episode of He-Man would air, which was "Dragon's Brood".

Sadly I haven't seen the commercial in full, only heard an audio-clip of it thanks to Jon "TheShadow" Kallis from he-man.org during 2003. 

Personally I can remember and other fans like Joe Amato parts from what was being said, namely He-Man's hilarious comments.

[paraphrasing from memory] 

Michael Redd: "So He-Man, can I borrow your Sword?" 
He-Man: "No, I'm afraid not... THE POWER IS MINE! ...Not yours. Sorry."
-----
He-Man: "That Skeletor is a big jerk. You hear that Skeletor? I'm WATCHING YOU!!!"

If anyone remembers more of this or has a clip, please send me an e-mail or comment about it!

Hopefully either the audio-clip or full video of this short can be dug up. As I'd like to see it and share with everyone!

_____________________


Below is a full list of all NBA players and the cartoon characters they had their spot with.

  • Elton Brand (L.A. Clippers) - Space Ghost
  • Baron Davis (New Orleans Hornets) - Droopy Dog
  • Allan Houston (New York Knicks) - The Jetsons
  • Jason Kidd (New Jersey Nets) - Wonder Twins
  • Michael Redd (Milwaukee Bucks) - He-Man
  • Theo Ratliff (Atlanta Hawks) - Hong Kong Phooey
  • Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns) - Thundercats 
  • Shaquille O'Neal (L.A. Lakers) - Godzilla
  • Latrell Sprewell (New York Knicks) - The Flintstones
  • Richard Jefferson (New Jersey Nets) - Yosemite Sam 
  • Jamal Mashburn (New Orleans Hornets) - The Powerpuff Girls 
  • Jason Terry (Atlanta Hawks) - Scooby-Doo
  • Stephon Marbury (Phoenix Suns) - Bugs Bunny

March 2, 2015

Captain Miro's Sword

Captain Miro appeared in a flashback during episode 12 "Mekaneck's Lament" on season 1.


Sadly he doesn't get much screen-time and is only shown on couple shots mostly from waist-up.


We see he has a Sword on his belt-holster, but he doesn't get to use it... or for the matter; show it in full view.

But here you can take a look at how Captain Miro's Sword looks like. A cool design and I for one would have loved seeing it get some use in the episode.


If we ever get Miro as a toy figure in the Masters of the Universe Classics line, it would be fantastic to see the Sword come as an accessory.



March 1, 2015

MYP March has begun!


Head on out to Scrolls of Eternia facebook-page for our first theme-month; MYP MARCH!

During March 2015, there will be Trivia, Videos, Images and all sorts of things related to 200x He-Man Animated series! So be sure to Like, Comment and Share! ;-)

Also for those interested in getting updates on future Videos and exclusives on behind the scenes, you can check out my Patreon page!


February 19, 2015

7 Things You Didn't Know About Zodak [Video]


7 Things You (Propably) Didn't Know About Zodak

Check out the latest video about the 200x version of Zodac!

January 14, 2015

The 3 Eyes of Tri-Klops


What types of laser beams did Tri-Klops shoot from his three eyes in the 2002 He-Man cartoon series?

April 24, 2014

Evil-Lyn's Hair Showing In Storyboard Art

When Evil-Lyn's helmet was removed in Season 2 episode "Price of Deceit", fans could joyce in the little homage that her hair was white, as it was in the Filmation series (of course in Filmation it was cut a bit shorter).



The helmet otherwise covers her hair completely and there is no real indication what colour her hair might be under it.
And most cartoon-characters have black eye-brows, so even that is no help.


But looking at the storyboard-artwork for "The Beginning - part III", in the final scenes with Skeletor and Evil-Lyn at Snake Mountain...



You can actually see that in the storyboard-art, there is a bit of her hair possibly showing underneath the helmet when viewed from behind. Atleast that's how I see it. For it doesn't appear to be any fur for the collar and the helmet has never had anything furry on it.


Of course in the final animation, Evil-Lyn's head and neck are covered in shadows when looking from behind. So it covers up any details, but you can still make out that they have not illustrated any hair to be showing underneath the helmet.
Does this mean that at some stage they were planning for Evil-Lyn's hair to be seen underneath her helmet? Or was this just the artist's interpretation for this particular view.

We may never know...




March 11, 2014

Wallpaper - He-Man's 200x Powersword

The 2002 animated He-Man series by Mike Young Productions would have been really awesome to get on blu-ray. Sadly the harsh cold statistics of DVD sales didn't support that idea for there to be enough audience, gathered with BCI Eclipse shutting down and the series being acquired by Mill Creek.

In any case, I would have loved seeing the cartoon in high definition.

Here is a shot of He-Man's Powersword from his first Transformation in "The Beginning - part II".

Click to see it in full-size.


Resolution 1920x1080 px

February 9, 2014

Queen Marlena from Storyboard Art looks familiar...

When Mike Young Productions were working on the Animated movie for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, that later turned to into order for a cartoon show instead, there were some changes made (as is often the case in animation) from early production to what finally landed on our screens.

Checking the storyboards for season 1 episode "The Beginning - part 1", there is a scene with King Randor and Queen Marlena in the Royal Palace of Eternos during the birthday-party for Prince Adam, waiting for the Prince to actually show up.


On a more careful look at the art on the Storyboard frame, both King Randor and Queen Marlena look slightly different from the final versions they would end up with.

But Queen Marlena actually has in the storyboard art a striking resemblance to the classic Filmation Studios' version of Queen Marlena.


This could have been a case of the artist using the Filmation model as placeholder during the storyboarding, before receiving final approved model for the new 2002 model of Queen Marlena.

Whatever is the reason, it is a very interesting "homage".


December 29, 2013

Early MVCreations art

When MVCreations were pitching for the license to produce a "Masters of the Universe" comic, they sent lot of art and sample-works to Mattel. The artworks by Emiliano Santalucia had an feel of Adam Hughes to them and were heavy on black shadows.

At one point it was suggested that they would illustrate in the style of the MOTU artwork shown at 2002 ToyFair panel. The art was done by Mattel's in-house artist Ruben Martinez.

This more "cartoony" style of drawing also ended up in the Target-exclusive comic for He-Man and Skeletor figure 2-pack.

Below is one pin-up by penciller Emiliano Santalucia depicting He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Teela, Orko, Stratos and Skeletor with Castle Grayskull in the backdrop.
Personally I enjoy seeing many styles that the 2002-characters lend themselves, as well as having art that shows what a capable artist can do, when asked for different drawing-styles. 



October 18, 2013

Exclusive Interview - Writer Steven Melching

Steven Melching was a freelance writer for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated 2002 series by Mike Young Productions.
He has also written episodes for Transformers: Prime, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Batman the Brave and the Bold. His latest project is Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising.
With He-Man, he was essential in breathing life to the Snake Men, which had not gotten previously a full fledged animation appearance in previous incarnations.

October 10, 2013

MYP, 200x, MVC, wha??


Sometimes fans of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe wonder about certain acronyms that are thrown around casually on facebook, forums, twitter and elsewhere.

Most requested are "What does MYP mean" and "What is 200x".

While this blog is dedicated to the 2002 version of He-Man cartoon and comic, I'll list top acronyms I've come accross in fandom.



MOTU (M.o.t.U) = Masters of the Universe

Refers to the original toyline from 1982-1988 by Mattel. Cartoon by Filmation was called "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe".


POP (P.o.P) = Princess of Power

Refers to the original toyline from 1985-1987 by Mattel. Cartoon by Filmation was called "She-Ra Princess of Power"



NA (N.A) = New Adventures

Refers to the relaunched toyline from 1989-1992 by Mattel. Cartoon by Jetlag was called "The New Adventures of He-Man"



POG (P.o.G) = Powers of Grayskull

Refers to the planned toyline "The Powers of Grayskull" by Mattel in 1987/1988. It was going to be an extension to the Masters of the Universe. Centered around He-Man's ancestor He-Ro in Preternia. Some toys were released before the demise of original line caused hault on the spin-off.



SOH (S.o.H) = Son of He-Man

Refers mainly to the 1996 pitch "He-Ro Son of He-Man" from Lou Scheimer Productions. The character He-Ro's alter ego is Dare and has no connection to the character Mattel previously created.


So those are mainly the vintage acronyms used about He-Man and She-Ra. Then we come to the 2002 relaunch...



MYP (M.Y.P) = Mike Young Productions

Refers to the 2002-2004 animated series "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" by studio Mike Young Productions.



200x = 2002/2003

Refers to a fan-created term. 200x ('two-thousand-x') encompasses usually the 2001-2007 time-frame; from toyline to cartoon and comics, staction*-line, etc during that time. First toys came in 2001, cartoon started in 2002 in USA while Europe got it in 2003. After toyline and cartoon ended, NECA released staction-line in 2005-2007.


Another term is '2002 He-Man'. Fans at the time were trying to coin a phrase to describe the relaunch/reboot version of MOTU. Terms like 'Millenium line' were suggested. Eventually 200x as a term became more and more used.

(*STACTION = Static Action refers to statues from NECA)



MVC (M.V.C) = MVCreations

Refers to the 2002-2004 comic series "Masters of the Universe" by MVCreations. MV stands for words 'Malicious Venture' which later was dropped for the shorter MV.



IOE (I.O.E) = Icons of Evil

Refers to the 4-issue comic mini-series from MVCreations. Each issue highlighting an Evil Warrior and about their origin. The Issues were
- Beast Man
- Mer-Man
- Trap-Jaw
- Tri-Klops


And for good measure the latest incarnation of toys from Mattel is referred as


MOTUC (M.o.t.U.C) = Masters of the Universe Classics

Refers to 2008-current toyline for Adult Collectors "Masters of the Universe Classics" by Mattel.


Hopefully you found this information helpful.
If you feel I missed any, let me know!



September 27, 2013

He-Man.org Q&A with Producer Ian Richter [2005]

NOTE: This is done for archiving purposes and posted with permission. Original link-back.

In 2005 at He-Man.org, the fans could post questions on the discussion forums and have Producer Ian Richter answer them about the 2002 animated He-Man series.

To give some context, the show had ended about a year early at this point and many fans were interested in getting the show on DVD. Many repeat this simply due to fans not reading previously made questions. The DVDs were released three years later finally in 2008.

These answers debunk the 2004-rumor of She-Ra being He-Man's daughter from the future. And confirm that Fisto was planned to be Teela's Dad and that Keldor and Randor were brothers. Both of which were never fully confirmed on-screen. Also the makers had plans to always come back to Skeletor being the ultimate villain, going up against King Hssss and defeating Hordak too.



___________________


1. How involved were you in all storylines?

IR: Dean Stefan and I would break each story and the overall story arcs. When we were working with another writer, they would be part of the episode brainstorm as well.

2. How do you feel about She-Ra?

IR: Great. She is an important part of the He-Man mythology and our plan was always to include her when the time was right.

3. What were the future plans for a season three?

IR: He-Man and the Masters become renegades when Hordak returns and takes over Eternia.

4. What was your favorite episode?

IR: Power of Grayskull. There’s a good story behind it. Gary Hartle and I were sitting at lunch in mid-2001 and he told me how much he liked the original sculpture the Four Horsemen did of He-Man with long hair. I agreed and decided we should find a way to work it into the new series – but how? At that moment the concept of King Grayskull began to take shape on our lunch receipt. Gary and I fleshed out the story right there on the spot, then we called Dean on his cell phone.

One of our objectives with the new series was to improve the existing mythology and understand more about why the world existed as it did. I think we accomplished this goal with episodes such as the Power of Grayskull.

5. How were the writers of the episodes selected?

IR: The writers were selected based on their past experience writing action/adventure/fantasy shows.

6. How was Mike Young Productions selected?

IR: At the time we were exploring many options, but settled on MYP because we knew Mike Young, Liz Young and Bill Schultz would deliver a high-quality series for a reasonable budget. As I’m sure you all agree they did not disappoint.

7. Some episodes basically amounted to commercials, like the Dragon Walker, episode, and the Anwat Gar episode. Was the creative team opposed to doing these types of episodes? I assume that Mattel required that they were done.

(Not trying to be rude).


IR: Anwat Gar: From a story standpoint we wanted to explore many different aspects of Eternia – including ancient civilizations. Regarding the Dragon Walkers we thought it would be cool to see revisit the dragons from season 1 in some epic dramatic battles. We came up with the idea of the Dragon Walkers as a way for our heroes to be involved.


8. Does King Greyaskull replace He-ro, or would there still have been room for him in the MVC series?
IR: I think anything is possible in the world of Eternia as long as it fits the characters and the logic of the world. This was how we approached everything.

9. Will the new 'toon ever see release on DVD?

IR: Yes. Once we have more details, we will share them.

10. Were there any plans to expand the Horde beyond what was shown (whether or not She-Ra was really to play a part in that)?

IR: Yes. The plan was for Hordak to return from Despondos and take over Eternia.

11. What is MYP doing/are working on now?

IR: MYP is doing some great shows right now. Piggly Winks and Pet Alien are the two that immediately come to mind.

12. Is there any chance of a direct to video/DVD MOTU movie special?

IR: I personally would love to do one, but it would have to make financial sense. Don’t underestimate the power of the fans…

13. How were the episodes selected? Or, to put another way, how were episode ideas developed and then scripted? Were there any episodes that started out one way and ended up a totally different version? Were there any episodes that just "didn't make the cut?"

IR: The He-Man team would discuss series arcs, character arcs, etc… and map out the episodes accordingly. Then a writer would be assigned to write the episode under Dean’s supervision.

14. My main question that comes to mind is about Veena. How did she turn over Grayskull's protection to the Sorceress we know today, or is she the same Sorceress that was once King Grayskull's wife? In the King Grayskull episode when she first said there would come another guardian of Grayskull I got the impression that she speaking of Teela.

IR: Glad you liked it. Veena, like the Oracle and King Grayskull, is an ancestor of her contemporary.

15. Will tthe show that was released already be on dvds and 2 will it be possible to do more eps w the other seasons like other shows have done for more seasons on dvds only and let the really big fans get to watch and enjoy the series from there?

IR: Yes, the new show will come to DVD. Regarding more episodes, anything is possible – look at what happened with Family Guy.

16. I know it was HINTED that Fisto was Teela's father...was that going to be the case? if so...WHY? I mean not to step on anyone's toes but i think the idea that her real father was dead was a much better storyline...not EVERYTHING has to be a twist you know?

IR: When we decided to make Fisto and Duncan brothers (for dramatic reasons), we came up with the idea that Teela’s real father could be Fisto. We felt it worked on many levels.


17. Also why did you decide to make Duncan and Fisto brothers...I actually liked that idea as it brought some tension to the good guys

IR: To add depth to the relationships between the Masters of the Universe.

18. Why was the choice made to call the good guys the "Masters of the Universe"? Masters of the Universe is a GREAT name for a line but not for a team. it doesn't roll of the tongue like avengers or xmen etc. I think the idea that they were all masters of their respective traits (bad guys too) was much more appealing. (ie Heroic master of capture, evil master of escape etc)

IR: We wanted to work it into the show and felt that the title of “Masters of the Universe” fit the heroic superheroes of Eternia better than the heroes AND the villains (we also had cool names for them like Evil Horde, Snakemen, etc…)

19. Did mattel push to have more episodes made and did they see the cartoon as something more or just a way to advertise the toys?

Now I know there are people AT mattel that love MOTU and fought for it but these questions are more so from the business standpoint.


IR: Masters of the Universe is one of the great brands. Like many similar brands, MOTU manifests itself in many forms: Entertainment, Toy, Video Game, etc…

20. DVDS the new series NEEDS to be put on DVD.

IR: This is the plan. We will let the fans know more when we have more details.

21. What exactly happened to Randor's knee? how did he injure it? Why didn't we see more of the mythology of Eternia developed (not like the King Grayskull stuff etc.) but more so why didn't we really get into the heart and soul of the planet...the locations the beliefs the stuff that makes the world so rich

IR: Randor’s knee was an old battle injury. We gave him that injury as a way to convey the passage of time between the scene at the Hall of Wisdom and the scene at the Palace. Regarding the mythology of Eternia, I think we did a great job of exploring more of the planet, the creatures and the various denizens.

22. Why did you nix Granamyr? he is a great charcter and Talking dragons are not a far fetched idea. (if you accept dragons you can easily accept that they talk)

IR: We decided not to have animals talk in this Eternia universe. Talking animals and creatures can tend to skew the tone of a show very young.

23. Also why was the UNIVERSE aspect taken out? they were just stuck on Eternia...made the show feel smaller.

IR: We wanted to keep He-Man out of space and go back to what made the original great.

24. He-Man - he wasn't written with a lot of character depth, which was a shame. now don't get me wrong i loved the new series, but these are some of my questions.

IR: We debated whether or not to focus the series on He-Man or the entire team. We opted for the latter based on the great cast of characters we had to work with.

25. Grayskull...why was it drawn so dull and plain? the new toy looked better than the one in the toon...the show's version lacked a certain mystery.

IR: I was very happy with Grayskull in the series. Some episodes it looked better than others, (the overseas animators didn’t always get it right) but overall I was very happy.

26. The show started off with a nice level of continuity...each ep leading into the last but that kind of diminished...at least in a real strong storyline sense..why..also did skeletor know about the sorceress, it didn't really seem to be the case...if not why?

First off, I thought the new cartoon was awesome an the artwork envolved was fantastic..but on with the questions:


IR: I think we maintained a fairly good continuity throughout all the episodes. I don’t think there was an episode without some aspect of continuity.

27. Why was the time that they were shown so early 4pm was really early for the mian collectors that this was marketed for...the people that grew up with the original He-man cartoon missed out on wathen this sometimes becuase of working.

IR: The show was not targeted to adults, but we obviously had aspects for the fans.

28. Why weren't some of the other characters brought into it..there was soo much that could have been done if it hadn't been soo limited to certian charcters.

IR: I think we introduced a good amount of characters in the 39 episodes. Any more would have been difficult.

29. Are there any finished cartoon episodes that weren't aired? and if so are there plans for VHS or DVD's of the complete line..an if there are episodes that haven't been aired would they be put on to something like that?

IR: There were no episodes produced that did not air. We did write a 40th script however.

30. I'd also like to ask Ian Richter, is there anything you regret about the series or how it was handled (aside from it being discontinued)?

IR: I think we could have pumped up the action more in the first season and updated He-Man to make him more relevant to today’s kids (we did this by the time we hit season 2).

31. First off, I love the new MotU cartoon. You guys have done great work. I have only a couple of questions at this time... Is it possible for you guys to do a DVD series with new unseen episodes? I mean something featurelength, but that ties in with the series.

And my other question... Why was Mossman's design changed so much for the cartoon. I understood that the 4HM allready had designed him, and he was supposed to look very differently.


IR: Glad you like it. A DVD release is in the works, but there are no unseen episodes. We initially based Moss-Man in the series on the Four Horsemen design, but we decided to make him even bigger and more powerful.

32. I was wondering what you guys had in mind for Evil-Lyn. Was she going to free Hordak, eventually? Or stay faithful to Skeletor?

IR: Good question. The plan was for her to ultimately succeed in freeing Hordak.

33. When Hordak showed up, were Skeletor and his crew going to be any threat? Cuz, what the Snake Men did to em' was prett ugly. (Which leads me to ask -)

IR: Yes and no – we wanted Hordak to be an extreme threat when he showed up, but ultimately the plan was for Skeletor to come back and defeat Hordak by the end of season 3.

34. Why did the Snake Men school Skeletor and his crew so bad? Did Mattel ask you guys to make the Snake Men more powerful? Skeletor couldn't beat Hsss?

IR: We wanted the Snake Men to be truly formidable. The plan was to introduce many powerful villain factions to keep the audience guessing who would prevail.

35. First off, I'd like to say that while it was running the new MOTU cartoon was the only show I watched on television. So hats off to you for getting me use my TV for something other than my DVD player or nintendo for once. Even though I know it really doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, that really was a big accomplishment. And I know you're going to get ten million requests for the new show on DVD, so instead of saying that again I'll just get straight to my question. Is there any way at all for us to get an actual finale to the cartoon series? I mean, is it at all possible to make a finale movie, either straight to DVD or as a tv special? Because the series just can't be over with the way it ended in Awaken the Serpent. If it has to be over, MOTU needs to end with a final, all out battle between He-Man and Skeletor. We fans deserve at least that much.

I mean, you're keeping the Max Steele cartoon, which I highly doubt has as large or dedicated fan base as MOTU does, running with straight to dvd specials.


IR: I’m glad you liked the series so much. Regarding a finale – I would love to do this, but it would have to make financial sense.

36. We never got to see Skeletor unleash his full power. There were always hints as to how phenomenally powerful he was - i.e. surviving having his face burned off, fusing Tuvar and Baddrah together like it was nothing, resurrecting Merman with a snap of his fingers, etc. - but we never got to see him go all out. Granted that was because of his character flaw, he liked to have his minions do the dirty work for him, but still, that's the one thing we've never gotten to see. For an ending to the series we should have gotten to see a no holds barred battle between him and He-Man, one where He-Man would actually have to struggle to win.

IR: I agree it would be great to see Skeletor unleash even more power if we could do more entertainment.

38. What was the easiest aspect of bringing He-Man into today's cartoon market?

IR: The great reaction from the fans.

39. What was the hardest aspect?

IR: The challenge of appealing to today’s kids. We did not do enough to make He-Man relevant.

40. Any episode you're especially proud of?

IR: I like them all, but Power of Grayskull and Price of Deceit in particular.

41. Is there anything you can reveal to us He-Fans about where the show would have gone past "Awaken the Serpent"?

IR: Man-At-Arms captured and turned into a Snakeman for good – giving them a new weapons master; Hordak returning and taking over.

***Ian corrected his previous answer in regards to Man-At-Arms becoming a Snake Man:
"hey guys - to clarify one of my answers - Duncan as snakeman would have been a 3-5 episode storyline max. He is one of the great MOTU characters.


I'll try and check back with you guys from time to time.

Regards,

Ian"

42. If the Stacticons do well enough commerically, is there a chance perhaps He-Man and the Masters could come back for an animated movie on Cartoon Network?


IR: Right now it looks unlikely, but the best thing fans can do right now is support the brand by picking up the DVDs and the great busts and statues the Four Horsemen are working on.

43. Suppose the new cartoon is released on DVD on a future date, If the DVDs sell really well,is there a chance of getting new eps directly on DVD.

IR: DVDs are in the works – stay tuned. If they sell well, anything is possible.

44. We saw many new characters & Races in the toon like Dekker,Sortech, Clawful's cousin etc. Were they planned to be in other eps in the later seasons or were they kept for single eps?

IR: Yes – the plan was to see them all again.

45. What was your experience with working with MYP on the toon?

IR: Fantastic.

46. Modulok was one of my favourite characters in the classic series. If ever introduced in the series, would he be a Horde Member or a work solo like in the classic series?

IR: Probably solo – I think that would be more interesting.

47. Would Hordak have his transforming abilities like in the classics or is he more of a Wizard in the new Toon.

IR: He would be more of an Evil Wizard, but we would have given him a new spin on those old powers.

48. I don know if i should as this but what would the Horde season intro be like. THe MOTU v/s the Snakemen intro was really fantastic.

IR: Glad you liked the Snakemen intro. A Horde intro would be supremely dramatic with everyone in Eternia cowering under their control. He-Man and the Masters would become renegades in their own land.

49. Last of all, What happens to King Hsss after the beheading incident in Awaken the Serpent & its effect on the other Snakemen?

IR: You’ll see when we release the 40th script. It will likely be a special feature on the DVD release.

50. Was there a reason behind the way in which the new show was more sci-fi-oriented, rather than fantasy-oriented like the original? Was there a conscious decision to follow this angle, or was that just the way things turned out?

IR: I think we had a roughly equal balance of both fantasy and sci-fi. It was a conscious decision.

51. What were the plans for the character of Prahvus, as introduced in "Out of the Past"? He struck me as an interesting character and I wonder if he would have played some greater role in the series had it continued.
IR: He would have come back with a vengeance to work for Hordak.

52. Is there any truth in the rumor that Queen Marlena was to have been revealed as half-Gar (the blue-skinned race, we were told)?

IR: This was an idea Gary and I cooked up. We never found a way in the first 39 to work it in, but may have explored it had we continued.

53. I loved the new show and thought it was excellent and so did my 8 year old, we'd really like to have the series on DVD - ANY CHANCE?

IR: Glad you liked it. A DVD release is in the works.

54. Also, the Mike Young Productions website has a section devoted to the He-Man cartoon, but it is missing a lot when you click on the links, any chance that will ever be updated now that the show is over?

IR: I’m not sure what they have planned for their website.

55. First of all, thank you very much for answering questions from the fans. It's been a very long time since we have had any Mattel representatives communicate with the .org

IR: No problem.

56. Speaking of which, when can we expect answers for the latest What The Fans Want To Know? Or does this replace that?

IR: I think for now, this does somewhat replace that.

57. Now, I know Skeletor's origin was partly explained in the pilot episode, but we were told that the "second part" of his origin was to come at the end of season 1. Then we were told it would come in season 2. Was the second part of his origin in the episode "The Price of Deceit", or was there more (I'm sure there was more ). And if there was more, is it possible to divulge any info?

IR: Get ready for this: RANDOR AND SKELETOR ARE BROTHERS. This was always the plan. They have different mothers, but the same father! I was disappointed we never got to finally do this.

58. Secondly, what were the plans for She-Ra? There were rumours that she (Adora) was going to be Adam's cousin, and other rumours saying that she was going to be from the future. Also, the box from the SDCC exclusive figure said she was He-Man's sister, but it did not say TWIN sister. Can you explain what the plans for her were?

IR: The plan for She-Ra would have been the same as in the existing mythology.

59. I was wondering if there were ever plans to introduce some of Skeletor's warriors that still had not been seen at the time, namely Jitsu and Spikor.

IR: The Four Horsemen did some cool artwork for Spikor, but we did not have any immediate plans for either character in the series.

60. Also, with the series at an end on regular television is there enough justification to perhaps keep the MYP He-Man series going in some form of straight to DVD movies? (in the same vein as the Batman Animated Series' Mask of the Phantasm etc.)

This way we could see the introduction of the Horde (as im sure was intended for series) and She-Ra.

IR: Not right now.

61. My questions are pretty much the same as those preceeding mine, with the following exceptions: How much freedom were you allowed in creating origin-stories for the characters? Was it left to the writing team then submitted for Mattel's approval, or was it specifically dictated by Mattel? and How many of the MYP staff are MOTU fans? Thanks again!

IR: Hello. As I mentioned before, Dean and I broke the stories and then submitted them to the rest of the team and to the network for comments, concerns. Many of the MYP, Mattel and Cartoon Network staff are HUGE MOTU fans.

62. were any episodes completed that were not aired on Cartoon Network for Season Two? It seemed rather short-lived and not a lot of issues were resolved. The "final" episode felt anything but.

IR: No – all episodes aired.

63. Mattel seems to be putting out a new Max Steele dvd- even though those toys are long gone in the USA. What are the chances of MOTU getting an all-new dvd movie released? If slim or none, how come?

IR: The Max Steel movies are for Latin America where the brand is huge.

64. Will there be a release of the cartoon on dvd (either several eps per dvd or full-season box sets)? If not, how come?

IR: Yes – that is the plan.

65. Like the many other people here, I am currious to know, what else was planned. I also want to throw my support for a DVD release, of the series. I would like to see all 39 episodes, the begining in both episode and movie, format, and The World of He-Man, all in a box set.

I would also like to throw my support behind special DVD movie releases, like Batman: The Animated Series has had, in the past.

IR: Hello, thanks for the support. Yes – I would like to see the DVD set with all of those components as well.

66. Also, where there any classic characters you really wish had appeared in the new series?

IR: It would have been fun to see She-Ra return.

67. Was season 2 planned to be 26 episodes originally then later cut down? Was there ever plans to have a proper Skeletor vs Hsss battle? That's what I wanted to see!

IR: The plan for season 2 was always 26, but we only made 13 of them. Yes – we would have had a jaw-dropping fight between those two.

69. And if you had the opportunity to pit the Horde vs. the Masters and Skeletor's warriors as the third party (instead of the Snake Men), would you do so?

IR: Yes.

70. Why wasn't Megator one of the three giants seen in "Buzz-Off's Pride"? Were there any plans to bring him in later, or did you have no intentions of using him at all (and if so, why)?

IR: We decided to create new giants with their own identities. There were no plans to introduce him, but if we had done more episodes anything is possible.

71. Were there any plans on bringing back Snakeface? He got turned into a statue after his first appearance and hadn't shown up since. Were the Snakemen going to break into the Palace and reverse the spell or something?

IR: Yes – you’ll see how in script 40.

72. Why was Tri-Klops the "mechanic" or "tech guy" in this series instead of Trap Jaw? It would seem more fitting if it were Trap Jaw, especially since I believe he was in the classic series. Any specific reason for the change?




IR: We decided to make Tri-Klops the smarter, tech savvy one when we heard Paul Dobson’s great concept for the voice.




73. And was there going to be other planets such as Etheria or Infinita when Hordak was going to be introduced, or was everything happening on Eternia only?




IR: We didn’t want to tread into “New Adventures” territory and have He-Man in space, so the action would have most likely stayed on Eternia.




74. Finally (I think ), do you regret not having Battle Cat speak? I felt that it made the character under-utilized in the cartoon because of this. I think it would be nice if He-Man would run battle-strategies across Battle Cat, or possibly ask his opinion on a matter etc. He could have been another 'person' that He-Man could talk to instead of just being a living vehicle. And I don't think it would be too far-fetched of an idea to have the power of Grayskull grant Battle-Cat the ability to speak. How about you?




IR: We decided not to have Battlecat speak because talking animals tend to skew a show young.




75. why was battlecat so scaled back? except for a few scenes he was basically a glorified vehicle and I am not asking why he didn't talk I am more so asking why he and he-man didn't interact as much. (he doesn't have to talk for that)




IR: I think we had some great He-Man and Battlecat moments. I was really happy with Battlecat’s lion ancestor in Power of Grayskull.




76. any truth to the rumour that She-ra was going to be He-Man's daughter from the future?




IR: Not that I know of.




77. Out of all the changes that where made from the original Filmation show, in hindsight, do you think any where harmful? Would you do everything the exact same if given the chance to do it all over again?




IR: I was happy with the updates we made and would do them again the same way.




78. Will we ever see behind the since production notes or the series bible available online now that everything is said and done? We really want to know what was planed but never happened. Eternia's history fleshed out, what would have happened with She-Ra and the Horde, How Clamp Champ a Snout Spout would have been introduced and so on.




IR: I hope to make much of that available on the new series DVD release.




79. loved the show and truly miss it now. but one question - Did Webstor die in the end of "Web of Evil"? and if not, were there any more plots which were going to include him more?




IR: Yes, but anything is possible.




80. Now I can understand why He-Man was wearing his Snake Armor in Season 2 when he had to fight the Snakemen, but why was he wearing the Snake Armor when there were no Snakemen around? A specific example I can think of is in the Power of Grayskull episode. At the end He-Man goes to stop Skeletor from releasing Hordak, but why is he wearing the Snake Armor? In my opinion he just looks ridiculous in that situation. There was no threat of a Snakemen attack so why didn't he just wear his regular armor? (As you can probably tell, I'm not a big fan of the Snake Armor ).




IR: We originally had him fighting Snake Men in that episode, but we had to cut it for time.




81. And lastly, were there plans to bring back ALL classic characters (the ones that had action figures), or were there some characters that weren't going to be incorporated because of how ridiculous they were, or for some other reason?




IR: We probably would have brought back all classic characters eventually.




82. To re-hash a couple of questions already asked:

Can you tell us how the Evil Horde was going to come back to Eternia?

How much restrictions did Mattel put on you on the storylines?

Can you answer what the deal is with the video game? Why not release it in the US?

Mattel said that ratings dropped off after awhile. Could you guess why? (I think its due to Cartoon Network constantly moving it around the schedule and not promoting it enough.)




IR: Evil Lyn and Skeletor would take over Eternia; banish Randor to Despondos and Evil Lyn would take the opportunity to release Hordak and his entire Horde army. No restrictions on story. Video game, not sure. Ratings dropped off for a variety of reasons, but I think the primary reason for the end of the show was that the brand was not re-launched in a way that was relevant enough to kids of today. I think by the time we got to season 2 we were there, but it was too late.




83. This was brought up in another thread and I thought you might have the answer for us. Who's tombstone was placed in front of Castle Grayskull? Was there a story behind it or was it just some random detail that was added to the castle? Can you elaborate on it?




IR: It was Loo-Kee’s tombstone (joke).




84. Oh, and since King Grayskull vaporized his physical form, how would you have explained how Hordak got a new body?




IR: He’s a wizard and master of black magic. Don’t underestimate Hordak.




85. Was Modulok planned for the series, and if so what were his origins and personality planned to be like?




IR: We didn’t have any immediate plans, but we would have brought him in, in a cool, updated, much more threatening fashion.




86. They say that the original 80's cartoon was very expesnive to make at the time. How would that compare now? How does the new compare to other currant shows production cost wise?

Oh, and who was the most difficult character to animate?




IR: The cost to produce He-Man today is on par with other shows like Teen Titans, Justice League, TMNT, etc… I’m not sure how it compares to budgets in the early 80s, but I suspect they cost less to produce then based on the amount of reused animation.




87. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Mr. Richter.

I guess my sole question is, will it be possible to continue the series via another way besides Cartoon Network, like DVD? I don't think I was interested in any cartoon series like I was with Masters of the Universe. I would have liked to explore more of the origins of a few characters. If not a continuation of the series, at least a finale to somehow tie up loose ends...?




IR: You’re welcome. I would like to do this, but we would need it to make financial sense. It is very expensive to produce each episode. Keep supporting the great work the Four Horsemen are doing and the various DVD releases. That is the best way to make the case for more entertainment.




88. My question is, and I'm dead serious: "Can I have a job?"




IR: Yes. Your job is to become an avid He-Man fan.




89. Who was the next classic character scheduled to be unveiled in the new toon?




IR: I think it was Clamp Champ.




90. 1 why did the cartoon have to be so damned good 2 why did mattel have to kill it ?




IR: The brand did not catch on as we’d hoped.




91. Has there been any outside sources, that you know of that might be interested in purchasing the He-Man & The Masters of the Universe line to re-start the series again to continue where it left off ?

IR: I’m not sure Mattel would part with one of their core brands.

92. I've heard John Woo will be making a new He-Man Live action movie. Now I gotta ask what would be the purpose of this with no action figure line, and no cartoon series. What could they possible hope to accomplish with this new movie? If they other two failed.

IR: There is a huge fanbase for He-Man. If done right, it would be a great way to re-launch the brand.

93. A lot of the episodes featured an individual character, e.g. Buzz-Off's Pride featured Buzz-Off, Mekaneck's Lament's featured Mek, so I would like to know which character was scheduled next after ep 39 to be the star of an episode? (this can be a good and/or bad character).

IR: We were planning more Snakemen episodes followed by the return of Hordak. No specific character focus.

94. I have another question. That Prahvus guy, was he a member of the Horde? Always seemed logical too me.

IR: No, but the plan was that Hordak would recruit him.

95. Is there any chance that you can let us know what your plans were for the future epsiodes of the series. We have been told that the script for ep. 40 was done, and we would all appreciate some insight to where the show way going. What kinds of ideas can you reveal to us?

IR: Please see my earlier answers above.

96. Teela's father. There were impilcations that both Fisto, and Man-At-Arms may be her true father. Could you please tell us who, if either were going to be her father.

IR: Fisto.

97. If there was a season 3, was The Horde going to become the new focus?

IR: Absolutely.

98. Vehicles and Characters that were on the show, and not made into toys, how far along were they in the toy stage that the cartoon had designed them (Webstor, The Horde, Wind Raider, Sky Sled, etc.) or vice-versa?

IR: They were not developed into toys. Idea sketches may exist, but that's all.

99. I was a big fan of He-Man's new Snake Armor, if the show had continued, would there be a new design for He-Man each season to fight the new threat?

IR: Yes. We had a concept for Horde armor that we did not have time to see in the flashback in Power of Grayskull, but would have seen in season 3.

100. Clawful. Why was he scripted as being so dumb?

IR: We needed some bumbling villains and decided Clawful fit the bill. We were planning a story later in season 2 where Clawful would gain intelligence via some brain tampering from Tri-Klops and almost overthrow Skeletor.

101. Was Man-At-Arms the leader of the Masters, or was He-Man? The show kind of projected Man-At-Arms as the leader, but then he would fall back when He-man appeared.

IR: Correct. They both took the lead from time to time, but He-Man is the key heroic leader.

102. Was there going to be any kind of love relations/or tensions between Teela and He-Man or Teela and another Master?

IR: No.

103. I loved your Historic episodes like the stories of King Grayskull and how Keldor became Skeletor. Was there ever to be any more origin stories of characters like Man-E-Faces, or Mekaneck, or other characters that were on the 1st episodes and how they came to be?

IR: I was planning to write the Mekanek origin comic and came up with a great story with Dean for this. I didn’t end up having time, but we will see this outline on the DVD release.

104. It was hinted that Faker was going to eventually show up on the new show. What were your plans for his story if any?

IR: He was going to play an important role in the season 2 cliffhanger. We actually introduced him early on in the series. Look carefully at “The Courage of Adam” I deliberately had the He-Man cyborg flicker the Faker colors when he shut down. The plan was that Tri-Klops and Skeletor would come across this robot and use him to turn Eternia against He-Man.

105. Was King Hsss dead at the end of episode 39, or were there plans to bring back him and the Snake Men?

IR: You’ll see in the Ep 40 script.

106. What was the reasons for choosing MYP as your animation studio?

IR: Please see earlier answers.

Thank you, everyone. We had a blast producing the show and always love to hear from the fans.

Best Regards,

Ian Richter

August 13, 2013

Never-Before-Seen information about "Of Machines and Men"

In the BCI released DVDs of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series from Mike Young Productions, there were always a booklet in the digi-pack, that contained pieces of trivia-information about each episode.

The information could come from the creators at behind-the-scenes or keen observation of the series.

However one episode from second season was completely without the trivia-information.

August 8, 2013

The Death of Webstor

In season 2, the episode "Web of Evil" has many great qualities to it. There is the return of Ambrosia that the Andreenids harvest and it's use is expanded now through series of events. Main attraction probably is the first appearance of Fisto in the 2002 series, who in the Mike Young Productions is potrayed as Duncan's brother. But while Fisto's introduction made a lasting impact on the final episodes of the show, the other star in this episode is Webstor who consumes Ambrosia and becomes a super-spider, even going as far as laying eggs to form an spider-army of his own.

Things in the end don't go so well for Webstor as He-Man and others arrive only to find all the spider-eggs eaten by the Snake Men and Webstor very beaten up. In the scene Webstor crawls before He-Man and with last mention of Snake Men lowers his head down.


It leaves a certain ambiguity over him just passing out from the beating he took or if there is something more grave at stake. We don't see him anymore after this episode as the Snake Men were more heavily used until the end.

When looking at the script of the scene, that does confirm that this is Webstor's dying scene.

Which is somewhat interesting when looking back, because in an earlier episode on season 2, Mer-Man was turned into a statue and then broke into pieces, seemingly dying. This was a shocking scene to many fans because it was a two-parter episode and the conclusion was a week away.

However when it came to this episode, not many fans at the time picked up to wonder if Webstor really died before their eyes. Like I said, the episode had other qualities that possibly distracted viewers and the season was coming to an end within few episodes after this so it's fair to say fans may have had other things on their mind.

By this point there had been three character [with name] deaths. Though for characters like Zeelahr, Calix and King Grayskull they had no prior existence and were "created to die" so the audience didn't build up as much connection to them. Webstor however is a first kill in the sense of an existing character from the 80s that is killed in 2002-era. I don't personally know what lead to this decision, if the scene was meant to be ambigious about the certainty of Webstor's fate or possibly it was a sign of darker tone coming over the series, had it continued to season 3 with Hordak's return, heroes becoming renegades and many other plans.

July 22, 2013

He-Man.org Q&A with Dean Stefan #3 [2003]

NOTE: This is done for archiving purposes and posted with permission. Original link-back.

In 2002 at He-Man.org, the fans could post questions on the discussion forums and have Story Editor and Writer for the animated He-Man series; Dean Stefan answer the questions.

There were three rounds of questions. Here is Round #3.

Once more Dean couldn't share too many details about what was coming in future episodes or appearing characters. But he did provide interesting information about the process of episodes being made and more on the script-aspects as well as an average day of being a writer.
___________________

Hello He-Fans,
The 3rd and final round. 
And there's the bell...

Posted by Scorpia on December 26, 2002 08:34pm:

Did you personally see all original episodes or just 'the cream of the crop'?
 

Not all. Not even necessarily the cream of the crop! But I saw many. And read all, or nearly all, the storylines for the ones I didn't see. 

I like the fact that Teela's history was deeply explored in "The Ties That Bind". Are we going to learn more about characters like Buzz-Off, Man-E-Faces and Ram-Man to learn where they really came from?

We'll be going back into the histories of characters, but also forward -- you'll be seeing new histories in the making.

Posted by mattnotis on December 27, 2002 04:16am:

Will we ever see Orko's face or any other Trollans for that matter?
 

Orko's having some orthodontia done. Maybe after he gets the braces removed. 

Will there be episodes that focus on a particular character's (villains preferably) backstory that reveals why said character acts a certain way? I.E.-What makes them tick and why.

Absolutely. As far as villains, I think we covered a good deal of that with Keldor/Skeletor in the "Beginning." And with Marzo in "Mekanek's Lament". We will be delving further and deeper into motivations, key turning-point moments for villains, both those we've seen and ones we have yet to see.

Posted by leonardo on December 27, 2002 04:29am:

I have 1 statement/request Ninjor, More Trapjaw, More Merman. 'Nuff Said.


'Nuff heard.

Posted by Slackbot on December 27, 2002 04:31am:

Feel free to beat me over the head with a Clue Hammer for these silly questions. Will we see any other Trollans in this series, for example Dree Elle?


Trolly molly, another Trollan question! Gotta have to wait and see.

Posted by pH6 on December 27, 2002 09:46am:

I know this will be deleted, but please spoil me this: Will the SNAKE MEN take their rightful place on Eternian throne 2nd season, or will I have to wait all the the way to the 3rd season to the glorious event?


Deleted? Perish the thought. As a matter of fact, I'm gonna answer your question right now. The Snake Men (balance of answer deleted by JVS3)

Posted by Red Trinity on December 27, 2002 09:50am:

Will Teela's birth-father or "creator" ever be revealed?


Yes, it can now be revealed: Orko is Teela's daddy. :-)

Posted by Star Matt on December 27, 2002 02:47pm:

Will battle armor (battle sound) he-man ever appear on the show?


Could be.

Posted by Zodach on December 27, 2002 03:05pm:

This may have been addressed already: Are there plans for the new series and/or old series to be released on DVD?


Actually there are plans to release them on BVD. They'll be printed on long rolls of white cotton with elastic waistbands.
Okay, the real is answer: I don't know.


How will the episodes be released (collections/seasons) and when?

See previous "I don't know.”

Posted by Dr.Nick on December 27, 2002 04:16pm:

Will Val (JVS3) get to write an episode?


Depends if he comes through with that Sony PlayStation 2.

(JVS3 note: Guess I won’t be writing then. I can send you an 8-bit Nintendo, though) 

Posted by Mastaflan on December 27, 2002 05:13pm:

WaddIwanna Know is when y'all gonna be... In the WB?!! Not everybody has got good cable man...I think the products would mve better if you guys show up in the WB and oust their dumb afternoon line up...


I'll look into it. :-)

Posted by krosfyah on December 27, 2002 05:45pm:

Is there a decision process on what episodes get the Dong Woo animation treatment and which ones get the Dong Yang?


Based on past shows I've worked on, I suspect it may just be the luck of the draw as to which shows go to which studios.

I use to think... back in the Batman: TAS days that the better scripts gets the better animation...but after a while that seemed to not be the case. So can you fill us in on how this works?

Well as I said, the luck of the draw. For instance, if studio "A" is working on say, episode 5, and then episode 6 is ready to be animated, it'll go to another studio, since studio A is already up to their ears.

Posted by MOTUfan on December 27, 2002 06:23pm:

I was wondering if there are any plans to produce a Christmas special for airing next year similar to the classic series??


Hey, these questions are starting to sound familiar! (See earlier responses, MOTUfan.)

But now that I think about it, a Christmas special wouldn't necessarily have to be a literal Christmas special. There may be an opportunity to do a "season of giving" type episode or a real heart-warming tale to coincide with the positive messages of the holiday. Nothing like that is in work (that I will admit to) but then again it might be.


Posted by Premiere Heroes on December 27, 2002 07:27pm:

Will we see the Spirit Of Grayskull in the new series?


I cannot answer that.

Posted by Todd4LOM on December 27, 2002 09:21pm:

Can you feed Clawful to Battle Cat?


No, he's exclusively on dry food.

Posted by Blue on December 27, 2002 09:31pm:

Dear Mr. Stefan, Will scripts from the new series become available to fans? I know that some series like Xena:Warrior Princess sell copies of their old scripts, and I was wondering if you will do the same.


I believe the scripts and artwork are the property of MYP, Blue.

Posted by ianrose on December 27, 2002 09:43pm:

hi! first i'd like to say that i'm happy that queen marlena is not from earth, i think the element of earth makes it cheesy, and less original, look what happened to the motion picture, without earth it's much more imaginative, reality is boring.


This is a glad-Marlena-is-not-from-earth post??! I'm...stunned.

the last cartoon the mystery of anwat gar i think is the best cartoon so far...

This is a Anwat-Gar-is-my-favorite episode post??!
Stunned again!


but my question is, is why did you decide to differ from the toyline by not having man-at-arms, battle cat, and the raptore get the armour, and it's impossible for them to ever get it, since he-man destroyed the legacy stones?

Well, hopefully the story dictates certain things, not the other way around.

Posted by Crimson on December 27, 2002 09:49pm:

To start off, I have always considered Beast Man to be of higher alegience and rank as henchman go, becuase he was the first and is the most classic. Q's: Will there be an episode or episodes that prove Beast Mans formidability?


I think he was pretty formidable with Man E Faces in "Monster Within" doncha think? And his menagerie in "Dragon's Brood" was pretty impressive, no? Anyhow, we'll be seeing lots more of what ol' Beastman can do in upcoming episodes.

Will his mastery over animals make an impressive show at least once?

Well, in "Turnabout" he directed the Arthros flying critters to attack. He directed the Serpinataur in "Dragons' Brood." He got control of Man E Faces in "Monster Within." He riled up the Sand Creatures in "Ties that Bind." What more can he do -- singing dogs?

Will Beast Man go on his own just once, and give Skeletor and his minions at least reason for pause?

Reason for paws?

Posted by pennypunk on December 27, 2002 11:41pm:

question
Could you put Faker in the show?


Just have to wait and see.

Posted by Positronic Man on December 27, 2002 11:47pm:

OK, I've got a great idea. You'll love this one.
HE-MAN/DRAGONBALL Z CROSSOVER YEAH!!!!


Season 9.

Posted by ShredderThe on December 27, 2002 11:55pm:

Hehe, Better idea. Will there be a Thundercats-He-Man crossover?


Season 10.

And another one I just thought up, although I hope no one asked it. Any chance someone will start a script writing contest? Either that, or a fan character design contest? Depending on how long the show lasts, this could either be a sweeps, or yearly done type thing.

I think that's a terrific idea, Shredder.

Posted by heftysmurff on December 28, 2002 01:26am:

Just a few questions Is the reason for Teela's Cobra attire because she is King Hiss's daughter?


An excellent theory, but...ummm, probably not.
(But then again, maybe yes.)


Would be a great twist if she was, I guess I will just have to wait for Snake Pit to come out to see but I am mostly anticipating that episode.
Any hints on to who may be in the Council Of Evil?


Yes. No one you'd want to run into in a dark alley!

(JVS3 Note: I heard Dean was in the Council of Evil)

Also any chance of a pilot movie to launch each new season? I would love to see Spikor, Lizard Man, Moss Man, Stinkor, and Granymyr.

Well, I think each season will open pretty big, whether it's a pilot movie, two parter, or whatever.

Posted by heftysmurff on December 28, 2002 01:32am:

I almost forgot Will we get a chance to see He-Man and Skeletor team up for a greater cause? I love the idea behind "Trust," and my favorite old episodes were Evilseed and To Save Skeletor. Also I remember one time Evil Lyn and He-Man helped eachother and likewise Evil Lyn and Teela. I think its a great morale to have good and evil work to a common goal like a giant meteor about to destroy Eternia or something. Just a thought thanks.


While I won't say specifically, I will say generally that I wouldn't like to see much of that happen. It tends to weaken your villain. Now, that's not to say that He-Man and Skeletor might never find themselves with a common enemy...

Posted by Webstor on December 28, 2002 04:12am:

Is there any chance that we will see the Snake Men start to emerge and take their place on Eternia?


See the deleted answer above.

If this does happen please don't make the mistake that was made by making Clawful such an idiot. In fact please don't let this happen to other characters, it just doesn't work.

Clawful, an idiot? I'll have you know he has been taking night classes and is about to graduate Sigma *** Laude!

Please bring back Webstor!

Thanks for your interest in Webstor, Webstor.
Webstor? Hey...waitaminit...!


Posted by lladnar the so-so on December 28, 2002 04:56am:

how soon will you stop using the (now tired) plot devices of "ancient magical stones" and "beastman's swoops in on his griffins at the last minute to save skeletor."


Tomorrow at noon.

my questions: will we see a "pecking order" develop amongst skeletor's henchmen, maybe even a shifting heirarchy?

There is a pecking order of sorts in place. I would say Evil-Lyn is first among equals...and probably Tri-klops a cut below. Both of them are extremely useful to Skeletor -- Evil-Lyn because of her magic and smarts, Triklops because of his inventing skills. Beastman is a favorite whipping boy, but very valuable to Skeletor. Trapjaw's an enforcer and often takes a leadership role in the battlefield.

will we ever get explanations of the motivation behind each of skeletor's henchmen?

Yes, we'll be getting into more and more of that.
(I'm sure JVS3 will interject one of his famous comic book plugs right around here.)


(That’s right, folks! You too can buy your own copy of the Evil Icons Series that debuts this summer! All the drama with twice the action and none of the Dean!) 

will they stop being incompetent any time soon?

Yes. Tomorrow at 12:15.

will skeletor break his habit of laughing when he gets defeated and has to retreat?

Well, you know how it is....there's always something tickling his funny bone.

will there be an explanation of the "of the universe" in the title?(in the old series castle grayskull held the secrets to the universe.)

It's a phrase that is long associated with the property. I mean Superman is called the Man of Steel, but he's not literally made of steel. I don't think the phrase "of the Universe" has to be necessarily taken that literally.

Posted by joe-or on December 28, 2002 05:28am:

Instead of completely phasing out old characters as the series progresses, is there any chance of having cameos at least of "old" favorites?(sort of like in this season where Clawful might not have a role in the episode, but he is shown in the background)


Gosh, I don't think anyone has mentioned plans to phase out characters. It is possible though that certain characters may take on new roles as the series progresses. Or might suffer some horrible fate.

Also, off topic, but I have to ask. In the Mish'al Samman interview, you said, "DS: I think Smurfs would be huge if they brought it back, or did a new version. Great design, and kids love it. " Any chance of a push for a new Smurfs cartoon???? Please??

While I would love to see that happen, these kinds of decisions are made by studios and copyright holders. Back in the day, Smurfs was pretty tightly controlled by its creator -- a gentleman from Belgium named Peyo (or maybe it was spelled Payo.) I remember the story editors from Hanna Barbera would have to fly to Europe at the beginning of each season and get his "blessing" and have him sign off on various story ideas. I think Peyo has since passed on. (If he hasn't, my apologies to his family.) So now the Smurfs property is probably controlled by his estate. I certainly have no inside information about a Smurfs revival. I was just saying in the interview that I thought it could be a really popular cartoon if brought back.

Posted by Glimmer on December 28, 2002 07:28am:

I have been a fan of the series ever since I was a child back in the early 80's and it was one of my favorite overall cartoons ever. Since 1999, I have been checking message boards online, and was hoping for a revival of the series. I was pleasantly surprised to see the news early this year that the series would be coming back. I think you guys did a great job updating the series, as the storyline is fantastic and the artwork is beautiful.


Thank you, Glimmer. The production team has worked really hard to try and make it so.

To me, the basic appeal of the entire Masters of the Universe series is that science and sorcery have been intricately woven into a world that has reverted back to barbarism.

Now for a quick question: I have noticed that the new series seems to be targeted towards an older age-group. Since a lot of the fans of the older series are now grown up, is this on-purpose as to relate to seasoned adult fans?


Well, as I touched on earlier, we are very aware of the fan base from the old show. Indeed you guys' ongoing interest and passion for all things Motu was a major inducement to bringing the show back. We're very conscious of not wanting to disappoint the older fans, while at the same time wanting to attract a new generation of fans, who may be totally new to the Motu universe.

Posted by WindRaider on December 28, 2002 02:10pm:

Dear Mr. Stefan, the new "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" cartoon is really a great one. One of the best this times. But i think the name of the cartoon is a mistake. "He-Man" and the Masters of the Universe... the cartoon should be renamed in "Masters of the Universe and He-Man", because He-Man isnt the great hero like in the old series anymore, the one, who saves the day and makes us feel respect, when he enters the show.

Now he is just a "Master" but not the "strongest man in the universe" - and he is no maincharacter anymore. I have seen all episodes, which where aired now, all characters have their great moments and origns, but He-Man not. He is the most boring charakter in the series. He seems to be just the fire brigade, who appears, when no other Master nows, whats to do.


Well, thanks for the interesting feedback, WindRaider, though I'm not sure all the fans would agree. I do have one specific bone to pick with you: you say He-Man didn't have a great origin?

Let's think about this: A 16 year old kid is given a sword of power by a mysterious Sorceress, and by raising it and saying some magic words is transformed into a powerful, mythic hero. That ain't too shabby.


And where is his relationship between him and the overlord of evil Skeletor? And so my Question is, will this be change?

Well, seems pretty clear what their relationship is: they're arch-enemies. The hero and the villain. One guy wants to take over the planet -- the other is trying to prevent that.

Posted by Dark Vengeance on December 28, 2002 06:25pm:

What new characters, and origins can we expect to see for the rest of Season 1?

The power of Grayskull prevents from divulging such secrets. But you might try checking out the synopses. There are all sorts of hints in there as to who might appear. But I guarantee, nobody's gonna guess 'em all!

Can u give us a sneak peek of what we can expect for Season 2?

Nope. Sorry. (That pesky power of Grayskull again). But know you this: many seeds that have been planted in Season 1 will sprout.

Sorry I have to ask Hordak has always been my favourite villain when can we see him make an appearance? if even only a cameo in a flashback.

Just gonna have to wait and see, Dark Vengeance!

Also are we going to find out more on the origins of Keldor?

Yes.

The swords of power and protection (even though we have yet to see the sword of protection)? Who forged the swords?

Gillette?

Where Grayskull came from? Snake Mountain (I'm a history major so i need to know where people/ things come from and how they fit into the bigger picture)?

We will be getting into lots of those kinds of histories for you history majors. Then we'll be having a pop quiz.

Posted by battousaisedge on December 29, 2002 01:57am:

will He-Man ever stop destroying every crystal or magic stone he comes by (Corodite Crystal....Anwat Gar's stones....Responsible for Marzo's amulet....etc...)


Well, as I mentioned in Round 2, alot of that has to do with weapons of mass destruction not being allowed to fall into the wrong hands. But when you're dealing with magic, sometimes "destroying" them isn't as final as it might seem. I will say no more.

Posted by Mr DJ on December 29, 2002 02:47am:

hey dean, a big thankyou and congratulations on the new show, i had my resevations at first - but from the first still pic i saw, ive just grown more and more obsessed with the show and marvel at its brilliance.


Thanks, Mr DJ. Writing aside, I too am a big fan of the show. I love seeing what the artists do with the scripts, making them come alive and making them much better than I could've ever imagined.

Do you guys come to the boards often?

Can only speak for myself. As mentioned, I like to check out fans' reactions to episodes. It's very rare to have the opportunity when working on a show to get that sort of feedback. You guys really point out and pick up on some interesting things.

What is the next expectation from you guys in regards to teh series - obviously getting picked up for a second season is a huge achievement, so what are the other goals? a movie? a spin off shere's - sorry - Series?

Spin offs? Hmmm.... How about Marlena in the Middle? Orko and Mindy? Law and Orko? Starsky and Ram Man? King Randor of the Hill? TrapJaw John, MD?

What's been your personal highlight working on the show so far?

I think just being involved in a project that everyone is so enthused and passionate about -- production team and fans alike.

Are there any positions going for a stupid australian 24 yo who doesn't really know that much about anything??

What's a "yo?" Is that an Australian term? Considering the company who make the toys, I'll hesitate to say "Put another shrimp on the Barbie."

When do i start??

Soon as Cringer starts talking on the cartoon.

Posted by Slackbot on December 29, 2002 03:36am:

Not a question, but a comment - My favorite episodes are the ones that are driven by the characters themselves, the ones in which we see inside their heads rather than watching them move around in interesting ways. "Lessons" and "Ties that Bind" stand out as my favorite episodes for this reason.


Glad you feel that way, Slackbot. I said something similar in "Round 1" of the Q and A. Those are my favorites types of episodes as well. It's true in action adventure movies, it's true in comedy, it's true in life -- if you don't care about the characters involved, then nothing they do or that happens to them is gonna mean much to you.

Posted by ShredderThe on December 29, 2002 04:23am:

Another one that has popped in my mind. Is there ever going to be an episode where He-Man LOOSES to Skeletor, and the other Masters have to come in and save his behind?


Considering that He-Man is not invulnerable and that Skeletor is a force to be reckoned with, what you propose is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Posted by Onekorn on December 29, 2002 08:40am:

Is she or isn't she from Earth? (Marlena) If not, are there any plans to incorporate any "Earthlings" into the new series?


Nope. For the same reason we're not having Marlena be from earth.

Posted by Rei11y on December 9, 2002 09:57pm:

Is there any particular reason why most of Skeletor's plots involve stealing some kind of magic crystal?


Yes, 'cause he's a bad dude and never pays for anything.

I mean, how many of those suckers are there anyway?

37. (give or take) :-)

Have you ever considered that some of the cartoons that are most popular with todays kids are long series with continuous story lines, like Dragon Ball and Yugio? Do you think more in-depth, multi-part story arcs would be a possibility for some of the future MOTU episodes?

Well, we are doing multi-part story arcs, but lots of them are cleverly disguised as episodes that can "stand alone." In time, you'll see lots more of the interconnected, "arcing" elements play out more and more.

Posted by tornadobr on December 30, 2002 12:24am:

Will She-ra come back on the next season of He-man? Please, make some crossover episodes or include her into the new cartoon. 


The future holds many surprises. Whether that is one of them, I dare not, cannot, will not, say.

Posted by danielsan52 on December 30, 2002 03:03am:

Will The Sorceress send He-Man to other worlds via dimensional gates like in the old series?


While we have most likely ruled out space as a direction we want to take ths series, we have not ruled out other dimensions.

Posted by krosfyah on December 30, 2002 03:59am:

Do you ever read the official episode talkback threads and picture one of us to be like comic book guyfrom the simpsons??


 No, not really. But I do admit that when I see those little pictures next to peoples' names (are they called avatars?) I unconsciously get a mental picture, assume that the poster looks like that.

Posted by Mer-man442 on December 30, 2002 06:15pm:

Where the heck has Mer-man been??


Uh, fishing?

Posted by Razzbel on December 30, 2002 10:42pm:

First off, thanks for a great season so far. I've been truly impressed and have watched each show repeatedly. I like the fact that the stories often make refernce to past stories, and that you also DON'T need to have seen the previous episodes to enjoy it.


Thanks, that's something we strive for. To have the episodes be able to stand alone, yet, for those who are paying attention, to realize there is a story arc going on. As mentioned, this will become increasingly more interesting as the series progresses, as various elements play into each other and build.

Forgive me if some of these are repeated, but I just wanted to be sure that I asked anyway... What is do you like most about your job?

Besides what I previously mentioned, I like the commute. I work out of my garage.

What was the hardest part about adapting the old stories, bible, and cartoon events with the new series?

With such a rich mythology to draw from -- a litany of characters, etc. -- alot of the difficulty was picking and choosing what elements we wanted to use, what we wanted to build upon and what we wanted to let go by the wayside.

How does a story get written? Are the writers given a rough outline and then given certain boundaries? Or are they told "just make sure that X character shows up and looks cool!"

Well, there's no set way. But in general, for the He-Man series, I confer with the production team and we decide what stories we wanna tell. The stories sometimes come out of particular events in the overall arc that we want to happen. Or a specific character quirk, or need. Or perhaps we want to tell an origin of a hero and villain. Most likely a story will have a combination of all those things. We toss around various ideas -- until we come up with a workable premise.

The premise is then given to one of our stellar writers, who will flush it out, add their own unique sensibities to it. The premise will then go to outline and then to script. All along, it's being refined over and over -- as it goes back and forth between the writer, myself and the production team. The stories will occasionally change dramatically along the way -- either because they're not working, or perhaps because we've come up with a better way to tell it.

Where do stories come from? I've told this before, but here's a good example as regards "Mekanek's Lament". We would joke here's this guy, Mekanek, surrounded by all these other guys with great powers...flying, amazing strength...and basically his main ability is that he can stretch his neck. We would joke -- his powers kinda suck. Then it struck me, heck, maybe Mekanek feels that way also -- has a bit of an inferiority complex. So something that just came out a jokey observation became grist for the story mill.

There's no set method, and sometimes you get a cool idea and have to backtrack a bit. I'll give you an interesting example, as regards "The Monster Within." If I recall correctly, I believe we only came up with the idea of doing Two Badd's origin later on, after we'd started storyboarding the Beginning and various others. In other words, Two Badd was originally gonna be a member of the Evil Warriors from the get-go. But then we had the idea of making him two guys who get fused -- which we thought would make a cool origin story. So Two Badd was pulled out of some earlier episodes in order to intro him in Monster Within. This sort of thing happens rarely, but it does happen.


Are we going to see more tension from Adam on his duality? 

Well, based upon what you saw him go thru in "Courage of Adam" I think this inner struggle is probably a part of Adam's character. To what degree he embraces his He-Man persona, to what degree he feels it's a burden -- these are all interesting elements to ponder and to use in telling stories.

How is this impacting Cringer?

Not sure, he won't say. (Sorry, Razzbell, couldn't resist.)

I'd like to see Adam shocked to see that his Mom can hold her own like any of the Masters, just like his Dad could. As children, I feel we often fail to see our parents as people with a past.

Very good observation.

Could we also not see anymore giant fish swallowing Duncan?

LOL. Stay tuned for the episode: "Man At Arms and the Tuna Fish Sandwich: Duncan's Revenge."

I don't mean to sound mean, but are crystals the only things that hold any power on Eternia? It seems that those are the only things that Skeletor goes for.

Well, they're shi-ny. :-)

Posted by ShredderThe on December 31, 2002 01:23am:

Another question I forgot about... I see to be full of 'em! ...
Any chance we can see a re-working of the original theme song updated for 2003?


I'm not really involved with the music side of things. But I rather like the music and the composer that's doing the show.

Posted by Voice_Guy on December 31, 2002 04:04am:

Hi Dean, I have a few more question about scripting itself.
Most know that the proper screenwriting format is 12 point Courier, but with some software there is no option for Courier itself. My question is , can 12 point Courier be switched with either Courier 10 pitch, or Courier New and still be accepted as proper formatting?


Whoa, this is way technical. But I'll answer you best as I can. WARNING: any He-Fans that are not interested in fonts, please scroll down. This is gonna be real boring to ya!

As to your question, Voice Guy, I believe you're correct -- most shows use a 12 point courier font. I think what we use is called courier final draft. (Not to be confused with the scriptwriting software known as Final Draft -- which has become very popular and is, in fact, what all writers on most of the recent shows I've worked on, including He-Man, have used.)

To my mind, the drawback to using a 10 pitch vs. a 12 -- beside the obvious of it being smaller and harder to read -- would be that it could affect the page count. Which doesn't seem wildly important, but when you're working on a show, you wanna know every 25 page script is the same. Meaning that if they don't all have equal margins, font size, etc. it's much harder to estimate if you're running long or short. Which is why there's an industry standard. For a "spec script" I'm not sure that it would matter all that much.

Let me amend that, it should't matter, but maybe it does...
Here's the thing: if you're serious about writing and getting your scripts read, you should try to do everything you can to make a script LOOK like every other professional script. Presentation is important. You'd be amazed at how people at studios will use any excuse not to read a script. If the font looks funny -- who knows? -- they may put it at the bottom of the pile, or not read it at all.


For someone such as myself who works for minimum-wage --- How can we go about getting our written teleplays optioned to be produced without the need of an expensive literary agent?

First of all, part of the beauty of writing, unlike say being a photographer, or a sculptor, is that you need very little equipment or workspace. Long as you've got something to write on and a place to sit, you're basically dealing with the contents of your brain. So whether you're minimum wage worker, or the son a millionaire, the blank page is a great equalizer. It's just you and your imagination.

As for agents...A literary agent is not expensive. In fact, a literary agent is free. They work for you. They're in the business of securing you work, or negotiating your deals. For providing that service, they get a commission -- usually 10 percent. That's the only money they get. They only make money if you make money. Anyone calling themselves an agent who asks you for money is a crook. (Now "crook" may be a much nicer term than what I've heard many people call their agents, but that's usually for different reasons.)


What is the length of an average Masters of the Universe teleplay? The original series sometimes averaged around 40 pages, are the teleplays for the current series any shorter?

Yes, significantly. I'd say our scripts average about 25 pages. That's because the artists and animators tend to play out the action alot more -- and we're sparser on dialog than most shows.

Do freelance writers need a literary agent to have a script optioned or is it possible to do so without one?

Again, I'll assume this is a question about writing in general and not about the He-Man series.

I'm not sure what you mean by "optioned." I've only heard that term in the world of movies and writing for the big screen. As I understand it, an option is when a producer or studio says: "I'll give you a little money, with an option to buy this script later, if I decide it's something that I wanna produce." It's a way for them to have sole "ownership" of your work for a specific period of time -- say a year or so. It ties up your project -- you can't bring it elsewhere, unless and until their option period is up. Then they either pay you a bunch of bucks, or the rights and ownership revert back to you.

I think you can get by without an agent, especially when you're starting out. If you have something good -- and a producer or studio likes it, you'll have agents climbing out of the woodwork wanting to sign you.


What is an average day at work for you like?

Well, no day is average. But a typical day might be: I plug in the coffee machine -- down several cups while reading the newspaper and checking my E-mail. After I've procrastinated as I long as I can, I'll...procrastinate some more.

Finally, though, it's time to get cracking. Perhaps I've got three story outlines sitting on my desk. Two of them I'm gonna rewrite myself, one I'm gonna have the writer take another whack at. At the same time, I have to rework two premises that we're developing, because they're still not working. Concurrently, I know I've got a first draft of a script due the day after tomorrow and another script that has to go "final" three days from now. I'm trying to get the promised rewrite from a writer, but she hasn't informed me that she's out of town for the weekend. The studio is emailing me because the artists are clamoring for a draft of the episode I promised them last Friday...

The day fades into an endless stream of rewriting...faxes, emails...phone calls to the production team and to writers ... more rewriting...more phone calls...more rewriting...(Interspersed with all this is real-life stuff -- picking my daughter up from school, taking the kid to dance class...occasionally meeting a writer for lunch...)

At some point I look up and it's eight o'clock at night. I unplug the coffee machine. I'm ready to knock off work. Just then, I get a fax from the production team with story notes I've been waiting for since 2 days ago. I'm informed they really need a script rewrite by the end of day tomorrow. So I plug the old coffee machine back in...and burn the midnight oil.

Of course not every day is like that -- some are more hectic, some less so. But there's a whole lot of deadlines (which I like by the way -- since I tend to be a very lazy person otherwise.) I learned early on that if you wanna do this job, you really have to do whatever it takes to get it done. There are no set hours. In fact, most times it seems there simply aren't enough hours in the day!


Posted by PanMan on January 1, 2003 06:16am:

Will Carnivus become a full-time Master anytime soon (or at least part-time like Buzz-Off) or will he be forgotten like the Faceless One seemingly has (or will he re-appear soon too?).


There are no plans to make Carnivus a member of the Masters, but I have a feeling you'll be seeing him again.

Posted by GFDSA on January 1, 2003 09:34am: Movie

Can everyone wait for me (Jaysun) to come and make the coolest 5 part live action He-man movie? i know all involved with the new he-man are all about making a movie,but in a few years i will be up there making films, can everyone wait? you guys will know me cuz i have such great ideas, and you will just know, it's a lot to ask, but can anyone even hear me?


Go for it jaysun. I'm a full believer that if you have a goal...you focus on it...and pursue it, you can achieve it.

Posted by Hordak on January 1, 2003 07:52pm:

Hiya! Could you please let the fans know whether or not the 'Evil Horde' is, in fact, the Evil Warriors new moniker, or if that's just folly on Mattel's part?


We call them the Evil Warriors on the show.

And, will the true Evil Horde, and Hordak, be alluded to or brought into the series anytime in the near future?

You'll have to wait and see about Hordak, Hordak.

Posted by danielsan52 on January 2, 2003 02:22am:

Fearless Photon: Any chance we can get an appearance or at least a brief/hidden cameo (easter egg) of him?


When I saw the words Easter egg, I expected another Christmas Special question. You'll see some cameos in upcoming episodes, though I won't reveal who.

Posted by Dark Vengeance on January 2, 2003 07:17pm:

Are we going to see other races like the Widgets make an appearance?


There are all sorts of beings populating Eternia. We will be exploring more of those to be sure.

Posted by He-Ant on January 2, 2003 07:40pm: Mr. Stefan,

Will Dree-Elle and the other Trollans be returning any time soon?


Where did they go? They've never been on the show in its current incarnation.

If Marlena is isn't from Earth, then where on Eternia is she from?

Um, the south?

Also, is Delora gonna still be Stratos' wife?

Well, you know how it is -- it's darn hard to maintain a happy marriage when every week the hubby is flying off somewhere.

Posted by Deformity on January 2, 2003 07:48pm:

Can you discuss anything in regards to the new characters that might be popping up in the 2nd season?


Golly gee, Deformity, just gonna have to wait and see. (wow, I think I just wrote a poem.)

Posted by mike-or on January 2, 2003 08:42pm:

Will there be an episode to further explore Adam not depending on He-man to save the day? Realistically how much can Adam take when Teela and the King (his own father) think he's a coward?


That's a good question and something Adam may have to deal with.

Can Skeletor stop trying to take over Grayskull and maybe find a new power to become ruler of Eternia? The episodes are starting to become redundant. 

Hey, so are some of the questions! 

Posted by Jean on January 2, 2003 11:16pm: -

Is there a possibility of having one episode where Cringer can temporarily speak? Sort of as a nod to the old fans?


How about if he nods to the old fans?

Have you considered simply writing one episode featuring the villains and no heroes at all? Some of us would love to see a day in the life of the villians rather than see the good guys.

Well, there will be episodes where the villains are featured to a larger degree. But our show is called He-Man and the Masters of the Universe -- gotta give the big lug his fair share of screen time.

Posted by Dr.Nick on January 3, 2003 12:16am:

Will ever see the new races again like the cat people and Whiplash's kind?


I think it's very likely you will.

Another chance of a parody of the lessons of each episode, you could do it on Adult Swim?

Sounds like a fun thing to do in a fan fiction.

Posted by PanMan on January 3, 2003 05:40am:

Will Tri-Klops' origin turn out to be that he came from Earth on a space ship like it is in the He-Man Bible or will it be different from that?


No Earth. No spaceship. Something completely different for Tri-klops.

Preferably I would have it different since I would not want to include a real world (Earth) into this unreal mythological universe. It would make it less interesting in my opinion.

Done.

Posted by danielsan52 on January 3, 2003 03:22pm:

Are ratings down for the cartoon? It kinda sucks that He-Man will only be airing on Saturdays starting in Feb. Is there a reason for the change?


Wish I knew the answer to that danielsan. But schedules, all that stuff, are handled by those who handle that stuff.

Posted by Cringer0 on January 3, 2003 07:34pm:

Why isn't Queen Marlena going to be from Earth? Why does Cringer and Battlecat not talk? I would like a REAL answer to this and not a "Creative Decision" answer which tells me nothing.


It was a "Creative Decision." :-)

(see my previous replies in rounds one and two)


Keeping the Queen Marlena question in mind, if she isn't from Earth any longer, why am I getting this "Tigers don't talk on Earth line"? You've made it clear now that Eternia is not connected to Earth, so the RULES of Earth don't apply on this planet, which means that tigers can talk, fish can fly, water can run backwards, etc. because Eternia is mystical and magical.

Gosh, I don't recall ever making the argument that "tigers don't talk on earth" as a reason why Cringer and Battlecat don't or can't talk in the show. You're absolutely right that the rules of earth needn't apply on Eternia.

Why is Orko dumber than he was in the original series and why is he obsessed with revealing Adam's secret?

I've never thought of Orko as dumb. I consider him child-like and prone to child-like enthusiasm -- so that he may speak or act before he thinks.

Posted by MOTUfan on January 3, 2003 07:40pm:

I bet I can answer the Orko part about the secret. I think Orko just can't keep a secret to well, and is a blabber mouth. Craving all the attention, and him having the biggest secret on Eternia must just eat him up inside.


Again, I think it's more the kid in him -- rather than a big ego or a desire for attention. I think one of Orko's biggest drives is to want to fit in, to be taken seriously, to feel a part of the team. He's like the little kid who hangs out with his big brothers' friends -- wants them to notice him, show him respect, take him seriously.

Posted by ladyisme on January 3, 2003 08:09pm:

Just what are the rules of magic in MOTU? I'm asking because I've noticed that the rules on how magic works changes slightly with each new book, series, show, story or author.


Hmmm, first rule of magic: never give away the secrets.

Is there a disstinction between wizards who are able to create there own magic and those who must absorb it from outside forces? If so witch is considered more powerfull and why? Does the gift of magic affect the ageing process, for example could the reason Orko acts so foolish be that a being of magic ages and matures slower that say a normal human being?

Interesting theory.

Can wizards who absorb outside magic drain wizards who can make their own or must absorbing wizards draw power fom objects only? We all know that cutting off a wizard mid-spell can lead to trouble but does the extra power from the cut off spell put the wizard at risk of injury?

Whoa. These are very difficult questions and I'd need a crystal ball to ascertain the answers.

If you have set exact rules for magic I would be fasinated to hear what they are.

Well, I think that magic, by definition, operates outside those realms. I mean if it had exact rules, it'd be called science.

Posted by Te00 on January 4, 2003 10:09pm:

I was just wondering if the episodes will all be stand alones, or if there will be some type of story archs? Also, how old is Teela?


Teela is about 16. That's in Eternian years of course. All the episodes, aside from 2-parters are hopefully stand alones -- at least in the sense that you can watch them and understand what's going on. Of course, they may reference some previous episode or event, or foreshadow some event in upcoming episodes.

By the way, I like that Marlena is not from earth and that Cringer can't talk. Just thought I'd add that, since so many people have stated they don't don't.

Well, I'm glad to hear you say that. By my count, that's about 202 to 3. In fact, I'll bet there's more why-doesn't Cringer-talk questions to come.

Posted by Sword-of-Grayskull on January 5, 2003 02:19am:

Why doesn't Cringer/BattleCat talk?


See? Told ya.

His role as He-Man's sidekick has greatly diminshed because of this. For that matter, why does he barely appear?

Well, he has a part-time job as a stand-in for Tom in Tom and Jerry cartoons. (In classic Tom and Jerry, Tom didn't speak) Just as a side note, I worked on the revamped Pink Panther cartoon a few years back. For those of you who recall the original, the Pink Panther was a very successful cartoon character -- created years ago by the legendary animator Friz Freleng. So anyhow, in the revamped version, the decision was made to have the Pink Panther speak -- something never ever ever done in the classic version. The new version was a big flop. The moral to the story? Well, there's actually no moral. Just a little anecdote.

Why does Skeletor not use any real magic? The most we have seen is energy being fired from his Havoc Staff, and he constantly relies on Evil-Lyn for REAL magic. WE WANT TO SEE SKELETOR AS A POWERFUL VILLAIN!!!!!!!!!!

Judging by the number of explanation points you used, I can see you feel strongly about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why was the Eternian/Horde War completely rewritten to feature Keldor instead of Hordak? Will Hordak have a part in the new series, and will this part play into the Eternian/Horde War again?

Well, the premise of your question is based upon a mythos that we may or may not employ. I know it's hard if you're a fan of the old show, but I think you need to try and approach the new series from a fresh perspective.

Why is Adam a whiny teenager? No offense, but I find that he is annoying and a bad role model for children.

Hey, most teenagers are bad role models for children! :-)

Is Adam annoying and whiny? I dunno, I think he's the classic reluctant hero. Someone who has awesome power and responsibility thrust upon him, when all he really wanted was to be a normal teenager.


Will we see Adam mature into a young man who takes his responsibilty seriously (even though he may mask it to keep his identity as He-Man secret) by the end of season 1 or in season 2?

I think we'll see Adam growing into his role a bit more. At the same time the burdens of his "secret identity' may not go away, but continue to cause conflict and complication. And that's good mews for us storytellers -- since conflict is what good storytelling is all about!

Is it possible for Adam's words, "By the Power of Grayskull!" to be just as loud as He-Man's "I have the Power!"? It seems that not enough emphasis is placed on the first phrase. You don't even hear Adam say these words in the intro.

If you get really close to your TV while Adam is speaking, then run back about 10 yards when He-Man speaks, I think you'll get the effect you're looking for. J/k Actually this is the first time I've heard this particular comment. I'm gonna listen for what you're referring to next time I watch the show.

When are we going to see a REALLY COOL battle between He-Man and Skeletor? Not like "The Mystery of Anwat Gar", mind you, with the DragonBall Z-like action. I mean a no holds-barred battle with the two using all their power in MOTU fashion. Even though we never saw it in the old series, every MOTU fan has wanted to see this.

Not to worry. We will see He-Man and Skeletor clash plenty.

Why doesn't He-Man use the Power Sword more often? Will we get to see him use it in battle? Even if he can't stab, mame, or cut foes because of the violence, can we see him use it for blocking/parrying, attacking other people's weapons, or cutting things like rocks?

Yup.

Posted by snakeface on January 5, 2003 09:24am:

First, I think you guys are doing a great job with this new series. I've been a big fan of He-man for nearly 20 years.

This "resurrection" is a dream come true. Though I think this new series is great, I feel it has great potential to be better.... I feel He-man lacks the presence he brought to the classic series. Skeletor also lacks a certain presence as the overlord of evil. These two characters use to have a great chemistry between them. That chemistry seems lost some how...


Well, in the new series they haven't known each other all that long. Give 'em a little time to work on that hero/villain banter. Their chemistry will put Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan to shame.

I also regret that Marlena is no longer from Earth, that gave her a certain uniqueness that really elevated her character.

Yeah, but think about when she had to phone home -- those long distance bills were horrendous.

I agree with the non talking Cringer/Battlecat decision....
So we'll tally you as a "split decision"!

Posted by Fisto on January 5, 2003 12:20pm:

I have to say again, I really do love the show. Just wondering,alot of the supporting characters have been developed further,which I really like. But will the Adam/He-man and Skeletor,characters, be further developed, I am hoping, they are alsoexplored, I know, it is early yet. By the way congratulations, on an awesome series.


Thanks. And yes, there's lots more exploration of characters coming up.

Posted by Prism on January 5, 2003 12:56pm:

Is there any chance of Teela's destiny being revealed in thecoming seasons. And one respectful request, plz,plz, plz give us closure in theend of the final season of this ride of "HE-MAN & the Masters of the Universe".


Final season? May that not be for many many more years!

Posted by galmorzu on January 6, 2003 03:18am:

First off, like everyone else I really want to thank you for helping to bring us easily one of the best animated shows. This newest reincarnation of He-man, so far, seems to have been handled extremely well, and we all enjoy waiting until the next new episode airs to see what you all have in store for us. The writing is exceptional, especially compared with the majority of rather bland, slap-stick cartoons that are on television now. The stories are thoughtful, epic, exciting, and most important of all, character driven.


Thanks, glamorzu. The check is in the mail.

This brings me to the question that I'd really like to ask. When you are introducing or creating the characters for the show, how much thought do you put into their backgrounds, mentalities, and subtle character intricacies?

Well, we try and put as much thought into that stuff as we can. For someone like Ram Man, we thought it'd be interesting to give him that vulnerability of being scared of the dark. For Man E Faces, we gave him some conflict over his various personas, especially after Beastman took control of his "beast side." As far as their backgrounds, yes, we're always talking about where they come from -- whether they're part of a certain "nationality" -- if there are any more at home like them, that type of thing. All of these thoughts go into the mix. Sometimes the things are made up as we go along, such as in deciding that Whiplash was part of a group called the Caligars, and that he was an outcast because of his evil ways and connection with Skeletor. The more elements and histories we have percolating, the more opportunity there is to see how these various things interconnect.

When you put Whiplash into the first episode, did you plan for him to be a traitor of his rather good-willed race, or have him wishing to be a higher ranked soldier of Skeletor's?

No to both of those questions. As mentioned above, the Whiplash-as-Caligar idea came up as we were developing the Underworld story. As far as his sucking up to Skeletor, that was just something that seemed to develop naturally.

Do you plan ahead to have some character's have various weaknesses or important feelings towards certain issues? Or do you get a basic blueprint and see where the stories bring you with them?

It's probably a little of both. As you start working with characters -- and this is true of any kind of writing -- they hopefully start "talking to you." They seem to take on a life of their own -- develop their own unique voice and attitude. As an animation writer, you're helped along in the process by how they're drawn, how they move when animated, and by the voice acting. Shades and textures start appearing. Certain quirks, mannerisms, characteristics. You build on these and get a clearer and clearer picture of the character. On the other hand, there are some times when you have a very clearly defined character in your head when you start off and it varies little from how you imagined it.

Well, I guess that's it. The end of Round 3. And I'm still standing. (I feel like Rocky!)

Thanks for all the great questions, everyone.
We'll do it again!

Dean