David Wise Interview

Interview by Oscar Corral - 1997

What are your views about the character He-Man? Skeletor?

He-Man was pretty bland. A nice guy, but not a particularly complex or interesting hero. Skeletor was a pretty good, generic villain, though.

Do you have any fond memories of the show?

The money! No, not even the money. The pay was pretty poor. I only did that show because I was broke and nothing else was going on at the time. And the truth is, I have very FEW memories of the show, period. It was fairly dull to write for. You couldn't do much because A) There was a HUGE outcry against the show from the start, even before a single script had been written; people like Peggy Charren (ACT) were convinced He-Man was just a violent, mindless, toy commercial, so they made it into such a mild show thatSmurfs was violent by comparison! And B), there was so little animation involved that you couldn't do anything visually, no action, etc.

Did you work on the She-Ra series? If so, what are your views about her?

Didn't write for it. By the time they did She-Ra I had moved on to better things.

Did you create any of the characters used in the cartoon?


What were some of the problems that were encountered while working on He-Man?

See second question.


Do you think He-Man was Satanic in any way?

Hard to say. It's true that we did sacrifice virgins and drink goat's blood as part of an unholy ritual before commencing each script, and, as I'm sure you know, Cringer's growls were in fact the phrase, "Bow down to the Prince of Darkness" recorded backward, but no, I don't think there was anything inherently Satanic in the show itself. I'm only kidding! Truthfully, He-Man was one of the cleanest, most pro-social shows I have ever worked on.

Do you still write for cartoons or any other TV show?


Do you feel that The New adventures of He-Man did a good job in keeping the characters and plot the same?

I never watched it, but I did read the pilot script. When I got to the point where Skeletor forced He-Man to do his bidding by threatening a puppy, I felt we were in a whole new area of weirdness!

Finally, how would you respond to someone when they say that He-Man was nothing more than a "toy commercial"?

Obviously I don't agree. We writers had NO contact with Mattel on the show. We were just trying to tell good stories with the characters we were given. And each episode made a point of teaching important life-lessons and giving the viewers examples of good values, so I'd say it was much more than a toy commercial. Hope this answers all your questions. 

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