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Thread: Book Burning... I smell CHEEEEEEZINESS

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior cbr6684's Avatar
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    Book Burning... I smell CHEEEEEEZINESS

    ...and oddness as well.

    Among the single boy who, for no apparent reason whatsoever, supported the Horde, Rattlor's inability to speak, the shamefully weak "I am Spartacus!" rip-off scene, Adora's and Bow's face masks (which happened to do a horrible job disguising them), and Bow's "Tung-tied" joke, this is one of the weirdest episodes of She-Ra I've ever seen.

    Then the limitless praise of reading at the end... I understand this is a kids' show that teaches valuable lessons (for example, that reading is important), but do we have to exaggerate it to the point that we make the 4- to 7-year-old audience think that anything printed is equivalent to righteously inspired wisdom?

    I think this episode is pretty craptastic.

    What are your opinions on it?

  2. #2
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    A little heavy handed, true, but, for the time, pretty courageous. Taking on topics that could be somewhat controversial wasn't the norm in the 80's, and tackling something like this with the rise of groups who practiced such things at the time was pretty bold for a cartoon.

    I think it was one of the better efforts at bringing up an important issue. The Horde was a totalitariian regime, and, historically, one of the first things such regimes do is take control of the flow of information. Thus, the premise of the episode made perfect sense. And it wasn't so much preaching the value of every book ever printed as it was the value of a free exchange of information and ideas, a concept some folks need to be reminded of to this day.
    "I will use this power for all the good that can be done, to work for peace, to encourage virtue, and above all, to preserve life in all its forms..." Superman

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior cbr6684's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger
    Taking on topics that could be somewhat controversial wasn't the norm in the 80's, and tackling something like this with the rise of groups who practiced such things at the time was pretty bold for a cartoon.
    Too bad they didn't have enough time to tackle Orko's Satan-worshipping values that one of the writers (Dini, I believe) mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger
    And it wasn't so much preaching the value of every book ever printed as it was the value of a free exchange of information and ideas,
    I guess the message seemed clouded to me due to the show's obligation to portray the Horde as unwavering evil, as opposed to welcoming all ideas and information.

    Quote Originally Posted by scott metzger
    a concept some folks need to be reminded of to this day.
    As will always be the case for as long as humans live on this earth.

  4. #4
    Scrolls Reviewer Jukka's Avatar
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    I think itīs one of the better episodes, where they actually show the Horde and how much in control it is over the land. Teaching children false history only makes it so much more real and gives it depth. Sure there are some scenes that donīt work, but the overall message canīt be denied.

  5. #5
    Eternian Jedi Knight He-Fan's Avatar
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    Chris here...

    "Book Burning" isn't one of my very favourite episodes, but I've always found it very enjoyable - it's one of Board member Horde Trooper's favourite episodes, and his rave reviews of the episode really opened my eyes to it. Plot-wise I think it's one of the better She-Ra episodes for showcasing the Horde's dominance of Etheria - in so many episodes you could be forgiven for thinking that the Rebel forces are the rulers of Etheria, it's nice to see an episode focus so heavily on the series' main premise.

    Does the episode misfire? Well, you have to look at it in context and think that this was a show made for kids in a different era, and in that context I think the episode gets its message across well.

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    It's sort of an ironic opposite to the theme of the He-Man series. I'll quote an item from my "Fake He-Man Morals" page:

    He-Man: "Today, Skeletor once again tried to gain the secrets and ancient knowledge of Greyskull. But knowledge can be dangerous, and as protector of those secrets, I must ensure that only my friends and I have access to them. Remember, knowledge must be safeguarded and controlled at any cost."
    :-)

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  7. #7
    Rock Thrower Rook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbr6684
    Too bad they didn't have enough time to tackle Orko's Satan-worshipping values that one of the writers (Dini, I believe) mentioned.
    Wait...What? Care to elaborate for someone who's obviously out of the loop?
    People who say certain characters should never be remade is stupid. Throw rocks at them.

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  8. #8
    prince of asgard thor's Avatar
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    THe Book Burning episode reminds me of Fahrenheit 451

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior cbr6684's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rook
    Wait...What? Care to elaborate for someone who's obviously out of the loop?
    It was just a joke- Dini mentioned that sarcastically in an interview, jabbing at the likes of that Peggy whatshername ***** who was protesting the supposed immoral and sacrilegious qualities of the He-Man cartoon.

  10. #10
    Court Magician
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    I just watched this ep for the first time in about 20 odd years.

    It has very serious, very dark Nazi overtones that are quite deliberate. Would go completely over a child's head but book burning was a major part of Hitlers early regime. It was too precise to not be a direct inspiration for this episode . Very brave I feel. superb episode
    Skeletor to King Randor, Skeletor to King Randor....come in you royal BOOB!

  11. #11
    "Oh dearie my!" Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    While there were no flames, "The Facts of Life" tackled book-banning in its 3rd-season finale. That was 1982, so these kind of topics were "hot" (no pun intended) back then.
    Muppet fans, if you like Janice of The Electric Mayhem, check out: Janice: "Fer sure!"

  12. #12
    Gimme Granita! Scorpia's Avatar
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    Personally, I think Book Burning is one of the BEST She-Ra episodes of the series, for taking real life, historical events and applying them to a children's TV series.

    As Kobra Kahn says above, it smacks of Nazi idealism. They knew that by eradicating any trace of history, they could write a new past that may have prevented objectors from rebelling/rioting etc. In the She-Ra episode, Hordak aims to do the same thing. Etheria's history was always painted as a thing of vibrancy and beauty, from the ornaments and statues in Treasures of the First Ones and The Crown of Knowledge to its stunning natural landscape as suggested in Something Old, Something New. Families were happy, life was peaceful and joyful. The Horde came along and killed all of that.

    The burning of the books was a plan to stop Etherians studying their past, but ultimately to stop them making their future. If 'modern day' Etherians were wise to how life was before the war, they'd have more of a reason to fight against it. The stories in those books gave them hope.

    Corey was the archetypal school rebel - but because his teacher Serena sided with The Great Rebellion, he decided to rebel against her and join the Horde (though the context may seem extreme, he would've known the Horde were in power). The Horde using a schoolboy to do their dirty work might seem a bit far fetched, but he was the perfect spy in a sense because nobody would've suspected him. And using a child in such a way seemed to me quite a dark concept and a good example of how low Hordak would stoop.

    The disguises are a bit goofy, of course, but that was probably because Filmation had tight budgets. A whole new character design would've cost a pretty penny. I don't know what you mean about the Spartacus reference though. The Tung Lashor joke was a bit of campy, 80s humour to lighten the mood in an otherwise serious episode. Rattlor was mute in several She-Ra episodes, although this is the most notable (in Jungle Fever, they almost make a point of him not speaking, by using his rattle instead).
    Most-wanted MOTUC: Granita - Hunga the Harpy - Spinnerella - Melaktha - Vultak - Dylamug - Crita - Mermista Sprag, Sprocker and Spritina

  13. #13
    Court Magician
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    Excellent post

    It was also worrying how influenced the child was at the start of the episode, really into the Horde at a very young age.

    I'm flabbergasted this ep was made at all, but I'm glad it was
    Skeletor to King Randor, Skeletor to King Randor....come in you royal BOOB!

  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior Akai's Avatar
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    It goes to show that there are Etherian citizens whom are Horde sympathizers or even Horde collaborators. Being idle or even rooting for the bad guy might make a person look like a coward or even categorized as a traitor in fiction but in reality that is what most people would do under the boot of a tyrant. The kid's parents were either pro-Horde or too scared.

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