Oooh first to post! Here's my question why were Kayo, Nocturna and Vizar never as developed as the other characters?
Now that the N/A DVD is out, I've got a hunch all you guys (and gals) are going to have a lot of questions. I discussed this with The Shadow and he's been gracious enough to approve me starting my own thread. Trust me, this isn't a question of ego nor pomposity -- neither of which are likely to exist in a television writer who's been kicking for around for as long as this aging warrior has been. Rather, the thinking here is that it'll be more efficient all of us to have all questions directed to me through a single thread instead of all over the place.
I'd like to kick this off by telling everyone what I thrill it's been for me to be on the Forum these past months. (And I look forward to being around as long as you'll all have me.) The support I've felt from ardent N/A fans has been heartening and I'm delighted to see that He-man fans who've never viewed the series, along with some loyal MOTU fans, are open to giving N/A a new chance. I must say I've enjoyed everyone's posting on this and all other forums. I've found He-man fans, by and large, are an intelligent, witty and engaging group. Stimulating conversation and interaction is difficult to find in today's world and I'm so very happy to have found it here. I believe we owe and enormous thank you to everyone involved with creating, maintaining and administering he-man.org. That's not smoke-blowing; just a simple statement of fact, because none of us would be enjoying these forums if it weren't for them.
To everyone posting, let me say from the start that I don't expect the N/A series to be embraced by everyone -- no series ever is. But I'm pleased that so many loyal MOTU fans seem to have gotten past their initial disappointment when N/A first debuted. So thanks to one and all.
What I'd like to do here is establish a few loose ground rules for all of us for this thread. First, I think it's a good idea for anyone not familiar with where I'd hoped to take N/A in Season Two, to take a look at my posts from #27 on in The New Adventures of He-man 1990 Annual thread. I think they pretty much lay out my thoughts and will hopefully give loyal MOTU fans a reason not to want to draw and quarter me.
Next, this thread is really intended to be a place for you all to ask me whatever questions you want. It should primarily be about N/A, but I have no problem fielding queries about the children's entertainment, toy and animation industries in general.
Please, no hate postings. Lord knows there's more than enough hate in the world already. So we don't need any more over, least of all over a toon. On the other hand, my fragile writer's ego has no problem with you offering a few superlatives. But seriously, postings about your relative likes or dislikes for N/A are more appropriately directed to the official N/A DVD feedback thread.
Two other minor matters, then you can fire away: 1) I had nothing to do with Skeletor's eyes, so please let's not get into that. 2) I had nothing to do with voice casting or voice direction. I was responsible for developing the series bible, writing thirty-seven episodes, story-editing some others and reviewing most of the storyboards.
One final bit of business. Although I know I've said it in other posts, I'd like to again say how very grateful I am to BCI for bringing out the DVD. It's wonderful for me to have this gift after all these years, but even more precious for me to see how it lights up my seven-year old son's eyes. So many thanks to all.
And now, let's do it!
Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; January 9, 2008 at 08:14pm.
Oooh first to post! Here's my question why were Kayo, Nocturna and Vizar never as developed as the other characters?
Mattel I demand the following:
Spinwit,Spinnerella, The Scientists, Rio Blast, Mara, Crita, Kayo, Mermista,
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I'd like to know what your views on She-ra were, favourite characters etc and what would you have done with her, what direction etc if you had have continued with a second series of NA.
You mist have seen the episode featuring the appearance of Teela were you not abit surprised at the way she appeared, in my opinion she looks more like She-ra than Teela, any opinion/comment on this...
Finally if you did do a series 2 etc would there have been more 'sword and sorcery'?
Last edited by Fsmiler; December 29, 2006 at 08:31pm.
I know you worked on the series, but as far as the toy line goes, do you have any knowledge of which characters Mattel might've had in the works but never ended up getting a toy? (Other than the ones we already know about in catalogues/online) Did Mattel keep you at all updated on what they had in development toy-wise?
Be ready for some very specific questions!
- There's a spoken antipathy between Sagitar and Staghorn that isn't really explained. What was the origin of their feud?
- Late in the series, some of robots show up who are the same make as Artilla, and their leader makes a reference to him having escaped "the Great One" or something like that. What was that about?
Thought I'd make this one a sticky
- Later in the series, when you introduced the Gleanons and the Mites, were they your own creations or a proposal from Mattell? I know they were going to be bringing out figures of them before the line ended.
- In Season Two, would Skeletor have reunited with the Mutants or just stuck with Crita?
Were you at some point of season one tempted to include classic evil warriors from MOTU to join the mutants ? If so which was first on your mind?
By the way thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions.
Any chance once you get the DVDs you could do a sort of directors commentary as you watch them, either by print or podcast? That would be cool to see.
RobCaptain Picard:So...five card stud, nothing wild...and the sky's the limit.
Now, Swift Wind, the answer is that Kayo, Nocturna and Vizar came in the second wave of action figures from Mattel and I was asked not to develop them too strongly in the early episodes until the second wave was released. I did know of all the figures that would be eventually released because I saw all the prototypes in the first presentation meeting. And I was told I could introduce them when I wished if I felt their presence was truly vital to a particular episode. However, they did ask that I emphasize the figures that were released in the first wave first, and I felt that was a reasonable request.
Another character specific question, about Darius. That character was supposed to be in the first wave of figures, and was shown on the back of the cards. He was also prominently featured in early NA materials, like the UK Annuals... He was portrayed as the leader of the Galactic Guardians, and a very important character, a cross between Man-At-Arms and King Randor...
Yet, he never appeared in the cartoon.
Was Darius ever intended to be introduced in the series, of did Mattel just cancelled the figure, therefore not allowing the character to be used ?
Did Mattel ever give you a reason why they cancelled the figure/character ?
Seriously, the feeling was that we had so very many of our new characters to service that harking back to characters from Eternia would cut into time that we needed to spend on our new heroes and villains -- and there were already plenty of them. As noted on another post, we had a large list of villains and heroes and just ordinary folks from Primus. In a half-hour script you've only got about thirty-two pages to tell your story. There's action, adventure, shifts from one location to another and maybe eight-to-ten -- or more -- characters in a single episode. So every page is precious to a writer. You have to carefully pick and choose who you're going to use and you'd better have a pretty compelling reason for using them -- i.e., moving the dramatic thrust of the episode along -- rather than just trotting them out because you think it would be fun.
Now I certainly liked the episode with Teela in it and I thought it was very cool to bring her in. But we just didn't have the time to do that over and over. Plus creating a device for bringing Eternia's characters to Primus was dicey at best. So by and large we stayed away from that.
As for Teela's look, I had nothing to do with the artwork. A lot of fans have commented about her hair, etc., but it was really an artistic issue handled by the animation studio. They obviously put their own interpretation into it, but the reality is that charatcers do change over time. (I saw ROCKY BALBOA last night and boy has he changed!) So let's put it down to that.
No question but that if there was a Season 2 we would have gone to a sword and sorcery feel because we were going back to Eternia and it would have be en appropriate there. Obviously, Primus was a different world and it didn't fit there. I surely would have had the sword and sorcery aspects in Season 2, and it would have been a lot of fun to see the Mutants dealing with that.
I'm not being contrary but there are clear similiarities between the NA Teela and She-ra.
Teela originally did have striking red hair.
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Mattel did an excellent job of keeping me in the loop on what was happening with the toy-line. That was primarily because I had a strong relationship with Kaaren Lee Brown (who is presently a V.P. at DIC) and Debra Galliani, the two executives who served as liaison between Toy and Television. We had worked together on many projects in the past, so we were already on the same page when we began work in N/A. I had great respect for their abilities -- and for their championing writers -- and I believe they were comfortable with my track record in the industry. From my beginning in children's entertainment, Kaaren and Debra, along with Lori Crawford at DIC, were influential in providing me with opportunities to develop my career. entertainment industry.
As for the reference to The Great One, I have to use a Watergate line: "I don't recall at this point in time." (And here I used to think Haldeman, Erlichman, Mitchell & Dean were just bs'ing us. Now I can relate. )
However, if you'll tell me which episode it was in, I'll watch it and hopefully that will loosen my rusted file drawer. I promise I'll get back to you on it.
1. Why didn't Skeletor recognize Adam as Prince Adam from Eternia? They were face to face in "Adam's Adventure".
2. Teela got to make an appearance -- was it hard to convince Mattel to use a "classic" Masters character? Did Mattel have strict rules about not utilizing any characters from the classic line?
As for the Teela appearance, that was also an episode I was not involved in, but from my side at no point did Mattel say, "You can't use any of the MOTU or POP characters. On the other hand, it was clear that they did want to service the new characters that they had invested heavily in and whenever you have an old character in an episode it takes away time from servicing the new ones.
The Running of the Herd is one of my favorite episodes. I don't recall the reference, but I do know that I have a tendency to attempt to inject elements of theism into most of my work, when appropriate -- not so much because I am personally a religious person (which I am), but because it seems to me that most cultures on Earth, from Chinese to Greeks and Romans to us, have theism as one of their pillars. So it makes sense to me that other worlds will also have that element in them.
On the other hand, the reference could have been to a military leader. As I said, I'll take a look at it and see if it jogs my memory.
My mistake. I see thgat you were referring to There's Gems in Those Hills. That episode had the Gleanons who, along with the Mites, were one of my favorite sub-characters. My recollection now is that the reference was to a military leader.
Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; December 31, 2006 at 01:38pm. Reason: error
First I just want to say I've been a fan of the series since its debut and I was wanting to know were there any ideas or stories you had in mind for the mutants or the galactic guardians? One or two of the mutants going solo like a Karatti/Hoove story. To me those guys were like the Webstor/Kobra Kahn team, or background stories on particular guardians. I would have loved to see a Kayo or Artilla story.
I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve. As for me, I'm down with a pretty severe case of food poisoning, which is an ironic way to kick off the year for someone who completely abstains from alcohol!
Anyway, kindly be patient and give me a couple of days to get back on my feet. Then I'll return to the questions.
Hiya... This is awesome!
I posted this in the talk back thread but I'll just leave that there for fan speculation which is always interesting and ask you about it here.
In the Ultimate challenge He-man appears in that statue....how did he get there? Can he teleport now is that whats going on? ALSO and this is just weird...All through the series up till now He-man has short hair adam has long and in the beginning of this ep thats the way it is.. but then at the end not only does he have long hair and a pony tail but they make a point of SHOWING us that he does a highlight that its a change... so... I don't get it... first of all why does he have long hair now... and how
Also He-man has a lot of new abilities in the show.... what brought you to that choice... just to give him more sci fi stuff? how do you think he acquired these abilities? The ones with his sword and just his own new abilities? Would he still have these abilities on Eternia... or does he have them because he is on primus... what I mean by that is in season two when he was to go back does his sword still shoot lasers!!! :-)
I should revise ...IS PRIMUS ETERNIA!? they never state that it isn't... usually they just talk about going into the future... I always assumes primus was eternia but SO far in the future its changed completely.
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First, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the cartoon. I have enjoyed all the original MOTU DVD releases, but it was all material I had seen before, so other than the interviews on the last disk of each set, there was nothing new, and I mainly enjoyed the sets just for nostalgia.
However, I wasn't aware of the New Adventures cartoon until it was almost at the end of its run. So I have probably only seen about 30 of the 65 episodes. This set is particularly enjoyable for me because I get the nostalgia of having seen some of the episodes back when I was a kid, but also I get to see episodes that are brand new to me. And Skeletor delivers some lines that are laugh out loud funny.
My questions are:
1- Who is supposed to be the love interest for He-Man? Is it Mara or Drisee?
2- Flogg is clearly the boss. Skeletor is the brains behind the boss. But is there a next in command? It seems like Hoove gets put in charge a couple of times.
3- I just watched a 5-part story where the Mutants take over Primus. (EXCELLENT STORY, BTW) They used little creatures who turned into monsters, which is similar to a G.I.Joe cartoon where Cobra used that plan to take over a space station. Did you have certain shows or movies that inspired you while writing this series?
Hope you feel better from your food poisoning soon.
(BTW, I'm still a bit off center from this food poisoning. Not a fun deal, I can tell you that!)
The Gleanons and the Mites were my own creation. One of the great things about working with Mattel and Mark Taylor -- then at Jetlag, now running Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank -- was that they gave me so much creative latitude in so many areas. And one of the places they really did this was in allowing me to create sub-characters even though those characters would never appear as action figures in the toy-line. Of course you always have to be careful about dancing in new characters because it takes away time from your main cast. But to do it once in a while is fun and I think Mark and Mattel got a grin from it.
I LOVED the Gleanons and the Mites.
As for your question about Skeletor aligning himself with the Mutants or Crita, that's a tough one. For sheer firepower and numbers, he'd have to lean toward the mutants. But for brains, wile and...hmmmm...he'd ben inclined toward Crita. (I know I would. ) Also, remember that, in my proposal for Season Two, I had a triumverate of females in charge of Eternia, so I think Skeletor would wisely want Crita's female input. If I know Skelly, I think he'd try to work the best of both worlds, using the mutants as his henchmen and Crita as his second-in-command, at the same time playing one faction off against the other so neither gets too comfortable. However, if I was in his place and I had to make a definite choice of one over the other, I'd have to go for Crita. But then I've always been drawn to powerful, intelligent, confident women -- all of which adds up to 'hot' in my book, Lucy Lui and my Irish wife being prime examples. I do believe that this is something Skeletor and I have in common, so there you have it.
I'm a big fan of the Gleanons and the Mites, though I thought the Mites looked quite odd in their animated form, I loved the Gleanons and thought the way that whole storyline played out, with Mara and Crita involved, was great. Clearly the folks at Mattel liked them too, as they turned them into figures.
There was certainly a temptation to use some of the classic MOTU characters. There were a number of reasons, however, that I chose not to. First, we were trying to distance ourselves from the original as much as possible. A lot of fans have asked why we didn't take along Orko or Man-at-Arms and others. Part of it was a business decision on Mattel's part. You must remember that they are primarily toy-makers and they make their living off of selling toys. So much of what they do is seen through that filter. Their feeling was that the original toy-line was pretty much spent out -- i.e., people had collected as many of the figures as they were going to collect. You don't need twenty Man-at-Arms for instance. So they wanted to introduce all new characters.
Now I come from a business background, was an executive in my family's business before I devoted myself exclusively to writing. So I understand things from a business perspective, and I understood and respected their point of view. I will point out, as I said in a previous post, that they gave me a great deal of creative latitude and I believe it's commendable that a toy company would allow a writer to develop sub-characters that would never see light of day just because he felt they could contribute to the dramatic thrust of the series. And I must give a well-deserved nod to then-Mattel exec Kaaren Lee Brown for allowing me to do that. Kaaren had a great understanding of writers and the creative process, and I believe any writer who worked with her -- and is working with her now in her position at DIC -- is fortunate, indeed.
But there was another factor at play in my staying away from the classic MOTU characters. Again, I know I've said this before, but you only have about 32 pages in a half-hour script. So any time you bring in characters that are not your primary characters -- and there were PLENTY of primary characters in N/A -- you are taking time away from those main characters.
Too, I was planning on our returning to Eternia in Season Two, so I figured there would be plenty of time to embrace those characters at that point. Which goes to show, things don't always work out the way you hope they will.
People instead of considering it MOTU cannon felt betrayed. This is not my personal opinion cause I think you made a tremendous job with it and it most've been very hard to please everyone at the time specially since Mattel wanted to change the concept so drastically. I consider it MOTU canon because you respected many aspects of the classic while giving us the New adventures that needed to be told.
I am sorry but I am going to throw just another question at you.
This is regarding the Power Sword, in NA it got new powers never seen before in the classic series and was turned it into a better weapon. Was this your idea or Mattel suggested it?
Thanks again Jack!!