I have a question, not sure if this has been answered before (and I apologize if it has). With new characters that you created (Crita, Drissi, Mara, Master Sebrian, etc), did you get to give input on their design for the show? Or at the very least give descriptions for the team? And if not, were you happy with how they turned out? Did these characters end up looking like you envisioned them in your head when you wrote them?
I know that you mentioned not having much control over how Skeletor looked, so i was curious if that applied to characters that you created.
July 2016 can't get here soon enough!
One section in the Series Bible that creates a show is the CHARACTERS Section. In that section there are descriptions that range from a page to three pages on each character in the series. Those descriptions describe the characters' personalities, their motivations, how they interact with other characters and their physical descriptions. I did this for each character in the series.
I felt that the artists and animators were very faithful to my physical descriptions of the characters, especially so in the case of Crita, who I described at length and in 'considerable detail'.
Considerable detail eh? Nice
Thanks for the reply. I always enjoy the insight you provide into the process
July 2016 can't get here soon enough!
It is always my pleasure to provide it. I have often said that writers, directors, actors and producers are nothing without the audience and fans. It is a privilege for me to be here, to give background on NA and other series I have written for and to receive comments, occasional praise and also well thought out and incisive criticism of my work.
My NA DVD set (volume 1) had a defect on disc 5 and freezes about half way through. Has this happened to anybody else? Is it possible to replace just disc 5 or should I just buy the whole set again since the price is minimal? Thanks.
Also Jack, I know you said you wanted He-Man to return to Eternia in S2. When had you decided that? Cause in the episode with Teela she tells He-Man "goodbye forever" at the end, implying that it will never happen.
From the very beginning it had been my intention to have He-man return to Eternia in Season 2, along with Skeletor, Flogg, Crita, Drissi and Mara. Thankfully, I'd have been able to dump the scientists. That said, I did not pitch the idea to Mattel, but rather was waiting to see if we'd get a pick-up for Season Two., As an aside, it's important to note that seasons for Saturday morning series are traditionally comprised of thirteen episodes. Because NA was a 'strip' series, intended to run five days a week, we produced sixty-five episodes. So that would have been five seasons of a Saturday series.
Regarding Teela's comment, there's a two-part answer. First, that episode was written by the very talented Misty Taggart and was edited by Jack Mendolson and Francis Moss as part of a small block that I didn't have the time to work on. So I had no oversight on Teela's comment. Even if I had, however, I would have let it stand because it would have been interesting to see how she would have dealt with mistakenly having said good-bye forever.
Iīve got a question regarding Drissy, or better her accessory: Is that supposed to be a flute or a simple (yet futuristically designed) shepherds stick?
If that has actually been addressed and shown in the cartoon, I must have overlooked or simply forgotten it. If so, I apologize.
In case it actually is a flute, are there any schematics as to how it would work? How it would be played?
Thank you so much in advance for your answer.
Letīs all agree to love MOTU enough to let others love MOTU, too!
Drissi is a shepherd and what you see is a shepherd's crook, used to herd sheep. That said, I really like your mention of it possibly being a flute -- especially since my own daughter plays flute. It would have been cool for the crook to have been dual-purposed so she could play her flute on lonely nights, the sheep gathering around as she does.
Where were you when I needed you?!
Thank you very much for the answer!
Where I were? Well, propably sitting in my room complaining about the NA actionfigures
Letīs all agree to love MOTU enough to let others love MOTU, too!
Hmm. After reading some of the repetitive criticism for the series, Im even more sure now that I dont agree with the criticism gearing towards it, about it being different and disconnected in many ways etc. Im a firm believer in Jim Cameron's philosophy for a sequel - not to make a remake, or just take a small baby step away from the original, but to completely reinvent it and make it fresh and different, yet retaining the core essence AND explore the characters more or make them evolve. And I dont mean by any means to make it different for the sake of being different, or that anything drastically different would by default be great because of that fact alone. I think the way they sequelized the series was phenomenal, in that it gave us He Man in a completely new, and I mean really new environment, world, style and feel, which still works for the mythology. Instead of sword and sorcery, its full space scifi now, and I tremendously enjoy such contrast and the fact that the series became so multiflavored, like the Batman series. As far as animation, Ive no criticism whatsoever, I really enjoy the TMNT styled, early 90s animation and I like the fact that I can enjoy He Man in both styles, my favorite classic 80s Johnny Quest style and in the TMNT 90s style. I enjoy having the characters redesigned for the new incarnation, they fit this animation and series style better the way they look and act
In short, I wouldnt want just a same old same old copy, we did get two seasons of the great original cartoon, and it was really cool to see a scifi makeover of the mythology and characters. For me remakes just dont fully work. Admittedly, 2002 series was good, really good, but for me it will always be a remake and recycling of the original which just cant be matched imo with its feel and look. For me it will always be a good imitation, but imitation nonetheless
Glad I caught you Mr Jack as I have a question on my own B). It was asked before, but I wanted to dwell a bit more into it. For some time I thought there might have been some licensing issues which forbode to have classic characters appearing in the show (I didnt know about Teela's guest appearance until few years ago). Someone asked about Skeletor's minions in the first episode, asking why wasnt it the BeastMan and Mermaid or TrapJaw who seized Flipshot and Hydron. You explained that Mattel wanted a new set of characters for new toys, however, since those characters had little more than a cameo, I doubt they were any considered being made into toys. One of Skeletor's "goat men" is referred to as Andros. Question is, if you remember, was the decision to introduce unknown characters as Skeletor's old Eternian minions purely based on desire to distance the show from the original and create a clean board, was it because of licensing issues and the older villains werent allowed to be used, or was there simply no special meaning behind it?
Imo, Mattel's primary goal was to separate the series as much from Eternia and the original characters as possible. The feeling likely was -- perhaps supported by data -- that sales of the original character action figures was saturated. After all, how many Man-at-Arms are you going to buy.
What's important to understand is the distinction between being a toy company and a fan. Naturally fans loved the original characters. But Mattel is in business to sell toys. So their thinking was a create a new line with new action figures. Regrettably, Mattel found themselves in a very difficult position because the fan base loved the old figures, but sales of those figures were down.
As many know, and as I stated in the mastercast podcast interview, my intention, in Season 2 of NA was to have Skeletor, He-man and some of the Primus characters and mutants return to Eternia where they would find that Man-at-Arms had pulled off a coup, exiled She-ra, The Sorceress and Teela, establishing himself as a benevolent dictator. It was one possible direction to go.
There's no question but that hindsight is always 20/20, but I do think in retrospect Mattel failed to realize the passion the fan base had for the original characters and that they just felt abandoned. A better marketing route might have been to say this was just a different adventure for He-man and that eventually he would return to Eternia. But again, that's just Monday morning quarterbacking on my part.
I understand the approach. Plus I think the Eternian characters would be a blinding contrast to the new theme and look of the series. It had a then modern animation and scifi look, characters who look like they came from Brother Grimm tales or ancient Greek Myths would be very out of place even if only sporting a cameo. Then again, the series actually took care of that by redesigning the characters (Skeletor no longer looks like a figure of death with Barbarian-medieval clothing, Teela no longer looks like a Roman warrior). I don't know, I just often wondered why Andros instead of BeastMan
As far as the idea of returning to Eternia, an idea widely applauded as I see, I actually would prefer to stay on Primus. The further the series went, the more into the characters and settings we were, and a switch back to a completely new(for the series) environment and discarding the futuristic sleek scifi look wouldn't really work for me as I love the series the way it is. Especially for me, since I wasn't even aware of HeMans original cartoon, so at the time when I was crazy about NA the original character meant absolutely nothing for me, so at the time a switch to Eternia might've even been a bit of a repulsive idea. Perhaps from a diehard fan standpoint the idea would've been interesting to see, but again, I love the series the way it is and applaud the new flavor it given to the mythology instead of just being a remake, it was a "sequel" that actually brought something fresh and could stand on its own
Either way I just want to take time to thank you for helping to create something so memorable that even as an adult Im still entertained and passionate about. Without knowing about the original, NA Skeletor was my favorite cartoon villain and remained one of my favorite villains from the silver screen in all 3 cartoon incarnations
Thank you for that, Brakk. As I've often said, writers, producers, directors and actors are nothing without fans. So I thank you for being one. As most here know, I welcome civil and constructive criticism as much as praise -- perhaps even more than praise as thoughtful criticism affords me an opportunity to learn and even after having written more than 1,200 episodes of television I still have much to learn.
I'm not sure if I posted this for you before, but since you're interested in NA you might enjoy this podcast in which I'm interviewed about the series: http://masterscast.com/?p=46
Have a wonderful holiday season.
How do you feel about NA He-man or elements from it being featured in MOTUC? What about the possibility it being adapted into current/future iterations of MOTU like the DC comics or future cartoons or films and so on?
I think almost anything that creates exposure is good. I get that there have been some changes from my original NA in the current MOTUC -- bios and such. I appreciate that many writers and fans like things to remain exactly as they were. I differ in that regard. I believe there are times that a concept, series or character can grow organically. I do believe that when changes come about that they should not be capricious, but I think if there is strong justification and a logical way of presenting it that revisionism can occasionally have its place.
Your question is quite interesting and topical because for some reason I've had quite a few orgers recently posting and PM-ing me about the possibilities for NA to be rebooted. I have no idea why this is happening lately, but it's certainly something I'd be interested in. Toy Guru and I chatted casually about it a couple of years ago. But I think it's a real long shot. Still, the idea of He-man returning from Primus to find a coup d'etat having taken place in his absence, with Teela, She-ra and The Sorceress exiled Man-at-Arms ensconced as a benevolent, if conflicted, dictator would be something I should be delighted to explore. At present my production company has an extremely full plate, but I can tell you that I'd clear the decks immediately if the opportunity presented itself.
As I said, it's highly unlikely...but one can always hope...and dream.
Thanks for taking the time to write your replies Jack. Definitely food for thought and I'm eagerly awaiting more NA characters being adapted into MOTUC.
I can't help but wonder though if Mattel could be convinced to consider alternative avenues like Netflix or some sort of crowd funding to get even just a one off project off the ground? Well like you say, we can always dream.
Watching some NA again...and I just realized that Slushie does not take off his helmet while on his beloved swamp. Just a matter of easier animation? And how come Felca didn't need a dome with water fron the swamp outside it? Or are these classic 'the wizard did it' -moments?
"She-Ra, Princess of Power was no more. That had been the price of freedom."