Yeesh, I just joined so I could mention that He-Man was originally designed by Carol Lundberg. I don't see it mentioned and felt it was worth letting people know. Here's her IMDB listing if anyone is interested: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0526278/
Also here's a kind of cool inside joke about He-Man that the animators passed around to each other:DSCF3475.JPG
Hi Bronze Warrior, sorry to mention, but you're wrong about that. The Mattel toys were taken directly from the animated series models. Remember, it takes a year or two before an animated series is aired (after the artists start drawing). I know this because I was at Filmation and remember when we were organizing models to send to Mattel for the toy line. But, yeah, Carol designed the character for the animation.
The Masters of the Universe toyline existed prior to the cartoon series, starting production in 1981 and marketed as toys in 1982. Filmation had animated a few adverts to promote the He-Man figures when the line came out, and their artwork was based on the existing toys. A detailed version of He-Man's design was created for the animated advert, and then redesigned again for the cartoon series.
Looking for a way to increase the success of the toy sales, Mattel asked Filmation to go beyond animating toy adverts, and create 65 episodes for syndication. Filmation worked with Mattel to create a new backstory for He-Man, that was conceived by the Filmation animation studio, for this cartoon series. The series premiered in syndication in Sept of 1983.
Last edited by Captain Atkin; June 1, 2013 at 03:24pm.
Well, according to Lou Scheimer, Mattel brought the concept with the character already designed to Filmation--"this wild barbarian with blonde hair waving in the wind, hatchets, axes, and all kinds of weapons and mayhem going on." Scheimer's memory isn't always the greatest--he seems to have forgotten the connection between Hero [sic] and the Land of Legend and He-Man--but I think we can trust him on this point.
Perhaps the confusion is due to that you have indeed sent designs to Mattel, but for Orko, Randor, Horde characters, She-Ra and Rebellion characters? Some of those had He-Man on them for size comparison.
So if one person a long time ago thought something up then its just 'theirs'.
What if someone in ancient Germania thought up a story about a GreySkull and a Snakemountain?
..and what if someone in the Sung Dynasty thought the same thing up at the same time?
If its good, its good.
"I reject your Prince Adam and replace him with the original barbarian from the jungle."
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Well, I guess you guys are right. Although I look at those old wax models and think they resemble He-Man about as much as they do every other possible superhero. But, I stand corrected. But Carol did design the model for the animated series. Yeah, that joke about He-Mans lack of expression was an insider thing. They had stock animated footage of close ups on each characters face (both a smiling version and a straight-faced version) that we had to use. There were similar stock scenes of standard walks and runs in various sizes. So, here's another insider joke about the stock system on He-Man.DSCF3318.JPG this one done by Marcus Nickerson.
Hi Grimbot, Those look familiar, although the paper color is odd. I didn't save a lot from He-Man but I'll see if I can find any other stuff from the show.
Hi Tallstar, I will. You guys probably already have this, since it's been posted on Facebook, but just in case: Castle Greyskull layout drwg.Castle Greyskull.jpg
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This is a layout manual they gave to new LO artists. Some of the examples are taken from actual He-Man scenes. Not sure if they are of interest.LO manual 00.jpgLO manual 01.jpgLO manual 02.jpgLO manual 03.jpgLO manual 04.jpg
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Btw, nobody paid any attention to that manual. These are 3 layout drwgs of Hordak. This was scene 208A in PP5 (fifth Princess of Power show) done by John Howley. They're rough but roughs are more useful to animators.Hordak scene Sc 208A PP5.jpgHordak scene Sc 208A PP5_3.jpgHordak scene.jpg
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This is a backround layout of the interior of a slime room in PP 13 (Sc. 147). This one was done by Sharon Rolnick, who btw married Bob Forward (sci fi writer, who at that time wrote scripts for He Man). I don't have an 11/17 scanner, sorry, so I've posted it two ways, one that shows entire drwg, and one that shows pegholes and scene info;PP slime room c.jpgPP slime room.jpg
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Was this a He Man or PP character, sorry I can't rememberPP or He Man char maybe_0001.jpgPP or He Man char maybe_0002.jpgPP or He Man char maybe_0003.jpgPP or He Man char maybe_0004.jpg
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Last for today, another insider joke (sort of). This was done by Dan Mills, one of the LO supervisors. He meant it completely serious, but he had this weird engineers brain that was completely alien to artists. Dan is dead now, otherwise I wouldn't post this one. Anyway, artists just don't think this way, they don't draw something and then think "Gee, I think this should be 0.512 mm. smaller." They all trust their eye and if their eye says it's the right size then it's the right size. So, everyone passed this around as if it was a kind of laughable. It's not all that easy, btw, to draw two characters in perfect size relation, especially extreme action scenes. Or sequential action drawings of Attachment 85366single characters, for that matter.
Neat stuff, I appreciate you sharing. Your last attachment doesn't work, though.
I always thought, despite how crude the animation was at times, that MOTU had some real potential. There are some great visuals in the show. It mostly falls apart during the mundane stuff like walking, where everyone does that weird shuffle. Unfortunately the scripts and the dialogue for the show is where the wheels really come off. Often there are some fun concepts in the episode, like the synopsis will be good, but the final execution is just a mess.
I've often wondered if there was anyone there truly trying to make a show like this better, or if like Super Friends, they were just okay producing stuff that while fantasy, often just defied basic logic.
Hi Sgt. It was a layout studio as opposed to Disney for instance which is the other extreme - they hate their layout dept and resent every penny spent in layout - and that really shows. And compare both to the original animation for the Dragon's Lair game or Spielberg's original Family Dog which have both good animation and good layout. Anyway at Filmation, about half or less of the layout dept. mostly really cared about quality. The rank and file of the animation dept. was mostly fairly bad. Don't get me wrong, we had animators who'd animated Capt. Hook from Peter Pan (some awesome animation, that). Partially it was just years of bad budgets and being pressured to hack it out. Filmation had just been sold to Westinghouse and so it went corporate in a bad way. Joe Mazucca, who was the head of production, told us weekly that we were not making art, we were making Big Macs. Becky Reu, a sadistic secretary who got elevated to Mazucca's right hand thug walked around complaining because our cubicles were too high so she couldn't stand at the end of the room and watch every artist work. Since the animation was pretty bad, the layout dept. had to be good in order to sell anything. Layout designs the backgrounds and stages the characters, btw. So, the show could be compared to a "slightly" animated comic book. Those were horrible days because the censorship was insane; you couldn't show a gun, you couldn't punch a guy out. Nobody could bleed or be hurt in any way. So, the strictures on the writers made good scripts pretty much impossible. Well, here's another cartoon by Marcus Nickerson that explains how we felt about the quality of both animation and the scripts and addresses your comments:MN cartoon 02.jpg
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Here's that Dan Mills thing again:Reductions.jpg
Last edited by Sherilan Weinhart; June 14, 2013 at 11:49am.
I know that it was probably very difficult trying to play slave to a thousand masters with the Mattel people, Filmation, Execs, Censors, etc. Probably made it a burden and I'm sure that also accounts for some of the things that didn't work as well. Really cool to get some inside insight, though, regardless.
Sherilan, I think you all did a great job! The characters designs are incredible and the way you made Eternia is fantastic! As soon as you first see it, you know you're looking at a different planet filled with magic and wonder. Thank you!
Thank you so much Sherilan for sharing your memories and all those wonderful documents you have to scan and share!
He-Man writer and a fan
· ToonJukka - Youtube Channel with He-Man/She-Ra videos; Origins, Trivia, Top5 lists and more!
Thanks to everyone. If I come across any other artwork I'll post it.
I'm glad I stumbled across this thread - it's always interesting getting some perspective on Filmation from someone who was there. I think it speaks volumes that in spite of the major limitations that were imposed on your work, you guys still turned out stuff that kept us entertained and remains interesting years later.
Did you work at all on the She-Ra show, Sherilan?