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Thread: "She-Ra is incomprehensible", "The 1980s aren’t fondly remembered"

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    "She-Ra is incomprehensible", "The 1980s aren’t fondly remembered"

    This author sounds like an educated pop culture student/critic. https://medium.com/@jensmith79/she-r...ns-b34cd762c08

    Some nuggets:

    "The 1980s aren¬’t fondly remembered in the American animation world. It was a time of creative decline, crushing corporate oversight and limited mainstream respect." [BTW, I don't care about mainstream respect. It should not be used as an indicator of quality.]

    "A little cartoon named She-Ra: Princess of Power arose from this primordial soup in 1985." [It had a lot of hype and wasn't little or obscure.]

    "Viewed in isolation, She-Ra is incomprehensible today. Its jumbled science-fantasy universe and huge cast of characters‚€Š¬—‚€Šeach one voiced in a style reminiscent of Link: The Faces of Evil‚€Š¬—‚€Šis an ocean of signifiers in search of a meaning." [I guess you had to be there.]

    "Today, it¬’s difficult to watch either She-Ra or He-Man without viewing it as ironic comedy‚€Š¬—‚€Šperhaps because of the long-running memes, or perhaps because Cartoon Network¬’s Adult Swim spent years parodying this kind of cartoon in the 2000s." [Must suck to be brainwashed by Youtube memes and Adult Swim. Wait, didn't she say that we were brainwashed by Mattel and Hasbro?]

    Here's what she cited about the era: https://www.awn.com/animationworld/d...-optimus-prime

    "In the age of Ronald Reagan and Optimus Prime, this claim was harder to prove. Cartoon shows of the deregulation era were too often nothing more than soulless vehicles for product promotion, brightly colored symbols of corporate capitalism's ascendancy over children's entertainment."


    I guess for some reason they view modern day studios as altruistic creative juggernauts who don't attempt to sell merchandise or target children? I guess the animated shows of today allow script writers and artists to do whatever they please? bwahahahaha! And the quality of TV + movies today has more "meaning"? Debatable- not a fact. How about the fact the adults of today were the children of the 1980s, so they respect cartoons and create them?

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    Heroic Warrior IceyCat's Avatar
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    I would say the author has her head firmly planted in her patoot.
    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    It's always funny to me when some young person comes along and wants to give a history lesson to the people that lived it

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    Heroic Warrior IceyCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dice View Post
    It's always funny to me when some young person comes along and wants to give a history lesson to the people that lived it
    Right? Young people, sheesh! The 80's were an amazing time for movies, musics, cartoons, etc. I honestly prefer most things I grew up with to what is offered today (with a few exceptions like Super Hero movies).
    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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    Shezar in MOTUC please! The All American's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dice View Post
    It's always funny to me when some young person comes along and wants to give a history lesson to the people that lived it
    Seems to be the case here!


    Quote Originally Posted by IceyCat View Post
    The 80's were an amazing time for movies, musics, cartoons, etc. I honestly prefer most things I grew up with to what is offered today (with a few exceptions like Super Hero movies).
    Ditto.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceyCat View Post
    Right? Young people, sheesh! The 80's were an amazing time for movies, musics, cartoons, etc. I honestly prefer most things I grew up with to what is offered today (with a few exceptions like Super Hero movies).
    although you have to admit, there WAS alot of crap that was best not to be remembered .

    although I will give them props for at least TRYING anything they thought up, so long as it was original..
    we don't get that anymore.

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    Heroic Warrior IceyCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredder View Post
    although you have to admit, there WAS alot of crap that was best not to be remembered .

    although I will give them props for at least TRYING anything they thought up, so long as it was original..
    we don't get that anymore.
    I am guilty of even loving that crap. One of my all time favorite movies is Breakin'. Oh yes, I went there.
    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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    Heroic Warrior Magicat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceyCat View Post
    I would say the author has her head firmly planted in her patoot.
    On. The. Money.

    My very post-millennial children managed to understand the original POP show just fine, as well as the reboot.

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    To the 'author': either 1) write three or four hundred of children's television or 2) spend a couple of years hanging out on a board like this one and having interchanges and debates with well-versed fans so you can gain some knowledge. Then come and talk to me.


    The 80s were 1) a time when there was a burst of creativity as animation writers were turned loose to write real scripts and 2) the corporations I and everyone I know were given incredible latitude and respect and our work -- iconic and enduring franchises like Care Bears, Gadget, TMNT, Power Rangers and, of course, MOTU -- were not only embraced but adored and remembered with affection today.

    I was there, I am also at cons, so I know whereof I speak on the attitude toward animation writers of old today. I also agree 100% with Icey's first post.
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; November 27, 2018 at 06:38pm.

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    The authorís thoughts are certainly coming from a weird place.

    That said, an educated pop culture scholar would have been trained, early on, that there is no distinction between high and low culture. So it doesnít sound like someone trained in that field to me.

    And the memes and comedy with He-Man are, well... Theyíre in on the joke. The shows themselves were in on the joke. The toy execs chose punny names. The animation folks steered directly into everything that gets made fun of. Itís not unintentionally funny. Itís INTENTIONALLY off-kilter.

    Beyond that, Iím kind of tired of the ď30 minute toy commercials are the wasteland of capitalismĒ takes. Yeah. There were definitely ardent capitalists and misogynists developing these properties ó right alongside LGBT creators and the most left wing people in entertainment. The writers rooms for these shows in particular skewed far left and many episodes were devoted to anti-war and tolerance, above and beyond any network mandates.

    Steve Gerber, Marty Pasko, Christy Marx, JMS, Bruce Timm, Denny OíNeil, Brynn Chandler, Michael Reeves, David Wise. These are not macho capitalist types.

    Heck, just watch He-Man and compare it to Conan or John Carter or Kull or Vampirilla or Heavy Metal or anything that inspired its aesthetic.

    He-Man is cut from a different cloth. He has thoroughly modern, civilized values. He not only doesnít use his sword; he almost never punches or even subdues an intelligent being. He and the people in his world walk around with the sweltering visual libido level of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and all talk like FDR after taking three semesters of feminist and post colonial studies. Thatís subversive, man. I donít think He-Man says or does anything objectionable or problematic in 130 episodes, which is more than I could say for just about any animated hero, from Donald Duck through Ghost in the Shell, Betty Boop through The Last Airbender.

    I was rewatching The Return of Granamyr earlier today. The discussion between Man-at-Arms and Granamyr is ludicrously cordial cross-cultural dialogue and the She-Ra episode Darksmoke and Fire is all about dragons being victims of prejudice.

    Iíve seen the human/dragon relationship subverted a dozen ways but only in He-Man is it a respectful treatise on race, ethnicity, and a call to unity while respecting the distances marginalized groups choose to keep.

    The most culturally insensitive thing in all of He-Man is probably the Christmas Special and it kind of offends all sides equally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    To the 'author': either 1) write three or four hundred of children's television or 2) spend a couple of years hanging out on a board like this one and having interchanges and debates with well-versed fans so you can gain some knowledge. Then come and talk to me.


    The 80s were 1) a time when there was a burst of creativity as animation writers were turned loose to write real scripts and 2) the corporations I and everyone I know were given incredible latitude and respect and our work -- iconic and enduring franchises like Care Bears, Gadget, TMNT, Power Rangers and, of course, MOTU -- were not only embraced but adored and remembered with affection today.

    I was there, I am also at cons, so I know whereof I speak on the attitude toward animation writers of old today. I also agree 100% with Icey's first post.
    *golf clap* I do not know a single person my age who does not remember the 80's cartoons fondly. The posts that get the most likes on my wall (on Facebook) are almost always nostalgic posts about 80's cartoons and movies.
    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    I may take some time off the internet for a bit. I'm gonna be busy writing an article about how the first light bulb, telephone, and model T car were poorly designed and lacked a lot of common sense features that people would need. I'll be shaking my head in amazement at the fools who praised these items and bought them. LOL at those guys!

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    Let me tell that author something: While it's true many 80's cartoon series were 'product-drive', I worked with virtually every major toy company, from Hasbro and Lego to American Greetings and Mattel and every one of them -- every single one of them -- made it 100% clear that while they were toy manufacturers they also had the respect for children and for us writers and genuinely wanted us to make certain that our scripts were brimming with entertainment value. Now it may well have been partially in their interest because they were smart enough to know a show that's entertaining will motivate a child to get involved with its toy line. But I was in countless meetings with top level toy execs and not a single one of them said anything that could be deemed to be directing us to create a 30-minute commercial. Quite to the contrary, we had endless creative meetings, exchanges of script notes that dealt exclusively with creative matters like Heathcliff and Champ Bear and He-man's dialog and scene settings and many discussions about how we needed to inspire and nurture children. Yes, top level toy executives talking about nurturing children and meaning it. Just one example: NA did not have to contain PSAs, remember. It was a conscious decision made to hopefully benefit children, as were many other decisions and I don't think a single action figure was sold because of those PSAs, but good values certainly were. And of the proof of the success of that era comes, for me, when I appear at cons like Monster Comic Con a few month ago and literally legions of older fans enfold around me, shaking my hand, introducing me to their children, waxing sentimental and gratefully tell me that many of my works and, by extension, the works of so many other writers during that era, made and helped form their childhoods with pro-social value. That, by the way, is the most important reason why writers of children's entertainment write.
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; November 27, 2018 at 07:13pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yin Chan Vo View Post
    This author sounds like an educated pop culture student/critic. https://medium.com/@jensmith79/she-r...ns-b34cd762c08

    Some nuggets:

    "The 1980s aren¬’t fondly remembered in the American animation world. It was a time of creative decline, crushing corporate oversight and limited mainstream respect." [BTW, I don't care about mainstream respect. It should not be used as an indicator of quality.]

    "A little cartoon named She-Ra: Princess of Power arose from this primordial soup in 1985." [It had a lot of hype and wasn't little or obscure.]

    "Viewed in isolation, She-Ra is incomprehensible today. Its jumbled science-fantasy universe and huge cast of characters‚€Š¬—‚€Šeach one voiced in a style reminiscent of Link: The Faces of Evil‚€Š¬—‚€Šis an ocean of signifiers in search of a meaning." [I guess you had to be there.]

    "Today, it¬’s difficult to watch either She-Ra or He-Man without viewing it as ironic comedy‚€Š¬—‚€Šperhaps because of the long-running memes, or perhaps because Cartoon Network¬’s Adult Swim spent years parodying this kind of cartoon in the 2000s." [Must suck to be brainwashed by Youtube memes and Adult Swim. Wait, didn't she say that we were brainwashed by Mattel and Hasbro?]

    Here's what she cited about the era: https://www.awn.com/animationworld/d...-optimus-prime

    "In the age of Ronald Reagan and Optimus Prime, this claim was harder to prove. Cartoon shows of the deregulation era were too often nothing more than soulless vehicles for product promotion, brightly colored symbols of corporate capitalism's ascendancy over children's entertainment."


    I guess for some reason they view modern day studios as altruistic creative juggernauts who don't attempt to sell merchandise or target children? I guess the animated shows of today allow script writers and artists to do whatever they please? bwahahahaha! And the quality of TV + movies today has more "meaning"? Debatable- not a fact. How about the fact the adults of today were the children of the 1980s, so they respect cartoons and create them?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dice View Post
    It's always funny to me when some young person comes along and wants to give a history lesson to the people that lived it
    Quote Originally Posted by IceyCat View Post
    Right? Young people, sheesh! The 80's were an amazing time for movies, musics, cartoons, etc. I honestly prefer most things I grew up with to what is offered today (with a few exceptions like Super Hero movies).
    This seems to be a case of some millennial judging the past with contemporary ideals. This is never a wise thing to do. While the intent of animated shows in the 80s based on toy lines was to sell product the statements made by the author are insulting (wait can we saw we’re offended? Doesn’t launch a ghestapo of goons to silence people these days?), insulting to all of the wonderful creative minds who poured their hearts and soul into these cartoons for children.

    The author should watch Netflix’s Toys That MadeUs, watch the endearing bound disc included with the MotU boxed set. Despite the commercial intent by toy companies these cartons had more heart and sincerity than most of the garbage I see today. Maybe to the author doesn’t process, heart and sincerity, or even creativity, virtues lost in today’s cynical and ironic youth.

    I wonder how much of the garbage I see today will sell two hundred dollars figures 30 years from now? How many of the intellectual properties created in the last ten years will boast conventions or resurgences in a couple decades?

    I don’t think the author of that piece has s clue as to what he/she is writing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MJOLNIR View Post
    I don’t think the author of that piece has s clue as to what he/she is writing.
    what else is new with this generation?

    it's all about tearing down what came before, to make today's crap seem worse than yesterdays 'crap'.

    I never looked down on older stuff as a kid. one of my favorite shows was Mr.Ed and Bewitched. I also loved game shows. Just because it's old, doesn't make it bad.

    but, when does something stop becoming 'nostalgia' and just becomes, 'good'? is Wizard of Oz Nostalgia, or just good?

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    I have to agree, I'm a huge fan of 80's movies/TV series, both animated and live action, and 80's music.
    "Tell me I am beautiful - it means nothing to me. Tell me I am intellectual - well, I know it already. Tell me I am funny however, and that is the greatest compliment in the world that anyone can give me".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Let me tell that author something: While it's true many 80's cartoon series were 'product-drive', I worked with virtually every major toy company, from Hasbro and Lego to American Greetings and Mattel and every one of them -- every single one of them -- made it 100% clear that while they were toy manufacturers they also had the respect for children and for us writers and genuinely wanted us to make certain that our scripts were brimming with entertainment value. Now it may well have been partially in their interest because they were smart enough to know a show that's entertaining will motivate a child to get involved with its toy line. But I was in countless meetings with top level toy execs and not a single one of them said anything that could be deemed to be directing us to create a 30-minute commercial. Quite to the contrary, we had endless creative meetings, exchanges of script notes that dealt exclusively with creative matters like Heathcliff and Champ Bear and He-man's dialog and scene settings and many discussions about how we needed to inspire and nurture children. Yes, top level toy executives talking about nurturing children and meaning it. Just one example: NA did not have to contain PSAs, remember. It was a conscious decision made to hopefully benefit children, as were many other decisions and I don't think a single action figure was sold because of those PSAs, but good values certainly were. And of the proof of the success of that era comes, for me, when I appear at cons like Monster Comic Con a few month ago and literally legions of older fans enfold around me, shaking my hand, introducing me to their children, waxing sentimental and gratefully tell me that many of my works and, by extension, the works of so many other writers during that era, made and helped form their childhoods with pro-social value. That, by the way, is the most important reason why writers of children's entertainment write.
    Amen, Jack. There is a reason these characters and stories have endured. I have re-watched many of the shows that I loved as a child with my own children. They absolutely love them. My eight year old son often says 'I wish I had been born in the 80's, you guys had the best stuff.' There is not one property that I have shared with them that they have not loved.
    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Let me tell that author something: While it's true many 80's cartoon series were 'product-drive', I worked with virtually every major toy company, from Hasbro and Lego to American Greetings and Mattel and every one of them -- every single one of them -- made it 100% clear that while they were toy manufacturers they also had the respect for children and for us writers and genuinely wanted us to make certain that our scripts were brimming with entertainment value. Now it may well have been partially in their interest because they were smart enough to know a show that's entertaining will motivate a child to get involved with its toy line. But I was in countless meetings with top level toy execs and not a single one of them said anything that could be deemed to be directing us to create a 30-minute commercial. Quite to the contrary, we had endless creative meetings, exchanges of script notes that dealt exclusively with creative matters like Heathcliff and Champ Bear and He-man's dialog and scene settings and many discussions about how we needed to inspire and nurture children. Yes, top level toy executives talking about nurturing children and meaning it. Just one example: NA did not have to contain PSAs, remember. It was a conscious decision made to hopefully benefit children, as were many other decisions and I don't think a single action figure was sold because of those PSAs, but good values certainly were. And of the proof of the success of that era comes, for me, when I appear at cons like Monster Comic Con a few month ago and literally legions of older fans enfold around me, shaking my hand, introducing me to their children, waxing sentimental and gratefully tell me that many of my works and, by extension, the works of so many other writers during that era, made and helped form their childhoods with pro-social value. That, by the way, is the most important reason why writers of children's entertainment write.
    Oh man I wish I read your post before I posted mine, unless you got yours in as I was typing. Well said my friend.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Shredder View Post
    what else is new with this generation?

    it's all about tearing down what came before, to make today's crap seem worse than yesterdays 'crap'.

    I never looked down on older stuff as a kid. one of my favorite shows was Mr.Ed and Bewitched. I also loved game shows. Just because it's old, doesn't make it bad.

    but, when does something stop becoming 'nostalgia' and just becomes, 'good'? is Wizard of Oz Nostalgia, or just good?
    Before cable TV came to NYC I used to love being home sick from school to watch reruns of shows like Gilligans’s island, etc. Values change as society grows but that doesn’t mean there there is no value in the past. Progress is a good thing and we have improved our outlook on many aspects but oftenI feel like we threw the baby out with the bathwater.

    In response the the article I’d like to thank all of the creative minds involved in animated shows of the 80s. Thank you for an awesome and moral childhood!

    Oh and Shredder, Oz is both nostalgic and good!

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    I was in a school play of The Wizard Of Oz, I played the Wicked Witch Of The West.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJOLNIR View Post
    Before cable TV came to NYC I used to love being home sick from school to watch reruns of shows like Gilligans’s island, etc. Values change as society grows but that doesn’t mean there there is no value in the past. Progress is a good thing and we have improved our outlook on many aspects but oftenI feel like we threw the baby out with the bathwater.
    I was raised by my Grandparents so I was also reared on old black and white TV shows, the golden era of Hollywood and musicals. Oh how I LOVE musicals! I am completely obsessed with anything from the mid century and of course the 80's. There is nothing wrong with having values and morals. I think progress is good, but I agree with you. I feel like the more we 'progress' we regress in some cases. Definitely threw the baby out with the bath water. I love that phrase, my Grandparents used to use it.
    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dice View Post
    It's always funny to me when some young person comes along and wants to give a history lesson to the people that lived it
    Good one!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Let me tell that author something: While it's true many 80's cartoon series were 'product-drive', I worked with virtually every major toy company, from Hasbro and Lego to American Greetings and Mattel and every one of them -- every single one of them -- made it 100% clear that while they were toy manufacturers they also had the respect for children and for us writers and genuinely wanted us to make certain that our scripts were brimming with entertainment value. Now it may well have been partially in their interest because they were smart enough to know a show that's entertaining will motivate a child to get involved with its toy line. But I was in countless meetings with top level toy execs and not a single one of them said anything that could be deemed to be directing us to create a 30-minute commercial. Quite to the contrary, we had endless creative meetings, exchanges of script notes that dealt exclusively with creative matters like Heathcliff and Champ Bear and He-man's dialog and scene settings and many discussions about how we needed to inspire and nurture children. Yes, top level toy executives talking about nurturing children and meaning it. Just one example: NA did not have to contain PSAs, remember. It was a conscious decision made to hopefully benefit children, as were many other decisions and I don't think a single action figure was sold because of those PSAs, but good values certainly were. And of the proof of the success of that era comes, for me, when I appear at cons like Monster Comic Con a few month ago and literally legions of older fans enfold around me, shaking my hand, introducing me to their children, waxing sentimental and gratefully tell me that many of my works and, by extension, the works of so many other writers during that era, made and helped form their childhoods with pro-social value. That, by the way, is the most important reason why writers of children's entertainment write.
    I don't see a "Like" option, so am manually typing it out. LIKED.

  22. #22
    Catwoman...Hear Me Roar! Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceyCat View Post
    I was raised by my Grandparents so I was also reared on old black and white TV shows, the golden era of Hollywood and musicals. Oh how I LOVE musicals! I am completely obsessed with anything from the mid century and of course the 80's. There is nothing wrong with having values and morals. I think progress is good, but I agree with you. I feel like the more we 'progress' we regress in some cases. Definitely threw the baby out with the bath water. I love that phrase, my Grandparents used to use it.
    I love both the 1962 version of Gypsy with Rosalind Russell and Natalie Wood, as well as the 1993 version with Bette Midler and Cynthia Gibb. Other modern musicals I love are Newsies with Christian Bale, the Sister Act movies with Whoopi Goldberg, and Ten Commandments: The Musical with Val Kilmer.
    "Tell me I am beautiful - it means nothing to me. Tell me I am intellectual - well, I know it already. Tell me I am funny however, and that is the greatest compliment in the world that anyone can give me".

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  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior IceyCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Ten Commandments: The Musical with Val Kilmer.
    I need to check this out. Love Val!
    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

  24. #24
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    I have no idea what the author is talking about. I love toons from the 80s and am glad to have been a child during it. From He-Man to Thundercats, MASK to Dungeons and Dragons, Transformers to TMNT (just to name a few). Heck, the 1980s even gave us Chip & Dale, DuckTales and Wuzzles. Great shows that I still love to this day and do not and have NEVER viewed them as "soulless vehicles for product promotion, brightly coloured symbols of corporate capitalism's ascendancy over children's entertainment."

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    Catwoman...Hear Me Roar! Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceyCat View Post
    I need to check this out. Love Val!
    Ten Commandments: The Musical is a stage musical (which was filmed on DVD) from 2006, featuring an all-star cast, many of whom have released their own music catalogues on CD, which I now have of course. Along with Val (who played Moses), the cast includes Luba Mason, Michelle Pereira, Nita Whitaker LaFontaine, Lauren Kennedy, Kevin Earley, Alisan Porter, Adam Lambert, Nick Rodrigues, and Aharon Ipale.

    Unfortunately, I still can't find a copy of the CD soundtrack anywhere.

    Speaking of Val and CD's, he liked some of my PR writing work on his behalf, so he sent me a free CD of his album Music Sessions With Mick Rossi, which you should also check out.

    Cheers, Mikey
    "Tell me I am beautiful - it means nothing to me. Tell me I am intellectual - well, I know it already. Tell me I am funny however, and that is the greatest compliment in the world that anyone can give me".

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