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Thread: Dean Stefan Responds! Round 1 & 2

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    Dean Stefan Responds! Round 1

    Hey everyone!
    Here's Mr. Stefan's answers to the first batch of questions.
    He's working on the next batch as well.
    As you can see, he's put in quite a bit of work.

    -----------

    Hello He-Fans! Thanks for all the great questions. I'm gonna attempt to answer of all of them, even though my answers will often be "I can't answer that." I'm sure you understand. Since there were so many questions (150 posts, most of them with multiples -- something like 600 questions total!) I'll have to do this in waves -- probably 3 waves. So here's the first batch of answers.
    Thanks again for all your questions and your continued support!
    Dean

    Posted by the parasite eve on December 24, 2002 04:40am:
    Hey Mr. Stefan, I was wondering... Will any secondary characters that appear in the first season, be in the second one, like Hawk and Count Marzo for example?

    Yes indeed, Parasite Eve. In fact, you will even see characters reappear (though I won't say if it's either of those you mentioned) before the first season is over.

    Posted by sonofskeletor on December 24, 2002 04:46am:
    Is there any good news for us fisto fans?

    Yes, be grateful that you're not Clamp Champ fans.
    Seriously, though, I can't comment on any possible upcoming appearances of characters -- why ruin the fun?


    Posted by TheShadow on December 24, 2002 04:48am:
    Out of all the episodes you have written for season one, which is your favorite, and why (if you can say without getting in trouble if it is an episode that hasn't aired).

    Well, I kinda feel like all the episodes are my "babies" -- regardless of whether I was the writer or the story editor. And as you know, some births are more difficult than others -- some kids don't wind up quite as attractive as you'd have liked, but you love 'em anyhow. I've lived with all these stories and worked hard to make them as good as I could. Since some required a lot more work, I may appreciate them on a whole other level -- the level of how far they came.

    Having said all that, I'd have to pick "Ties That Bind" as my sentimental favorite. Reason being, I was going thru a lot emotionally -- one of my parents got really ill during the time I was working on it. So there was a lot of emotion tied up there, since the story dealt with the issue of parents and children. And as a father myself, I was approaching the story from the viewpoint of what it might be like for a parent (in this case, the Sorceress) to have to give up a child. What would that do to her? In her case, I thought that it had tore her up so much emotionally that she'd had to build "walls", grow aloof. Just to shield herself from the pain.


    Which episodes have you felt were the strongest story-wise?

    I kinda like stories where the plot, and/or the driving force of the story -- comes directly out of character. So something like Courage of Adam (Adam wants to prove himself) or Lessons (Orko feels unimportant) Mekanek's Lament (Mek thinks his powers don't measure up) I feel are strong, because the plot is motivated by a strong character drive or need.

    Hopefully, all the stories have this element to it, in some part. In fact, that's something we actively strive for. Even it isn't the main part of the story, you'll always find an emotional need or drive -- we call this a character arc. By the end of the story, the character (and we the audience) will have realized something about themself. Of course, I've only mentioned episodes that have aired already. Some of our strongest are yet to come.


    Can you reveal any scenes from episodes that have already aired that you had to end up cutting out of a script?

    Well, there's always trimming going on -- whole scenes at times, little character moments here and there. A snip snip here, a snip snip there. It's hard to remember specifics (there've been so many!)

    But one that sticks in my mind was from Mekanek's Lament. Originally, Mekanek was to be granted the powers he wanted by the old man (Marzo.) Then he would return to the Masters, feeling all proud of himself, until all the powers went haywire -- they were defective, he couldn't control 'em. Which was Marzo's plan all along -- to grant Mek these defective powers, so that when Mek came back to "return" them, as payment for that service, Marzo would make his demand that Mek retrieve his amulet for him. So a strong component of the story was: be careful what you wish for. That, coupled with: be happy with who you are. Well, we found we were running way long, so that whole "be careful what you wish for" element was removed -- and Mekanek simply was tricked by the old man into getting the amulet for him. At first I was worried that this might ruin the story, but as it turned out, the story seemed to work pretty well, regardless.

    Another story that went thru major cuttage was in Deep End. There were alot more battle scenes in the Village, when the fish monster first climbed out of the ocean. We had falling towers, kids in jeopardy, general mayhem. We had to cut out most of that.


    Regardless of whether she is appearing, what is your opinion on She-Ra?

    I dig her. She was one of Smurfs, right?

    Posted by PanMan on December 24, 2002 04:53am:
    Will there be more 2-part episodes during the upcoming seasons?

    Yes, there will. As you may know, the first season ends on a two parter. More are planned for Season Two.

    It seems that some of the episodes are rushed at the end and need another 20 minutes to finish up.

    Well, PanMan, that's just 'cause you're having such a good time you don't want it to end. I tend to write in that fashion. I see the 3rd act as a runaway train -- everything's been set in motion, there's nothing left that needs to be revealed, let's wrap it up. In "Aristotle's Poetics" (which was the greatest mind in Western civilization giving theories on drama and playwriting) old Ari says: the end of a story is the thing that necessarily nothing comes after. In other words, it's over -- there is nothing more to learn, don't drag it out.

    Posted by He-Man_of_Greyskull on December 24, 2002 04:54am:
    Are you aware of a Character from the Old series named Graynamyr, an ancient and powerful dragon?

    Yes. And even if I wasn't, I would be well-acquainted after reading some of these boards.

    This character has a large following among MOTU fandom, and was just wondering what you thought of him?

    I think Gramamyr (not sure of my spelling here. Or yours, come to think of it) is a cool character. If you're asking me, will he be in the series, I will say that although nothing has been ruled out, at this point and time, I think we've made the decision that dragons in the He-Man universe should be more primordial, frightening creatures. Looking at it that way, a talking dragon is just not something we want to include. Not because he wasn't a great character, but because we're trying to establish a tone.

    Posted by Tallstar on December 24, 2002 04:59am:
    When deciding to use ideas from the original He-Man cartoon, does Mattel give you guys any set guidelines as to what you can and can't use? If so, can you give us a basic idea of some things that wouldn't be acceptable by today's standards?

    Not sure what you mean. If you're talking about levels of violence, for instance, I think being on Cartoon Network we have the license to push the envelope pretty far. The tone of the show is more a reflection of the sensibility of the production team than anything that's been foisted upon us.

    As far as ideas, characters, etc, I believe that we are free to pick and choose from anything that was in the 80s version of the show -- and that we have rights to it all. (I could be wrong, I'm no lawyer.)


    Posted by ryanj84 on December 24, 2002 05:12am:
    First of all, I would like to thank you and everyone else at MYP, Mattel, and anyone else that was a part of bringing back the greatest cartoon of all time, especially the fans (the most powerful fans in the universe).

    Well, before I get to your question, I think a big "shout out" to the fans is certainly in order. There's no question that a huge part of the reason that He-Man has returned to the airwaves is due to you fans wanting it.

    Here is my question: Who was your favorite character in the original cartoon and why? P.S.: Thanks for bringing back Roboto two days after my birthday. He will be my favorite present.

    Well, Ryan, there were extensive meetings last year. And it was discussed that Ryan's birthday would be occurring in the 2nd week of January, and what could we do to have a Roboto episode coincide with it.

    Okay, just kidding. But I'm really pleased that Roboto's appearance will come as a nice birthday present for ya. (Then again, you might wanna double check with the Cartoon Network schedule, as dates for airing episodes have been known to change.)


    Posted by Korvac on December 24, 2002 05:13am:
    Will we see He-man and Tela's relationship start moving forward, or will Adam start becoming torn between who he is, and who has to be?

    I'm not sure those two things -- the two parts of your question -- are mutually exclusive. One thing is certain -- Teela and Adam grew up together. Now, all of a sudden, Adam's got this monumental secret that he can't share with her. That's alot of pressure on the guy. By the same token, Teela knows Adam well -- so there's certainly a good chance that she might notice that something is up with him.

    Posted by thatguy on December 24, 2002 05:37am:
    How do you feel about the way the characters are developing?

    I'm very pleased. Hope the fans are as well. As you know, we have a whole lot of characters on our roster. We made a decision early on to use several of the earlier episodes to try and really figure out who they are -- to explore some of their foibles, quirks etc. This is a good way for the writers and animators -- and the audience -- to get a sense of what makes characters tick. There were some characters we didn't have a real handle on. So we made a conscious decision: let's base an episode around them -- and in that way force ourselves to figure out who they are. Going back to Aristotle, he said you throw a character into a crucible, in order to reveal character, test them, find out what they're made of.

    Are there any characters that are favorites and/or are easier to write for then others?

    Well, I like Teela, I like Evil-Lyn. I guess I favor the female characters, for some reason. Maybe it's just that these two have sharp tongues and strong points of view.
    Cringer's dialog is the easiest.
    (sorry, couldn't resist.


    Why the lack of Mer-man?

    Merman was seen in Monster Within, and yes, we'll assuredly be seeing more of him this season. (Hey, the fish guy can only come up for air every so often.)

    As new characters are introduced will some of the older characters be phased out to make room?

    Not unless there's a story reason for that to occur. Our heros and villains aren't going away. We just need to build a few new wings to Snake Mountain and the Royal Palace to give them all room to bunk in!

    Of course, with a such a large roster, there will be lots of episodes where we don't include everyone. This is both for design reasons and for story reasons.


    Poll Posted by SQUIDdisco on December 24, 2002 10:15am:
    i second that question...why is there a lack of Mer-Man?

    I second the above answer.

    Posted by Dagar on December 24, 2002 11:39am:
    From the old episodes he's watched, does Dean have any favourites or any he'd like to do a new version of ("Teela's Quest" has kinda been re-imagined in "The Ties That Bind" and "The Courage of Adam" is reminiscent of "Prince Adam No More")?

    Well, there are certainly themes explored in episodes of the old show that we may revisit. Specific episodes? Probably not, but who knows. Hopefully, we're taking the show in its own direction. To my mind, the only thing that "Ties that Bind" has in common with that earlier episode, is the obvious one -- the reveal that Teela is the Sorceress' daughter. (I did "borrow" that one visual of Sorceress giving baby Teela to Man At Arms.) It wasn't meant as a new version, a remake or an update, but rather a complete new story incorporating that one nugget.

    Likewise, "Courage of Adam" was not meant as a remake of "Prince Adam No More," an episode I'm not even sure I've seen, BTW. It was meant to logically follow the "Beginning." Adam is trying to deal with his new role as He-Man and what others think of his "cowardice". It grew out of a character need, and the logical emotions a kid like Adam might have in reaction to how others perceived his "cowardly" actions. So, in the spirit of the great disclaimers, let me unequivocally state: Any similarities to stories living or dead is purely coincidental.


    Posted by HordeGirl on December 24, 2002 12:35pm:
    In the Cartoon Network archives we can read that Evil Lyn should have a certain crush on He-man. So far, nothing of that was to see. Will that come in the future or has the idea been rejected?

    Well, we haven't really played up that element. But he is kinda dreamy, doncha think? I mean, what gal wouldn't have a crush on him -- those eyes, those ripply muscles...

    And, the question more generally: Are there plans for romances between the characters or won't that happen anyway?

    The general feeling is that in a kid's cartoon, romances aren't all that interesting to the audience. I know most of you aren't kids, but alot of our audience is...and, you know, kissing is yucky!
    Having said that -- if the story takes us there, then we'll include that element.


    Thanks to you and to the whole team for giving us many unforgettable moments of joy and delight!

    Thanks, Horde Girl!

    Posted by sunwukong on December 24, 2002 01:07pm:
    Here's a couple of questions I have in mind for you: One of my biggest concerns is the treatment of Teela. From my impressions, she appears nothing more than to taunt Adam, ogle He-Man, fighting someone, and being saved constantly. Will there be any consideration to give the character more growth and strengths?

    Hmm really? I kinda feel that Teela's pretty well-rounded, and pretty "realistic" in the depiction of how a teenager in her position might behave. As far as her taunting our boy prince... I dunno, I think Adam often gives as good as he gets.

    I like to think of them more as siblings. She's the teasing sister. Hopefully, it comes across that there's affection behind the teasing and that it's not mean-spirited. I don't really see Teela as needing saving all that often. The girl can kick butt. As she herself stated in the 'Beginning" -- "damsel in distress, I am not" .


    Can she get an actual spotlight episode (and I don't count "Ties that Bind" because I consider her role nothing more than a plot device for the Sorceress).

    Really? I'm not sure I agree. Anyhow, fear not, Sunwukong, we have big plans for Teela.

    I am not a fan of Queen Marlana being just an Eternian. It takes away much of what her character was that I enjoyed from the previous series. I do understand your reasons though. What I don't really approve of is how she is demoted to a worrying and doting mother and wife. Will you address these concerns in later episodes?

    We have big plans for Marlena.

    I didn't like how He-Man carelessly destroyed the stones of Anwat Gar regardless of his motivations. Will there be any repercussions for his actions?

    We have big plans for the stones. Oh, wait, whoops.
    Again, I gotta take issue with you. I'm not sure that He-Man was being careless. The point of the story was that Syclone saw himself as duty-bound to protect these stones -- whose usefulness had probably long-since passed. He-Man's point of view was that there was a bigger duty at stake -- a moral imperative -- to remove something dangerous that Skeletor could gain access to.

    Similarly, He-Man destroyed the Diamond Ray of Disappearance in "Turnabout." And the Corodite Crystal in "Deep End". We hear alot in the news, about the worry of rogue nations having access to "weapons of mass destruction" and wanting to have them removed. I think He-Man is doing just that -- removing weapons of mass destruction in order to protect Eternia from madmen getting hold of these nasty objects.


    How much rewriting you need to do for each script that is turned into you?

    The short answer is: As much as is necessary. Every script needs different things, and varying amounts of attention. But I'm a very hands-on story editor, anyhow. Virtually everything goes thru my computer -- and often several times -- every premise, every outline, every script. It's ultimately my job, not the writer's, to deliver a quality script. If you don't like a particular story, or you feel the script was weak, blame me.

    Will there be more villains, other than Skeletor, making their way into the series?

    Absolutely!

    Does Castle Greyskull hold any other secrets other than the power of the Elders?

    Well, there's a gym in the basement that has state-of-the-art Nautilus Machines that few people know about. And the Sorceress has this awesome disco room where she and Man at Arms often bust a move. Okay, I'm being silly. But we are gonna get into some very interesting aspects of Castle Grayskull in upcoming episodes.

    Do you check out this forum regularly?

    Much as I'm able. I like to peruse the opinions of the fans after an episodes airs. I find the feedback very interesting. I'm often taken by surprise by what fans like and dislike. And the nuances and details you guys pick up on are/is amazing.

    Posted by Jukka on December 24, 2002 03:14pm:
    Iīd like to ask, that might there be a chance for any specials, like Halloween or perhaps Christmas like in the original cartoon?

    Well, the way I see it, Halloween and Christmas are earth holidays. We're very conscious of making things "Eternian" -- and not earthlike in the series. This is a completely different universe, different world and culture, nothing to do with earth. (Now, I know what your reply to this would be -- and I know there are Marlena-related questions to come, so I'll get into that a bit more later on.)

    Posted by He-Fan on December 24, 2002 03:26pm: Chris here...
    Whose idea was it that Cringer/BattleCat shouldn't talk, and could you explain the reasoning behind this idea?

    The decision was made by the production team before I came on board. But I agree with it whole heartedly, in the context of the type of show we're trying to do.

    Coupla reasons for that:
    One, I feel that the quality of animation on this show allows us to show Cringer's feelings without him having to "say" anything verbally. His expressions hopefully say it all. Nothing against the old Filmation show, but I think we'd all agree that the art was rather...limited.

    In fact, you'll probably find that there isn't as much dialog in this show -- even from the speaking characters -- as you might find in most others of the genre. Same reason -- the artists are given the screentime, and have the talent, to express lots of emotions and attitudes without having to use words.

    Second, a lot of it is a "tone thing." We're trying to set a tone for the show, and personally -- and this is just me -- I feel that Cringer talking comes across as a bit young. Okay, I know I said that romance might come across as too mature, and now I'm saying that Cringer talking might come across as too young. Am I contradicting myself? Probably.


    Are there any elements where you feel your take on the MOTU mythos is an improvement on what's gone before?

    Well, I think that's more a question for you fans to answer. I do think the artwork, boarding, character design, and animation and music are all fantastic on this version.

    As far as the scripting and stories -- we've been handed this rich mythology and group of characters -- from which we have the luxury of "cherry picking" whatever elements work for us. We also have the luxury of hindsight. For instance, figuring out the chronology of the Eternian world. As opposed to the old series, where they hit the ground running, we were able to start, literally at the "Beginning", wherein we could lay out how Randor become king, how Skeletor became Skeletor, how Adam became He-Man.
    Likewise, drawing upon and adding to the old mythology, we have mapped out all sorts of ancient chronology of Eternia. Lots of it will be popping up in episodes. In the original series (and I'm just guessing, because I'm not all that well-versed in the history of the old show) lots of things were, by necessity, made up "on the fly" and they occasionally had to backtrack. As I said, we have the luxury of figuring out lotsa this stuff beforehand. Because we're thinking in terms of broad arcs, I think you'll find the new series has more interlocking elements than the old series had. Things will happen in one episode and have repercussions somewhere down the line.


    I know that Michael Halperin, the author of the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Series Bible, has been involved with the new show. Did you just refer back to his original notes, or did he write a whole new Series Bible for you?

    I believe, and I could be wrong, that we drew on lots of stuff from the original bible. And here's something fans may be pleased to know -- Michael is currently writing an episode for us!

    Lastly but perhaps most importantly - it's been revealed by Mattel that there is going to be a season 2 of the new He-Man cartoon. In the 1980s, MOTU was around for about 6 or 7 years in some shape or form - however, this relaunch seems to be appealing to some older fans as well as kids. Do you believe that MOTU has the potential to carry on beyond season 2 of the cartoon, and if so, how long do you see it lasting?

    Hopefully, until my 7 year old gets into college.

    Posted by scerevisiaety1 on December 24, 2002 04:59pm:
    Is there a chance of two-parters now and again, thereby also allowing more time to a story to develop other characters and continuity?

    Yup, as stated above, two parters will be happening.
    Many episodes so far have seemed to be rather formulaic, i.e. Skeletor wants x artifact to use in y fashion to get into Grayskull or wreck general havoc. The episodes have stil been good, and the formulas are good for children I guess, but too much of that will get tiresome.


    Will the plots be broadening out in the future to new things as well?

    Well, I'm not sure I agree that the plots are formulaic Certainly Skeletor is rather...er, focused in his goal. But I think you'll find there's method to his madness.

    Initially, he thought that He-Man's appearance coincided with the Elders disappearing - and that He-Man therefore must possess their power.

    Then, he realized that the Masters were defending the old relic Grayskull, and suspected there must be something in there worth defending -- the power of the elders perhaps?

    Then, he learned unequivocally that's that what it was. Then he set out to try and breach Grayskull in different ways.

    Hey, if a madman who thirsts for ultimate power finds out that ultimate power resides somewhere, that's what he's gonna go after, no? I mean, he's not gonna knock over 7/11 stores. The guy is power hungry and obsessed, and as I said, very focused. What's a bony megalomanic to do?

    I think it's important to have a clearly defined goal for a villain -- rather than him just doing evil for its own sake. Skeletor knows what he wants, and will take all sorts of steps -- some clever, some foolish, some brutish -- to get it. If you think about the stories we've seen so far-- even those that are in the category of "Skeletor wants to breach Grayskull" -- I don't think they're all that formulaic. And remember, there's only been, what -- a dozen episodes that have aired so far? There's all kindsa new wrinkles to come.


    It is my understanding that for the first season freelance writers submitted scripts. Will this process be changing for future seasons? Will you be developing a more permanent writing staff?

    Well, you'll see certain names reappearing. But there are no "staff writers" in the sense you mean. Very few animated series are done that way. It's usually the story editor who's attached to the show and freelance writers are hired to write episodes.

    One thing done a little differently on He-Man, as opposed to most other shows, is that we generate all the premises ourselves. The writers are then handed a premise. We don't have writers "pitch" story ideas.

    Being a board of mostly adults and teens we sometimes forget the show is also and probably primarily for the youth.


    When working on the show, what kind of thought goes into tailoring certain aspects for kids and certain aspects for old fans?

    Well, I'm certainly aware that there are kids watching the show, as well as "old school" fans. But I'm also of the school of thought that a good story is a good story. I don't think you need to "write young" for kids. I think that kids will get out of it what they get out of it.

    Look at Star Wars -- it's for kids, it's for adults, it's for anyone who likes it. Certainly more sophisticated elements may go over kids' heads, just as certain silly things might not be all that interesting to grown-ups. But all in all, I feel that a good story has universal appeal -- if it says something something true and honest about the human condition.


    Posted by Kevenn on December 24, 2002 05:13pm:
    Are there any plans to further explore the histories of the secondary characters that we have already seen (i.e. how Mekaneck got his neck, how Sorceress got cooped up in Grayskull, more of Randor and Keldor in the past)?

    Absolutely. We will be delving into lots of those sorts of stories. (Though not necessarily the ones you mentioned.)

    Posted by Rapid Fire on December 24, 2002 05:30pm:
    Is there any type of plans or thoughts of bringing back Force Captain Adora, She-Ra, or the Great Rebelion?

    You'll just have to wait and see.

    This questions is just hypothetical (sp?).... IF there was a POP She-Ra series, will Spirit/SwiftWind talk? or will he be mute like Cringer/BattleCat?

    Hmm, I can't really answer a hypothetical, Rapid Fire.

    Will we see Adam grow up during the series?

    Yes, season 8 will feature Adam, the middle aged years! Just kidding. No, I think we'll see Adam remain the same age. I mean if its good enough for Bart Simpson...
    Now if you mean "growing up" in the sense of learning things, acquiring knowledge, etc...that's a different matter. All the characters, hopefully, will "grow".


    How about a Secret Of The Sword 2003 movie?

    Hmmm, my Magic 8 Ball says, "Probably not."

    Posted by zodak74 on December 24, 2002 05:32pm:
    are there many scenes that get left on the cutting room floor?

    You wouldn't believe the stuff on the cutting room floor. Those editing guys and girls are real messy -- donut crumbs, moldy pizza, Ho-Hos, globs of coffee... But no, not many scenes.
    Uh-oh, I better not joke with a guy named Zodak.

    Thing about animation is, it's not like live action, where you say, shoot a 3 hour movie, edit it down to 2 hours. It's done very close to the bone (no pun intended, Skeletor). Ideally, nothing is animated that won't be used. Now that's not to say that a film (episode) doesn't come back a minute or so longer than actual airing length. But you need that little bit of cushion -- to do trims, tightening up, etc. Any real cutting that gets done is usually at the script stage, or at the storyboarding stage, where it's realized by the expert folks who know about this sort of thing, that the episode is running long.


    The show ends rather abruptly and it seems that some episodes have quite a few holes in them storywise. If so, will these scenes pop up on the eventual dvds?

    As to the second part of your question: No. For the same reason cited above -- there's no extra scenes lying around.
    As to the first part: whadyamean there's story holes???!!! Think of them as, uh, poignant mysteries.


    Would you consider doing commentary if a proposed dvd release is in the works?

    Gladly. In fact, even if there is no DVD, I will come to your house, watch the episodes along with you and comment on them. (But you'll have to buy me a plane ticket and a sandwich.)

    How do you feel the overall story arc is doing now that we are mid-way through season 1?

    Well, hopefully we're just where we want to be. I leave it to the fans to decide how it's doing. I can tell you, there are some ver-y interesting developments on the horizon. Not just for season 1, but season 2 as well. In fact, we've got arcs mapped out for several seasons. (I mentioned I have a 7 year old I wanna get into a good college, right?) Guess it'll be up to the powers-that-control-these-things to decide if we get to implement these wonderful amazing arcs.

    Anything you'd like to do differently?

    Nothing specific comes to mind. I have to say, I am very very pleased with how things are going. The care, enthusiasm, passion and just plain hard work that the entire production team bring to this project is just plain amazing. Did I mention that working on this show is an absolute ball?

    Posted by Count Marzo on December 24, 2002 05:57pm:
    Why is Count Marzo so bomb? How come he is the only one that can CRUSH He-Man inMERE SECONDS?

    I detect some serious self-interest and shameless self-promotion residing in your question, Count Marzo.

    Oh yeah....he's coming back soon right?

    My Magic 8 ball says: ...Oops, dropped it. Darn.

    Posted by Dr. Omega on December 24, 2002 06:39pm:
    My questions are more with race and origins: Are there other Ancient Ones still living, like the Faceless one?

    Well, if they weren't still living they wouldn't be Ancient Ones, they'd be Dead Ones. (rimshot!) Joking. Let's just say there are all sorts of beings inhabiting this wondrous place called Eternia.

    Is Marlena from Earth or Eternia?

    Oh boy, here's where I duck and dodge the tomatoes. But here goes...

    In the He-Man series we're doing, Marlena is not from earth. (Another decision that was made by the production team, but one I wholeheartedly agree with.)

    I know lotsa fans love and miss this aspect -- since it was in the old cartoon, but I personally never liked it. My reasoning is thus: Eternia exists in a time and place of its own. Is it the future, is it the past? Having someone from earth would necessarily ground it in a specific time frame. More to the point though, I feel like Eternia is mythological -- existing in a fantasy universe. To reference Earth just makes it all seem so unfantastic, so unfantasy-like, so...well, down to earth.

    Now this is just my opinion, and you may feel otherwise. And that's totally cool. Hope you can find it in your open mind to enjoy the show anyhow!


    Is Sy-Klone a robot, human, cyborg or something else entirely?

    Definitely one of those you mentioned.

    Can the Dragons we have seen communicate with Eternians (through voice or telepathic contact)?

    Not as we've presented them thus far. That's not to say that some dragons (such as the mother in Dragon's Brood) aren't intelligent or cognizant.

    Are the original inhabitants of Anwat Gar Asian, Blue, or Blue Asians?

    Not to dodge your question, but you'll notice that Syclone wasn't necessarily FROM Anwat Gar -- he was described as the last defender OF Anwat Gar.

    Are Keldor and Kronis the same race?

    Well, their names both begin with K. Koincidence?

    Is there a race of Beastmen, or is Beasty a one-of-a-kind?

    You'll have to stay tuned and see if we address that.

    Do Trollans have humanoid features, and hide them because of ritual, or are they non-human and hide because of necessesity (perhaps no cilia in the nasal cavity)?

    Okay, Dr. Omega, you win -- this is my favorite question, hands down. You're asking me about nose hairs right? I will have to refer you to the artists at Mike Young Productions for all hair, nail and dandruff-related questions.

    Why does it appear that there are many Cat races or species (Carnivus, Cringer, Panthor) on Eternia and no dogs/Canines?

    Milkbone shortage.

    Posted by Bear on December 24, 2002
    I would like to know why other then Skeletor why all the villians seem to be "dumbed down".

    Not sure I agree. Evil-Lyn can certainly hold her own against Skeletor.
    Tri-klops may be treated poorly but he's no slouch in the brains department -- just check out all those great inventions.
    Beastman has certain "animal smarts".
    Whiplash has been shown to be conniving and opportunistic, if a bit of a suck up.
    Two Badd -- well, one side of him at least, is pretty shrewd.
    Trapjaw has a certain thug mentality, but I don't think he's a dummy.
    As for Clawful... Well, okay, you got me there.


    Will we ever see any of Skeletor's henchmen be more of a match for He-man?

    Yup.

    Posted by JIrish780 on December 24, 2002 08:59pm:
    Will we be seeing Lord Carnivous in any capacity other than what we've seen so far?

    Carnivus will be back, though not necessarily with that spelling.

    Or any of the other new characters we've seen?

    Yes. Part of the fun of the show -- and having overall arcs-- is that we have the opportunity to bring characters back in a coherent way.

    Well, that's all for now, gang. I'm gonna go soak my hand. I'll have more answers to what inquiring minds wanna know in the coming days!

    Dean

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    Dean Stefan Responds! Round 2

    Dean Stefan continues with answers to your questions!

    -----------

    Posted by battlecatboy on December 24, 2002 09:06pm:
    Are the characters in the cartoon animated after the toys? Or from the initial design of the figures?


    Don't really know the answer, battlecatboy. That would probably be more a question for MYP, or Jeremy P.

    Posted by gorby on December 24, 2002 09:16pm:
    Who does your character design for the cartoon? The characters lack some detail and some are just wrong (ie. Trap Jaw being depicted with a regular mouth under the metal bottom jaw). Are you simplifying them for animation purposes?


    Again these questions could better be answered by Gary Hartle (our terrific director) or other folks at MYP. I can only tell you, based on other shows I've worked on, that some designs (mouth shapes etc.) are easier to animate than others. Perhaps that figures into why certain decisions were made.

    Posted by He-man75 on December 24, 2002 09:38pm:
    Dear Mr. Stefan are You Allowed to Answer if She-Ra, Hordak, or Fisto,or Faker Will Appear? i love those Characters and i would Hope they Would Eventually Appear!


    If I were a betting man, I think I would wager that at least one of the characters you mentioned will appear.

    and i know someone else asked this but it would be awesome if you did a He-man -She-ra Christmas Special!

    No Earth, ergo, no Christmas. However there is "A Ram Man Hanukah Special" in the works.

    Is there Any Possibility to make Cringer/ BattleCat Talk again?

    Well, in our version he never did talk, so it wouldn't be "again." Okay, okay, I know what you mean. But try and think of the show as a re-imagining of the He-Man mythos -- starting from scratch -- albeit with many familiar elements thrown in. If you look at it that way, perhaps you won't miss what never was.

    Posted by Premiere Heroes on December 24, 2002 09:40pm:
    Is Captain Miro still alive? Will we be seeing Captain Miro in any capacity other than what we've seen so far?


    Just gonna have to stick around to find out, Premiere.

    If someone has a story idea or a script they would like to submit, how would they go about doing that? Are there any guidelines?

    Well, unfortunately, for legal reasons, things don't work like that. Neither I, nor MYP could read unsolicited submissions.

    But legalities aside, we're dealing with overall arcs and certain bits of information about characters and history that have to occur along a certain chronology. For someone to come in and pitch a story, about say, a time warping device, or Adam getting amnesia, or Orko getting married, or whatever ...even if it was a great story, it probably wouldn't fit in with where we want the arc or the series to be moving to.

    Now perhaps in the comic book side of things, there is more opportunity for that (pitching ideas) but I strongly suspect it's much like in the TV side. (I know you guys have an ongoing dialog with JVS3, and he may have addressed that.)

    I know you're a fan and are talking about He-Man specifically, but let me speak in more generalities, 'cause maybe you, or other fans out there may want to get into TV or cartoon writing as a career. What I mentioned above, regarding shows not taking unsolicited ideas, is just one of the realities of this business. It's no different for me. I might have a killer idea for an episode of say E.R., or CSI Miami. I couldn't submit that to the show...they wouldn't look at it, couldn't for legal reasons. Plus they already have producers, story editors, etc. who are developing stories far into the future.

    The best shot for breaking into TV writing is to write sample scripts -- get the sample to an agent, who will hopefully wanna represent you. Or if you're able to submit a sample to a show directly -- and I know this doesn't make sense -- write it for a show other than that one. Again this is mostly for legal reasons -- they might have something in work that is similar to yours and fear that you might later claim they took the idea from you. But the other reason is that people connected to a show are so well-versed in it, are so attuned to every little nuance and character tic, that they may think the tone is off, even if its only off by a hair. In any event, writing sample scripts for various shows, is not only the best way to learn, but it shows that you can write in various idioms, can get the "voice of a show" -- the tone of the piece, plus the individual voices of characters. An agent is also a good thing to have, though not absolutely necessary. (Wow, this is probably incredibly boring to most people. Sorry for going off on a tangent.)


    Posted by Raven on December 24, 2002 09:40pm:
    What if any other classic secondary characters.... will be appearing in the rest of season one? We know roboto is on the way. Any hints on who else?


    Well, while I know that fans who've read the synopses will speculate on who might be appearing, I ain't gonna spoil the fun by giving anything away. But I promise you: There will be some very cool surprises.

    Posted by The Champion of Light on December 24, 2002 10:08pm:
    How did it all come about for you to not only write but be the story editor for the new He-Man series?


    I have, in my dresser drawer, some very incriminating photos of Mike Young. Okay, J/K.

    Actually I was hired to write the pilot. I had no idea it would be a series at that point. I guess they liked what I did, and so when they needed a story editor, they went after the best person they could find. When she wasn't available, they settled for me.


    Were you a fan of He-Man and She-Ra prior to your work on the new series?

    I knew He-Man, loved the character, but wasn't an expert in things He-Man-ish. Even less so for things She-Ra-ish.

    Will there be any adventures outside of Eternia(i.e.- a trip to Trolla or perhaps Eternia's moons?)

    There are all sorts of "worlds" in Eternia we will be exploring. Space travel though, is something we want to avoid. It tends to evoke more of a sci-fi feel, while we're going for more of a mythic-fantasy tone.

    I think you've done an awesome job with "The Beginning" and "The Courage of Adam,"...

    Thank you. Now that's the kind of question I like to...oh, there's more...

    ...however, I felt that their were certain aspects of "The Ties That Bind" that were a little weak and that hurt the episode in a way(i.e.- the whole Evil-Lyn and Skeletor subplot). I do realize that it was important for the arc and for Skeletor to finally realize that the Elder's power is stored inside Grayskull but couldn't that have all waited until the next episode?

    Well, Champion of Light, the reality is that this is an action cartoon. We're on Toonami, an action block, at least here in the states. We were able to do a lot of heartfelt stuff in "Ties That Bind", and will continue to have those elements in other episodes -- but we still need and want to to have action. And plenty of it! In addition, Skeletor's realization about Grayskull also helped moved the arc along. The things we probably try to accomplish in every episode are: cool action, character moments (and emotional arcs) and servicing the overall arc. (although the overall arc may, upon occasion, take a backseat, to a more stand-alone episode.)

    I wish their would've been more screen time for Teela and the Sorceress... like the touching scenes in the desert and at Grayskull so as far as future episodes are concerned will this timeless relationship be further explored?

    I don't think we've seen the last of these elements. It's certainly a rich area to explore and one of my favorite parts of the He-Man mythos. You'll be surprised at some of the other connections -- both family and otherwise -- that pop up between our characters in coming episodes.

    Posted by TheDeviot on December 24, 2002 10:52pm:
    I'd just like to say I really enjoy the new show and the storylines. I especially love how you and your team have made it a lot more serious for the old school fans and new generation of fans. It keeps you hooked. But I also love how the show retains everything I loved about the original.


    That is very nice to hear, TheDeviot. If there's anything I, and the entire production hoped that we'd accomplish, it's just what you said: please the old school fans and keep the spirit of what you/they loved about the original, all the while building a whole new generation of fans.

    Lessons about life embedded underneath the action, the Comic relief of Orko, the Costumes and personalities of the original characters. It's the perfect Merriment of old and new. Personally I would think that's a difficult challenge updating something without taking away from what made it cool to begin with. You guys have done that so well.

    Thanks. Really. That means a lot.

    Anyway, I'd just want to know if I get to see more revisions of classic heroes and villains.

    Well, as I mentioned, we can draw freely from the old mythology and old characters. With such a wealth of material, there's a better-than-fair chance you'll be seeing lots more ghosts of He-Man past!

    Oh and I'd also want to know if you or the rest of the team have talked to Mattel about getting Figures of newly introduced characters like Carnivus or figures of characters previously Filmation era Toon only IE Count Marzo, Evilseed etc.

    Jeremy P could best answer that one, methinks.

    Posted by Tytus on December 24, 2002 11:27pm:
    The question Iīm going to ask may sound like it is a question asked from a little naive kid, but believe me Iīm not a little kid and I just have to take the opportunity to ask it.


    Okay, shoot.

    Here it goes: Over the years many He-Fanīs and She-Raverīs have created their own characterīs of which they think that they would fit perfectly with the MotUniverse. Iīve seen lots of them (and Iīve created some of my own) and thereīs none I dislike. However a couple of them were really so well done so good designed (for a He-Fan) that they could really have made some cool additions to the MotUniverse. So my question would be if there is any way that some of those creations could make their way to the producerīs of the new cartoon.

    Sadly, this probably can't happen. For the same reasons I mentioned regarding story ideas. Legalities and such. But also the fact that you've got professionals working their butts off doing these character designs -- that's their job, MYP is paying them for this. And they are very very good at it.

    Believe me, it's not because of any disregard for the fans. There's no doubt that there are some really talented people out there. After all, every one of us -- artists and writers alike -- started out as fans. If you love doing it, work hard at your craft. If it's good, doors will open.


    Posted by microfiche on December 25, 2002 12:11am:
    Mr Stefan, Than you for helping to create the epic story arc for the new series. I would just like you to be aware of my picks for a new live-action movie. I see a new live-action as a possible finale to the new show's arc. With Mutton Pie's pick of director, Tsui Hark, the scope and feeling of the show could be translated very well. Here are my picks from the following thread...


    Um, I'm gonna have to stop you there. I love Tsui Hark's direction...and lots of the picks for actors are really good. But this is so far afield from anything I would be consulted in, that my opinions probably wouldn't amount to a hill of beans. Traditionally, when a live action movie is done of an animated property, all the decisions are made by the studio who puts up the dinero. They hire the director they want -- chances are he or she has lotsa input into the casting. And then they hire some big name "live action" writer. Grrr...

    Posted by DragonHawk on December 25, 2002 12:23am:
    will we see a devolping relationship with the Sorceress and Teela


    Well, now that we know what their true relationship is (I mean, in the sense of how they're related) chances are these seeds will take root.

    Posted by krosfyah on December 25, 2002 12:32am:
    Yet another thank you for not only bringing things back but also for taking the time out to communicate with us fans! It's GREAT!


    This is really fun for me too, Krosfyah. I've worked in animation for over 10 years and this is the first opportunity I've had to speak to a fan base. (Of course several of the shows I worked on didn't have much of a fan base, but we won't get into that...)

    Will we be seeing more of the Faceless one?

    Will the Faceless One show his face again? That is an excellent question. You're just gonna have to stay tuned to find out, Krosfyah!

    I love the episodes that explore the mythology of the MOTU universe from the old show (The Dragon's Gift for example) And the new (Lessons) I would like to ask if there is an importance over at MYP to keep exploring the depth of this world Eternia...(I really think those become the biggest fan favs)

    Absolutely! There's probably nothing that excites the writers and animators more than creating and flushing out the world and history of Eternia -- a world that has its own mythology, unique populations -- magic, technology, fanciful creatures...

    Would you submit any of season one for emmy consideration...If so may i nominate Lessons?

    Yes. I'll ask Larry to get his tux ready.

    Are you at liberty to say whether or not movies (direct to vid/dvd or theatrical) are in the works?

    I'm afraid I don't know, sorry.

    Since you have such a great hit on your hands will the budget for season 2 be increased??

    Hmm, not really my department. I have no knowledge of such things. Whether it's the budget or not, I do think the production team has gone all out on this show. I'll give you an example. When I first saw the design for the Hall of Wisdom - this gorgeous painting, I thought, whoa -- that's something I'd want to see a lot in the show. Then it hit me -- all this work designing it and we're gonna destroy it in the first 5 minutes of the "Beginning!" I thought: well this is something I've never seen before in animation. I took it as a very encouraging sign that we were going to be doing this show right!

    If so I hope you stay with Dong Woo...I prefer their work to Dong Yang. ARE Dong Yang and Dong Woo Affiliated?

    Donged if I know.

    Posted by Orko064 on December 25, 2002 01:20am:
    Will Mekaneck's son be appearing any?


    Ah, you mean "Little Neck?" We are working on an episode where he gets a 3 foot hickey. OK, I'm just being silly. Just gonna have to wait and see.

    Where the heck was Adora on Adam's birthday?

    On old Filmation videotapes.

    Posted by Fisto on December 25, 2002 01:38am:
    Many, of us fans love the new series, but has it lived up to your expectations? if not what would you change.


    I think the series has lived up to my expectations in most ways, surpassed them in others. There's at least one thing in every episode that makes my jaw drop. I think the artists and animators are doing a magnificent job. And the writers too, have likewise been outstanding.

    Are there any characters you defenitely do not want to introduce, from the 80s toy line and cartoon?

    I think there may be characters that initially we wouldn't want to reintroduce. But if we're a couple more seasons down the line, opinions may change. Part of that is simply that we've already got a wealth of characters, and giving respectable screen time to so many of them can be a challenge. Don't wanna clutter the playing field too much.

    Posted by Tracy on December 25, 2002 01:57am:
    Firstly, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for bringing back one of the greatest cartoons of all time! I grew up on He-Man and I was so happy the day I discovered it was back!


    Glad you like the show, Tracy!

    Posted by Drunken Fist on December 25, 2002 02:02am: quote:
    It's been stated by Mattel that they will be producing figures of approximately half as many villains as heroes. Will the character roster on the show reflect this, with far more hero characters than villains?


    That doesn't sound like a fair fight. And we don't wanna make it too easy for our stalwart heroes, do we?

    Posted by Buzz Off on December 25, 2002 02:03am:
    I know someone already asked if there are any plans for more histories and origin stories for more secondary characters. I'd like to know if you have any plans to explore Trapjaw's origin a bit further. I would love to see what kind of story you would tell detailing the reason he has so many cybernetics.


    We'll be seeing more backstory for different characters. Lots of fun stuff to come, Buzz Off. (and go easy on that ambrosia, okay?)

    JVS Note - Many of you can catch the origins of your favorite villains in the Icons of Evil comic series this summer.

    Posted by Star Matt on December 25, 2002 02:18am
    WHAT IS THE CHANCE WE WILL SEE ALL THE CLASSIC CHARACTORS IN THE NEW SHOW? if you can not reveal this that is fine...


    Must...not...reveal...secrets....

    Posted by krosfyah on December 25, 2002 02:34am:
    A Trap-Jaw question...
    Will we see any emotional side effects of his change...I mean Is he peeved that he is a freak? Did he adjust well?


    Trapjaw, well-adjusted? Check out the upcoming episode "Trust," then you tell me!

    Are we going to get a look at the minds of villains like we did with mekaneck?

    I think the more flushed out we can make all our characters -- heros and villains alike -- the more interesting it makes the show.

    Posted by jaster_99 on December 25, 2002 03:38am:
    I was wondering if you could describe the contract that exists with YTV. A couple of weeks ago, "Night of the Shadow Beasts" was introduced as the season finale. When will YTV air the rest of season one?


    I don't really know anything about the networks and their schedules, contracts, etc. Sorry, jaster.

    Also, what other projects is MYP working on?

    Not sure what they're up to. All I know is, there are big burly guys wearing earpieces and black suits guarding the doors to all the secret rooms over there. I do know they have done the series "Clifford, the Big Red Dog."

    Personally, I think BattleCat could take him.


    Posted by danielsan52 on December 25, 2002 03:55am:
    Greetings, I was wondering if we will ever see Teela appear in the cartoon in her Cobra Armor, and if not how about The Goddess?


    Not sure I know the Goddess reference. Teela and Cobra Armor? Could be.

    Any chance Shokoti will show up?

    Anything is possible.

    We've seen Ram Man without his helmet, can the same be done with Evil-Lyn, The Sorceress and others?

    Yes, we'll be doing an episode on a head-lice outbreak, wherein all the characters will be forced to shed their haberdashery.

    Posted by Toddimus Prime on December 25, 2002 04:58am:
    Great job with the series, is there any chance that you might write an episode about someone else who had the power of He-Man? I always thought He-man was a hero who appeared every generation when evil would threaten the universe.


    I can't comment on upcoming storylines, but you're touching on some elements that touch on some elements that we'll be touching on.

    Any chance that you'll remake the classic episode "The Wizard of Stone Mountain"?

    As I mentioned in some previous answers, Toddimus, I don't think we're out to remake anything. But there's always a good chance we'll be referencing various classic characters, locations, themes, etc.

    Posted by Goldenbane on December 25, 2002 05:11am:
    Will we get to see Faker? I have always loved that character and desire to see him reappear in all his blue skinned/orange haired beauty!


    In a word: ya never know.

    He-man's powers...how strong is he? How invulnerable is he? Does He-man have any super speed type powers like he did in the older series? How does he compare to the classic super strong heroes...Superman, Hulk, Thor, ect?

    I think we still think of He-Man as "the strongest man in the universe." But then again, it's the MOTU universe we're speaking of. So Superman isn't really in the mix, and I'm not sure how they'd match up. (Not that I'd wanna find out. I have a feeling the Kid from Krypton might be able to knock the Adam outta He-Man. ) I think in raw strength, in a fair fight, He-Man could probably defeat anyone in Eternia. But then again, bad guys don't fight fair. And besides, others might possess magic, and magic enhanced-strength could tip the balance. I think we've shown that while He-Man's not invulnerable, the guy can take a punch pretty darn well.

    What other powers does He-man have?

    Well, he doesn't seem to get too chilly wearing that skimpy outfit.

    Posted by Rioblast on December 25, 2002 08:45am:
    My first question is will Skeletor's double bladed sword ever return?


    I think we saw it make its return in "Underworld."

    Will you be including characters that where released as toys in the 80's but never made an appearance in the original cartoon like Scare-Glo, Clamp Champ, Rio-blast, etc.

    Nothing has been ruled out.

    Posted by mechakoneko on December 25, 2002 04:23pm:
    I love Teela and Evil-lyn, it's great to see strong female characters especially in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, where female characters are sadly few and far between). Will we be seeing more female characters in the future?...


    Absolutely. As I said earlier, I'm rather partial to the female characters anyhow.

    and can we have some more Tri-klops, please?

    You got it. I think you'll enjoy the Roboto Gambit.

    Posted by Voice_Guy on December 25, 2002 04:30pm: Hi Dean,
    Why won't you let Cringer to talk? In the original series, Cringer added depth to the series as Adam's best friend. Now it seems you are not even using Cringer or Battlecat as we have not seen them in recent episodes.


    Well, you'll be seeing plenty more of both Cringer and BattleCat. With so many characters, there will be times when some seem to get lost in the shuffle, but that's only so we can showcase others.

    Any chance we can see Count Marzo make a return, he was such an interesting character.

    You'll just have to watch and see! Fans seem to really like Marzo, which is great.

    As a collector or animation art, storyboards, scripts and as a inspiring writer; are there any ways for someone such as myself to purchase scripts or storyboards from this show?

    I believe that those are the property of MYP.

    I can not speak for everyone else, but I myself am tired of seeing Adam turn into He-Man in every single episode, let alone having the "good guys" win in everysingle episode, or seeing Skeletor escaping via Beastman and his Gryphons. My question is, in future productions can we see a few changes made, perhaps have Skeletor win once, and not escape, or have an episode where Adam doesn't become He-Man.

    There may be an occasional exception -- but I think if there's one thing you'll see every episode, it's Adam transforming into He-Man. It's a hallmark of the show and the franchise. It's epic, it's cool -- the "regular" kid raising the sword and transforming into a mythic hero! Kids wait for that moment. It's magical and empowering.

    I gotta admit -- when I saw the first screening of "The Beginning" and Adam transformed into He-Man, I got chills. The music, the FX, the animation... I still get goosebumps every time I see an episode and he transforms.


    Posted by Der Herr des Bösen on December 25, 2002 04:37pm:
    Will we see HORDAK in the next few Episodes?


    I think the next few episodes are reruns. So in that case, definitely not.

    What about Jitsu ? Any Chance ?

    Who's Chance? I'm not familiar with the character.

    I love the old FILMATION Characters - I think you 2! How about Celice, Daimar and Fang-Man ....?!?

    They're the three singers in TLC, right?

    The "serious" answer to all these question is, of course, I can't say. I'm joking with you because there's just so many ways I can say "I can't say."


    Posted by Mercury on December 25, 2002 04:47pm:
    ZODAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will we see Zodac?


    My Magic 8 Ball says: Must...not...reveal...secrets...

    Is he an Ancient One?

    I think he prefers the term Senior Citizen.

    Is there a connection between Hordak and Zodak? (This was suggested somewhere before the 2k2 series)

    Their names both end in "dak." Food for thought.

    Posted by TWOBAD LEECH on December 25, 2002 04:55pm:
    iwanted to know when hordak arrives will we see him and skeletor working together to bring down he-man or will they hate one another and work against each other?


    You're asking me to expound upon a series of events that are built upon a supposition that we don't even know is true. I am a man of science and therefore cannot go down this road with you.

    also will we see back stories to some characters? like trapjaw, clawful, or others.

    We will be doing lots to provide texture to many of our characters. Whether it's backstory, seeing where they come from, or gaining insight into what makes them tick -- all of these elements will be popping up in stories.

    Posted by pennypunk on December 25, 2002 05:07pm:
    Do you have the rights to use characters from the live action film in the cartoon (i.e. Gwildor, Blade, Saurod) or are the rights held by film's producers?


    I do not know the answer to that, pennypunk. Sorry.

    Posted by the_ultimate_evil on December 25, 2002 05:14pm:
    hi from one dean to another is there any certain character from either MOTU or POP, that you personally would like to see be worked in to the new show either full time or as a guest star


    A fellow Dean! Cool. There's not many of us left.

    There is a deep well of characters from the MOTU universe that we have to draw from. I think we'd be foolish not to sip from that glorious nectar from time to time.


    and when are we getting the show in the uk, come on stop toying with us

    I would never toy with a fellow Dean. Unfortunately, this is outside of my realm of knowledge or control.

    Posted by Mercury on December 25, 2002 05:37pm:
    RE: Marlena. Will we see her origin chapter next season? or we'll have to wait more? She could be a powerful influence in political decisions based on what she can tell from Earth. Also give some technological hints to how to do things the earthly way.


    We have big plans for Marlena, but again, they don't involve this strange planet Earth you refer to.

    Posted by Stefan Chab on December 26, 2002 12:26am:
    Mr. Stefan! (My great namesake!) I would like to ask you, if you have special conections between the old and the new Cartoon-Series?


    First a Dean, now a Stefan? Cool. My middle name is Parker -- any Parkers out there?

    Let's see -- special connections? Not sure what you mean.
    Obviously, the shows have much in common.


    How must a cartoon-concept be, to be sucessfull in this times, when there are so many things, which fixed the concept of the old cartoon series?

    Well, the old series was what it was. I think it was very well done and of course it was a huge success. It appeared in an era that was before cable and two zillion channels. There was probably less competition in the genre. To make an impact these days, you've gotta have something really good.

    Posted by He-Ant on December 26, 2002 01:14am:
    Hiya doing, Mr. Stefan. Can you tell me and the rest of my fellow He-Fans a little of what's to come down the line?


    Lots of very cool developments. Lots of very cool characters. The Second Season will feature lots more musical numbers. (j/k)

    Posted by Mikey on December 26, 2002 01:48am:
    Dear Mr Stefan, Thanks to MYP for bringing MOTU back to us, and I love it dearly as many of us do. I would also dearly love if a new POP were being considered?


    Thanks for the kind words, Mikey. As to your question, the production team works in mysterious ways. We must wait and see.

    Also, are there any plans to introduce Lieutenant Andra (from the classic MOTU comic The Hate Stones), or The Council Of Seasons (Lady Spring, Miss Summer, Count Fall, and Mr Winter) from the classic MOTU episode Time Doesn't Fly in the new series?

    You're talking over my head here, Mikey.

    Are there any plans for introducing the New Adventures characters, like Hydron?

    Gosh, I'm totally unfamiliar with New Adventures.

    Posted by ShredderThe on December 26, 2002 03:21am:
    Any chance Queen Marlena and her history will be explored?


    Uh-oh, I sense a Marlena-from-earth-question about to come.

    And if she is from Earth, will we see some More Earth stories done?

    I knew it. I'm psychic.

    He-Man travelling to Earth on a decent ANIMATED Budget could be done right..

    Not to mention the frequent flyer miles he'd rack up.

    Also, too many replies here to read through all of 'em, but any chance we'll see a more serious Christmas special?

    Christmas=Earth. No Earth = no Christmas episodes. Sorry. (I'm starting to feel like Scrooge!)

    Maby Skeletor decides to invade Earth on Christmas, and He-Man has to stop him and save the Holiday at the same time.

    That sounds like a story you should write for a fan fiction!

    Posted by Louis649 on December 26, 2002 04:28am:
    Any chance for Fisto and Jitsu appearing in the second season?


    Can't say. Won't say.

    Any plans for a Triklops origin episode?

    Can't say. Won't say.

    JVS3 Note - I can say. Tri-Klops Origin = Icons of Evil

    Will be revealed some more information about Evil Lynn's past?

    Can say. Will say. Yes.

    Will Whiplash and Clawful get less dumb and more aggresive?

    Well, they will act in ways that are appropriate to who they are and the situation they find themselves in.

    Posted by LORD FALLEN ELDOR on December 26, 2002 07:29am:
    Sorry if I'm repeating any thing, I haven't had the time to read everything. Do you feal it fair to compare the old he-man to this new one?


    Of course it's fair. And I'd expect anyone familiar with the old show to make those comparisons. how could you not?

    What the most difficult thing about making MOTU?

    I can only speak for the writing aspect. And writing is always difficult...and then again not difficult. Sometimes you're just "in the zone" and the words and ideas flow effortlessly. Then other times, you're not in the zone and it's a struggle ...and the words get all...uh...you know...stopped up...like now.

    The comic book will be reflecting the cartoon, but how much does the comic impact the cartoon?

    I would like to think that the book and the show will compliment each other -- there are opportunities to tell different types of stories in a comic than in a 'toon.

    Why don't we see cringer interacting more with the prince?

    Well, they do nap together.

    Did the four horseman design count marzo, marlena, randor and the royal guard?

    I don't really know the answer. Forgive me, Lord Fallen.

    Why the change from the ancient looking castle as seen in the old Filmation toon? We really has the feeling of a structure existing for thousands of years.

    Well, everything was re-designed as per decisions made by the production team. There is a method to the madness.

    What relations do the ancients have with the council of elders? Who's decision was it to remove the council from there ancient setting and incorporate the idea into modern eternia?

    All will be revealed in time.

    As known from the mini comic keldor is irrefutable king ranodr's brother ... it has been speculated (and later confirmed) that he is skeletor, so what's the deal?

    Gonna have to wait and see.

    Why even mention kelodr is he isn't related to randor?

    Ditto.

    If grayskull was not originally the hall of wisdom like it used to be then what is its origin? Also where did the hall of wisdom disappear to?

    The Hall of Wisdom? Check out "The Beginning." I think you'll see that there is only rubble in its place. It was destroyed.

    did the counsel of eldor's travel back to ancient eternia? If you cannot answer I understand but I must know if the subject is planed to be elaborated upon at a later point. Will we see other racial ethnicity (black, Asian, Spanish) in the human populace on eternia? Are there more alien looking humans? is there a race of blue skinned people like sy-klone, trap jaw, and keldor?

    There are a vast array of characters of all types on Eternia. We have but scratched the surface of how they are interconnected.

    Posted by Lookie on December 26, 2002 05:25pm:
    Good to know that few here read the rules on what kinds of questions Dean will be answering...


    LOL. You're right Lookie. I should've read the rules myself -- could've eliminated a coupla hundred questions.

    It's okay, I don't mind. I just feel bad, 'cause I feel like I'm giving a lot of non-responsive answers. But I want everyone to understand, I can't really answer many of the questions. (Either 'cause I don't know, or can't tell, or won't tell.)


    On another note, did anyone notice this about the other interview he did:
    MS: Doesn't he [Skeletor] just want the other half of the sword? DS: Yup, he gets very focused.
    Was Dean even listening?


    Ah, well. That was the interview with FanBoy planet. I've gotta admit, that was done over a fuzzy phone connection. A number of things I was quoted as saying got a bit skewed in the "translation." I don't recall that particular exchange, but I said nothing of the kind, or if I did, it was misconstrued.

    Posted by Scorpia on December 26, 2002 08:34pm:
    What a fantastic oppurtunity - thanks for it!


    Hey, I should be thanking you guys, Scorpia -- for all your support of the show. I'm delighted to be doing this.

    What is the script from the new MOTU that has taken the most effort to edit?

    Hmmm, that's a tough one. Some require more drafts -- but maybe the subsequent drafts are not that dramatically different. Then again, some might require fewer drafts, but lots more extensive rewriting of those fewer drafts. On some stories, the "heavy lifting" is done at the outline stage, or even during the basic premise. It's always preferable to spot problems earlier, because once you're at the script stage, rewrites tend to be way more time-consuming.

    I'm sorry I can't be all that specific about particular episodes. I simply don't recall. Once a script is done, I tend to forget all the blood sweat and tears that went into it, and it kind of becomes a warm fuzzy memory.


    Have you ever read a script - that eventually was produced - that you thought shouldn't have been?

    On He-Man, or in general? If you're talking about in general -- gosh, just go to the movies or turn on your TV. You'll see tons of stuff that should never have been produced. As far as He-Man, well...to be honest, no. Not everything is gonna turn out a masterpiece (though believe me, we'd like it to) but hopefully, the production team won't allow anything but our best effort to get produced.

    Do you stop by these and other on-line forums to see how a particular episode is received or even to learn what the fans truly want to see?

    I do try and check out the forums to see what the fans think of an episode and why. But by the time an episode airs, there have probably been another dozen or so already written and/or being animated. So it's not like we can say: oh, the fans love this element or character, let's put him/it in the next episode. That's probably one of the toughest things about writing for TV animation versus live action. Whereas in live action they can do an episode or two, gauge audience reaction and then make adjustments, in TV animation you have to commit to your ideas, because you won't know for months how the animated end result will turn out. And by then you've got another 10 or 20 episodes already in work.

    Well, that's it for Round 2, He-Fans. I gotta go crank the old coffee machine back up and work on some scripts!

    I'll have round 3 answers for you in the coming week or so!

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