2002 He-Man Director - Gary Hartle interview


March 2013 - Interview by Jukka Issakainen

Gary Hartle was the director for 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series by Mike Young Productions.

Hartle is no stranger to working in the field of animation. He has had a hand in Marvel Animation's Thor: Tales of the AsgardThe Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes andUltimate Spider-Man. Among his older works are Johnny Bravo and Animaniacs.

Mr. Hartle answers questions that previously have been mentioned at Power-Con 2011 and hinted by producer Ian Richter in an interview at

Many ideas may not have been fulfilled until officially seen on-screen, but it is fascinating to learn the secrets of what was planned for He-Man in season 3.

Whose idea was the introduction to have a nod to old show and then interrupt Adam?
The old show was longer then ours, a 1 min. title would take too much story time from us. It was my idea, I thought it would be surprising and funny, until you see it over and over, my fault for not counting on that.

We saw in season 2 that Sorceress got bit by King Hiss and she was sick. Even in later episodes she had green veins on her face, even if they were fading. Would she have been healed in time?
The Sorceress was getting weaker, she was dying, Teela was going to replace her in the end. Season 2 would have turned everything upside down, but would have been very compelling.

You've mentioned at Power-Con 2011 to Danielle about the idea of Marlena being a half-Gar. Can you elaborate on this topic?

Ian [Richter] would come in our room every so often and bounce ideas off our heads [Jay Oliva and mine], we loved the epic idea that she was spy sent to kill the king but fell in love with him instead but concealed her identity with a spell. Randor finds out when he saw two Gar running from her chambers, he burst in to find she had blue skin. I loved the idea. But as he [Ian] has said, if it didn't get into the show, it didn't happen.

So if Marlena was a Gar-spy sent after Randor, under a spell to disguise herself as a normal human. Would that have made Prince Adam Half-Gar. If so, why are there no physical traits about it? Like pointed ears?
Again, this was only talked about, but yes Adam would have been half-Gar. When we got to She-Ra she would have had Whitish skin [ really light blue] with ever so slight pointed ears.

Another thing you mentioned [at Power-Con 2011] was that when Masters became renegades [in season 3] and He-Man would go save Randor, He-Man would use a certain fighting-style that Randor used in the early episodes. And that Randor would then know it's his own son. What move is this exactly?
Randor's fighting style was show cased in the hall of wisdom. It was how he disarmed Keldor.
Randor was beginning to realize who He-Man was. We talked about a death scene were He-Man holds Randor and tries to tell him who he is, Randor would have stopped him and say, " I know my son." You have good perception skills.

In the episode "The Island" Man-At-Arms visits an old mentor in an island. Dekker as a character was a new creation. Does he have any backstory?
Dekker was the man to train Man-At-Arms, I wanted Man-At-Arms to be a minimalist when it came to fighting style. So I wanted Dekker to be even more so, he could render you harmless while eating an apple. Almost like he was walking and blocking with his legs not even using his arms until he walked right over you. We didn't have time to develop this further.

At the end of script for episode 40 Man-At-Arms gets turned into a Snake Man. Would this have been permanent change?
No on the change to snake version of Man-At-Arms.

In the script for last produced episode #39 "Awaken the Serpent" there is no mention of He-Man's sword opening up and having the green inside-part that was in the toy. Was this a last minute change and was there any specific story planned behind it to be told?

I think it was toy related.

Thank you Gary!


MYP Director Gary Hartle
MYP Director Gary Hartle

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