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Thread: "Disappearing Act" classic review thread

  1. #1
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    "Disappearing Act" classic review thread

    It's Monday, so it must be time for another classic review thread. After last week's overwhelming response (hehe!) to "The Witch and The Warrior", this week's selected episode is "Disappearing Act".

    After his latest plot is foiled by He-Man, Skeletor unveils two helmets that turns the person wearing them invisible. With Beast Man, he plans to use them to sneak into the Royal Palace and kidnap Prince Adam. At the Palace, Orko uses magic to clean his room, but in doing so accidentally conjures Adam's sword away, and Orko does not know how to retrieve it. Skeletor and Beast Man easily sneak in and capture the Prince, and imprison him in a cage in the Banshee Jungle. Skeletor demands He-Man as ransom, little realising that Adam and He-Man are the same person, and without his sword, Adam is unable to transform into He-Man anyway...
    As Adam struggles to escape from his prison, The Sorceress sends Orko and Cringer back into Eternia's distant past to retrieve the Power Sword, and has a special task for Man-At-Arms...

    Let's hear what you have to say on this episode.
    As usual, I'll be posting my own review in a bit.
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  2. #2
    80s cartoon guru manny's Avatar
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    well to me this is an average ep, it has a little humor and the plot was decent, i just find this to be average at best i give it a 5
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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior walkerHe-man's Avatar
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    This is one of my favorite episodes from season 1! I thinks it stands out because for one we get see the He-man robot built by Man at Arms, and we get to see Eternia's past! If you look close in this episode when Orko and Cringer are in the past you can get a glimpse of a Creature that could be Megator!

  4. #4
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    "Disappearing Act" is an enjoyable first season episode of the original series.

    The story is the only MOTU work by David Chappe, and seeing as it's his only work on the show, he does well, coming up with the story and co-writing it with the reliable Robby London.

    It an interesting machine with two passengers that we see at the start of the story, endangered by the volcano that Skeletor explodes. It doesn't look very Eternian in design.

    I like how He-Man appears out of nowhere on a Sky Sled to put a quick end to Skeletor's latest scheme. But how did he catch wind of the situation so quickly?? (Maybe he'd caught word that Beast Man had been up to no good).

    It's a good scene with Man-At-Arms telling Orko to tidy his room; MAA is in very fatherly mode, with Orko perfectly fitting the bill as the mischievous child.

    Man-At-Arms has another of his 'convenient' inventions, this time his beeper that attracts flying creatures, that just happens to be needed later in the story!

    When Orko is zooming around, hanging on to his wand as it makes things disappear, Adam pulls out his sword, which is uncharacteristic, especially in front of Teela. Of course, it is just a plot device allowing the sword to be magiced away.

    It's a nice touch how Teela is oblivious to the urgency of the situation, saying that Adam can just get another sword.

    I like the act break, with Adam hoping the beeper will attract Stratos before it does wolf-bats.

    The Sorceress instructs Man-At-Arms to build a robot duplicate of He-Man. Of course, to most viewers, this immediately conjures up thoughts of Faker, a popular figure but only ever used in one episode of the series.
    For such a complex robot, Man-At-Arms seems to build it very quickly. Maybe the Sorceress gave him some clues.

    When Orko and Cringer go back into Eternia's past, Cringer comments "S-so this is the past, huh", even though, as Battle Cat, he and Orko had already journeyed into the past in "The Time Corridor", broadcast prior to this episode.

    When Man-At-Arms, Cringer and Orko eventually find Adam held prisoner in the cave, Man-At-Arms wildly throws Adam's sword, with it landing out-of-reach of Adam. One has to wonder why he didn't just pass it through the bars!

    At the climax of the story, when the Basher's blast crashes the Attak Trak, I personally always found it a slightly eerie sight of the robot He-Man's cracked mask falling off, revealing bulging eyes and a cybernetic face beneath. I dunno, I just have a thing about masks!

    All-in-all, this is a very enjoyable episode.
    I give this one 9 out of 10.
    Last edited by Spacedust; October 17, 2006 at 04:26pm.
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  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior
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    This is one of the first episodes of He Man that i ever watched and I really liked it. It really shows what He Man was like in the beginning. There were many good points about it, but I'll only mention a few; I like at the start when Man At Arms tells Orko that his room is a mess and that Orko has to clean it up. Just the way he says it and the way Orko says that he hates cleaning his room up. As a kid I probably would have been suprised that super heroes would have given importance to something like this. You'd expect only your parents or other grown ups that you know to be worried about how tidy your room is. You'd expect super heroes to go battling the evil guys and trying to save the day. Also, when Skeletor captures Prince Adam, it's interesting to see that Adam is no match for Skeletor unless he is He Man. Also this episode was made long before She ra had been thought off so there is absolutely no She ra influence/reference in the episode. I think the whole She ra reference in He Man worked well in season 2 and wouldn't have worked at all in season 1.

  6. #6
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battle Cat View Post
    Also this episode was made long before She ra had been thought off so there is absolutely no She ra influence/reference in the episode. I think the whole She ra reference in He Man worked well in season 2 and wouldn't have worked at all in season 1.
    But there was practically no reference of She-Ra in Season 2 either. The most there was, was a disputable reference to the Horde in "Origin Of The Sorceress", and a few pieces of music that would become more familiar in She-Ra.
    Personally, I prefer MOTU this way. I like She-Ra in it's own right, but it always felt to crowed and unfocused to have both MOTU and POP all cramed in together.


    (Also, I meant to mention that this episode was pretty much re-made as the MYP 2002 episiode "The Courage Of Adam", with little of the warmth or character of the original).
    Last edited by Spacedust; October 27, 2006 at 02:40pm.
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  7. #7
    Avenge The Fallen Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    This is one of the few (in fact, 2) episodes that I have had constant access to and have seen many times after they stopped airing the show on regular TV.

    It was on the 10th volume of the MOTU VHS tapes that Columbia put out years ago, and was the only volume of the series that I ever owned, and also included that Widgets based episode with the Kordite (sp?), the title of which escapes me at the moment. Later in the mid-90s I did obtain a used copy of Secret of the Sword from a video rental store, but that was pretty much it until the 200X stuff came out and some of the figures came with VHS tapes of the old show. Then, of course, I started buying these DVDs.

    So, at any rate, Disappearing Act holds something of a special place for me being that it is one of the few episodes that I have a really, really strong memory of, and can even quote significant parts of it. It is an interesting episode. I like the whole thing with the He-Man robot that is there to trick Skeletor. And the whole thing with Orko and Cringer having to go retrieve the sword was a lot of fun as well.

    I like this episode a lot, though I have an obvious bias as to why. At any rate, it was cool because with there being so many limits in terms of action and fighting on the show, this one still felt very action packed. It has a fast pace to it, IMO, and the whole thing with He-Man showing up and stopping the Volcano at the beginning, and Adam being captured, and Orko & Cringer trying to outrun the creatures in the past, etc, it really felt like there was a lot of action and adventure going on. So, I think it is a really strong episode all in all.

    It's actually ironic that these 2 episodes out of the 130 that were made were good ones to have access to when the MYP series came along. As Spacedust pointed out already, there is a strong connection between Filmation's Disappearing Act in the MYP episode "The Courage of Adam", which was the 4th episode of the series (actually, in a sense, 2nd episode if you count the 3-part "Beginning" as one). And, of course, the Korodite from that other episode on my old tape is referenced in "The Beginning" from the MYP show, as Skeletor uses it in that machine to break the mystic wall. Twas some cool stuff!
    Last edited by Dynamo of Eternia; October 27, 2006 at 01:56pm.
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  8. #8
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamo of Eternia View Post
    ...and also included that Widgets based episode with the Kordite (sp?), the title of which escapes me at the moment.
    That sounds like "Evil-Lyn's Plot".
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  9. #9
    Avenge The Fallen Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedust View Post
    That sounds like "Evil-Lyn's Plot".
    That's the title! Sorry, I couldn't think of it for some reason.
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  10. #10
    Movie Machine shigsy2003's Avatar
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    Howdy

    Disappearing Act is an enjoyable episode if not one of the best. While the story is pretty good and Skeletor thinks he is going to get He-Man by capturing Prince Adma (which ironically he had He-Man) there are things in the ep that don't really help.

    For one I never like Adma using the Sword in front of Teela as she doesn't notice it is the same as He-Man's. Sure it may be a Sword but that is the only Sword like that on Eternia.

    when the robot is broke and its face comes of for some reason I laugh. He-Man's hair on a robot face?????????

    Orko and Cringer again get to be heroes and Man at Arm's immature line of "why, I want to help to".

    Enjoyable ep: 6/10

    Chris M
    I have been honing my movie knowledge while I have been away and watching a lot. Best Picture winners left to watch: NONE. Films left to watch in Empire's 500 greatest films list: ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN

  11. #11
    Avenge The Fallen Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shigsy2003 View Post
    For one I never like Adma using the Sword in front of Teela as she doesn't notice it is the same as He-Man's. Sure it may be a Sword but that is the only Sword like that on Eternia.
    While I see your point, I can still see this making sense in the classic continuity.

    Yeah, there was no other sword like Adam/He-Man's (well, except She-ra's, but that wasn't an issue at this point), but it's not like that sword has a ton of fancy designs or significantly distinguishing features.

    While there is no other swords exactly like it, it still looks like it could have easily come from the same 'family' of swords as the ones used by Teela and many of the other MOTU heroes.




    Now, on the other hand, in this very issue bugs the hell out of me in the MYP episode "The Courage of Adam", which as pointed out earlier, is very similar to "Disappearing Act" in some respects.

    I mean, while I realize that the sword kind of shifts a little bit and even grows to some degree, it still pretty much looks 96% the same in one form when compared to the other. And that was a VERY identifiable sword, with no others being even remotely close to it, AND it had He-Man's chest symbol on it.

    At this point in the show, Adam had only just become He-man recently, and the King had been near He-Man first hand and got a good look at the sword. But, in "Courage", Skeletor's warriors capture Adam, and they send his sword to the King, who opens the box that it comes in and he says "Adam's Sword...". I mean, what the hell??? Did he ever see Adam hold it? Does he not see the OBVIOUS resemblence to He-Man's sword? Now THAT makes very little sense at all, IMO.
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  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    my review of "Disappearing Act"

    For anyone whose interested, I took time out from my coverage of the 2002 series to instead cover an episode of the 1983 one.

    I hope you all get a kick out of it. Please read n' comment (Right here, if you like)

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