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Thread: Filmation: MOTU's Greatest Blessing and Curse?

  1. #26
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by granamyr80 View Post
    So in my humble opinion, yes i agree with the title's thread. No one can't deny the importance of the Filmation cartoons, to He-Man's early success, and of course to how the franchise is remembered as a public image. But (and this is a big but) the cartoons themelves didn't age well. Generally from what i read in various forums not MOTU related, the consensus is that while some of the classic cartoons like Thundercats and Silverhawks aged well, and remembered with a certain respect, the MOTU Filmation cartoons are not. They have the nostalgia value, but the various flaws are constantly emerging and criticized, in the various discussions. And of course the memes, that accompany them usually don't leave much space to talk about them further.
    Where is this big "consensus"? A few website articles? I haven't seen it. Silverhawks is one of the worst toy shows of the 80s in my opinion. It is quite boring and nothing really happens in it. There are no major fan sites for it. The show had to be finished by Warner Archive on DVD because hardly anyone bought the first volume. Both Thundercats and Silverhawks suffer from some very wooden voice acting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    Where is this "consensus"? A few website articles? I haven't seen it. Silverhawks is one of the worst toy shows of the 80s in my opinion. It is quite boring and nothing really happens in it. There are no major fan sites for it. The show had to be finished by Warner Archive on DVD because hardly anyone bought the first volume. Both Thundercats and Silverhawks suffer from some very wooden voice acting.
    If you google "he-man forums discussions", and skip the He-Man fan site results, you can find different discussions in various forums or sites, in which are talking about the 80's cartoons in general. In these forums Thundercats and Silverhawks are generally more highly regarded than the MOTU cartoons (at least in terms of animation and maturity of stories).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    Where is this "consensus"? A few website articles? I haven't seen it. Silverhawks is one of the worst toy shows of the 80s in my opinion. It is quite boring and nothing really happens in it. There are no major fan sites for it. The show had to be finished by Warner Archive on DVD because hardly anyone bought the first volume. Both Thundercats and Silverhawks suffer from some very wooden voice acting.
    Of course, any of us can only speak from our experiences and opinion; that needs to be expected. From my experiences, I also have found those shows to be respected by those who knew of them. Though, I agree that the Rankin/Bass shows had peculiar voice patterns, I'd hardly call it wooden. Characters like Stargazer, Yesssman, Monstar, Jaga, Panthro, and Snarf were pretty lively. Again, all in my opinion.

    But do you bring up a good point, MOTU, for whatever reason, has one of the best fansites compared to these other shows. There could be a whole thread discussing the reasons for that.

  4. #29
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Mun View Post
    Of course, any of us can only speak from our experiences and opinion; that needs to be expected. From my experiences, I also have found those shows to be respected by those who knew of them. Though, I agree that the Rankin/Bass shows had peculiar voice patterns, I'd hardly call it wooden. Characters like Stargazer, Yesssman, Monstar, Jaga, Panthro, and Snarf were pretty lively. Again, all in my opinion.

    But do you bring up a good point, MOTU, for whatever reason, has one of the best fansites compared to these other shows. There could be a whole thread discussing the reasons for that.
    My opinion on the voice acting is similar to the opinions in this thread:
    http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...=1#post3720872

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    Where is this big "consensus"? A few website articles? I haven't seen it. Silverhawks is one of the worst toy shows of the 80s in my opinion. It is quite boring and nothing really happens in it. There are no major fan sites for it. The show had to be finished by Warner Archive on DVD because hardly anyone bought the first volume. Both Thundercats and Silverhawks suffer from some very wooden voice acting.
    I never even heard of Silverhawks and googling for pictures I really wonder if it ever got released in my home country. The figures look really ridiculous TBH. Thundercats is definitely more known. However I always saw it more as a spin-off of MOTU with another hero with a sword. So I never really dug into it. I don't have the feeling it was successful here and actually don't remember seeing any of the toys in the stores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    My opinion on the voice acting is similar to the opinions in this thread:
    http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...=1#post3720872
    Again, we all have our own opinions. I can't speak for granamyr80 but he did write; "Generally from what i read in various forums not MOTU related". It would make sense for people on a MOTU site to have similar opinions sometimes but there will always be outliers on certain things.

    I loved Silverhawks but I also enjoy the GL Corps and Humphrey Bogart films, noir and space cops are up my alley

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexspyforever View Post
    I never even heard of Silverhawks and googling for pictures I really wonder if it ever got released in my home country. The figures look really ridiculous TBH. Thundercats is definitely more known. However I always saw it more as a spin-off of MOTU with another hero with a sword. So I never really dug into it. I don't have the feeling it was successful here and actually don't remember seeing any of the toys in the stores.
    I agree SH is lesser known. It only lasted a season and was near to the time of the great cartoon purge of the late 80's.


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  7. #32
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by granamyr80 View Post
    If you google "he-man forums discussions", and skip the He-Man fan site results, you can find different discussions in various forums or sites, in which are talking about the 80's cartoons in general. In these forums Thundercats and Silverhawks are generally more highly regarded than the MOTU cartoons (at least in terms of animation and maturity of stories).
    I just googled that and I'm not finding a ton of He-Man hate.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    I just googled that and I'm not finding a ton of He-Man hate.
    These are some examples, in some discussions around internet, about various cartoons or animated series that aged or didn't age well:

    http://officialfan.proboards.com/thread/501477?page=1
    https://www.seibertron.com/energonpu...101727s100.php
    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/.../t-683090.html
    https://arstechnica.com/civis/viewto...?f=23&t=541928
    Last edited by granamyr80; April 1, 2017 at 10:29pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by granamyr80 View Post
    These are some examples, in some discussions around internet, about various cartoons that aged or didn't age well:
    I mean it's a whole planet of mega-buff dudes that run around in furry underwear, along with main character Prince Adam whose outfit preference is a purple vest and leotards. For non-fans, there's PLENTY to make fun of. I make fun of it myself from time to time, but I still love it.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by granamyr80 View Post
    A duragrip thread from a transformers website? I am still not seeing this supposed huge consensus out there on the net. If I didn't care for the original show I could see how seeing a few negative comments could make one think that way, though. I'm seeing knocks against G.I. Joe, Thundercats, and Transformers in those threads as well.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    I mean it's a whole planet of mega-buff dudes that run around in furry underwear, along with main character Prince Adam whose outfit preference is a purple vest and leotards. For non-fans, there's PLENTY to make fun of. I make fun of it myself from time to time, but I still love it.
    The problem is the damage controll, though. Outside the fandom, MOTU is remembered only for the 80's cheesiness and through jokes, and this mainly because of the Filmation cartoon. And this has a negative impact to the franchise itself, for the simple reason, that it can't be appealing to potential new fans, apart from the nostalgia driven ones. If the Filmation cartoon was a bit closer to the first mini comics, at least the general idea that "MOTU is only a joke", wouldn't be so prominent. The cartoon still would be considered outdated, but wouldn't be rememebered only as a classic example of the 80's campyness, and it may would have gained a bit more respect. This "pubblc image" doesn't help in my opinion, when it comes to the production of the new MOTU movie as well, since i believe it's one of the factors that the movie still is in production hell, because the creators involved don't know how to approach it, with the eminent risk of another flop. In the meantime the less known, but generally more well received Silverhawks will probably get a film before MOTU:

    https://geekydaddy.com/2017/02/08/si...y-jon-favreau/

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    A duragrip thread from a transformers website? I am still not seeing this supposed huge consensus out there on the net. If I didn't care for the original show I could see how seeing a few negative comments could make one think that way, though. I'm seeing knocks against G.I. Joe, Thundercats, and Transformers in those threads as well.
    Yes, but the point is that almost always MOTU has been brought among the typical examples of the cartoons that didn't age well. There are other discussions, that use a more inappropriate language, when they referred to MOTU, and i would prefer to not post them for obvious reasons.
    Last edited by granamyr80; April 1, 2017 at 11:10pm.

  12. #37
    Heroic Warrior Grimbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He-Mun View Post
    The Saban/Levy soundtrack, the incredible backgrounds of Eternia, the transformation sequence, and the booming yet subtle confidence of the voice of He-Man. These are just a few of the many great things I LOVE about the original show. There is no denying that it had some cool stuff. For a lot of people, the Filmation show IS Masters of the Universe. And to be more accurate, they probably just refer to it as He-Man.

    The show was a hit for a few years and led the way with toy programming. Other shows would follow in its footsteps: G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Thundercats, to name a few. These latter shows are remembered with awe and reverence but "He-Man" is remembered for the ambiguous Prince Adam and the bumbling Skeletor. If you don't believe me, think back to any conversations you've had with non-MOTU fans or the way the line is represented in media - Robot Chicken skits, the 4 Non Blondes Techno remix, etc. (both of which I enjoy, btw)

    I don't think there can be any doubt that Filmation played a HUGE part in the surge of MOTU's popularity but I also think that the show is why many left it behind as they got older or never got into it to begin with.

    Now, this is all coming from my perspective of things. I was born in 86. I watched reruns of the show as a kid but had scant memories of it until a good friend bought a VHS of a few episodes for my 8th birthday. I did however have a sizable collection of the figures and Castle Grayskull that my older cousins passed down. I LOVED my Masters of the Universe toys and anything MOTU I could find. I would garage sale hop on weekends with my Grandmother and borrow Golden Books from my local library, I couldn't get enough it.

    And to be clear, I like the Filmation show; I own the entire series of MOTU and Season One of POP. I just feel that while the Filmation show definitely spiked MOTU's popularity, it also led to its eventual plummet.

    Agree/disagree? Would the brand have had a different fate without the show? What do you guys/gals think? Most of you were able to experience this first hand while I am just speculating based on my experiences.
    Many left it because of barrage of the stupid, idiotic, moronic "HURR, HURR! He-Man is gay" jokes. Most notably that Youtube video which keeps fueling the "jokes" to this day. That's why.

    Sorry for the angry tone, but those did so much damage it's unbelievable.

    Quote Originally Posted by granamyr80 View Post
    the consensus is that while some of the classic cartoons like Thundercats and Silverhawks aged well, and remembered with a certain respect, the MOTU Filmation cartoons are not.
    Cartoons do not age, people do. And as they do, their taste may change for one reason or the other.
    Last edited by Grimbot; April 1, 2017 at 11:16pm.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by granamyr80 View Post
    The problem is the damage controll, though. Outside the fandom, MOTU is remembered only for the 80's cheesiness and through jokes, and this mainly because of the Filmation cartoon. And this has a negative impact to the franchise itself, for the simple reason, that it can't be appealing to potential new fans, apart from the nostalgia driven ones. If the Filmation cartoon was a bit closer to the first mini comics, at least the general idea that "MOTU is only a joke", wouldn't be so prominent. The cartoon still would be considered outdated, but wouldn't be rememebered only as a classic example of the 80's campyness, and it may would have gained a bit more respect. This "pubblc image" doesn't help in my opinion, when it comes to the production of the new MOTU movie as well, since i believe it's one of the factors that the movie still is in production hell, because the creators involved don't know how to approach it, with the eminent risk of another flop.
    As mentioned earlier in the thread, Filmation created the series with a very specific demographic in mind: boys ages 5-9. I am certain that Mattel approved of this, and they were quite happy to reap the rewards financially when the show was a hit. There are, however, limits to what you can do when your target audience is so young and when you're working under early 80s FCC guidelines. Transformers, GI Joe, Star Wars - I think these all had an older age demographic in mind. I think campyness was built into the entire line from the moment Mattel decided to create a cartoon to advertise its product to younger kids.

    Basically I wouldn't blame Filmation for producing a wildly popular product which they were commissioned to create by Mattel. Mattel is responsible for the broad direction of the cartoon, even if Filmation had creative license to pursue better storylines or character development (although I'm also sure they had very little time to commit to those either, since they were commissioned to create 70(ish?) episodes a season - I can only imagine how many man-hours went into creating each season of HM&MOTU).

    This "pubblc image" doesn't help in my opinion, when it comes to the production of the new MOTU movie as well, since i believe it's one of the factors that the movie still is in production hell, because the creators involved don't know how to approach it, with the eminent risk of another flop.
    Honestly, I'm not sure how you would do it, either. The "secret identity" trope is ridiculously common and overplayed, a villain that simply wants to rule everything works better under the storyline of a Darth Vader or Joffery Baratheon, the outfits are a no-go unless you go straight back to a Conan the Barbarian-type storyline. It's a tough puzzle to crack.
    Last edited by Universe; April 1, 2017 at 11:41pm.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    I can only imagine how many man-hours went into creating each season of HM&MOTU).
    *He-Man-hours


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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    As mentioned earlier in the thread, Filmation created the series with a very specific demographic in mind: boys ages 5-9. I am certain that Mattel approved of this, and they were quite happy to reap the rewards financially when the show was a hit. There are, however, limits to what you can do when your target audience is so young and when you're working under early 80s FCC guidelines. Transformers, GI Joe, Star Wars - I think these all had an older age demographic in mind. I think campyness was built into the entire line from the moment Mattel decided to create a cartoon to advertise its product to younger kids.

    Basically I wouldn't blame Filmation for producing a wildly popular product which they were commissioned to create by Mattel. Mattel is responsible for the broad direction of the cartoon, even if Filmation had creative license to pursue better storylines or character development (although I'm also sure they had very little time to commit to those either, since they were commissioned to create 70(ish?) episodes a season - I can only imagine how many man-hours went into creating each season of HM&MOTU).
    Leaving aside the question of who is responsable for the direction (which at this point it's not important), the final result is what matters. And this is that the old cartoon yes is one of the main factors of MOTU's huge success in the early 80's, there is no doubt about this. But as the thread's title propose, i agree that it's also one of the main reasons of why MOTU didn't hold well afterwards. Because the cartoon itself didn't hold the test of time. The reasons are many, and a lot of them already presented in this thread. The campyness, the jokes and the memes that many times accompany many discussions about the MOTU cartoons (outside obviously the MOTU fandom), alongside with various criticisms about the storylines, the animation, the "weirdness" of the Filmation MOTU world that many cannot stand or they reject it etc, and other factors had a negative impact at the franchise, especially when the time of MOTU's maximum popularity passed.
    Last edited by granamyr80; April 2, 2017 at 12:00am.

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