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Thread: Something that has always bugged me about the Filmation series...

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior jeffcope's Avatar
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    Something that has always bugged me about the Filmation series...

    Overall, I love the Filmation cartoon for nostalgia reasons, and itís place in MOTU history, but...I feel that Filmation went too heavy on the science fiction aspects over the fantasy aspects. Iíve been a MOTU fan since the very beginning, so my preference is definitely the early mini comics over the cartoon.

    I just wish Filmation would have emphasized the fantasy side a little more. This was brought to mind upon seeing the preview of issue 5 of the current Masters of the Multiverse comic featuring the Alcala He-Man. Even his manner of speech was more epic fantasy. Filmation dialogue always felt too contemporary to me.

    Iím sure this has been discussed, so my apologies. I was just curious about others thoughts.

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior Wakko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffcope View Post
    Overall, I love the Filmation cartoon for nostalgia reasons, and it’s place in MOTU history, but...I feel that Filmation went too heavy on the science fiction aspects over the fantasy aspects. I’ve been a MOTU fan since the very beginning, so my preference is definitely the early mini comics over the cartoon.

    I just wish Filmation would have emphasized the fantasy side a little more. This was brought to mind upon seeing the preview of issue 5 of the current Masters of the Multiverse comic featuring the Alcala He-Man. Even his manner of speech was more epic fantasy. Filmation dialogue always felt too contemporary to me.

    I’m sure this has been discussed, so my apologies. I was just curious about others thoughts.
    I agree with you. I've always been drawn to the more barbaric, fantasy side of MOTU than the sci-fi side, and feel that FILMation leaned too heavily on the latter. I would have loved it if the cartoon series followed the lead of that early DC comics 3-issue miniseries. I loved the tone and the approach of that series. Lots of fantasy and barbarism.

    But I also get why they leaned one way vs. another. For one, they were very much aware that they needed to avoid violence, which was a major concern among parents in the early 80s. The fantasy side favors melee weapons -- blades, whips, clubs. It's difficult to depict such weapons in use while also avoiding violence. Notice He-Man's signature sword was only ever use to deflect blasts or cut through objects. He never slashed another being with it. Leaning more on the sci-fi side of things, you can gave guns/lasers that merely stun or freeze people. No harm done at the end of the day. (This is the same reason the cartoon featured magic so heavily.)

    The second motivating factor, IMO, was financial. Without the heavy sci-fi element, you cannot have vehicles, and more vehicles = more toys to sell.

    MOTU has always been a really odd balance between fantasy and sci-fi, though. It's hard to reconcile the heavy use of swords in a world where guns and flying vehicles exist. But that's part of the property's odd charm.
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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior motogp_fanatic's Avatar
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    Nailed it "odd charm".
    Still effectively charmed us for decades.

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    Heroic Warrior McHorde-Trooper's Avatar
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    I think the technology and magic mix is what makes MotU magic.

    It would be just another Conan the barbarian with out that mix.

    The whole swords n guns issue could be explained away with saying there's limited resources.
    Also guns and swords have coexisted for a long time. And soldiers still use knives as weapons.
    Last edited by McHorde-Trooper; March 17, 2020 at 05:04pm.

  5. #5
    Court Magician rank_and_vile's Avatar
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    I mean, it's the exact same mix as Star Wars. Technology is pervasive and not everyone has access to magic. I think they nailed it, personally. But I can understand where you're coming from.

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    Heroic Warrior DC_WARLORD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakko View Post
    I agree with you. I've always been drawn to the more barbaric, fantasy side of MOTU than the sci-fi side, and feel that FILMation leaned too heavily on the latter. I would have loved it if the cartoon series followed the lead of that early DC comics 3-issue miniseries. I loved the tone and the approach of that series. Lots of fantasy and barbarism.

    But I also get why they leaned one way vs. another. For one, they were very much aware that they needed to avoid violence, which was a major concern among parents in the early 80s. The fantasy side favors melee weapons -- blades, whips, clubs. It's difficult to depict such weapons in use while also avoiding violence. Notice He-Man's signature sword was only ever use to deflect blasts or cut through objects. He never slashed another being with it. Leaning more on the sci-fi side of things, you can gave guns/lasers that merely stun or freeze people. No harm done at the end of the day. (This is the same reason the cartoon featured magic so heavily.)

    The second motivating factor, IMO, was financial. Without the heavy sci-fi element, you cannot have vehicles, and more vehicles = more toys to sell.

    MOTU has always been a really odd balance between fantasy and sci-fi, though. It's hard to reconcile the heavy use of swords in a world where guns and flying vehicles exist. But that's part of the property's odd charm.
    Ditto this!
    Odd Man Out

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    Definitely Eternos was very heavily sci-fi. On the other hand they made Castle Grayskull straight fantasy, without any of the high tech stuff from the playset.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Grimbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wakko View Post
    He never slashed another being with it.
    SIGH...
    Brings doom to MOTUC with cel accuracy.

  9. #9
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    While the sword & sorcery and fantasy aspect is definitely the backbone of the franchise, I think one of the things that makes MOTU stand out is the very fact that it seems to be an amalgam of all sub-genres of speculative fiction and imaginative storytelling. Val often calls it the "kitchen sink property." It's kind of like taking all of your favorite cereals and mixing them together. lol.

    You've got sword & sorcery, fantasy, science fiction, superhero fiction, horror, weird western (especially seen in Rio Blast), apocalyptic fiction (post-Great Wars scenario in the Glut/Alcala stories), etc., and then there are definite aspects of fairy tales and mythology tossed in for good measure. You even see a couple dystopian future scenarios in the Marvel Star comics and in the 2012-era DC comics.

    Somehow, in MOTU/POP, it all works. The sword-and-sorcery-for-kids and the high fantasy might be the backbone, but science fiction was always part of the mix. It just kept pulling and adding from other imaginative sub-genres and tropes as it went along. And what a crazy, wonderful soup it is!
    Last edited by Penny Dreadful; March 21, 2020 at 09:31pm.
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    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post

    Somehow, in MOTU/POP, it all works. The sword-and-sorcery-for-kids and the high fantasy might be the backbone, but science fiction was always part of the mix. It just kept pulling and adding from other imaginative sub-genres and tropes as it went along. And what a crazy, wonderful soup it is!
    I think the reason I loved MOTU so much then and now was the feeling that anything could happen within that world, within reason. Rio Blast could coexist with Snout Spout and a group of snake men. A barbarian on a giant green tiger made as much sense as a buff, blue skeleton.

    I don't mind Filmation leaning more on Sci-Fi over pure fantasy. It's hard to do barbarian fantasy in a kid's cartoon, especially in that era. Thundarr was probably the best realization of this.

    I guess that's why I look at shoehorned characters like Mo-Larr, Spector and Standor as violations of what is a very generous characterscape. They don't fit. But I think everything in between does.
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  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior Lokus's Avatar
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    I think MOTU did a better job blending science and sorcery than Star Wars .

    It also never really mattered if the energy bolt was magical or came from a laser gun. it looked and sounded the same . The effect assuming it struck was the same . That bugged me .
    Last edited by Lokus; March 25, 2020 at 07:24pm.

  12. #12
    Searchin' My Soul DisneyBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbot View Post
    What episode is this from and who is he fighting?

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