fortressofdorkness

A Master In It's Universe

As a filmmaker, imagination may quite possibly be one of the most important things during the creation process.

In your mind, your imagination plays the fiddle. An epic story of heroics and villainy. The light of God cast on your characters. Music so sweet the Sirens themselves sang it. Visuals so stunning that Rembrandt would be impressed.

But the root of our imagination begins in our childhood. Recently on ‘The Fortress of Dorkness’, we discussed the comic series, Saga. Creator Brian K. Vaughn crafted Saga over a number of years, a result of his imagination when he was a child.

Today I’m going to speak of something that inspired my own imagination, Mattel & Filmation’s Masters of the Universe.

He-Man and Skeletor (Masters of the Universe Classics)

The Eternian adventures of the scantily clad barbaric hero, He-Man, and the villainous bone-headed wizard Skeletor, was perhaps the most important cartoon produced in the United States in the 1980’s.

On the surface, MOTU, as it’s often abbreviated, was your typical cartoon about good vs. evil. GI Joe was doing it. The Thundercats were doing it. My personal favorite, Transformers was doing it.

But when we dig a little deeper we see that Masters had something…more. Another layer down we have a story where barbarianswizards, robotscowboysvampires, and a ton of other beings lived in the same universe, letting my imagination soak it all in.

A little further, and we start seeing the deep roots of the stories. Masters wasn’t just another cartoon where toys were being forced down our throats. It was threaded with a rich, fantastical tale of heroism, loss, pity, consequences, and, yes, even lust. 

He-Man and The Power Sword

Look at the infamous episode ‘The Problem with Power’. Skeletor tricks The Most Powerful Man in the Universe into thinking he accidentally killed a man, causing He-Man to relinquish the power bestowed upon him. He beats himself over his own negligence, and regardless of the outcome or the circumstances, a strong lesson is learnt about the consequences of wielding such power.

Or perhaps we can look at ‘The Search’, where He-Man is overcome by the cosmic power of The Starseed, and must rise above his own temptations of destroying Skeletor. And who can forget ‘Prince Adam No More’, where Adam puts his own desire to be approved by his father above his duties.

Stories like these sparked the thought process for me, where heroes could be damned by their own actions. I learnt that you could still make a fun story about fantasy and science fiction, and retain a solid, character driven tale, with strong moral implications.

Skeletor and the Havoc Staff

Credit has to be given to FilmationLou Scheimer and his team pushed the boundaries of a cartoon in a way that I, as a fan of animation, had not seen in any other cartoon of that period. Yes, other cartoons ended their episodes with a short moral snippet, but the consistency of Masters was unmatched in the western market. 

To give you an idea of the impact of this cartoon, look at some of the names involved: Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Bob Forward, Haim Saban, David Wise, J. Michael Straczynski, and Larry DiTillio. These guys went on to spearhead some of the most memorable cartoons, television series, and films ever, even winning numerous awards along the way.

Battle Armor He-Man & Skeletor (MOTUC)

He-Man and The Masters of the Universe is by far one of the important pieces of media to ever be produced. Though it’s faced moderate success with its many attempts to come back, the series, comics, and the films it spawned following it may be good, but lack the soul that made the original so special.

With another film in the works, I hope that they remember the heart of what made the Filmation series so unique, and not make it another mindless action film to appeal to a ‘grittier’ audience (I myself would love to see one done with this flavor in the styling of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal). 

The potential now exists to bring that same heart & soul out for the imaginations of the modern age, and hopefully, we’ll all be a little more inspired.

Laser Power He-Man & Laser Light Skeletor (MOTUC)

The Fortress of Dorkness Press Release

Check out the press release for 'The Fortress of Dorkness'! We're so happy to finally get this going. We're now nearly a month into it, and we're already in Production for month two, Pre-Pro for month three, and post for month one!  We love the feedback we're receiving for the project, so please keep watching and we hope to keep entertaining you!

And remember, Never Fear The Dork Up Here!

Fortress of Dorkness Ep 05 Primers - Zebediah Killgrave: The Purple Man

Episode 05 - Primers Zebediah Killgrave: The Purple Man Today we're just going to throw some comics out at you to help you get to know Marvel Comics' Purple Man a little better! This isn't a reading order or character history, those come later. Who dared face the devil of Hell's Dinette?

I'm really loving the Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks, and with the launch of the Netflix show, Jessica Jones based on the amazing Alias (seriously, pick that one up), we made a video about the villain of the series, Zebediah Killgrave aka The Purple Man. Enjoy!

Fortress of Dorkness Ep 04 Coming To Terms - Film Cuts

Episode 04 - Coming To Terms Film Cuts Today we're easing (or increasing) your confusion regarding the various types of film cuts available to lé vous! Have you wondered how many more ways they could cut Blade Runner (can I get an amen)? How about ordering some 'Batman & Robin'...hold the nipples.

Our new episode helps the viewer differentiate between the variety of cuts in film! It's a fun episode for the movie buff out there, so have fun! Alfred Pennyworth features too. 

Fortress of Dorkness Ep 03 Beyond The Big Two - Saga

Episode 03 - Beyond The Big two Image Comics' Saga Today we're introducing our lovely viewers to Saga from Image Comics! *Gasp!* Is it possible superhero-less comics exist?! Do cats lie?! Do seals talk?! Please watch on. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fortressofdo... Twitter: https://twitter.com/FortofDork Instagram: https://instagram.com/fortressofdorkn...

We're getting a lot of great feedback on this one, so please check out the video we did for a comic I absolutely adore, and which I love introducing people to; Image Comics' Saga!

Fortress of Dorkness Ep 02 Hidden Treasures - The Goonies

Episode 02 - Hidden Treasures The Goonies We go over 19 easter eggs scattered throughout The Goonies! What's the One-Eyed Willie Connection? Was there a Gremlin in the works? And what lovable, huggable, and cuddlable wardrobe malfunction have we discovered today? Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fortressofdorkness Twitter: https://twitter.com/FortofDork Instagram: https://instagram.com/fortressofdorkness/ Tumblr: http://fortressofdorkness.tumblr.com

Enjoy the second episode of The Fort, this one is about hidden treasures scattered throughout the film, The Goonies!

The Fortress of Dorkness

I've been off the grid for a few months. I absolutely have. Today I get to happily explain why.

Welcome to The Fortress of Dorkness, the nerdy nexus for all your geeky needs!

Creator and Exec. Producer Christian Villarreal, Producer Ryan Burke, and of course Lead Writer and Director myself, have been working together to create 'The Fortress of Dorkness', a weekly resource channel for trivia, general knowledge, and analysis of everything in the world of geek.

I'm proud to say that we launched today. It has been a collaboration between Christian, Ryan, and me. The show is hosted by Christian and Beth Damiano.

Music is composed by Markus Zierhofer (http://markus-zierhofer.comhttps://soundcloud.com/markus-zierhofer), with animation by Mario Planta. Logo and graphics were provided by Matt Villarreal.

Since The Fort is a continuing project, you'll see frequent videos, posts, and updates about it right here on my website between my other work. I might even throw in some behind the scenes goodies for you guys. So I hope you guys enjoy the channel, please follow us, like and subscribe to our social media (linked below) and link the bard says; Never Fear The Dork Up Here!

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