Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bravestarr - The Day the Town Was Taken

I, again, apologize for the lack of updates. I did not forget about this blog; I just have college. Maybe I should've waited until after I graduated from college and didn't have to put together senior projects and shows before writing this blog. I have papers to write, paintings to paint, and storyboards to...storyboard.

A strange thing happened with this post. Originally it was going to be about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (because it feels like a crime to have a bunch of Filmation shows without talking about the one everyone thinks of when they think of this company), but then I saw that Filmation had a show that came after He-Man that seemed way more interesting to talk about. 

His name means "We apologize for He-Man" in Cherokee.
Even though Happily Ever After was the last movie Filmation ever made before they closed their production doors and stopped making cartoons ever again, Bravestarr happened to be their last animated series. I've seen multiple stories on what really killed Filmation (and the company's failure is sort of like a game of Clue), but from the looks of it, while Happily Ever After can take most of the blame for slaying the people behind He-Man, Bravestarr helped. The show wasn't all that popular and the toy line didn't do too well.

Although, that can't really be Bravestarr's fault. The toys are incredibly creepy.

Imagine this thing standing on your bookshelf, watching you sleep, eating your thoughts...
Bravestarr has an interesting past. Apparently back when Filmation was making Ghostbusters (no, not the one with Egon and Peter; the one with the ape and the talking vehicle), they came up with Tex Hex, a villain concept so mindblowingly awesome that they had to make a whole new show just to house that sheer amount of win contained within him. So they created this series that mixes Western elements with space elements, hoping that two great tastes will go great together.

Which is good, because this is one of those shows that runs on pure "This is way cooler than it sounds, trust us" and kind of functions like a Mad Libs version of the old west. Instead of a state of Texas, you get a planet called New Texas. Instead of a gold rush, it's a kerium rush. Alcohol is sweetwater, some cacti happen to be robots, the prairie dogs are actually a sentient race of beings, and most of the outlaws happen to be aliens. Oh, and the Marshall's horse? It's a cyborg that can switch from a horse with robot legs to a bipedal horse alien that can use a giant gun capable of destroying buildings.

Now, choosing an episode to cover for Bravestarr is hard. I wanted to pick an episode that gave the heroes and the villains decent screentime so I can talk about all of them, especially since right now I'm too lazy to cover the entire movie pilot. Sadly, this meant I'm skipping the drug episode for now, even though that's probably the most famous episode out of the lot. I had a handful of episodes that would've worked, but I just went with my gut feeling and went with the one that had a showcase scene for practically every character. It's got most of the villains, it's decently Western, it has all the elements of a Bravestarr episode that everyone loves, and at one point, Bravestarr utilizes technology I mastered when I was six. Hold onto your cowboy hats and your radically steampunk-esque technology because this is... 

The Day the Town Was Taken