Story analysis of He-Man, Day Of The Machines

27 Jan

Here’s the work flow I used to analyze the story of the He-Man episode “Day of the Machines” (Season 2, episode 3).

I first watched the entire video and wrote down what I observed as important events. Sometimes I had to go back to put in events I forgot to mention. I left out as many embellishment as possible, and tried to stick to events that were related to story.


Next I wrote synopses for each part, trying to leave out information that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

I used that to describe the plot in even less words, and write a synopsis on that as well.

I used the latter synopsis to formulate the general story idea (logline or one-liner), stripped of all identity, just the story information, things that make it sound interesting and exciting.

A planet’s trusted main engineer risks his reputation over an essential experiment that an evil alien warlord is determined to secretly sabotage.

The theme of the story was easy to find. It is said at the end by the good guys: “If you do your best, you can never fail.”

The characters weren’t too hard as well. Basically, there is Man-at-Arms as the story lead character, He-Man as his friend and companion, Teela as the mentor, and Skeletor as the scheming evil-doer. The story arc is about Man-at-Arms learning that you can only do your best, and never reach perfection. The rest of the characters are pretty much static.

The conflict was easy to distill as well, it involves Man-at-Arms putting his reputation at risk in pursuit of perfection, and Skeletor trying to take advantage of it.

The point of view is, as usual, omniscient limited, which means it is told in the third person, who doesn’t know everything.

The setting is pretty straightforward too. Planet Eternia, in a world where magic, technology, feudalism and barbarian rites are intermixed. The story start in a happy mood, and returns to that state after the story arc is done.

What follows is what I did with the plot, including the logline as I see it.

—– (first and second round)

Part 1

Man-at-Arms fails at an RC experiment and just want to forget about it. His friends convince him to continue, and he will give it one last try. If he fails, he will resign from his job.

Meanwhile Skeletor has spied on the conversation, and decides to use trickery to make sure the next RC experiment fails and Man-at-Arm has to quit. He plants a miniature monster in the palace computer, so it can wreak havoc on the palace and Man-at-Arms will get the blame.

Synopsis

Man-at-Arms says he will resign if he fails at his next RC computer experiment. Skeletor having overheard this, makes an electronic demon and beams it in the palace computer, so it will wreak havoc and Man-at-Arms will get the blame.

Part 2

The mini-monster has taken over the RC computer, and while Man-at-Arms and his friends are doing another RC test, they get ambushed by machines controlled by the mini-monster. He-Man appears and saves his friends.

They decide to take a look at the computer, to see what’s wrong, however the door is closed. After He-Man breaks it open and enters the computer room, he gets attacked by the machine, put there to defend the mini-monster.

They retreat and decide to do two things. Man-at-Arms will disable the power, so the RC computer becomes powerless, and Teela will visit Skeletor on Battlecat to find out if he is somehow sabotaging.

Man-at-Arms shrinks himself so he can slip by the defences and enter the computer.

Meanwhile Teela has arrived at Skeletor’s place and He-Man is battling the machines gone crazy. After He-Man is done, he goes looking for Man-at-Arms.

Teela slips into Skeletor’s command center and hears one of Skeletor’s goons tell the plan. She quickly leaves unnoticed to tell the others what she has learned.

Man-at-Arms finds the mini-monster, but gets captured by it.
Teela is back at the palace and tells He-Man about Skeletor’s plan to use an electric demon inside the computer to control the palace machines. They need Man-at-Arms for a shrinking ray, but he is nowhere to be found. He-Man decides to go to the Sorceress for help.

The Sorceress turns He-Man small and delivers him as a falcon at the computer, which he enters.

Synopsis

When the palace machines act hostile, Man-at-Arms, Teela and He-Man decide to do something about it. Man-at-Arms shrinks himself to a small size, enters the computer, but gets capture by the demon. Teela goes spying on Skeletor and finds out his evil plan. He-Man tries to fight the machines to avoid any damage.

When Teela tells He-Man of Skeletor’s plan, he let’s himself shrink by the Scorceress and enters the computer.

Part 3

Inside the computer He-Man tries to find Man-at-Arms and to defeat the electric demon.

After He-Man has freed Man-at-Arms, they go to the demon. He-Man battles it, but it gets away through the wires.

Then it dawns on Man-at-Arms what the demon’s weakness is, and how they capture it. After they’ve done so they send it back to Skeletor, so he can enjoy it presence, and doesn’t use it again.

Using the shrinking ray in reverse, He-Man and Man-at-Arms have returned to normal size. Teela argues that Man-at-Arms wasn’t to blame for the malfunctioning RC computer, and that Skeletor made use of Man-at-Arms discouragement. Man-at-Arms acknowledges his temporary weakness, and that next time he shouldn’t give up so easily, because things aren’t perfect. Teela argues that Man-at-Arms did his best, and that that’s all what can be expected from someone.

The group concludes that if you do your best, you can never be a failure.

Synopsis

Inside the computer He-Man frees Man-at-Arms and together they capture the demon. They send it to Skeletor’s computer, so Skeletor will never use it again.

The group concludes that Man-at-Arms wasn’t to blame after all, because he did his best. They say that if you do your best, you can never be a failure.

—– (third round)

Part 1

Introduction

Man-at-Arms does some RC experiment, which fails miserably. He says he will resign if he fails at his next RC computer experiment, because it has to be perfect; there is no room for error.

Conflict

Skeletor having overheard this, makes an electronic demon and beams it in the palace computer, so it will wreak havoc and Man-at-Arms will get the blame.

[Point of no return, action begins]

Part 2

Rising Action

When the palace machines act hostile, Man-at-Arms, Teela and He-Man decide to do something about it. Man-at-Arms shrinks himself to a small size, enters the computer, but gets capture by the demon. Teela goes spying on Skeletor and finds out his evil plan. He-Man tries to fight the machines to avoid any damage.

When Teela tells He-Man of Skeletor’s plan, he let’s himself shrink by the Scorceress and enters the computer.

[Point of no return, problem has to be solved]

Part 3

Climax

Inside the computer He-Man frees Man-at-Arms and together they capture the demon.

Falling Action

They send it to Skeletor’s computer, so Skeletor will never use it again.

Denouement

The group concludes that Man-at-Arms wasn’t to blame after all, because he did his best. They say that if you do your best, you can never be a failure.

—– (fourth round)

Plot Synopsis

Man-at-Arms wants to be perfect at a computer experiment, but fails. Skeletor wants him to fail utterly and plants a demon in the palace computer.

While battling the machines, Man-at-Arms gets trapped inside the computer, and Teela finds out about Skeletor’s plan and tells it to He-Man, who goes into the computer as well.

Man-at-Arms and He-Man battle the demon, defeat it and send it back to Skeletor’s computer. Man-at-Arms has learned that he can only do his best, not be perfect.

—– (fifth round)

Logline

A planet’s trusted main engineer risks his reputation over an essential experiment that an evil alien warlord is determined to sabotage.

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