(October 19, 1928 – October 17, 2013)
The genius behind He-Man, She-Ra, and Fat Albert, Lou Scheimer passed away today. Scheimer founded Filmation and influenced countless children with Masters of the Universe, Superman, Batman, Groovy Goolies and more.
Creating the Filmation Generation
by Lou Scheimer with Andy Mangels
TwoMorrows Publishing, 2012
He-Man. She-Ra. Star Trek. Superman. The Archies. Fat Albert. These are just a few of the successful cartoon properties produced by Filmation over the years. The lasting impact of these programs, especially of Fat Albert and He-Man, cannot be denied. Lou Scheimer, co-founder of Filmation Studios, takes readers behind-the-scenes in Creating the Filmation Generation, showing the evolution of the industry and the struggles he faced along the way.
The front cover of the book features artwork by Emiliano Santalucia, who worked on the He-Man comics released in the 2000s. You can see many of your favorite Filmation characters in the piece, with a photo of the man who brought them to life in the center.
As a child of the eighties, I was of course most interested in the later chapters that deal with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Scheimer brought to my mind so many great memories while reading these pages, even though the He-Man section was less than fifty pages itself. There are several black and white images scattered throughout the book, featuring cult classics and forgotten favorites such as Groovy Goolies, My Favorite Martians, and Gilligan’s Planet. If there is anything to complain about with this book, it is the lack of color. There are only sixteen pages printed in color, prominently featuring artwork of He-Man, his friends, and his foes. That is, however, a minor complaint when one considers the wealth of insider information Scheimer shares.
Some of the most touching passages have to do with the impact the characters had on the lives of fans. Scheimer shares the story of Josh Johnson, a young man who was blind but loved He-Man. The voice actors in the cartoon recorded a special message for him, and years later he had the opportunity to meet Scheimer himself as a documentary was being filmed for the cartoon’s DVD release.
Scheimer should be proud of his work with Filmation Studios, and the positive influence his programs had on the lives of youngsters in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s…and even today, as children of those decades introduce their children to Filmation cartoons. This book is a fun read, highly recommended for those interested in the animation business and the history of one of the greatest animation studios in history.