Dawn of Dragoon is the 20th episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, written by Robby London and directed by Ed Friedman. Orko is summoned to save his homeworld of Trolla, a planet where everything is backwards and Prince Adam cannot transform into He-Man.
Orko has invented a magic pyramid, but it doesn't work right and he's trying to get Man-At-Arms to help him fix it. Orko reminisces some about Trolla, where he was a powerful wizard and respected hero. However, Man-At-Arms points out that the rocks Orko's juggling are giving off strange energy, and when he drops them in fear near the pyramid it glows and suddenly a female Trollan named Dree Elle emerges from it. She explains that a creature named Dragoon is causing trouble on Trolla, and Orko returns with her to deal with him.
Worried that Orko might need his help, Adam changes to He-Man and goes to ask the Sorceress to send him to Trolla. However, sending him to Trolla is no easy feat. The portal she's managed to create is not only so small he needs to use a magic sphere to attain the proper size, it will disappear at nightfall. He-Man and Battle Cat go through, but using the portal causes them to change back to Adam and Cringer.
Trolla is a strange place where things are backward to the way they are on Eternia; fish fly like birds, Adam's fire-ray shoots streams of water, and Orko's magic proves powerful and reliable when he and Dree Elle are discovered and chased by Dragoon. Also when a snake-like creature attacks Adam, he finds his magic words don't work and he's unable to change into He-Man. Adam saves Orko and Dree Elle when they're trapped in a ring of fire, but Dragoon captures Dree Elle and flies away with her.
The heroes pursue Dragoon to his lair, where he's capturing Trollans to drain their energy. Before Adam can get inside he's attacked by a guard-lizard. Cringer comments that everything's backwards on Trolla, which causes Adam to realize that if he says his magic words backwards, he might be able to transform. It works, and He-Man challenges Dragoon to battle while Orko enters the lair to save the Trollans.
Dragoon throws boulders at He-Man, trying to knock him into the Bottomless Hole of Trolla. One of the boulders has vines hanging from it that tangle Dragoon and drag him into the hole as well, but He-Man saves him. When Dragoon asks He-Man why he saved his enemy, he replies, "I may be your enemy, but you're not mine." He-Man being willing to risk his life to save someone trying to end it causes Dragoon to question his convictions, and he thanks He-Man.
Orko uses his magic to awaken the Trollans and he and Dree Elle show each other their real faces, which is the rough equivalent of an engagement. He agrees to return, but he wants to help deal with Skeletor on Eternia first. The three of them make it back to Eternia just before the portal closes. Man-At-Arms admits to Orko that for all their bickering, he really does respect Orko.
He-Man: "In today's story Orko was faced with a very difficult decision. You know, when we're young most of our decisions are made for us. But as we get older, well, we want to make more and more of them for ourselves. And that's they way it ought to be. But sometimes we have a real tough one, a real problem. And when that happens it's a good idea to talk it over with someone else. Someone who really cares about you. Like your mother or father, or maybe your best firend. Talking a problem out with someone else can be a great help."
- John Erwin as He-Man/Prince Adam
- Alan Oppenheimer as Cringer/Battle Cat Man-At-Arms and Dragoon
- Linda Gary as Teela, The Sorceress and Dree-Elle
- Lou Scheimer (credited as Erik Gunden) as Orko and unidentified Trollans
Behind the Scenes
- Script was approved on January 28, 1983 and final script revision took place July 28, 1983.
- Dree Elle was designed by storyboard artist Tom Tataranowicz.
- Writer Robby London originally went one step further in the scene where Adam has to say "By the power of Grayskull" backwards. The original script sited the line as "Luke-syarg fo ree-wop ett yib" instead of "Grayskull of power the by".
- In the ending to the original script, Dragoon charged at He-Man, fell into the Bottomless Hole of Trolla and He-Man & Battle Cat would only muse about Dragoon's fate and leave. This was story-boarded but eventually changed so that He-Man would heroically come to Dragoon's aid.
- Storyboard artist Steve Hickner produced a sketch of Orko without his scarf and hat for the scene in which he reveals his face to Dree-Elle, but it was decided to keep his face obscured. This was the only known official illustration of Orko unmasked, and it was finally revealed in James Eatock's 2016 book "He-Man and She-Ra - a complete guide do the classic animated adventures"
- The character model for Dragoon was used again for the Dark One in the She-Ra: Princess of Power episode "Into the Dark Dimension."
- The snake that attacks Adam and Cringer on Trolla was used again as the Razorfins in Search for the VHO and as a giant blue version of itself in Golden Disks of Knowledge.
- The Bottomless Hole of Trolla was recolored as the bottomless abyss that Yog is thrown into in Song of Celice.
- The animation of Prince Adam firing a laser from his wrist gauntlet is reused in The Eternia Flower.
- The animated sequence of Prince Adam preparing to hold aloft his magic sword and call upon the power of Grayskull was reanimated for a similar sequence in One for All.
- The animated sequence of He-Man pulling up the rope will be seen again in Not so Blind.
- The Travel Corridors room inside Castle Grayskull was previously seen in She-Demon of Phantos and will be seen again in To Save Skeletor and the She-Ra: Princess of Power episode Loo-Kee Lends a Hand.
- The moral presented by He-Man covers the same issue adressed by Prince Adam in Daimar the Demon.
- Adam laughs with the voice of He-Man after Orko's pyramid sprays water in Man-At-Arms' face.
- During the transformation sequence in front of Castle Grayskull, Cringer's nose is a lighter shade of green than usual in his close-up, and the Sword of Power doesn't make any of the usual sounds when pointed at Cringer.
- When Adam turns his head to Orko after being reunited on Trolla, his neckline is off for a couple of frames.
- As Adam, Cringer and Orko approach Dragoon's fortress in a wide shot, for some reason Adam is shown in silhouette but the others are not.
- When Dree Elle revives, she is still wearing the draining machine cap on her head, but the metal rod with wires that was attached to it has disappeared.
- He-Man and Battle Cat are turned back into Prince Adam and Cringer when the enter the portal to go to Trolla, but when they return to Eternia, after finding a way to turn back into He-Man and Battle Cat, they are not reversed once more.
- After He-Man, Battle Cat and Orko return to Eternia, Orko is floating with his outfit gently swaying as usual, but for one frame his outfit is misaligned, leaving revealing black outlines that should not be there.
- Big Cartoon Database
- Frank's He-Man page
- Internet Movie Database
- The TVDB
- Gallery courtesy of He-Man Reviewed
The He-Man and She-Ra Blog
- A brief review #020 - "Dawn of Dragoon"
- Dragoon title card.
- Dree Elle concept artwork.
- Juggling Orko.
- Our only hope...
- Dragoon's suggested design.
- Upside down rainbow.
- FILMATION ART: Trollan stream.
- FILMATION ART: Trollan landscape.
- Weekend Away #1 - Adam's raised hand?
- Things are backwards here...
- The Trollan revelation.
- 30 YEARS - Top 30 GREATEST MOMENTS #12
- FILMATION FEBRUARY - DAY: 27
- Caught by Dragoon!
- 30 YEARS - Top 30 GREATEST MOMENTS #6
- I'll be waiting.
- Trollan hugs all round!
- Memories #7 - I need that VHS tape!
- ↑ The He-Man and She-Ra Blog - Dragoon dies?!
- ↑ The He-Man and She-Ra Blog - Poor Dragoon...
- ↑ The He-Man and She-Ra Blog - Weekend Away #11 He-Man's heroic chin!
- ↑ The He-Man and She-Ra Blog - Dragoon?
- ↑ The He-Man and She-Ra Blog - FILMATION ART: The Bottomless Hole of Trolla.
- ↑ The He-Man and She-Ra Blog - No need to reanimate!
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