Teela's Quest is a first season episode of the animated television series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, produced in 1983. It was the second episode to be screened but was the sixth episode in the production order. Written by Paul Dini, directed by Marsh Lamore.
Using Man-At-Arms' memory projector, Queen Marlena recalls her crash-landing on Eternia; she was an astronaut from Earth, before she was stranded and met King Randor. Prince Adam asks her if she misses Earth, and she replies that she would not trade her life on Eternia for anything. Teela comes looking for the prince, who is late for his combat practise. She uses the memory projector on Adam, revealing that he went fishing instead. Meanwhile, Orko is tinkering in Man-At-Arms' workshop, trying to create a music box; the box actually contains explosives, and it explodes in the laboratory.
Orko escapes as Teela comes in to talk with her father. She tells him that she wishes she had a mother like Adam does, and that she would like to know about her biological parents. Man-At-Arms tells her that her father was a great warrior who was killed in battle, that he is proud of adopting Teela, but that her mother's identity is a secret which he promised never to reveal. Teela tries the memory projector, but her recollections are only of Man-At-Arms.
Frustrated, she tells Orko that she will ask the Oracle of the Crystal Sea who her mother is. Orko accidentally blurts her plan to Adam and Cringer, prompting them to transform and follow her for her own safety. At Snake Mountain, Skeletor and Mer-Man are spying on Teela; Mer-Man wants to use her to seek vengeance on Man-At-Arms for a past grievance. Shadow Beasts attack Teela as soon as she arrives in the Crystal Sea, but she fends them off with few problems. Teela finds the Oracle, who tells her of how Man-At-Arms was once summoned to the nest of Zoar the falcon: Mer-Man and his allies were trying to capture Zoar so that they could use her as a sacrifice to a sea demon. Zoar could have flown away, but she was protecting something in the nest; Man-At-Arms defeated Mer-Ma, but before the Oracle can finish his story he is interrupted by Mer-Man.
Orko alerts the Sorceress of the situation, as Mer-Man chains Teela and explains to her that twenty years ago, her father rescued a victim he had selected for the sea demon Bakkull. Mer-Man uses the Crimson Pearl to summon the demon, but He-Man smashes through the wall and frees Teela with his sword. Zoar grabs Mer-Man's staff and drops it, destroying the Crimson Pearl inside. Immediately, Bakkull turns against Mer-Man; He-Man rescues the villain, then pushes down the ice structure on which Bakkull stands, burying the beast in an avalanche.
Teela returns to the Oracle, who finishes his story, revealing that Man-At-Arms found a baby girl in the nest, whom Zoar had hoped to raise in the mountains safely, but realized she could not after Mer-Man's attack. The Sorceress enters as the story finishes, and confirms that she is Teela's mother. She informs her stunned daughter that it will one day be Teela's time to take her place, but that until then she must not know for her own safety. The Sorceress removes her only daughter's memory of the revelation, as a tear runs down her cheek.
Teela: "In today's story, I went in search of my mother. I found her, but I also found something else; that the man who had cared for me since I was a baby, who loved me as he would his own daughter, was just as much my father as any parent could be. And so whether they are someone we were born to or whether they chose us to adopt, it doesn't matter. The ones who protect us, and teach us, and love us; they are the ones we call mother and father. And they deserve the same kind of love from us. Until next time."
- John Erwin as He-Man/Prince Adam and Oracle of the Crystal Sea
- Alan Oppenheimer as Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Battle Cat/Cringer and Mer-Man
- Linda Gary as Teela, The Sorceress and Queen Marlena
- Lou Scheimer (credited as Erik Gunden) as Orko
Behind the Scenes
- Script was approved December 3, 1982 and final script revision took place July 12, 1983.
- The first episode to really explore the back-story some of the series' characters, the episode is ranked as a highlight by many fans. As well as revealing Teela's heritage and the fact that Man-at-Arms is her adoptive father, it also explains the back-story of Queen Marlena, who is revealed to have been an astronaut who crashed on Eternia and fell in love with the King meaning that Adam and (the yet-unintroduced) Adora, and by extension He-Man and She-Ra, are half-Earthling.
- In an early draft of the script, Skeletor used his Havoc Staff to transport Mer Man from Snake Mountain to the Crystal Sea.
- Originally the Shadow Beasts were known as Shadow Apes.
- The original script featured an underwater fight between He-man and Bakkull that ended with He-Man knocking Bakkull onto shore.
- This is one of the three stories edited into the direct-to-video movie 'The Greatest Adventures of All' which had a special premiere at Mann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. The other two adventures being Diamond Ray of Disappearance & Colossor Awakes.
- An expanded version of the flashback scene depicting Marlena Glen's arrival on Eternia is featured in The Rainbow Warrior. However, in that story, Marlena's spaceship is no longer called the 'Valliant' but the 'Rainbow Explorer' instead.
- The shot of Adam repairing the Sky Sled was first seen in the moral to The Curse of the Spellstone. in which Adam was replaced by Man-At-Arms. This shot was also used in A Beastly Sideshow.
- The sequence of the Sorceress transforming into Zoar the falcon and flying over Orko's head, who makes himself disappear afterwards, would be seen again in The Time Corridor.
- The music heard when He-Man smashes into Mer-Man's lair and overpowers the Fish Men would be used again in the She-Ra: Princess of Power episode The Crown of Knowledge during the establishing shot of King Jared's castle and again in Sweet Bee's Home when Frosta tries to seduce He-Man.
- The design of Bakkull was reused as the Ogre that attacks the Starchild in The Starchild.
- He-Man's double-fisted punch will be seen again in The Search.
- The animated sequence of He-Man pushing against a structure to bury Bakkull would be reused in House of Shokoti Part 2 when he attempts to bury the Sleeping Beast.
- Bakkull will be seen again as one of the prisoners of Beast Island in the She-Ra: Princess of Power episode The Prisoners of Beast Island.
- The animation of Orko's shocked reaction will be seen again in Fraidy Cat and Bargain with Evil.
- The character models for both Bakkull and a Fish Man can be seen as part of the Keeper's menagerie in The Heart of a Giant.
- The animated sequence of Prince Adam stepping into frame to look up at the Wind Raider is reanimated in the episode Orko's Favorite Uncle, with He-Man looking up at the the Talon Fighter instead.
- When Man-At-Arms is startled by the bomb that Orko has constructed, the middle part of his helmet suddenly turns orange.
- When Man-At-Arms talks about adopting Teela, there is a machine on a conveyor belt in front of him. It moves off, accompanied by a sound effect, but in the next shot it is back again. What is more, Man-At-Arm's fingers, which are holding the ladder he is standing on, are now positioned in front of the machine on the conveyor belt.
- Orko's ears are missing in one shot when he tells Prince Adam and Cringer that "Teela can look out for herself, I hope...".
- At the start of the fight with Bakkull, He-Man throws his magic sword to free Teela and tells her to 'Use my sword!' But as he speaks, the sword is also visible hanging on his back.
- During the final battle, Bakkull keeps changing in size from enormous to just slightly larger than a human being.
- After defeating Bakkull, as He-Man is addressing Teela, his sword hilt is on the wrong side (over his left shoulder instead of his right).
- There is a possible error in this episode in that the Sorceress is shown appearing outside Castle Grayskull in human form; she herself has said that she is forbidden to leave the Castle walls except in the form of a falcon. However, an explanation for this could be provided by the immensely magical and benevolent nature of the Oracle's chamber.
- 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 #006 - "Teela's Quest"
- 30 YEARS - Top 30 GREATEST MOMENTS #1
- FILMATION FEBRUARY - DAY: 3
- Did they ever fix it?
- Panini sticker album art #13
- A brief review #006 - "Teela's Quest"
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