Aug 3, 2021

Revelation Teela: Why her redesign is all wrong

 A huge issue with Revelation has been Teela's redesign. Many people, myself included have many issues with it. Based on the redesign to Teela's traditional outfit we can infer some of the thought process, or the mandates from above. We know Netflix is very "social justice minded" and they go about it in the worst of ways at times. Case in point Teela.

Here we have MOTUC Teela, whose outfit is based on the original Teela. Now let's compare this to the Revelation Teela before He-Man's death.

They changed the elaborate cuirass because it accentuated her boobs. She even has a metallic diamond shaped piece covering her cleavage. No, this isn't about "me trying to get off to Teela's boobs" but part of the apparent shame of Teela's femininity. Which is a subconscious message. Good girls cover up, bad girls are whores. Sorceress, Marlena, Teela, and Andra all have their chests fully covered. Only Evil-Lyn shows her cleavage. Is this some prudish sex negative feminism at work? I dunno, I'm just an asshole with a blog. Evil-Lyn has an outfit CLOSER to what Traditional Teela should look like aside the ridiculously long front and back pieces.  They made her more muscular "for realism" (translation an attempt to "desexualize her" by making her "more masculine looking".) Which falls flat when you look at Adam, who is almost as wimpy as Orko. And he's been allegedly trained by Duncan and Teela for years.

But, back on topic: Despite the attempts at desexualizing Teela, her Outfit still looks MOTU-ish. Personally I would've made the Cuirass a lot more obvious, while keeping the ornamental Elements from the toys to use as character identifierd. Just like the Orange Armor with breathing mask is synonymous with MAN-AT-ARMS, The White/silver with Golden accents are synonymous with Teela. My Teela would have pants out of practicality. I've been rambling and I haven't tackled the Musclebound elephant in the room: Ronin Teela's stupid GI Joke outfit.

Again, notice how Evil-Lyn is the only one with the potential to show cleavage. Because femininity bad, masculinity good. Now that I got out of the way, let's start ripping this outfit to metaphorical shreds.
Look at the cuirass and tell me that it doesnt look like a car floor mat with straps. We're in a fantasy sword and sorcery world, why isn't this outfit reflecting that?
Yes I'm aware that there is some tech in Eternia and we have lasers and all that stuff. But the society dresses like they're mostly part of a Renn Faire. He looks like a random new recruit for GI Joe. Nothing on her outfit screams MOTU. Colorwise, they're trying to keep her pallette but with muted and subdued colors to show her disillusionment with her past life. The man-hating lesbian hairdo is to show "Rebellion" as it USED to be a punk hairdo that rebelled against societal norms before being overused to death by "rebellious lesbians dressing up like lumberjacks". The idea that they were trying to establish by her outfit is that Teela is rebelling against her past because she's disappointed that her closest friends and family hid something from her. The problem is that the design went way too out of its way to rebel against MOTU norm that it became part of a different franchise altogether. 

The goal was "realism", hence the Canseco Teela...
But realism ignores one thing. Her haircut isn't practical. While not as long as her normal hairstyle, it's still long enough to get in the way and partially block her vision.They could've gone with a pixie cut... wait, no, that haircut is considered sexy. A crew cut would've made far more sense... or hell fully shaving her head a la Britney.

But her outfit: Look at it. What part of it screams MOTU? Aside the cuirass, you could go to the mall and come back with 95% of her outfit without any real alterations made. There is no Hot Topic or Old Navy on Eternia. The outfit should look more Dungeons and Dragons, not straight out of the Mall.

How this could've been fixed: For starters, MOTU styled furry top boots. Instead of the "typical Hot Topic customer" crossed belts, a female version of the traditional MOTU belt like the one used by Battleground Teela (the one in her metal bra) 

Eternia is a barbaric world, some monster skin element could have worked for her. Having her cuirass being made of a reptilian skin would work as a nod to the cobra armor AND bring some of the savage world of Eternia look to her.
Quick doodle to 
Show some sort of visual aid.
Using pen and no means to correct mistakes.

I still kept most of the Netflix design while "keeping it MOTU". 

To be fair, Most of the redesigns after He-Man dies suffer because they lose their MOTU-ness...
Evil-Lyn looks like a water bender
Merman, Beastman, they lose their "identity" as they end up looking like a garage sale find where you find an armorless Beastman and missing face paint and a Merman that has seen many better days.
Whiplash gains Metal parts that look NOTHING like the robotic parts that you'd see in MOTU. There is an aesthetic to MOTU that was greatly ignored in many redesigns.

Even the new characters get inspiration from Non-MOTU stuff like Andra who looks like a dollar store version of Jacqui Briggs from Mortal Kombat.
I don't mind that Andra has a more thechie vibe to her. But it should be based on the MOTU Aesthetic. Using the lower half of the Trap Jaw boots like say MOTUC Mighty Spector cements the idea that the character is more rooted in tech. Using Man-E-Faces' crotchpiece can also cement the Technological theme. Have her tunic reflect the medieval fantasy sword and sorcery look but add some techno bits and doodads like MAN-AT-ARMS, whose armor is obviously Conquistador inspired, but is techy enough to be its own thing.

The principle of my changes is similar to Neitlich's "Classicizer" excuse/explanation. By using parts and pieces that are instantly recognizable as MOTU. I know some of you will argue that I'm looking at this from a toy perspective, but at the end of the day MOTU IS A TOYLINE and we cannot hide from that truth. 

While I disagree on the "desexualization" of female characters being an "improvement" on them, I'd prefer if they had been honest about it. The "realistic body thing" is bullshit. Filmation had "unrealistic bodies" they claim...
This picture is the crew that worked on Rotoscoping for MOTU.
Rotoscoping involves filming scenes in live action and tracing them frame by frame in order to have realistic animation. Created by Max Fleischer, yes THAT MAX FLEISCHER, Rotoscoping was a time consuming method that delivered the most realistic movement in animation. 

Disney used a lot of rotoscoping in their animated features. EVEN Filmation used this method. The Unrealistic bodied Teela was literally a REAL WOMAN IN A TEELA OUTFIT whose movements were traced by Animators. Let that sink in. 

Just be truthful about it. Don't try to hide bhind easily disprovable bullshit. Honestly, I don't mind the more muscular Teela. The pre-death of He-Man look isn't awful, but it's the bullshit logic behind it what bothers me. Don't use "realism" as an excuse to desexualize characters. Hell, if you’re desexualizing characters don't use double standards. Why is He-Man only wearing a loincloth and harness? Isn't it weird how it's OK for the men to be wearing far less clothes than women? Are men simple objects to be ogled at? 

Sorry, lost a bit of track there, but my issue is that in their rush to appear progressive and fill as many SocJus checkboxes they end up missing the point and looking worse than the "progressive image" they want to portray.
 I've mentioned that race swapping makes them seem more racist, because of the lack of creativity to push existing PoC characters to act as equals and the only way to "elevate them" is to give them a  white Hand-me-down. Same thing is happening with Teela. They villify femiminity and embrace Masculinity  on a woman...

Having a more ripped Teela makes sense due to her line of work, but it's the combination of everything (and that includes the awkward queerbaiting moments) that has made the haters perceive that Teela is a man-hating lesbian.  Y'all sent the mixed signals due to sloppy design. I'm not against the idea. It's the execution where I'm having issues. The disconnect that I'm having with the designs is the generic end result that doesn't scream MOTU. I understand that "mamdates from above" demanded "less sexy, more empowering" but the "anti-sexy designs" still needed to read MOTU. Like I mentioned above, it's rather easy if you look at the history of the line and THE TOYS as the source material. This is seriously tempting me to buy a sketchpad and draw my redesign idea and shake iff some of my rust...

I'm really trying very hard to not be hyper negative about this.

No comments:

Post a Comment